In Love With a Friend
January 22, 2005 10:29 AM   Subscribe

I've fallen in love with one of my best female friends, someone I have practically no chance of ever being with, and I'm unsure of how to deal with the situation. Do I cut her off completely and try to get over it? Do I act like nothing's happened and continue to be her friend despite the fact that it gets worse every time I talk to her? Do I ask her to give me space without telling her why? Help me, mefites; this is rotting me from the inside out.
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (45 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If she's your friend, you have to tell her.

Be honest. It may not turn out the way you want or hope for, but she deserves to know.

Otherwise, if you suddenly distance yourself from her with no explanation, you could really hurt her.
posted by geekhorde at 10:31 AM on January 22, 2005

This has happened to me, developing a crush on a close male friend, and it worked out okay, eventually. Basically we had been getting closer and closer in what to me was a sort of ambiguous way. At some point, I couldn't deal with it any more, especially the not knowing how he felt part, and just told him in a pretty direct "I have a crush on you do you have a crush on me?" way. The answer was a soul-crushing "no" but at the same time he let me know that he valued my friendship and would like us to be able to stay good friends. I set up some personal ground rules for myself [no sleeping over on the couch anymore, no going to "date-like" events together anymore, no getting drunk together anymore] and while there was a cooling off period for both of us, we were able to salvage a really strong friendship out of it. I think he was a bit relieved that I wasn't going to turn into a total drama queen about it, and I was relieved that I knew what the deal was, that it was unlikely to change, and that, despite that, my friend still wanted to be my friend. I had to avoid acting like a jilted girlfriend for a while -- there's nothing worse than treating someone you've never dated as an "ex" for both your sakes -- but that was the worst of it.

So, I'd say tell her, expect that it might be awkward, think a little bit about what you'd like out of the relationship if she's NOT into you [since that seems to be how it's looking to you] and try to trust that your close friendship will make dealing with all of this a bit easier to take. Try to nurse your wounds on your own, even though she's your good friend, this may not be a situation where she can help you heal from this. Good luck, I know it's a crappy situation.
posted by jessamyn at 10:45 AM on January 22, 2005 [3 favorites]

If you really have no chance at all, don't tell her unless you are certain it wouldn't freak her out.

Her reaction depends in large part on what kind of friends you are. I have friends who could be in love with me and I would be totally cool and not creeped out, because I love and respect them as people even if I am not attracted to them. Other people who I'm not as close to, it would be awkward.

Your friend may be nothing like me.

If you are not one hundred percent certain that things would remain okay between you if you told her, then keep it to yourself. Try to sublimate your romantic feelings into friendship - be a good friend to her.

The rotting feeling will most likely pass once you find someone else to be in love with. Start looking.

If it is impossible to stay friends and you need to break it off (which is IMHO a very drastic step considering she is one of your best friends) - then do tell her why you are terminating the friendship. But otherwise no.

Sorry for such incoherent advice.
posted by mai at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2005

Don't assume you have no chance. Not that I'm saying you do, just don't assume. I'm a short, chunky, kind of geeky dyke who became friends with a woman a few months ago. Tall, blonde, by all accounts: gorgeous. I assumed the exact same thing. No way do I have a shot with this woman.

I was wrong. She had been crushing out on me for some time. Of course now I am firmly in the "this woman is my friend" space and that really caused a bit of a problem. We almost lost the friendship because neither of us were honest with each other.

My point? freakin' tell her - just be prepared to deal with it like an adult.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:58 AM on January 22, 2005

I don't think it will be possible to get over her without spending less time with her. I would tell her (unless you have a strong feeling it'll freak her out) how you feel, then spend less time together and have a fling with someone else ASAP. After your feelings have subsided you could spend more time with her again.
posted by Amizu at 11:01 AM on January 22, 2005

My point? freaking' tell her - just be prepared to deal with it like an adult.

From my own experience, this is the way to do it. Especially the whole "dealing with it like an adult" part. If you don't think you can do that then sit on it until you can. Believe me, it's not a good feeling to be freaking out at a good friend.
posted by mindless progress at 11:13 AM on January 22, 2005

If it's going to rot you from the inside out to be friends with her, I would say you've got to tell her.

Worst case: It's awkward, and you stop spending time with her.

Medium case: It's awkward for a bit, then you remain friends with her, and stop rotting from the inside.

Best case: All your dreams come true.
posted by agropyron at 11:16 AM on January 22, 2005

Just tell her. I have a raging crush on my best friend and have for years. He knows about it and we've discussed it. He just doesn't feel right about taking our relationship to that level and while it's hard sometimes, I'm okay with that. It's not worth sacrificing a brilliant friendship for the sake of infatuation.
posted by amandaudoff at 11:17 AM on January 22, 2005

the most important thing though is to realize that when you tell her, things WILL be different, and likely of the awkward variety. even with the best intentions and with both parties concerned about the other's feelings, things change when this happens. the other thing is--and some here might tell me i'm being a cold bitch for saying this--you have to be careful about how you present the "now what?" part of the confession of your feelings. a big problem with these conversations is that the party who's in love tells the other person, throwing the person offguard (even if she does suspect, having it come out in direct conversation is something neither party is ever really fully prepared for), and frames it right away (perhaps unwittingly) in a "and now you owe me something new" sort of way. she might need time and space alone to process the thing, and that is okay. i was amazed when a friend of mine, while we were talking about this phenomenon, said "yeah, i find that really unfair for the friend who's hearing the profession of love. they will be confused anyway, and likely unsure how to react, and then on top of that they have to face feeling like they've "done" something to their friend and that it's up to them to quickly create or at least face big changes in the friendship--ones they didn't even ask for." i was surprised he was so understanding of that. just try to keep in mind it's going to be traumatic, an uprooting of the friendship, especially if she doesn't suspect. this doesn't make her cruel, it makes her a person who's been thrown in a confusing and surprising situation. so if she acts a little weird at first, don't get upset with her. try to understand.

best of luck to you. it's a tough position to be in, and i hope it works out for you.
posted by ifjuly at 11:26 AM on January 22, 2005

It's difficult to live by, but I've always been of the mind that it's better to make your feelings plain than to live in torment. The potential pain of being rejected is vastly outweighed by the torture of not knowing what could have been.
posted by aladfar at 11:39 AM on January 22, 2005

Tell her how you feel.

Look at it this way: if you don't tell her, you're definately not going to get together.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:51 AM on January 22, 2005

Oddly, I've been on the receiving end of this sort of attraction more than once (probably just because I have a lot more female friends than male). In each case, I was able to remain friends with the woman despite. So perhaps even if things don't work out the way you hope, the friendship doesn't have to end.
posted by Clay201 at 12:12 PM on January 22, 2005

I wish I couldn't empathize with this.

To be honest, it's probably already obvious. So, she probably knows. If she doesn't, she's fooling herself.

I've found that love, and telling people you love them, isn't like telling someone they look bad in particular pair of pants. Just the act of telling them becomes a compulsion. There's something liberating about the act. It turns into something you *have* to do.

However, if you truly can't be with her, you have to figure out what the best possible solution is. What would you be happy with? What could you reasonably expect?

Whatever barriers are in your way -- she's gay, she's married, she lives on the other side of the country, whatever -- there are ways to work through it.

I don't want to get too personal, but I know that in at least one situation I've seen, the love becomes almost anger, a burden of "Why can't you just love me and make it all better for me."

I'd just caution empathy. Because if you end up being anything but "I know this makes no sense, but I love you" you could drive her away.

If you want to be her partner, act like her partner. Talk in the "we" and mentally work things through together.

And hell, if she loves you back, there's nothing you can't overcome.

Christ, I sound like a inspirational postcard. Or the end of a bad John Hughes movie.
posted by Gucky at 12:18 PM on January 22, 2005

And on cutting her off completely (you've got me on a rant), if you really love someone, are you truly capable of cutting them off?

I've never been able to do it. Then again, I'm a mushy girl.
posted by Gucky at 12:20 PM on January 22, 2005

This happened to me! I had no prior love experience, and then suddenly an extremely deep friendship with a girl almost exactly like me. Sucked. I sat on it until I couldn't handle it anymore, and then just blurted it out in the car after what I had assumed was a date. No romance whatsoever. Needless to say, she was pretty confused and my proposal was denied.

It sounds like you've already begun to entertain thoughts of being with her. Yet, reason tells you that it will never work out, so you regard this newfound infatuation as a disease, "rotting you out from the inside". If you do what I did and be a sickly old man about it, meekly asking his nurse for some tranquilizer, then she'll probably just feel sorry for you and try to salvage the friendship. I say that if you're serious about it, do everything you can to show her that, and do it now. Don't be a sick patient, be a fierce invalid. If not, then all you can really do is just count on your own immune system. If you get burned in the end, then I guess just keep yourself in good company and wait it out. Good luck!
posted by Laugh_track at 12:29 PM on January 22, 2005

In my opinion, you need to think very carefully about this. If you tell her, and there is zero chance that she feels the same way, you will have bared your soul, she will not be able to help you, and your friendship will change, and not necessarily in ways you can tolerate (the old Seinfeldian idea of "hand", which isn't really about who's actually got the upper hand, but rather who you feel has the upper hand, which changes interactions for the worse a lot of the time).

A mature friendship, with mature people in it, can often withstand something like this, but I do think that if the only reason you feel you have to tell her is to get it off your chest, then I think you need to reread what ifjuly said about how this can affect her - what you'd essentially be doing is putting the ball in her court, and if it's not a ball that she wants to play with, then you'd be putting her in a very unfair and unfriendly position. I think that sometimes it truly is better just to suffer in silence, at very least, you should think very carefully about what you hope to achieve by telling her, especially if you're 99% certain that she's not interested in you as anything other than a friend (of course, some relatively discreet sounding out about this would be very useful for you, she may be interested after all, in which case you shouldn't risk not opening that door - my advice above is only if you're almost certain that she doesn't feel the same way - also keep in mind that sometimes friendships are much more permanent than romantic relationships).
posted by biscotti at 1:00 PM on January 22, 2005

I really think the underlying reason that "you have no chance" has a lot to do with how you should handle it, I think.

If you've got no chance because she's married or engaged, or because she doesn't prefer your gender (whatever that is, can't tell), then you should definitely think hard about what coming clean could mean to your relationship. If there's a specific reason, beyond her reasonable control, why a relationship is out of the question, then you're really putting her in a tough spot. I'm not saying that therefore you _shouldn't_ do it...I'm just saying that people don't always appreciate being put in a tough spot. All of a sudden, they know they're hurting you, and they can't do anything to stop it. If she cares for you, it'd be hard for her to do that. Not impossible, but hard.

I've definitely seen situations where the object of affection, who's married, or gay/not gay, or whatever, really kind of feels put upon once their admirer confesses, and it's that imposition--as much or more as the awkwardness--that really damages the friendship. In at least one case, everyone basically already knew, including the married admiree, but forcing the issue also really forced him to break things off.

That being said, the other possibility is where her unattainability is in your head--where she's potentially available, but _you've_ decided that she'd never go out with you. In that case, I think you really need to look at how good a friend she already is to you--as frankly as possible--and then tell her.

If she really values your friendship, then you already hold a special place in her heart--romantic or not--and you're just underestimating her capacity to love by deciding that she's too picky. Even if she can't find it in herself to return the sentiment, a real friend will find ways to understand, and find a new balance in your friendship.

If the underlying friendship isn't truly special for both of you, then you do have to face the real risk of damaging the friendship. Even if you find out, after the fact, that your relationship was more tenuous than you thought, at least you'll know the truth about how much your friendship really means to her, and that'll probably help get over the heartbreak pretty quick.
posted by LairBob at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2005

I've been there. The case in question was with a married woman, co-worker who I had made fond connections with, spending time often at her house and commiserating with her when her husband was not intellectually-aesthetically available. (We are both architects and he an engineer.)

I knew that nothing was going to happen yet told her my feelings anyway -- she did not freak out. ( Now that I think hard about it, she might have actually said something to me first -- we were a mess.) What she did do though, was leave a damning piece of evidence of our fondness for one another where her husband was sure to find it -- and he did. It was not long before I was on the road to never seeing her again. Good friend. Gone.

Years later now, I think about her occasionally, although I am very happily married now. And therein lies, perhaps, the key to your dilemma. Do what is best for you. If you are not going to be able to move on and form -- I'm projecting here -- the relationship you seek for your later life -- then you are doing yourself no favor by keeping this inside.

Friends, sad as it is, come and go. That your relationship is changing in your eyes speaks volumes about you and perhaps nothing about her.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:16 PM on January 22, 2005

LairBob is right on. I was assuming that you have 'no chance of ever being with' her because she's out of your league. If that's the case, tell her.

But if the 'no chance' is for some other reason, e.g. she's married, you have syphillis, etc. then by telling her you'll be inviting a much more serious awkwardness.
posted by bingo at 1:45 PM on January 22, 2005

Pretty much what Jessamyn said. I happen to be in a very similar situation myself at the moment, so I empathize. I'm not good at keeping my own secrets and I hate feeling like I'm lying, so I told him. In fact I think I've told him a couple times now, embarrassingly enough, but the friendship is strong enough to withstand it. It works out - in large part because I decided that having him in my life was worth the unrequited love angst. We're both single, so YMMV.

We see each other almost every day (work together too); we're really good friends; I have a total crush on him; he knows about it; we don't really worry about it and I'm hoping that I will meet someone else before he does, but if he goes first I will deal with it. In fact (this has been going on for over a year now) the last time he dated someone they both came over for dinner and so on.

And, I can't imagine that she doesn't know already on some level or another. I think you always know.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:17 PM on January 22, 2005

Let it all out in the open, man (or woman, as the case may be.).

And be happy you still have the capability to love.
posted by ikkyu2 at 6:12 PM on January 22, 2005

i've been there ... i loved her ... she just didn't feel that way ... i told her ... we were both a bit confused about it ... but we managed to stay friends
posted by pyramid termite at 7:08 PM on January 22, 2005

Friends to lovers - extraordinarily treacherous waters to navigate... do so if at all, with honesty, humility, and empathy, both for the object of your affection and for yourself - the opportunities to hurt either or both are boundless.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:09 PM on January 22, 2005

If it's an infatuation, then wait for a few weeks and it will pass and all will be well. If the affection runs deep, then by keeping it to yourself you are cheating her (and yourself) of the ability to make choices.

Pick your moment to tell her, but don't pick a Moment. This is not a seduction. Be honest and matter-of-fact.

Who ever knows where a friendship will lead? Despite how it may seem, it really is not possible to make a mistake.
posted by Ritchie at 8:38 PM on January 22, 2005

Well, I'm in exactly this situation: feelings for best male friend, but it's hopeless.

I'm coping by trying to find ways to spend less time with him, and by going out and socializing with other people. It's a good distraction, and you never know who you might meet out there. I'm choosing as well to not articulate my feelings for him, because I want to keep my friend, and I think if I admitted to these feelings, he'd just feel awkward and guilty that he couldn't return them.

But that's me. You have to gauge her most likely reaction: not how you want her to react, or how you assume she will react, but what the most likely reaction is. It differs from person to person and situation to situation.

I know he doesn't return my feelings, so I simply don't provide mine.
posted by angeline at 9:06 PM on January 22, 2005

If she really values your friendship, then you already hold a special place in her heart--romantic or not--and you're just underestimating her capacity to love by deciding that she's too picky.

I think LairBob made a lot of sense, but just wanted to caution about the "if she's a real friend, maybe she'll like you that way" line - for some people, being attracted or not to certain types of people is similar to being gay or straight - it's not a value judgment; some people will just be "sexually attractive" pool and some just won't.

Anyway, if it's really that hard on you, it seems to me that you're going to have to tell her. The main thing is not to make it into a big expectation or to await her response. Just tell her that you're going through some trouble because you seem to have developed feelings for her which you sense are not reciprocated, and that you don't want to harm the friendship but at the same time, you're undergoing some pretty intense emotions - basically, let her know what's going on without putting the onus on her to "solve" the problem - frame it not as something to be solved but just as something you felt you had to reveal because otherwise your behavior might be confusing or even come across as mean.

Also, be wary of getting involved with her if you do reveal your feelings, and try to be careful not to make it overly romantic... I once was so touched by someone's declaration in this vein that I responded positively and we went out for a while, but I was never really into it, and ultimately I think I ended up hurting him, and lost a friend in the process. I was young and moved by a romantic gesture, but I never took it as seriously. So make sure you know what you're getting into.
posted by mdn at 10:49 PM on January 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

I'm assuming you're a young guy. This answer may not apply if you're past a certain stage in life where your true friendships are informed by lots of life experience and self-confidence.

So, assuming LairBob's situation B (unattainability is in your head): If she's become comfortable with you as a pal, it's likely that she doesn't have that involuntary romantic "chemical attraction" to you. Blurting out your pent-up feelings at this point won't change that. She'll feel uncomfortable and perhaps even betrayed.

It would be a shame to cut her off because you can't find a way to deal with your feelings. So, you do need to either move on and let the crush fade while continuing to value her friendship, or give her a chance to see you differently and open herself to the idea of dating you. But... the nice thing is that you can work towards both at the same time.

It might be tough for you to break from comfy-buddy mode and start acting like you "got game" all of a sudden, being all unpredictable and fascinating and edgy and challenging. But you could start small. Take charge of an evening -- say "wear something nice; I'll pick you up at 7 and take care of the rest." Change up your wardrobe, get involved in some new activities, make your life more interesting -- be and feel more attractive. If she doesn't respond, someone else will.
posted by Tubes at 11:51 PM on January 22, 2005

I'm going to chime in as the lonely voice for not telling her. As several people have pointed out, she probably knows. Love is a difficult thing to hide even if you think you have it under wraps. My guess is that if you thought she would reciprocate your feelings you two would already be an item and you would not be posting here.

I had a similar experience and even though I didn't say anything explicitly, I think it was clear to both of us what my feelings were. So I pined away for about a year before eventually figuring out that it wasn't going to happen between the two of us.

Ideally you should not spend as much time with her and you should hang out with your other friends and find someone else to date. You have no obligation to tell her anything. Don't torture yourself and move on.

If you're determined to tell her, then consult heavily with female friends that she doesn't have any contact with and study this.
posted by euphorb at 11:53 PM on January 22, 2005

Here's the problem with not telling her: she's your friend and you're not telling her something big. Personally, that would piss me off more than any awkwardness.

Speaking as someone who has gone through this, I can not stress enough how important it is to tell her. If you value your friendship, I don't see how you can keep something like this under wraps. That seems unfair, since she may or may not know what she's dealing with.

In my case, I decided that I had to tell him. Honestly, I think our friendship is stronger for it. We're as close as any couple would be and there's a bit of unresolved sexual tension. So, he goes out and dated other people? Okay. It's kind of annoying for me, but ultimately I know that I'm still his friend and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
posted by amandaudoff at 12:21 AM on January 23, 2005

How emotionally stable are you? If you are balanced, have a decent amount of self-esteem, have dealt with previous life drama then you can tell her, and I think if you are both mature enough, deal with the fallout and keep the friendship. I've talked to and read of many sane folks who've been in this situation and because the people involved weren't pyschologically damaged, they're still friends.

Unfortunately, if you are like me, prone to depression and a bit neurotic, you'll cut her off and spend the next year trying to erase her from your mind.

If you know there's no chance and you know you won't be able to deal with the rejection, I suggest just telling her that you need some space. Take a month or two to move in different social circles, drink yourself into a stupor, cry over cheesy movies, confide it all to a friend, whatever. Then contact her again and see if the cooling off period was enough. Good luck.
posted by lychee at 1:09 AM on January 23, 2005

First, take a breath. There's no reason to rush, and lots of reasons not to do so.

Second, disregard what I think are two appealing, but deeply flawed, strains of advice of above.

-- Bad strain "a" is "go for it -- you never know until you try." You wouldn't jump from a diving board if you were almost certain that the water in the pool was two feet deep. Unless you're completely without experience with women, you ought to trust your judgment that she's not into you that way at the present time.

-- Bad strain "b" is the notion that she would want you to confess your passion regardless of her ability to reciprocate. This is bad advice for two reasons. First, she probably knows and has been sending you appropriate signals, signals which you acknowledge having received insofar as you are quite sure of her views. You are disrepecting her by pretending that you didn't get the message. Second, if she doesn't know, she's probably happy not knowing. Blissful ignorance is a very important social lubricant.

Third, get a different girlfriend. If there are problems with your attractiveness or ability to deal with romantic situations, work on solving them in a lower risk environment. You may well find that once you have a girlfriend, your attraction to your friend will fade away. Also, having a nice attractive girlfriend may well enable your friend to see you in a new light -- we're all creatures of the market, and it is very hard to value someone who doesn't seem to be much in demand. If and when you break up with your new girlfriend, you may find your friend to be receptive. You'll also have an obvious opportunity to push your own case which isn't that creepy "I've always been in love you with you" thing.
posted by MattD at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2005

I told her, ruined my own life and fell into a moderate depression for about 3 years. Our friendship was winged and as a tangential result she made a number of awful personal decisions based on the consequenses of the things I'd set in motion.

Haven't heard from her in several years, last I heard she was hanging out in Venezuela with a drug cartel.

Yessir, bite the fucker down. Telling her was the single worst thing I've done in my life.

Of course, every situation is different, but I could have summarised my own situation in exactly the words you used.
I told her because she realised something was up and gave me the distinctly female ultimatum of "tell me or I'll never be able to trust you".
The alternative to my confession was to let her know she could always trust me, and still not tell.

a) hurt yourself
b) hurt her, hurt yourself, cause problems for mutual friends

Good luck. I really hope you make it through. Vicarious redemption, etc.
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:33 AM on January 23, 2005

As an aside, whatever you decide to do, I suggest trying to use all the extra energy created by your unrequited love as fuel to move you in new and itneresting directions. It's hard to not direct that energy towards its intended, but it's still energy just the same. During my whole experience, I got a lot of really creative stuff done when I was trying NOT to think about the guy I had a crush on. Sublimation is the key.
posted by jessamyn at 7:08 AM on January 23, 2005

Just for some perspective: I've been in this situation, told the girl, and she did not end up with a drug cartel in Venezuela. YMMV.
posted by bingo at 7:25 AM on January 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

"tell me or I'll never be able to trust you."

"I... I'm not sure. But... I think I might be gay."

There's no problem that lying can't solve.
posted by Eamon at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2005

in the advice-in-the-form-of-be-careful-of-others'-advice...

If you're determined to tell her, then consult heavily with female friends that she doesn't have any contact with and study this.
posted by euphorb at 11:53 PM PST on January 22

i'm sorry, but i just can't take any ridiculous generalization like this, or a man who would buy it unthinkingly ignoring the context of the person he's attracted to, seriously. it's not much farther up than losers (of either gender) who treat the rules or how to hypnotize women as their guides to "relationships." i think there are women, and i'm one of them, who would find a guy with the attitude espoused in that stupid pie chart, or who really believed in field guides to the opposite sex as if they're gazelles to be studied and pursued, very unattractive. ugh.
posted by ifjuly at 9:31 AM on January 23, 2005

Don't tell her. If you think she knows, and isn't reciprocating, there's no point in telling her. Get some space, date other people, and don't ruin your friendship and make her feel awful by trying to force a romance that isn't going to happen.
posted by ch1x0r at 9:51 AM on January 23, 2005

There's no problem that lying can't solve.

Or cause. Somewhat like alcohol.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:53 AM on January 23, 2005

lfjuly: humour bypass?

I remember stumbling across that site when I thought I was feeling heartbroken once. It was one of those curious have-trouble-breathing-because-chuckles-and-sobs-don't-go-together experiences, if you've ever had one.
posted by Jongo at 11:49 AM on January 23, 2005

I was in a similar situation a few years back, besotted with one of my best friends, someone whose company I'd loved so much over the previous 5 years, someone who I seemed to click with on an instinctual level. I kept chickening out of telling her how I felt; she figured it out, at which point we ended up going out. The fact that we were sharing a flat at the time wasn't ideal. Suffice to say, the whole thing ended less than pleasantly after a few months; more than four years later, we don't speak much, but what bothers me more than the fact that the relationship went sour is the fact that I miss someone who was a particularly good friend of mine.

Your mileage, as they say, may vary.
posted by Len at 4:18 PM on January 23, 2005

This just happened to me -- literally just. I suddenly found a girl who was just like me at university, fell in love with her, told her, and then got the "let's just be friends" speech a few months back.

Yesterday, she changed her mind. If I hadn't told her, that would never have happened. And it was no more painful to be rejected at first than to go around keeping it secret. Just tell her -- you never know what might happen.
posted by reklaw at 5:11 PM on January 23, 2005

Jongo, thanks for clarifying. the sad thing is, i've met people who believe that basically. um, fully. and would love to find quantitative data to back them up. i am not kidding.

and i know what you mean about laughing during the hard times. just don't let get too bitter, if it comes to that, anon!
posted by ifjuly at 5:40 PM on January 23, 2005

Let me raise my hand as another person whose had a similar experience. I had just gone to college and she was still in high school. I thought I just had an infatuation with a friend and that I should let it fade it out. But she was pretty and smart, and our sense of humor seemed to match and my infatuation didn't fade. I tried to suppress it for six months or so and then decided to act on the way I felt. For a while things started moving in a new direction, but when I got a negative reaction from her I panicked and burst out telling her how I felt. She was obviously uncomfortable and I made the mistake of pressing her.
She told me to leave her alone, and that's exactly what I've done for the last two years.

So by way of recommendation, let me say that I think you should go for her. I tried to suppress my feelings, but I found that it was something that wouldn't go away(and still hasn't to a lesser extent). Tread carefully though, it will take her some time to adjust, my biggest mistake was to not be patient with her.

I hope the best for you, and I know you will be going through pain. Know that (as you see here) that many have gone through this. And good luck.
posted by meditative_zebra at 8:28 PM on January 23, 2005

Recently my best friend made a pass at me. I enjoy his company, and I like and care about him, but that was way out of line. I'm engaged and have a kid with my intended, so it's like SUPER way out of line. Now my SO doesn't want to have anything to do with my best friend, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I wish he would have kept it to himself, because now everything is all messed up. He was supposed to stand up with us at our wedding, but that's pretty unlikely now. If he had kept it to himself, it would have sucked for him, but it wouldn't have sucked for me as well.

So my advice is if she (or he) is unavailable because they are in a relationship: keep your mouth shut. A good friend would be respectful of the relationship and shut the hell up.
posted by raedyn at 8:01 AM on January 25, 2005

On reflection, I think I sounded a little harsh, which wasn't my intention. But I do think it's important to consider your motives for opening up to your friend. If s/he is in a committed relationship it's pretty selfish to share your troubles with that person. Rely on other friends to get you through the hard parts. I wish you well.
posted by raedyn at 8:05 AM on January 25, 2005

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