How To Save Your Friendship When You Have A Crush On Your Bestie

by Jarone Ashkenazi

You've fallen for your best friend and don’t know what to do.

We are talking about the type of platonic friend who is your wingman or wingwoman and knows everything about you.

You don’t want to ruin your friendship by expressing your feelings and having him or her feel awkward afterward.

But if you do express these feelings and they're not reciprocated, you still want to stay close friends.

So, what should you do?

We've been brainwashed by rom-coms that falling for your best friend is the sign of true love.

He or she is the one who has always been there through breakups, triumphs and hardships.

Entering a relationship with your best friend can potentially lead to a successful long-term relationship, as this person already knows everything about you.

Or, it could destroy your friendship.

But before crossing that boundary, you have to take the time to assess your own emotions upfront and determine the reasons for your attraction.

Barbie Adler, founder and president of Selective Search, advises,

Before you tell your BFF you have feelings for him or her, take the time to figure out where those feelings are coming from. Gauge the chemistry you both share before adding this unnecessary pressure on the friendship.

Stealing a line from Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in "When Harry Met Sally," simply,

Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Melani Robinson, a dating expert and award-winning blogger, explains that Harry and Sally become friends and have a fling, and then the friendship is over:

But that's a risk when approaching your best friend. You must be prepared to have the friendship change, or lose it completely once you've put it out there. It's risky, for sure, but a huge payoff if it works.

Before letting the cat out of the bag, April Masini, a relationship expert and author behind AskApril, echoes that you must be prepared to “risk it all to get it all, with all meaning love.”

It might be difficult to cross the line, but trust your instincts.

If your feelings are real, and you are willing to potentially lose a friend in your pursuit of love, don’t hold back telling him or her.

You may be afraid to ask because you might not get the answer you are hoping for, but simply approach him or her and say, "I've really enjoyed spending time with you. Would you like to go on a real date?" explains Sherri Murphy, CEO of Elite Connections.

Once your feelings are out in the open, give your friend time and space to process it.

Your friend may not have seen this coming, and he or she will need to figure out his or her own feelings for you in response.

Jenny Appelbaum, founder of Jenny Apple Matchmaking, says,

Agree to trying, and if it doesn't work out, commit to communicate and remain good friends. A real best friend will understand if it isn't right for you and will respect your desires and needs. Make sure to do the same for them.

So, what are the signs your closest platonic male friend is into you?

How about your closest platonic girlfriend?

Steven Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers, lists the top three signs for men and women:

Signs For Her To Know He Is Into You

1. He is doing things with you that he wouldn’t normally do, like window shopping or going to a salon.

2. He is complimenting you in ways you aren’t used to.

3. He is opening up about things that he hasn’t opened up about before, creating a greater sense of intimacy.

Signs For Him To Know She Is Into You

1. She is doing you favors that don’t benefit her in any way, like errands or chores.

2. She is making a greater effort to get to know your other friends, whom she otherwise wouldn’t want to or care to know.

3. She is wearing nicer outfits, using more makeup and doing her hair when she’s planning to see you, and you two aren’t planning on doing anything special.

Bringing up the D-word (dating) is a big step.

Getting out of the friend zone can be tricky.

Make sure that you are thoughtful when approaching the subject, as “women love a man with a plan," says Julie Ferman, matchmaker and dating guru.

It is important to understand that taking the initiative is the only way to move from platonic to romantic.

This is exactly what Michael Sorrentino did.

The current head of TV operations at The Blaze met Annie Scranton, the current CEO of Pace Public Relations, at FOX, but he never acted on his crush, as the timing was never right.

He knew that the approach of moving from the friend zone to dating was “a delicate one,” but knew in his “gut that I had to act immediately or risk losing the opportunity.”

Sorrentino noticed that the two were hanging out and talking more, so on one night out, he expressed his interests and feelings towards Annie.

But, he was “careful not to seem too into the idea and scare her away, but also highlight why were make a good pair.”

The two initially agreed to try to see each other platonically, but then they had their first kiss.

Soon later, the couple crossed that bridge into a relationship built on “solid ground with a ton of love and affection for one another.”

The couple recently celebrated their one-year marriage anniversary this year.

For all you singles out there with a crush on your friend, step off the on-deck circle and get ready to go to bat and hit a home run.

You may strike out, but if it is true love you are after, go big or go home.