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What You Need To Know About "That BFF" Who Falls In Love With You

by Ellen "Jelly" McRae 9 days ago in dating
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In short, everyone loses.

Your best friend falls in love with you and now you're completely screwed.

Well, you're both screwed, really. If you don't love them back, your friendship begins facing some nasty turns.

This isn't high school anymore. There are no adolescent feelings or situations that you hope everyone will forget come Monday.

We're upping the stakes, the emotions and what you can lose. And if you care about your friendship, you realise everything you care about is on the line.

Most of your friends and family are going to give you pretty clear and concise directions on this issue.

"They've got the wrong end of the stick. Let them down gently and move on with your life."

That's all great in theory. But that's not giving your poor friend any credit in this situation, nor does it actually allow you both to move on.

How do I know? Because one of my former best friends fell in love with me. And this whole softly approach ended our friendship quicker than his confession.

The problem was I didn't know what it was to be a best friend in love with a best friend.

Had I known what I'm about to tell you, had I put myself in the shoes of my adoring BFF, we might have survived with our friendship intact.

Get Ready For: The Blame Game

Before any of the core issues that now occur between you get sorted - awkwardness, how to move forward, the possibility of remaining friends - the blame game begins.

Here's what I know about the emotionally fragile best friend professing their love. They are going to want to blame you.

Very rarely will they blame themselves with any genuine sincerity. I say this because I've heard of so many people taking accountability at first and then backtracking on this idea when things turn nasty.

Somehow, it doesn't seem fair. Before anything else, everyone loves blaming someone else. It's easy to blame others than blame yourself.

Messed up, right? You were living your life, doing your thing, being a friend, and now you're blamed for being you?

Somehow, it doesn't seem fair.

Yet, if you want to get through this situation, the blame game has to end.

First, it's not your fault. Despite anything I did, my ex-BFF said when he professed his love for me, I couldn't control my friend's emotions.

I can't make him love me.

I can't force him into feeling romantic feelings from my plutonic actions.

That's on him. It's not on you.

Secondly, it's also your fault. This relationship contains two people in it. Your best friend isn't having a relationship with themselves or making up things that aren't there. 

Somewhere along the line, both of you contributed to these feelings developing.

Blaming each other and slinging accusations won't help either of you. If you can shut it down before it begins, this process will get a lot easier.

Understand: Your Friend Sucks At Reading The Signs

Ok, sucks might sound harsh. But let's face it, your lusting BFF is lacking some much-needed education in the romance department.

They can't seem to decipher the difference between love, lust, and friendship.

If they've reached the point of falling in love with you without any verbal indication you share the same feelings, it's they go to romance school.

I stress verbal. Behaviours are always grossly misinterpreted. Here's some of what your friend needs to learn:

  • Flirting doesn't equal attraction - Some people have this natural flirt about them, or they behave in a way that is easily misinterpreted as flirting. It doesn't necessarily mean that's the person's intention. (We will address this more later - keep reading!)
  • Physical affection doesn't equal attraction - A hug, kiss on the cheek, hand on the knee, doesn't always mean you're attracted to the person. There is context with your friends. You put your hand on their knee when they're upset means you're comforting them. It doesn't mean you want to get into their pants.
  • What you say counts - As we get older, we do a lot less of the subtle schoolyard flirting. We don't hope someone is going to read between the lines. We make moves, we speak our intentions better, and we suggest romance. If you haven't made those moves, if you treat this friend like every other friend, education is desperately needed.

Evaluate: Your friend's terrible dating record counts

In this situation, all your prior relationship mistakes come back to haunt you.

For your friend, everything about their love life is about to come back and bite them on the bottom.

If you were a true friend with any sympathy, you wouldn't use their dating history against them at this moment. It's tempting, I understand, especially if there is something particularly unhealthy about their romantic past.

But it would help you to know what you're working with here. You might be a little more forgiving, and understanding if you realised your friend isn't exactly great in this department.

Before I elaborate, I want to stress that most of us aren't dating experts (and if you are one, you don't need my help!).

None of us claims we are perfect in these situations. I've been known to pick the wrong person from time to time.

Despite the fact I'm married, care passionately about relationships and share what I've learned online, I'm still not claiming to get it right.

We only set ourselves up for failure when we claim to know everything.

In this situation, it wouldn't hurt to evaluate your friend's past relationships with a grain of salt. Ask yourself about their dating history. Have they:

  • Been in this situation before with another friend?
  • Been in this situation before with someone they just met?
  • Never been on a second date?
  • Never had a relationship that has moved to the official title stage?
  • Never had a relationship that wasn't physical?

Answering these questions will offer invaluable insight as to you why this situation has occurred.

If you discover your friend hasn't exactly found the lay of the relationship land, this situation might make more sense to you.

With more appreciation for their past, you can exercise more understanding. And sympathy too.

Evaluate: How keen is your friend to find a partner?

I'm approaching this situation with brutal honesty here. Now is not the time to sugarcoat the dilemma you're in. You need all the facts, no matter how much it might suck to discover.

Here's something you need to know: has your friend fallen in love with you because it's convenient?

I know you don't want to think of yourself as a backup plan, which is what convenience can sound like. I know it can sound dismissive of your best friend's feelings, too. But we can't rule out this being the case.

An inexperienced love, your friend with a terrible dating record, could easily find attraction through convenience.

However, this isn't always the case. Someone might have a great dating record, seem like a champion dater, and still end up finding themselves falling in love with their BFF for this reason.

So, ask yourself:

  • Is your friend actively looking for love?
  • Is your friend lamenting about their single status? Are they complaining about being single?
  • Is your friend having failures in the current dating scene?
  • Is your friend making plans for their future and can't find the missing piece to their puzzle? Eg. Someone to have a child with, someone to marry, someone to buy a house with. Though we all know they don't need a partner to achieve those things, they believe they do and are looking for one.
  • Has your friend flirted with the idea of giving up on looking for someone? Have they said they are planning to give up or about to?

Your friend will never say they have fallen for you because it's the next logical choice for them. I must reiterate that. It seems pretty rude when you say it out loud.

They might, however, choose the words, "it makes sense." They might say:

  • You get along so well
  • You're single, their single = perfect match
  • You look fantastic together in pictures
  • You can stand each other for long periods of time
  • Everyone in their life likes you
  • Everyone in their life thinks you should get together
  • Everyone they know falls in love with their best friend

These are justifications, logical reasoning for falling in love with someone. It's paper reasons, the type you put on a pros and cons list. There isn't anything emotional or romantic about it. The decision is logic, not passion.

Don't get me started, by the way, on why best friends don't make the best lovers. I'll save that for another day.

Problem: You started looking for love, too

Here is where we circle back to the idea of flirting and blame. Your best friend might have seen your relationship green light turn on and mistakingly thought it was for them.

This is when you started:

  • Looking for love
  • Flirting with people
  • Getting on dating apps
  • Going on dates
  • Talking about your own miserable situation with your best friend
  • Being emotionally available

Sometimes we don't realise that we're changing our behaviours, sending mixed signals to our friends. They know we're on the hunt, they know we're searching for love, and they think we're looking at them.

This is when flirting becomes misinterpreted. Some friends believe we're flirting with them. They believe we've started telling them about our dating woes with the hope they will fill our void.

And if they are having even the smallest of amorous thoughts about us, this is their time to capitalise on it.

Sometimes it's not that complicated either. You're single, ready to mingle, and your friend sees you differently now you're open to love. 

It's a moment where we switch our thoughts, like flicking on a lightbulb.

So what next?

Now you know a little more about the situation, honest conversations can begin. You can both learn to work through your friendship and figure out a new way to have your relationship.

With this information, you might approach your too-affectionate best friend with a little more compassion, understanding, and empathy.

You might also approach this situation with more clarity. You could find yourself working out what this relationship means to you.

Sometimes you can't be best friends with someone who falls in love with you. You wish you could put those feeling aside and turn that knowledge off. That happens.

But burying your head in the sand doesn't help anyone. Now you know you can take your next steps with authority.

Good luck. I'm here for you.

dating

About the author

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

Writes about romanceships (romance + relationships) | Loves to talk about behind the scenes of being a solopreneur on The Frolics | Writes 1 Lovelock Drive | Discover everything I do and share here: www.ellenjellymcrae.com

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