What I learned falling in love with a best friend - HelloGiggles (2023)

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By Danielle sepulveres

September 17, 2015

By Danielle sepulveres

September 17, 2015

What I learned falling in love with a best friend - HelloGiggles (2)
(Video) Best Friend Breakups – The 5 Stages | Meme-ish | HelloGiggles

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While I have always loved “When Harry Met Sally” I have at the same time been oh-so-skeptical of the concept of falling in love with your best friend. I mean the friend you’ve had for a decade who you’ve spent all your free time with, told everything to forever, has seen you ugly crying. That kind of best friend. Obviously we love those people in our lives but how could you suddenly be IN love with them? How does that shift happen? When? Where? However wonderful and fortuitous the idea of it seemed, I never felt it was realistic.

Whenever I was close with a guy for more than a few years, my family and friends would bring up the question of “why aren’t you two together?” To which I’d always scoff, roll my eyes and wave away their absurd comments with the insistence that if there had been any form of attraction to that guy, surely I would have felt it by now and acted upon it. These things don’t just spring up overnight after all! You can’t possibly see someone a certain way day in and day out and then wake up one morning and feel differently. Could you?

Um yes. Yes you can.

And literally? It feels like that scene in Clueless when Cher realizes she’s in love with Josh and then immediately can’t act casual around him. EVERYTHING FEELS DIFFERENT. Every word he says feel weighted in meaning, I second guess what it does mean, how I should react and basically the whole world has been flipped upside down. And who do you talk to about it? Since HE is the person that you usually talk to when life isn’t making sense?!

But I am lucky enough to be able to say that I’ve found myself in this crazy place, this alternate universe feeling situation, where I’ve fallen for a best friend. And it has taught me some pretty stellar things about finding love in the most unexpected-yet obvious-place.

It’s really important to recognize what you’re feeling

When you’re so caught up in your day to day routine, it’s easy to take people for granted. To assign them a role in your life and never reconsider it. For me this guy was the one I texted funny things to, joked around with, didn’t wash my hair before seeing. While I wound my way through various romantic relationships, some of which he approved and some of which he didn’t, he was also my sounding board for male behavior. I listened to his stories about girls he was dating and spoke up when I felt he needed some female intuition to not screw up.

After years of not getting too detailed about any of the females in his life, all of a sudden one day he was and I realized I was jealous. At first I chalked it up to some misguided possessiveness that I wouldn’t see him or get to talk to him as often. But months later when he was no longer seeing that girl, I forced myself to really examine why I felt almost hurt every time he spoke about her. I had always felt indifferent towards his romantic endeavors but something had changed and I was afraid to acknowledge it. Acknowledging it meant risking something monumental and I wasn’t ready to do that. What if he didn’t feel the same? Too terrifying to contemplate at first! But if you’re not paying attention to how you feel first and foremost, no one else is going to do it for you.

There’s no rhyme or reason for why things change

Because I had always been so sure that you’re either initially attracted to someone or not, I was completely unprepared for this revelation. Falling for someone years after the fact. It always seemed ludicrous, beyond the realm of possibility. It challenged all my preconceived notions about how love “happens.” It opened my mind to the idea that really anything is possible where love is concerned. And what a beautiful realization to have.

It’s so easy to overlook little things (that are big things!) along the way

We see what we want to see and when I finally confessed that I was head over heels to this guy, he gently reminded me that he had dropped hints much earlier on in our relationship that had surpassed my notice. I also thought of him remembering my childhood nicknames, knowing that I always bought a new journal every year on my birthday and calling me to let me know anytime a show on TV referenced Paris, a place he knew I dreamed of going. I obviously didn’t want to or wasn’t ready to see these things at the time. And while something can feel like it happened overnight because of when you decide to actually open your eyes to what’s in front of you? If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can look back and find moments of missed opportunities or lax attention. Not long after he and I first met years earlier, he had asked if I saw him as a friend or something more and I had laughed and said “a friend of course!” I didn’t remember the question or my answer until he reminded me. (And I briefly kicked myself for lost time).

It is TERRIFYING (and exhilarating) taking the next step

Remember how seamless it was for Chandler and Monica to upgrade their friendship to romance? And then later Joey and Rachel had to try too hard to get to that place? That for me sums up what it’s like to take friendship further. I’ve confessed to guy friends in the past that I had feelings for them and they’ve not felt the same and it dissipated into an awkward “oh we’ll still be friends” promise that devolved into us completely avoiding each other by any means possible. Almost worse than an actual break up. Definitely more humiliating. So to tell a best friend? The thought made me sick to my stomach and dizzy. Not having my feelings reciprocated would mean losing a friend who I counted on for comfort, for laughs, for being an integral part of my life. But getting the smile from him and the joking “are you trying to seduce me” response which preceded our first kiss was absolutely worth the indecision and the stress over trying to decide what to do. The reward is only as big as the risk.

You still need to communicate the way you did before leaving the friend zone

When he first made me mad as my boyfriend? I was at a loss about who to talk to about it, until I realized duh, if we were still only friends I wouldn’t hesitate to tell him if something he had done or said had rubbed me the wrong way. And nothing should change that. Graduating to a serious relationship means we should be taking all the best parts of our rock solid friendship foundation and just adding romance to the equation! But I figured that out pretty quickly. All relationships have a learning curve.

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So if you and your best friend feel like taking the next step? I know it’s scary and there’s so much at stake, but I say go for it. You already care deeply for each other, that love has a very good chance at multiplying tenfold.

[Image via UniversalPictures]

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FAQs

What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend? ›

What to Do If You're in Love With Your Best Friend
  1. Consider their relationship situation. ...
  2. Respect their relationship situation. ...
  3. Differentiate your romantic feelings and platonic feelings. ...
  4. Don't feel guilty. ...
  5. Weigh your options. ...
  6. Stick with your plan. ...
  7. How have you dealt with having feelings for your bestie?
20 Mar 2017

Why you should fall in love with your best friend? ›

They care for you, protect you and love you with all your flaws. And really, how can you stop yourself from falling in love with them? Agreed, that if your best friend doesn't feel the same way, it can make things awkward. But, hey, if they do then this friendship of yours can turn into a beautiful relationship.

Why do I love my best friend? ›

A best friend is so special because they stay by your side through thick and thin. They know all of your secrets, have seen you at your worst, forgiven you for your mistakes, and STILL show up the next morning. What is this? A best friend is so special because you have time invested in your relationship.

Can good friends fall in love? ›

It is common for platonic friends to fall in love and become romantic partners, but if you think you are romantically attracted to your friend, it is important to sift through your feelings of friendship and potential true love.

How often do best friends fall in love? ›

This limited focus might be justified if friends first initiation was rare or undesirable, but our research reveals the opposite. To be exact, the researchers estimated that 68 percent of romantic relationships start from friendship.

How do you know if your best friend loves you more than a friend? ›

To tell if your best friend loves you, see if they treat you differently than their other friends, like talking to you more or being more affectionate toward you, which could be a sign that they love you. Also, pay attention to how much time you and your best friend are spending alone together.

How do you know if a friend has feelings for you? ›

Look for tell-tale signs, like feeling jealous, thinking about them constantly, and finding their annoying habits adorable. Imagine asking them out, being physically intimate, and dating them.

How do you express friendship love in words? ›

Express Gratitude
  1. I'm grateful for you because…
  2. I'm so lucky to have a friend like you. ...
  3. I'm glad we're friends for so many reasons. ...
  4. Ways you're a blessing to me:
  5. I appreciate so many things about you—especially…
  6. I cherish you, and I cherish our friendship.
  7. It means so much to know you're on my side.
16 Jul 2018

What is love between friends called? ›

Friend love is platonic love. It's a love that means you care for someone, they are important to you, and you are connected to them emotionally but you do not have romantic feelings for them.

What to do when you fall in love with your best friend and they don't love you back? ›

5 Ways To Cope With Unrequited Love For Your Best Friend, According To Experts
  1. Take Some Time To Heal. ...
  2. Put Yourself And Your Needs First. ...
  3. Pursue Other Relationships When You're Ready. ...
  4. Commit To Seeing Them As Just a Friend. ...
  5. Figure Out If Maintaining A Friendship Is Worth It.
3 Oct 2019

How do you describe a best friend in words? ›

The one of a kind, honest, encouraging and loyal best friends. There are times in life that I just don't know what I would have done if my best friends had not been by my side. They are truly special and I genuinely treasure them.

Why are best friends so special? ›

Real friends share laughs, memories and inside jokes. They share your good time and increase the feeling of happiness, when you achieve anything significant in life. If your friends are not there to celebrate with, there is no meaning in that success.

Can we love our best friend? ›

It's okay to have feelings of love because of the trust you share with your best friend, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are in love. But it does mean you have the ingredients to develop awesome love which could turn into a great marriage.

How do you show love to a friend? ›

Incredible Little Things You Can Do To Show Friends You Love Them
  1. Send Them Quirky Cards Through Snail Mail. ...
  2. Get Your Bake On. ...
  3. Go On New Adventures. ...
  4. Empower Them Constantly. ...
  5. Show Up With Dinner On One Of Their Hard Days. ...
  6. Come Over When It's Crappy Out. ...
  7. Share The Small Things You Love About Them.
12 Jan 2017

What is true love and friendship? ›

A true friend will love you unconditionally. But he or she is your loving friend in a platonic relationship that is free from physical attractions, lust, or sexual desires. True friends are not lovers in a physical relationship, but true lovers in a physical relationship should be true friends.

What to say to a friend to make them feel special? ›

What to Say to Someone
  1. You are more fun than anyone or anything I know, including bubble wrap.
  2. You are the most perfect you there is.
  3. You are enough.
  4. You are one of the strongest people I know.
  5. You look great today.
  6. You have the best smile.
  7. Your outlook on life is amazing.
  8. You just light up the room.
6 Jul 2017

How do you stay friends with someone you have feelings for? ›

How to be friends with someone you love
  1. Do not have an ulterior motive. Being friends with someone you like is not easy, but it does not have to be hard. ...
  2. Don't be a doormat. ...
  3. Do be respectful. ...
  4. Do be a true friend. ...
  5. Try to move on. ...
  6. Do take some space. ...
  7. Do treat them like any other friend. ...
  8. Do not treat them badly.

What happens when two people fall in love? ›

When in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure and rewards, producing physical and psychological responses like less perceived pain, an addictive dependence, and a stronger desire for sex with your partner.

Can a girl fall in love with her best friend? ›

While it is not necessary that all friendship leads to a romantic relationship, but it is most likely that one ends up falling for their best-friend. And why not? You spend so much time with each other, make so many great memories together and are open about every little aspect of your life.

Do Best friends cuddle? ›

Best friends like to cuddle. We just do. When we've had a hard week at work, just ended a relationship, or are hungover, we like to share a blanket on the couch or cuddle in bed and watch movies together. You don't necessarily have to make physical contact, but just being in close proximity feels good.

How many people marry their best friend? ›

Turns out, of the 76 percent of respondents who said they'd struck up a relationship with their best friend, 29 percent resulted in marriage. Sadly, only 51 percent got their best friend back if the relationship went sour.

How do you tell if your girl best friend likes you but is hiding it? ›

Here are the Signs a Girl Likes You Even If She's Trying Not to Show It
  • She smiles when she sees you. ...
  • She touches you, often. ...
  • She makes eye contact with you. ...
  • She tags you in posts. ...
  • She laughs at all your jokes. ...
  • She chooses to sit near you. ...
  • She wants you to meet her friends.
5 Aug 2022

How do you know if two people like each other? ›

Mimicking or mirroring the other person's behavior, initiating conversation, and wanting to be in close physical proximity. These were followed by more nonverbal cues such as making eye contact as as much as possible, nodding while the other person is talking, smiling, and laughing.

How do you know if your friend likes you but is hiding it? ›

The hush-hush signs a friend likes you even if they're hiding it
  • They make time for you. ...
  • They try to impress you. ...
  • They are protective of you. ...
  • They spend time alone with you. ...
  • They flirt. ...
  • They get close physically. ...
  • They support you. ...
  • They listen.

Do I like my friend or am I just lonely? ›

Another way to determine your true feelings is to get some space from the person and spend your time doing other things like hanging out with friends, pursuing your hobbies, or volunteering. If you don't find yourself missing the person when you're busy with these other things, then you may have just been a bit lonely.

Can other people see the chemistry between two people? ›

The chemistry between people can be seen in body language or subtle ways, such as eye contact, flirting, banter, constant focus, and losing track of time.

What to do when you fall in love with your best friend and they don't love you back? ›

5 Ways To Cope With Unrequited Love For Your Best Friend, According To Experts
  1. Take Some Time To Heal. ...
  2. Put Yourself And Your Needs First. ...
  3. Pursue Other Relationships When You're Ready. ...
  4. Commit To Seeing Them As Just a Friend. ...
  5. Figure Out If Maintaining A Friendship Is Worth It.
3 Oct 2019

How often do best friends fall in love? ›

This limited focus might be justified if friends first initiation was rare or undesirable, but our research reveals the opposite. To be exact, the researchers estimated that 68 percent of romantic relationships start from friendship.

Do best friends become lovers? ›

Can a friendship turn into a relationship? A friendship can definitely turn into a relationship. There are instances where people have been friends for decades but one fine day they realize they are in love, start a relationship, and eventually get married.

Should I tell my best friend I'm in love with him? ›

For the record, the consensus is not to tell. An overwhelming majority concede that it's best to move on in your own time without causing temporary or permanent trauma to the friendship. After all, what hurts more: losing your best friend, or missing out on the chance they'll feel the same?

Can you stay friends with someone you love? ›

Staying friends with someone after developing real romantic feelings for them can be hard. However, many people have successfully remained friends after unrequited love confessions. Although it's common for two people not to be able to get past potential awkwardness, it can still be possible for some.

What is love between friends called? ›

Friend love is platonic love. It's a love that means you care for someone, they are important to you, and you are connected to them emotionally but you do not have romantic feelings for them.

How do you stay friends with someone you have feelings for? ›

How to be friends with someone you love
  1. Do not have an ulterior motive. Being friends with someone you like is not easy, but it does not have to be hard. ...
  2. Don't be a doormat. ...
  3. Do be respectful. ...
  4. Do be a true friend. ...
  5. Try to move on. ...
  6. Do take some space. ...
  7. Do treat them like any other friend. ...
  8. Do not treat them badly.

Do Best friends cuddle? ›

Best friends like to cuddle. We just do. When we've had a hard week at work, just ended a relationship, or are hungover, we like to share a blanket on the couch or cuddle in bed and watch movies together. You don't necessarily have to make physical contact, but just being in close proximity feels good.

Why do best friends make good relationships? ›

Friends enjoy spending time together, share similar interests, take care of each other, trust each other and feel a lasting bond between them. It isn't a coincidence that these all happen to be qualities that also define successful intimate relationships.

Who falls in love faster? ›

Contrary to popular belief, women don't fall in love quickly. Actually, science said in relationships between cisgender men and women, men are more likely to declare love at first sight. A new study found men actually fall in love quicker than women, and the reason could be biological.

Can best friends marry each other? ›

You can be married to your best friend with utmost ease and comfort. You would not only know them but also know their family well. You won't have to worry about making a transition from being single to married. Apart from the legal aspect, everything is likely to be much the same as before marriage.

What to say to someone you love but can't be with? ›

I'm sorry I couldn't be as inspiring for you. I tried to keep you going when you were down and confused in life, and I'm sorry I couldn't. But I promise to always be there for you. That sucks for me, but I'll take it anyway.

How do you know if your best friend loves you more than a friend? ›

To tell if your best friend loves you, see if they treat you differently than their other friends, like talking to you more or being more affectionate toward you, which could be a sign that they love you. Also, pay attention to how much time you and your best friend are spending alone together.

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