Once again, it’s time for Ask A Spinster!, the long beloved (since last week) post series in which Grace answers all your questions. Well, almost all. She really thinks you need to direct any burning questions to a doctor, as those might be signs of leprosy! Luckily for us all, today’s question involves the escalation of a romance, not Mycobacterium leprae.
So, I have a guy friend who I’ve known for about a year. We’ve become especially close in the last two months as we are both single and have come to rely on one another for advice and support. Before then, it had been discussed that the two of us wouldn’t work so supporting each other in this way wouldn’t create a problem.
This thing is…now I know him much better and he is not who I thought he was. He is much better – the type of person i would date. Needless to say, I have developed feelings for him.
What do I do Miss Grace – giver of advice?
My dear Mademoiselle A, I have so been there. The only thing worse than developing feelings for a friend is developing feelings for a friend you’ve specifically disavowed becoming romantically entangled with. While I firmly believe that many opposite sex friendships can remain platonic on both sides, it’s also true that getting to know someone on a deeper level can change how you see him or her. Sometimes, a guy’s stealth neatness just sneaks up on you, like a sadistic pie-bearing clown.
The question is, of course, what the hell to do now. He’s obviously a great friend to you, so keeping the friendship stable in the long-term is imperative. As such, many people *cough* Cosmo writers *cough* would tell you to keep quiet on the matter and let his actions be your guide. If he touches you accidentally, if he surprises you with giant iced teas, then perhaps he likes you too. Nonverbal cues are all well and good, but that’s horrid advice. In my experience, there is one universal truth of feelings: they, like their dear cousin truth, will always out.
If you like him, tell him. Bottling up your emotions, for the good of the friendship or your own psyche, can result in calamity. Feelings insist on becoming known, whether through the machinations of a loose-lipped friend or from your own 3 a.m. ramblings, after too many margaritas and episodes of Roswell. Neither of those outcomes is ideal. The best way to keep from going down a rabbit hole of awkwardness is to take control. Let emotional honesty rule the day and tell him what’s up.
Chances are, he’s already noticed a disturbance in the Force. Talking about it has one of two possible outcomes: either he also likes likes you, or he doesn’t. Obviously, I’m pulling for the former, but even the latter isn’t the end of the world. Friendships, the good ones like yours, can overcome anything. I’ve known oodles of friend pairs who’ve dealt with one person liking the other. Despite what popular culture likes to tells us about love ruining All The Things, they’ve universally made it out the other side in tact. After some initial awkwardness, things got back to normal. Putting your feelings on the table allows you both to move forward, whether as a couple or just friends.
Also, I’m going to be honest, we don’t have all the time in the world. Crazy things happen everyday. Say he does return your feelings, but you don’t tell him out of fear. He could meet someone else tomorrow! She may not be you, but her laugh is nice and she shares his love of Disney villains, so he asks her on a date…then another one and another one and, before you know it, he’s asking you to help him plan a proposal. That would suck! Of all the Julia Roberts characters to emulate, the one from My Best Friend’s Wedding is the worst. The beauty of taking action is that you’re never left wondering “What if…” Embarrassment is a fleeting emotion, but regret lingers.
If he says no, you can move forward. But if he says yes? You can start all the happy bits now. That seems a worthy risk to take. Besides, if the Zombie apocalypse happens, don’t you want a partner? He sounds like he’d be good with a pick ax.
Good luck, my dear!
With love and pie,
Grace, Giver of Advice