How to tell a close friend you're in love with them
Before you say "I am in love with you . . . "
This is a subject close to my heart; pun intended. I have had to distance myself from several really special relationships over the years because the other person wanted to add a romantic/sexual element. I still miss some of these friendships terribly. There was no way the other person could/would allow us to go back to being friends once they let their true feelings be known; it changed everything. Permanently.
Don't get me wrong; I am a lover of love!! I have many friends and we tell each other we love each other all the time. Those words are followed by years of being there during the good, the bad and the ugly times. Friendship is a wonderful and necessary foundation for a solid romance. My former husband and I were best friends before, during and after our marriage!!
A long-term really close friendship does not usually turn into romance overnight, or by the uttering of "I love you." Love is less a feeling and more a process. Both parties generally begin to feel "something more" for the other and begin to flirt, make up reasons for calling, emailing, texting more often, insert encouraging comments into benign conversations, giving thoughtful gifts, etc. If none of these positive clues have been taking place, I would start there before any declarations.
Also, before telling a really close friend that I was in love with them I would take an honest inventory of myself and my motivations. Am I feeling lonely? Do I have needs that are not being met? Is their proximity in my life convenient? Is it that time in my life to couple? Am I frightened at the way the world is going? Is there a financial element?? Am I willing to risk losing the person altogether if the feelings are not mutual??
I would also consider how my really close friend might feel. Might my close friend be mad/disappointed/surprised at this shift in boundaries?? Do I genuinely believe/think/feel that my close friend wants me to say the three words that will change our relationship forever? If so, I would go for it; if I had any doubt, I would test the waters first.
"Feelings" are the result of "thoughts." I would surely take an inventory of my own thoughts to see if I am in love with someone because of the amazing qualities they possess, because of the way I feel when I am with them, or are there some nagging needs of my own that are not being met and I have told myself the other person can fill them.
Okay, this question was posted a few days ago. As the eternal optimist and hopeless romantic (in spite of my words above), I would love to hear you uttered those magical words and the other person was elated!!
Blessings, Earth Angel