When you love someone, you usually want to date them romantically. But sometimes it’s not possible, so here’s how to be friends with someone you love.
You can literally *figuratively* drive yourself crazy thinking about your crush. But, it does not have to be so hard. You can learn how to be friends with someone you love. You just have to take a few steps for it to be bearable and then for it to be fine.
We have all had a crush on a friend. It is weird. You spend time with them, but it is platonic. All you want to do is tell them you like them, but you don’t want to make things weird or ruin your friendship.
Are you already friends?
This is an important question to consider when you want to know how to be friends with someone you like. If you are already friends, you have a foundation. You are comfortable around this person.
But, if you are trying to be friends with someone you like in order to create a foundation that could turn into something else, things can get iffy. That friendship already starts out with a secret. You are beginning a friendship with the intention of getting them to like you. [Read: Naughty ways to get yourself out of the friend zone permanently]
That’s not to say that it cannot work, but it isn’t honest and that friendship won’t be the real thing if you harbor romantic feelings the whole time. You will always have an intent that’s not purely friendship.
Yes, it is beneficial to have a friendship before a relationship. If you’ve ever seen the classic TV show, Friends *almost everyone has*, you will know what we’re talking about. Think Chandler and Monica. Their friendship made their relationship stronger. But, forming a relationship with the hopes of becoming more is a messy thing to do.
Many people do not believe in the friend zone as it makes a friendship seem like a consolation prize. If you truly liked someone you would feel happy just to be their friend, not disappointed that you don’t get more from them.
If you try to be friends with someone you like in order to get them to like you, you are being sneaky, not romantic, and dishonest not respectful. [Read: Strictly platonic – Why you should never use the word ‘frienzone’]
Being friends with someone you love
Again, think back to Friends. When Joey had a crush on Rachel, he was such a gentleman about it. He respected her and didn’t make a move. Even when he did tell her how he felt, he was gracious and respectful and accepted that she didn’t feel the same way.
On the other hand, Ross continued to be jealous of Rachel’s dates. He was rude and manipulative whenever he had the chance. He always had underlying feelings for her and wanted her as his property rather than actually letting her be happy without him. [Read: 16 psychological facts about crushes to decode what you’re feeling]
You want to be Joey, not Ross. You have to accept any outcome. You have to realize that just because you feel this way doesn’t mean they do too. Being friends with this person seems like it would complicate things, but in fact, it can make the whole situation easier.
They know you and you know them. You respect one another and want the other to be happy. You also have to decide if you want to make a move, share how you feel, or try to move on. [Read: How to get your friend to like you ore – 13 easy hacks]
How to be friends with someone you love
Yes, Joey was used as an example of how to be friends with someone you like. But, even though he was a class act, that is a fictional television show. So here are some dos and don’ts on how to be friends with someone you like.
1. Do not have an ulterior motive
Being friends with someone you like is not easy, but it does not have to be hard. What makes it hard is trying to convince them to like you. Putting effort into that friendship as if you are wooing them is not a good idea. [Read:How to handle sexual tension between friends like a platonic pro]
2. Don’t be a doormat
When it comes to being friends with someone you love, you want them to like you, obviously. And a good way to do that is to be polite and caring. Makes sense. But, just because you like a friend does not mean you have to be their follower. You do not have to run errands for them or do everything they ask.
Not only will that make things more difficult for you, but that will not grow your friendship. Going above and beyond for a friend is wonderful, but going above and beyond for a friend you like as more than a friend is discounting all you truly have to offer.
3. Do be respectful
There are a lot of ways we deal with rejection. Drinking, anger, sadness, venting, and the list goes on. But being friends with someone you like is not just accepting rejection and moving on. It is a long and drawn-out time to get used to not being together.
Sure, you may be bitter or upset, but you have to remain respectful. Just because they are your friend, it does not mean they owe you a chance at a relationship. And it does not mean they should see that you like them without saying anything. [Read:13 stages of trying to get over someone who doesn’t like you]
4. Do be a true friend
Undermining a decision this person is making because you like them is wrong. Once again, let’s go back to Ross Gellar. He is “friends” with Rachel, but instead of supporting her dream job in Paris, he goes behind her back to get her to stay.
That is not a true or good friend in any way, shape, or form.
5. Try to move on
You do not want to spend the rest of your life, year, or even month suffering in silence. If you decided not to tell your friend that you like them, it is time to move on.
This does not mean you have to go on the rebound, but it can mean flirting, considering others, and venting to someone you trust. [Read: How to ask a friend out without risking the friendship]
6. Do take some space
When you are friends with someone you love, even in a platonic sense, it can make things even harder for you. So just take some space away from them. Even friendships with people you don’t like have lulls.
So tell them you’re busy with work and just take even a week or so away from them. That space can do you a lot of good. It can help you move on or help you realize you want to tell them how you feel.
7. Do treat them like any other friend
If you wouldn’t drive your friends to the airport, don’t go above and beyond for this friend just because you like them. If you would let a friend vent to you about a date, let them do the same.
If you want to stay friends with this person you have feelings for, you have to actually be friends with them.
8. Do not treat them badly
Do not take out your emotional frustration on them. That is not fair. It is not their fault that you like them. If you can’t treat them with kindness, maybe you are not capable of being their friend. [Read: 17 signs you’re falling for your best friend and how to deal with it]
9. Accept their relationships
Don’t be rude to their significant other. Do not diss their partner in front of them or behind their back. If you want to know how to be friends with someone you love, realize you are just friends. That means they can date who they choose and your jealousy cannot be involved in that.
10. Do be appreciative
Do not see your friendship as second place to a relationship. You have to be happy to have this person in your life. You have to see this friendship as something you appreciate, not something you are fine with because you can’t sleep with them.
Friendship is not a punishment, it is something you should feel lucky to have. [Read: How to be platonic friends without the sexual drama]
11. Do not pine
Waiting around for them to see that you like them and have been in front of them the whole time is unhealthy and will not work. Well, it works on TV and in the movies, but it rarely works in the real world.
Letting go takes time. You won’t move on immediately, but do have a plan to move on. If not, you will just be waiting around for something that is never going to happen.
12. Date other people
Again, that’s not to say that you should go around on the rebound, but do be open to other options. You never know, you could meet someone you like even more.
You may still have feelings for your friend, but being open to outside possibilities will let you see other outcomes. [Read: In love with your best friend? Why you need to back away right now]
13. Don’t try to make them jealous
This probably sounds like a broken record. But do not try to brag about someone you’re seeing to make them jealous. Don’t prance some hot person in front of them. That is in bad taste.
Not only does it make you seem juvenile, but it is disrespectful to your friend and the person you are using.
You are lying to this person and underestimating the person you like. This is an important part of learning how to be friends with someone you love.
14. Do not guilt them
Don’t make them feel bad for not liking you back. Feelings are not something you can just decide to feel or not to feel. If they don’t like you in the same way, you have to be okay with it.
If you cannot do that, you should not be friends with them. [Read:Letting go of someone you love without the bitterness]
15. Tell them how you feel
If you just cannot stay quiet anymore, that is okay. If you don’t want to ask yourself what if and think there could be a chance, that is okay. Or if you need to get your feelings off your chest in order to move on and maintain the friendship, do it.
Just remember to accept any outcome. [Read: How to tell someone you like them – 18 risk-free ways to do it right and date them]
16. Work on your self-esteem
When you love someone, and you don’t know if they love you back, it can really take a toll on your self-esteem. You probably beat yourself up and wonder what is wrong with you. You might think, “If was wasn’t so xyz *fill in the blank* then they would love me!” or “If I WAS xyz then they would love me!”
But, you see, it’s not about you. Sometimes, the chemistry just isn’t there for the other person for some reason. And we don’t just mean sexual chemistry.
There have been many people who have had a best friend but couldn’t see themselves dating them. So, learn to love yourself as you are. Don’t beat yourself up because you are in an unrequited love situation. A better match is out there for you and will love you exactly the way you are. [Read: How to tell if there’s no chemistry and you should stop trying]
17. They might be different in a romantic relationship
If you have never been in a romantic relationship with this person before, you probably have a lot of fantasies about how it would be. You probably daydream and think of scenarios where you will ride off into the sunset deeply in love.
But in reality, people can be very different in a romantic relationship than they are in a friendship. When we are in a romantic relationship for a while, we start to let our bad habits show.
So, maybe the person you love may not be that great of a romantic partner. Therefore, it’s important to put that into perspective. It will help you learn how to be friends with someone you love. [Read: Almost relationship – what it is, why it sucks, and signs you’re in one]
18. Decide what you really want
Many times, we are stubborn and just fixate on the person we love. We obsess so much about them that we don’t see the big picture. Just because you love this person doesn’t mean they have the qualities that would actually make you happy in a romantic relationship.
So, sit down with yourself and write down your own “must haves” and “deal breakers” in your ideal partner. Then, compare those to what you know about the person you love.
You might be surprised to see that they might not have all the “must haves” you want and could even have a few “deal breakers.” That will make you feel better about the situation. [Read: What is unrequited love and what’s the best way to deal with it?]
19. It’s all about attitude and viewpoint
How you perceive a situation can be more important that what is actually happening. When you look at this situation, you form an assumption. And that assumption continues to influence you without your conscious knowledge.
In simpler terms, it’s all about being optimistic. You should see the glass half full, and not half empty. Just because one particular person doesn’t return your love doesn’t mean that the right person won’t.
In fact, this just opens up opportunities for you to find the perfect fit for you… and that’s a good thing! And clearly, if the person you love doesn’t love you back, then they are not the right person for you. [Read: How to approach your crush, get noticed, and impress them all at once]
20. Accept “what is”
There is a serenity prayer that says the same thing. Basically, what this means is that if you can’t change a situation, then you have two choices: (1) fight against it hoping you can change it *which you can’t because you can’t change other people* or (2) just accept it as “what is.”
There is a lot of power in accepting “what is.” When you do, the stress and angst go away. Because then you can focus on things that you CAN control. You can work towards finding a happier future with your newfound positive attitude.
[Read: How to lose feelings for someone and let go of the might have beens]
There are lots of ways to learn how to be friends with someone you love if that is truly what you want. It may not be easy at first, but if you value this person as a friend, it’ll all be worth it.