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"All of your advice scenarios for when you have feelings for a friend seem to have sunny outcomes. Even if she doesn’t return the feelings, nobody gets their heart broken and the friendship continues unharmed. But what if it doesn’t work out that way? Aren’t there times when you really do lose a good friendship because of your romantic feelings? What do you do if trying to stay friends is screwing with your heart but the friend is too important to you to lose?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

UGH. This is tough. And it’s so hard to predict the future for all of the humans in the whole world. I’m sure there are so many scenarios where no one comes out unscathed. I’m certain there are times when the friend feels so uncomfortable that they can’t act like things are fine, and as time moves on the two people just slowly drift apart. I’m sure there are times when the friend doesn’t return feelings and the human who has the feelings is wayyyy too heartbroken to pretend things are cool. All of these things make perfect sense, BUT I think they can all end up okay.

I think if you end up on the crap side of the scale, remember that nothing is permanent. LITERALLY, nothing in the world is forever. So, even if things don’t go well and your friendship is strained and things are weird and you start to drift apart. That’s okay and it could change.

I had a BFF and we fell in luv and it wasn’t meant to be and it ended pretty bad and we WERE NOT FRIENDS for a while. A long while, like, three years while. BUT nothing is permanent and we figured it TF out. We’re literally best friends now and that’s how it was always supposed to be, we both know that now. It was rough to have such a crap shoot of a time because of love. Hearts can ruin shit, you know? But hearts can also fix shit, with time and patience. I’m sorry if you fell in love with your bff and the feelings aren’t returned, but the situation being terrible right now does not mean it will be terrible forever. You absolutely can get that friendship back. Be patient, don’t give up, and remember why you loved each other in the first place.

Kristin Says:

As you might be able to tell, it is typically hard for us to wrap our brains around something that doesn’t, eventually, work out enough where both parties can feel good again in some capacity. I do think that in the majority of situations, time and healing and a combination of space and dialogue can (again, eventually) get close friends back to the place where they want and need to be. Does it mean that you might not be able to see that friend for awhile? Maybe. Does it mean you might need to fall in love with someone else before you can mend your heart enough to bridge that gap? Possibly. Only you and time can tell.

However, let me just consider what you are suggesting right now, and consider the possibility that your heart can never heal enough to reconnect or that you will drift too far apart to ever reconnect again, even if your heart does heal.

That is the absolute worst, and losing a close friend for any reason is a heartbreak that hurts deeply… and even moreso when it feels like you are losing a best friend and a potential significant other all at once. The thing about relationships, whether they be friendship, romantic, or a combination therein, is that they shift and grow and change over time. Sometimes those changes mean that you grow apart. You growing apart does not hinge ONLY on your feelings for your friend. Growing apart happens for many, many reasons that collect and converge over time. You feel differently, you want different things, you can’t find common ground, and so – as much as it hurts – you walk away.

I have lost a best friend. Not because I fell in love with him, but because we grew apart in other ways that just weren’t fixable. It hurt like hell, and occasionally I still think on that relationship fondly and miss the times we shared… but at the same time I know that it was what was then, and now it is no longer that thing. You have to take care of your heart first. Right now you need space Take it. If you find that in several months you want to reconnect and try again, do it… and if it cannot work, then cherish the wonderful things and step forward to new landscapes.

It’s not easy, we know.
But you can do it, and so can your friend, and… what will be, will be.



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One thought on “Friend Doesn’t Return Feelings

  1. But what if the bff is still interested to talk. And then suddenly stops initiating any conversation once you agree to talk?

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