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Oh bugger. I think I'm in love with one of my best friends.

(331 Posts)
LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 20:27:52

I've known him for years though we've definitely spent a lot more time together recently. He's kind and funny and smart. We get on incredibly well, we spend loads of time together and we never run out of things to say. We've got loads in common, and lots of mutual friends - he's perfect. I even like his parents.

And now I think I've fallen for him. We went to a wedding two weekends where neither of us knew many other people - as a result, we spent most of the time together and had a lovely time. And when I got home, I realised I don't want to just be friends any more, and I keep thinking about him and how much fun we had.

I can't believe I've gone and done this - he's so much a part of my life, and now I've got to either tell him how I feel and ruin the friendship if it's not reciprocated, or do nothing and try and get over it. Or, I suppose, hang around in the hope that he feels the same way. But I don't have any real evidence that he does.

I have absolutely no idea how to go about this - I've even been googling "ways to tell if he fancies you" which is absurd given my age and the fact that all the articles say things like "try and sit next to him in class and see what happens". But I've never been in this situation before - got married at 25 to the boy I'd been going out with since school, and haven't dared go on a date since we split up two years ago.

I know he isn't dating anyone else, and that he hasn't had a serious relationship since his girlfriend died about five years ago. But that doesn't mean he's interested in me, of course.

Please, tell me to get a grip and get on with my life. Or to get a grip and tell him how I feel. Or give me a list of "ten ways to tell if a forty something bloke who's unfailingly polite and interested in everyone he encounters likes you more than he likes other people" so I can work out whether he likes me back.

littleblackno Mon 22-Jul-13 20:51:48

can you get drunk and make a pass at him? If he turns you down, blame it on the alcohol and laugh it off... if you wake up together then all good!! Probably not very helpful but not sure what to suggest. I can understand the "not wanting to ruin a friendship" argument but you could be missing out on developing that friendship too. Surely being friends is the ideal base for starting anything else?
Good luck.

Crikeyblimey Mon 22-Jul-13 20:54:37

Fortune favours the brave!

I married my best friend! He was like you and fell for me first but when he explained how he felt, I realised I could t hope for a better partner smile. We've been married 10 years now smile

Geordieminx Mon 22-Jul-13 20:56:08

I bet he loves you too...

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 21:00:21

Are you absolutely positive that you've fallen in love with him and it's not a case of being lonely and he being the only suitable male by a long shot?

Assuming that it's him I'd play out all the different resolutions to this scenario in your head over and over, so that you have a clear game plan of what you're going to do in each event.

Then I'd simply tell him. If your friendship is really that strong, you'll find the right words to tell him so that even if he isn't interested it won't end your friendship (though it might be a little strained for a short while).

Good luck.

Teafairy Mon 22-Jul-13 21:07:54

This was me...I decided I needed to do something about it, as it was driving me MAD, I convinced myself to be brave, so I texted him one night, (Ok, not that brave!) and told him how I felt, we exchanged a few texts and then he turned up at my house, didn't even say hello, just kissed me, was perfect. We've been together 9 years, married 4, have two DD's and he's still my best friend. One and only time I've ever knowingly been brave but by far the best thing i've ever done. I figured that he knew me well enough to know if I was saying it, i meant it and even if he didn't feel the same, I knew him well enough to know he'd treat me with respect. I'd say talk to him!! (or wuss out and text like I did! grin )

Sondosia Mon 22-Jul-13 21:10:05

Agree with Dahlen - even if he doesn't feel the same way, it doesn't necessarily spell the end of the friendship if you two are that close. Also, if you don't do it, you might spend the rest of your life wondering what could have happened if only you had.

I've actually been in your position twice - the first time I couldn't bring myself to do anything about it and for a long time, it was a massive regret for me, wondering what could have been (although years later he came out as gay, so at least now I know that it wouldn't have worked out anyway!)

The second time, I was equally terrified but the regret of the first time spurred me on. I chickened out of asking him more times than I can count and when I finally did blurt it out, it was the scariest thing I'd ever done, but he said 'yes' immediately - he'd been trying to pluck up the courage to have that conversation too. It was one of the best moments of my life... until it was beaten by our wedding day smile

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 21:12:09

Oh hell. You might be right Dahlen. There are no other suitable men around these parts, and he is extremely suitable. I don't have anything else to compare it to, I certainly didn't fall in love with my ex husband in this zero to sixty kind of way (if indeed I ever actually fell in love with him).

Geordieminx, that's obviously what I'm hoping. But I'm not sure how I'm ever going to find that out, or whether he would ever make the first move even if he did. I'm sure he's far too much of a gentleman to make me feel awkward if his feelings weren't reciprocated.

Crikeyblimey, that's such an encouraging story. Had you ever given any thought to him as a possible partner before he said something to you?

Getting drunk is probably the only feasible option although I'm not a particularly big drinker. I was slightly drunk at the wedding, and he very sweetly walked me back to my room and said good night. Surely that would have been the moment to make a move if he felt the same way?

Sorry, I know this is tedious and a real first world problem, but the only people I'd want to talk to about this all know him really well as well. I can't say anything to any of them, or it would make everything really weird...certainly none of them have any idea how I feel or have ever given me any indication he's interested in me.

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 21:14:25

Teafairy and Sondosia, your stories made me cry! That's so lovely, and so encouraging. What made you both decide to take the plunge? There must have been some clue somewhere, surely? (And Teafairy, what did you say in your text?...just in case I feel equally brave at some point in the future!)

amotherincognito Mon 22-Jul-13 21:20:16

Has he seen anyone else at all since his girlfriend died? Maybe he's scared and still feels awkward but feels the same about you as you do about him but is holding off due to what's happened?

Teafairy Mon 22-Jul-13 21:25:10

I guess, I was trying to weigh up what i'd regret most; possibly missing out on the love of my life or totally embarrassing myself, in the end I figured that a lifetime of happiness was worth the risk (and if I did embarrass myself, I knew he wouldn't share with anyone else and wouldn't make me feel bad, I knew our friendship would survive, it might have been strained for a while, but I knew it was a genuine friendship). I can't remember what I said exactly, but it was basically along the lines if 'I don't know how to say this and I know it could be awkward but I have totally fallen for you' but less cringeworthy than that.

You know your friend, you know how you normally talk to him, don't over think it if you decide to do it, or you'll convince yourself not to o it, or send something that doesn't sound anything like you and he'll wonder what's going on! Good luck!

Sondosia Mon 22-Jul-13 21:32:48

Like Teafairy - it was about the way that I felt, rather than any clues he gave me. The fear that maybe he did feel the same way and neither of us would ever make a move and we'd miss out on something amazing for no good reason. I was also scared that it would get harder to do it the longer I left it, or he might get together with someone else in the mean time.

I know you desperately want some kind of reassurance that he'll say yes before you ask him and that it feels like a bigger risk if you don't have it, but that doesn't mean the risk is any less likely to pay off. In the case of my DH, the reason there was no clue was simply that he was as good at hiding it as I was!

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 21:44:04

I know he hasn't seen anyone else, unless it's been very casual. I'm sure he's very wary of getting hurt, he was heartbroken when his girlfriend died - it was very sudden and very sad.

I suppose I am looking for reassurance and I know I am not going to get it. He does often suggest we do things together (cinema, art galleries etc) but he's got several other single female friends. He spent a while at the weekend trying to persuade me to learn bridge so I could play with him and his friends (he's pretty good, I think). And offering to lend me various photography books that he thinks my ds would enjoy - which he would, as he's just taken up the hobby and is really into it. Both of which I took as positive signs. But then when I emailed him to ask when would be a good time to pick up the books, he certainly didn't fall over himself to suggest meeting up at some other point. Mind you, poor guy - not sure why I expect him to be the one to make the effort all the time.

I know I'm overthinking this, and I should just make a move or forget about it. But making the first move is so very very far away from the way I'd normally go about doing things that it feels like the most alarming thing ever. I don't think I'd recover from a knock back that easily.

MissStrawberry Mon 22-Jul-13 21:48:33

Text him

Tell him what a great night you had at the wedding and was wondering if he would like to go out for dinner on X?

Or you could be brave and tell him you really like him and want to be more than friends. Tell him he doesn't have to answer if he doesn't feel the same and then you will have to try and carry on as normal.

MadeMan Mon 22-Jul-13 22:00:42

I reckon he's probably had similar thoughts at some point Lucy and may even be thinking the same way as you now. Highly likely that the idea of you two becoming a couple has crossed his mind before (unless he's gay).

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 22-Jul-13 22:05:21

Making a move will be difficult and awkward, but you will survive a knock back, if that is what comes. Declaring yourself is great because it means that you will know, one way or another. You will therefore be able to get over it more quickly (or enjoy a lovely romance).

It will be far more painful and more drawn-out than a knock back to agonize in the uncertainty of NOT knowing.

Just tell him. All you need to say is: We need to talk; this will be awkward. I like you, and I need to know how you feel.

That's it, it doesn't take more than 2-3 sentences, and any awkwardness will be over in either minutes or in a few weeks, depending on his answer. He's unlikely to be horrid to you, and you can survive embarrassment. In fact, I bet you feel proud of yourself for having taken the risk and been true to yourself, whatever his response.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Mon 22-Jul-13 22:12:21

Can you try to step up the eye contact a bit, when you meet up? Preferably not in a mad way... Just that if two people like each other it usually shows because they take longer to look away, and there's that lovely "building" of feeling between you.

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 22:21:02

Maybe...I think that might be my next tactic followed by a direct approach if nothing happens. Can I do it by email do you think, or is that too cowardly?

I suppose I'm holding back because I don't think my self esteem is strong enough to survive a knock back. I felt pretty bad for ages after my ex had an affair (with someone who was ten years younger and much prettier than me). I think rejection might hurt more than not knowing...

MadeMan Mon 22-Jul-13 22:21:18

Let me just add as well that, myself as a bloke, thinking as a bloke, he's probably eyed you up a few times at some point and thought about getting it on with you, because unless you're his mum or his sister, men eye up women all the time; even if they then have to check themselves and pull themselves together.

He's probably doing the man thing of thinking that you're happy being friends with him because that's what women like and he doesn't want to ruin the friendship with his 'typical man' horny testosterone fulled desires.

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 22:24:37

MadeMan, he's definitely not gay!

Do all men entertain thoughts of coupling up with all of their single friends? I certainly have male friends that I've never seen as anything other than just friends....

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 22-Jul-13 22:30:44

get a mate to gently take the piss out of him when they are together saying something about your relationship

see how he reacts

LucyWildelovesGru Mon 22-Jul-13 22:34:02

Cross posted, MadeMan!

I've certainly never given him any signals that I'm interested, because this is all quite recent. I've given it some thought in the past because he is single and so am I and I don't know many other single men, but never with any real focus or interest if that makes sense.

But why should he be more intersted in me than one of his other female single friends? I'm not all that special...

LadyMilford, I can't do that because then I would have to tell one of them how I feel and although I can just about face him turning me down I don't think I could bear anyone else knowing. And my friends are horribly indiscreet and sooner or later the whole town would know...

Incapinka Mon 22-Jul-13 22:37:13

Email is fine!! I did it by text... Very bravely (!) I texted my dear friend when I was on holiday escaping from the boyfriend who was an arse and attempting to get my head straight. Buoyed up on gin I texted my friend "if I was single would you go out on a date with me?" I then waited and waited for what felt like hours but realistically was only a couple of minutes for a positive response and the rest is history. Best text message I have ever sent. Promptly got rid off nasty ex and we have now been together 10 years, married for 6 and have a gorgeous 2 year old.
Just ask him. You don't have to declare undying love but you have nothing to lose at suggesting a bit more.... Do it!! And good luck!!!

magimedi Mon 22-Jul-13 22:42:18

Go for it!

Life is not a dress rehearsal!

Good luck & please let us know what happens.

Twinklestein Mon 22-Jul-13 22:43:54

I dunno Lucy, on the one hand I want it to be hearts & flowers, on the other I have a single male 40something friend who also has a bunch of single female friends & my h & I have tried to work out if he fancies any of them, and really we have no idea.

I think he quite likes his life as it is.

I sort of feel you might have some inkling if he liked you.

If you have been hurt badly then I would play it safe.

I don't know what's normal for you two, but could you ask him out for a drink so that it's more of a one on one date setup than going to a film/gallery? Change your manner with him, ask him more personal questions. And then gauge the signals...

But, if that's inconclusive then you're going to have to tell him...

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