How to deal with romantic feelings for a friend

Sick and tired of dating apps and starting to see the appeal of dating a lifelong pal? Let us help you navigate this (often stressful) situation.

The friendship-to-romance pipeline is nothing to turn your nose up at. On a near-weekly basis, I think I’m in love with one of my friends – I think I get confused because they’re all so nice. Short spells of loneliness can impact your judgement and have you looking at your nearest and dearest in a different light, but if you’re genuinely experiencing romantic feelings for a friend, then I’m here to help you with that.

Have you seen that TikTok challenge that involves kissing your best friend and filming their reaction? If not, maybe you have better things to do with your evenings than me, because I’ve watched tons of em. They remind me of the time I kissed one of my best friends. It was New Year’s Eve and I’d mentally planned to smooch my close pal Jake at midnight.

It was a very innocent affair… until we ended up kissing long after the clock struck twelve. I awoke on New Year’s Day to the not-so-sweet sound of Jake’s sister dishing the dirt on FaceTime to their mum. A warning if you decide to act on said romantic feelings: expect to be the talk of the town, because people love to gossip. At some point, you have to hold your hands up and own it. I posted a picture of the snog on my Instagram Story and wrote: deal with it”.

In all honesty, I reckon we should all partner up with our BFFs more often. Studies have shown that 68 per cent of romances begin with friendship, so it’s probably the best way to go. Think about it: they already know everything about you and have still decided to stick around. That’s much more attractive than spending months fruitlessly swiping on Hinge, right? I decided years ago that I will marry my best friend Oscar. He’s a very eligible bachelor.

We agreed to wait a few years before settling with one another. We’ll only couple up if we haven’t found a match by the time we’ve reached our late twenties. In fact, I texted Oscar to tell him I was writing an article about dealing with romantic feelings for a friend to see if he had any tips. He replied: Just going on a date angel, but I will have a think for you!” Watch this space.

Just go for it. Be brave and tell them. Worst case scenario, you can say it was a joke”

A common worry regarding passion between two friends is that it will change the relationship and things will never be the same again. Another fear is obviously rejection and unrequited love, but I say, don’t listen to any of that fear-mongering! Just go for it. Be brave and tell them. Worst case scenario, you can say it was a joke. In fact, tell them on April Fool’s so you have an easy way out if things go awry.

Darcie, my ultimate gal pal, thought it would be hilarious to declare her love for me in the bathroom at a party, perching on the edge of the bath with a serious expression on her face. I panicked and let her down ever so gently, before she revealed it was a hoax. To this day, I’ll never really know.

A pet peeve of mine is when people reference Friends when they’re talking about IRL situations, but here we are. Remember Monica and Chandler? That’s a concrete example of how hooking up with a close friend can work out for the best. They made it all the way to season 10, for crying out loud. You could also try sleeping with the friend in question to test the waters, but I think it’d be much nicer to tell the grandkids you wrote each other a poem or something.

If you take all of my advice and end up losing a friend rather than gaining a partner, allow me to remind you of my handy guide to making friends as an adult. Either way, you’ve got this.

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