How do I tell my best friend I love him/her?

Some background, some drama

Always believed that falling in love with your best friend was only something that happened in the movies? Does it really happen in real life? Do people really just wake up one day and realize that the person who has always been there is actually their soulmate? Yes! Yes, it’s possible. But there’s a lurking fear… the fear of being rejected and subsequently losing the friendship which is too high a price to pay for these feelings. So do you plunge in or continue being just friends?

Do’s and Don’ts

Someone rightly said that it’s hard to not fall in love with your best friend. Your best friend cares for you, protects you and loves you with all your flaws.
The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide you and help you tell your best friend that you love him/her.

Do’s

  • As embarrassing as it is, it’s important that you are honest with your best friend. Communication is key. Talk to some friends ahead of time to articulate and voice how you feel. Then move on to telling the object of your desire.
  • If the feelings are mutual, all is well. But if not, prepare for it to hurt. Make sure you have a recovery plan. Cry a little, distract yourself and surround yourselves with good friends and then decide what to do next.
  • End the friendship if that’s what it takes. It’s perhaps best to end the friendship to avoid further heartbreak and disappointment. Once this is done, it may be easy to move on.
  • There is no need to rush. When you start dating your best friend, you want to dive into those feelings and live every bit of it. There’s no need to do that because your best friend will be around, like they’ve always been. And this is the time to have fun and explore a completely new side of each other.
  • Understand your abilities to compromise. There's way more give-and-take in a relationship than there is in a friendship. Can you truly accommodate each other’s wants and needs? Can you do so maturely?
  • Assess your abilities to trust. If you're already best friends, you already knew each other’s secrets and some very personal information about one another. Can you trust your friend not to fall in love with someone else again or use that information against you if you break up?

Dont’s

  • Don’t be under pressure to impress each other. You already adore each other and your friendship is a living example of that. There are no formalities of asking each other out for a date, dressing up or putting make up. You can be completely chilled out with your best friend, now boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Don’t try to change yourself or your best friend. Personalities remain the same even if you’re into the next phase of your relationship.
  • Don’t be afraid of rejection. Be prepared for rejection. If he/she doesn't end up liking you back, stay cool. Be casual and try not to let the friendship get awkward.
  • Don’t break off a friendship just because the love thing didn’t work out. Try to get things back to the way they were before.

Last words

If you find yourself in this situation of falling for a close friend, just tell them. Yes, you’re risking a lot but you owe it to yourself to take those risks. In order for anything good to happen in your life, you have to be the one to propel it forward. You have to take care of yourself and not worry so much about what other people will say or think. 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. So, if you are scared of confessing your love to your best friend and ruining your friendship, don't be! This relationship could change your life.

Sources and citations