On the television screen, every romance begins with a cheeky friendship. The subtle hints, the grazing palms, an undeniable tension mounts until that explosive kiss. It would be nice if real life was so predictable and obvious, but that is simply not the case. People hide their emotions. Friends are uncertain of boundaries to be crossed. Fear of rejection, fear of loss: so many different factors play into a relationship teetering on the edge of romance.
If it’s any consolation, you are definitely not alone. So many healthy, happy relationships actually start out as meaningful friendships. This allows you to build a genuine connection prior to embarking upon a new romance. It can be an anxiety-inducing confession, but it may be necessary to help relieve tension in your friendship! Even if the feelings aren’t reciprocated, it’s nice to know that you didn’t miss out on “what could have been”. That being said, here are few tips to be aware of prior to confessing your feelings.
1. Accept that you might be rejected.
In fact, go into your confession expecting rejection. Believe me, it will make any pain a lot easier to endure. Just because you love, or like, your bff, doesn’t mean they reciprocate those feelings. And they are not required to! This conversation is purely for the sake of transparency. If you feel unable to hold back your emotions any longer, a candid talk with your pal can be positively transformative!
2. Don’t let your passions guide you.
Now, you don’t want to completely shock your friend, especially if this revelation is coming out of the blue. Try to compose yourself, and inhabit a calm, rational state of mind before confessing your love. I’m aware these two goals may be antithetical, but trust me, it will help make the process much smoother. Your friend won’t feel obliged to respond with the same level of passion. Rather, you can have a productive conversation about the potential of a future relationship.
3. Choose a neutral space.
I recommend a public park, or asking your friend on a walk around the neighborhood. Holding this conversation in either persons’ home might be confining, both spatially and temporally. An open space provides your friend with choices: the choice to leave, the choice to go home. This is critical to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on them.
4. Allow them time to collect their thoughts.
Just because you’ve spent months falling in love with your friend, doesn’t mean they have been on the same page. However, it also doesn’t determine that a relationship is completely out of the realm of possibility. They may have never pictured you in a romantic way prior to this conversation, and that is completely okay! Provide them the time, and space, to process the conversation. Real life isn’t like the movies. There might not be an explosive moment where tension is released. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
5. Accept that your friendship might be forever changed.
If you’re not willing to irrevocably transform the dynamic of your friendship, a love confession may not be the path for you. Your pal may not view you in the same light. After this conversation, there may be awkward tension, mutual disappointment, and growing distance. If your friend is truly there for you, they will come back in time. Even so, the dynamic may be unalterably shifted, and that’s something you have to be okay with prior to expressing your feelings.
When it comes to revealing your genuine feelings, I’m definitely a hopeless romantic. I encourage you to chase after your heart, while remaining protective of yourself. I’d much rather be saying “oh, well” than “what if?”. So if your gut is demanding you to confess your love, I say to jump right in! However, remain cautious, rational, and remember that the worst possible case scenario is they don’t like you back! If they are genuinely your friend, they will help you unpack those feelings, and continue to support along your journey for love.
Written by: Brianna Rauchman