In Love With Engaged Best Friend

sad-young-man

I have a friend, actually a best friend, whom I’ve known for some years. We became best friends through school. I’m in my final year of studies and I’ve spent the past 4 years at school with her. We spend most of the day together, we joke, we have many long conversations. I ended up having feelings for her and even starting to love her. The problem is that she’s in a long relationship, she’s already engaged and she’s now thinking of getting married within some years! I really don’t know what to do to stop feeling this way about her. Because each day that passes, it feels even worse. And the fact that I really like her and love her and I cannot have her, is hurting me even more. I don’t think that I can get through this scholastic year with her in my class and I really need someone to tell me what to do : (

Dear Peter,

Having strong feelings that can’t be expressed, especially when it’s for someone you meet on a daily basis, is bound to intensify the pressure of the situation. Great works of art have been created that served as an outlet for such emotions. And it is important for your well-being to have an outlet – music, sport, etc.

There is no right or wrong way to go about it. It is a gamble either way and you’re the one who’ll have to decide which cards to put on the table and which to hold close to your chest. However, there are some things you may want to consider.

Be clear and honest in your feelings with yourself. Do you genuinely love her and want a relationship with her or might you desire more from her because she is unavailable? Try to visualise yourself in a relationship with her as an unattached person – would you feel as strongly about her or would the challenge, yearning, attraction end?

Have you already ruled out pursuing a relationship with her without letting on how you feel and decided to look for a way to move on? If that’s the case, try to start creating an emotional distance if not a physical one, as you’re taking the same classes. Make an effort to open yourself up to other possibilities, other people who can start satisfying parts of the friendship you’ll have to forgo with her, if you’re to detach from her. Keep in mind that by choosing this path you may be riddled with feelings of regret in time and feel that you’ve missed the bus, especially if your feelings for her remain just as strong. Some opportunities that are special to us do not repeat themselves often in a lifetime – but then there are lessons that needed to be learnt and other opportunities which may still be special, but in a different way.

When you’re near her what is the dynamic between you? Are there sexual undercurrents? Is she madly in love with her fiancé or do you think it’s just a formality, the thing to do after as many years in a relationship. Do you think she might secretly reciprocate your feelings? The answers can give you clues as to what your chances are if you decide to reveal how you feel – although it takes more than a friendship and more than chemistry to have a successful relationship. But there’ll be no ‘what ifs’, especially after she’d get married.

Revealing your feelings without expecting changes might be a way to actually save the friendship if it is a strong one. You might find relief in getting it out of the way and might clear the air. Yes, the relationship between you might get unbalanced for a while but you’ll both find your footing again which may be different but comfortable for both of you.

Whether you’ll have the outcome you desire or not, try to make choices that will have you patting yourself on the back rather than kicking yourself in the long run. If you have grand-parents or older neighbours, friends with whom you feel comfortable discussing this type of situation, benefit from their experience. There’s a lot to be said for wisdom and age! Listen to your gut feelings and see what resonates with you then act accordingly. Good luck!