Help! I’m in love with my best friend!

By Jessica Nayden
In love with my best friend

Best friends falling in love is a common trope in many romantic comedies, and fortunately for the fictional lovers, it usually works out in the end, after a few twists and turns, of course. In reality, one friend falling for the other isn’t necessarily as cut and dried, hilarious, or romantic. 

A few years ago, I realized that my feelings towards a good friend of mine were slowly becoming a little more than feelings of friendship.

My first reaction was one of panic, and I wondered if this would ruin our friendship. When should say something to him (if ever!)? Does he feel the same way about me?

I felt embarrassed and ashamed of the way that I felt, and I was filled with fear and anxiety about saying or doing the wrong thing. 

If you find yourself in this situation (and if your good friend is as attractive, kind, and prayerful as my former friend and now husband, how can you blame yourself?), try not to panic. Here are four steps you can take to untangle your confusing feelings and proceed with a potential relationship that could end up being a beautiful vocation. 

Pray

God our loving Father desires to be invited into every decision, struggle, and fear that we have. He knows our hearts, feelings, concerns, and hopes and he wants to be with us and guide us through our discernment of a relationship.

Bring your feelings and worries to God in prayer, whether it is before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration, through the recitation of the rosary, or by journaling your thoughts in a letter to Jesus.

One prayer I found helpful at this time was asking the Lord to remove the desires from my heart that were not from Him and help me to want what He wanted for me.  

Address the issue

It can be tempting to keep your feelings to yourself forever, to ignore them, and hope that they resolve themselves.

As difficult as it is to be open and vulnerable with another person, being honest and direct, even if it causes temporary awkwardness is much better in the long run than flirting that goes nowhere, acting like you are dating but never defining the relationship, or constantly questioning every comment or text.  Ask God for the strength in prayer, and…

Make a decision  

As important as good and thoughtful discernment is, indefinite inaction isn’t good for anyone. “Will they or won’t they” is entertaining in a movie or reality show, but in vocational discernment and in a real relationship, inaction can paralyze us and stop grace from working in our lives. 

Deciding whether or not you will commit to date someone, even your former best friend, isn’t the same as deciding to marry someone, and taking the next step may be the only way to figure out if you are called to marry this person. 

Many young adults find themselves questioning their feelings, their decisions, and wonder if they are doing the right thing, or screwing up their lives beyond repair by dating, or not dating, someone, especially a good friend.

Take a breath, trust that God can work through even the messiest situation, and make a choice. I am so grateful that I found the courage, by the grace of God, to be honest about my feelings, and pursue a relationship that ultimately led me to my vocation.