Have a problem with love or life in general? Send Ogonna your questions at [email protected] and get them answered here in her column. You can also tweet her at @askogonna.
Reader: Is it worth the risk to tell your best friend you like him or her, and how do you do it?
Ogonna: To be or not to be (in love with your best friend) — that is the question. Well, if you’re already in love with your best friend, not talking about your feelings won’t make them go away. So it’s all about taking the next step: admitting your crush.
While many see this as having a lot to lose in terms of your friendship, I see it as the opposite. If you really are as close of friends as you think, would a friendship seriously be over because of an unrequited crush?
You have two outcomes. Your friend says yes and rainbows form above you and angels sing gloriously around you. Or, your friend says no and the apocalypse ensues (not really).
So is it really worth the risk?
I have definitely been there, and done that. It was not an easy thing to do, but yes, it was totally worth it. And before I get ahead of myself, no, my friend did not have the same feelings for me back. Ouch, right? But I was okay with it. In fact, admitting my feelings brought us closer in a way. It wasn’t so simple to get things back to normal right off the bat, but after all those years, we knew we wanted to stay in each other’s lives and not let it ruin the great relationship we had as friends.
How do you do it, then?
Well, that’s up to you. If you have no idea what the other person is feeling, even after digging out information from his or her other friends, you might want to keep it short and sweet so it’s not such a big deal. But if you think your best friend is “The One,” you might want to really think through how you want to present yourself. You don’t have to be as bold as Taylor Swift in her song “Speak Now,” where she stops a wedding to declare her love for the groom by way of song and probably a dance number. But, either way, it does take courage.
Ask yourself if you’re willing to risk the chance of your friend saying no, and ask yourself if you’d be able to recover from that. Let me answer that for you right now: yes, you can overcome it! Even if your friend doesn’t feel the same way, if that person is a true friend, they will still care about you and want to do everything to keep you in his or her life. At one point or another, every pair of friends will have to deal with something that challenges the core of the relationship and find a way to overcome it. If this is the hardest feat you two have faced, I think that puts you in great shape for overcoming anything else that comes your way.
With that said, I can’t say that things won’t be awkward for a bit. You might skip out on a few weekly movie nights, or suddenly be feeling sick on the day you were supposed to grab dinner. But as best friendships go, you will both inevitably crave the other’s company or stock up on so many secrets that you’ll probably explode from keeping it all to yourself. Therefore, you both will do anything to get back to normal. It might be best to start hanging out again in larger groups so there are people to ease whatever tension is present. Or, if you’re the type to not dwell on a situation, you can just joke around with your friend and make light of the situation.
Who knows, maybe in time, your best friend will even consider you in a new light. After all, timing is everything. Per Taylor Swift’s song, it was when she was “rudely barging in on a white-veil occasion.” But for you, it could just be another day in the Union or on the Oval when you finally have the courage to speak now.