Question:

My friend and I have been close for years. She was the first friend I made at college, and she and I have been through everything, from bad relationships, my coming out of the closet, bad roommate, family, sorority issues, to graduation.

I have now realized I am in love with her. I do know that she is straight and will never like me like that. But what do I do about it?

I feel like I am in a no-win situation. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and we spend lots of time with each other, so my hiding things from her is not an option. And because of my feelings for her, I find myself getting mad at her over stupid things and then crying about it. So do I tell her and risk losing her friendship, or not tell and hide it by just avoiding her altogether?

Answer:

You tell her - but you don't present it in the form of an unspoken question, the "Do you love me back?" that lurks in so many declarations of love.

Instead, you tell her as an explanation: "The reason I've been an erratic, weeping mess lately is that I've fallen for you, and I know it's impossible. I hope you can be patient with me while I deal with this."

There's no way

not

to put her on the spot, but at least this way you're asking for something she can give you: patience. Show yours by giving her room to process the news.

It's possible that she won't respond well, that you can't win, that you lose your friend either way. But avoiding her altogether, while shielding you from rejection, guarantees you lose the friendship. Admitting your feelings at least gives your friendship a chance.

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