i love you, like a friend




It’s weird. When feelings start changing. Seeing someone so close to you with fresh eyes. It can happen all of a sudden, one day you might be hanging out with your friend when suddenly you realise how sparkly their eyes are. You had never noticed that before. It’s a whiplash. It also reminds you of one of those cheesy rom-coms you only dedicate your time to after you’ve binge-watched all your favourite tv shows. You can’t help but indulge in the thoughts of changing things, of getting closer to them.


Second guessing all the little things and gestures you had never payed attention to before. However, the panic soon arrives and settles in. What are you doing? Why are you thinking about your friend like this? You mentally slap yourself, as you remember that there’s no good outcome out of this situation. Your friend doesn’t think about you like this. What are you going to do? Ruin a friendship? Make yourself look like an idiot? You would never be able to muster up the courage anyways. It’d be better if you stopped fooling yourself. You decide to swallow your hope, wishing it’ll disappear, and you brush off your daydreams. You think you’ll eventually forget, that this is just a phase and that your feelings aren’t worth the trouble of ruining a relationship. You’re scared that, if you’ll ever have the courage to be honest, your friend will turn her/his back, too embarrassed to face you again. You think that it will hurt more if you’ll lose her/him. The result? You’re stuck, being close to someone, but not as you would like to.


Friendzone, countless articles written about it, countless movies whose plots are solely based on this topic nevertheless, we still haven’t figured out a way out of it. Now, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that every human being has experienced it at least once in her/his lifetime; as if friendzone was a sort of cosmic karmic law casted upon us. A test we all have to go through. My theory obviously rests on empiric evidence, I’m open to confutations.


Irony put aside, it is indeed a sticky situation. It can be a source of deep distress and let’s be honest: it hurts. There’s something so upsetting about having a crush on a friend. It can be frustrating and confusing. In addition to this, when you’re close to someone, it can be painfully easy to mistake a friendly admiration for something deeper. It’s hard not to question your feelings then: is it a phase? Is it simply physical attraction (hormones, who knows what they’ll do to you)? Are you sure you like him/her like that? What are you supposed to do?


First of all: be honest to yourself. Seriously, there’s nothing wrong: if you like her/him, you just like her/him; feelings might change with time, but this doesn’t mean that you have to deny them in the present. When denial stems from embarrassment things rarely turn out good. Stop feeling guilty, own your emotions, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. We are human beings and thus we are supposed to have feelings towards other human beings.


Now, unless you’re genuinely happy with the situation, you should reflect on how you feel. Are you willing to change things? Are you willing to put your emotions aside? How long will you be able to do it? Let’s face it, I’m not stating that it’s impossible, but it’s very unlikely that something will magically happen without you doing something first. Thus, if you no longer feel comfortable with your relationship you should do something about it; if you want to confess your feelings, do it! It’s not an act ego, it’s ok to put yourself first. Even if you fear judgement and embarrassment, even if you don’t want to put your friend through this awkward situation, you ought to feel better. There are two inevitable possibilities: your friend could feel the same way