Silva explains that the chemical processes in your brain can change when you’re falling in love with someone. “Your body is releasing adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, in addition to testosterone and estrogen,” she says. “When you’re in love, your body speeds up to process them all. The intensity of these reactions are euphoric and make you ‘addicted’ to your best friend.” It’s not just in your head — you might literally be feeling chemically attached! Be careful if you start to notice that you want to be around your BFF every second of every day. Your body might be telling you, “Hey, I’m in love!”
So if your friendship fits into any of these categories, what can you do about it? Winter suggests you pose a hypothetical question to yourself. “If I could only choose one classification for this person, which would it be: Having them as a friend, or having them as a lover? This will be your guide to the necessary actions,” she advises. If you’re sure you want to pursue something more, it might be time to broach the subject.
“Make sure that you are truly attracted to them romantically and not falling for them because they are convenient,” Silva notes. “In cases where you intuitively feel it may be reciprocated, you can broach the subject of transitioning from a friendship to a relationship … However, if you doubt it’s reciprocal, broaching the subject will alter the nature of the relationship in a disempowering way to you.” You’ll have to trust your gut when deciding how to talk to them about your feelings.
If you don’t think your friend feels the same about you, you may have to distance yourself from them for a while until your feelings fade. “In general, suppressing your feelings is not advisable and not realistic,” Silva says. “Your friend will most likely pick up on your behavioral clues … even if you try to suppress your feelings, they will present themselves in some form.” She suggests taking a step back to try to discern where these intense feelings came from. It is possible to maintain the relationship while still giving yourself space to work through your emotions.
Ultimately, try not to panic. It’s more common than you might expect that best friends fall for one another — after all, you already know you get along so well! Every friendship is different, so it will be up to you to determine what the best course of action is for the two of you. Maybe it’s elevating the relationship, or maybe it’s taking space apart to let the feelings fade. If your pal really loves you, they’ll understand and want to help support you through the process.