There are many important benefits to being bold and confident enough to be straightforward and say, “I like you.”
Being more than friends requires doing something to create that option. It is bold to confess your feelings because you risk that your friend may not feel the same way. You never truly know until you ask.
In college, I had a female best friend for three years. I spent lots of time “hanging out” in her apartment, talking about life and relationships, while really avoiding both. She talked to me endlessly about the man she wanted to date, while I was sitting right in front of her in her living room with nothing else to do. Of course, I didn’t muster up the courage to tell her how I felt until she was about to go on a mission—and I felt I had nothing left to lose. When I finally told her I wanted to be more than friends, she was uncomfortable and let me know she was not interested in me that way. For the remaining weeks until she left on her mission, our interactions were awkward.
My experience with my college friend resulted from being young, bashful, and inexperienced. But I have observed many people in the mid-singles community making the same mistakes in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. These are a few suggestions for managing the opposite sex “best friend” situation.
- Don’t use friendship to find love without risk. If you genuinely have no interest beyond friendship, fine. Move forward with the friendship. But don’t do it secretly hoping for more and thinking you are laying a foundation for that. Being friends first is fine if there is acknowledged romantic potential. But don’t engage in what our friend Celeste Ulbricht calls “covert dating.” You may believe you can gradually get the other person to warm up to you and avoid the risk of being rejected outright. However, rejection feels even worse after you have spent a long time as friends—something I learned the hard way from my college best friend. Finding love without risk is not realistic. Risk is the price of admission.
- If you like her, say it right up front. Rejection is not fun for anyone. But it hurts less and wastes less time for both of you if you are honest about your intentions from the very beginning.
- Don’t keep your foot in the door. If she tells you she only wants to be friends, believe her. Some men who really want more will accept friendship hoping that eventually they can change the other person’s mind. This seldom succeeds and usually results in a big emotional investment by the person who really wants more.
If you have an opposite sex best friend that you would really like to date, wait no longer! Pluck up your courage and tell her how you feel. Take the chance! It may change your life.
NEW PODCAST & VIDEOS
Our featured podcast episode this week is Friends First? and our featured video is The Friendzone – Pro or Con? Our short this week is: Moving from Friendship to Love Affair. Here are convenient links to these FREE new resources. Enjoy!
LILY Pod: Friends First?
LILY Tube: The Friend Zone – Pro or Con?
LILY Short: Moving from Friendship to Love Affair
About the Author
Jeff Teichert, and his wife Cathy Butler Teichert, are the founders of “Love in Later Years,” which ministers to Latter-day Saint single adults seeking peace, healing, and more joyful relationships. They are co-authors of the Amazon bestseller Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff and Cathy each spent nearly a decade in the mid-singles community and they use that experience to provide counsel and hope to mid-singles and later married couples through written articles, podcasts, and videos. Jeff and Cathy are both Advanced Certified Life Coaches and have university degrees in Family & Human Development. They are the parents of a blended family that includes four handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter.
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