Most people who have had friendships with members of the opposite sex have typically experienced the situation where it ends up that one of their friends had romantic feelings for them. It can be a very difficult and sensitive situation to handle because it’s your friend that has these feelings for you rather than someone you just met. So when faced with this situation it has to be handled with a great deal of kindness and care, especially if you want the friendship to endure.
The first thing you need to do when a friend has demonstrated they have romantic feelings for you is to figure out if you feel the same way. Determining that can take a lot of thought and soul searching and sometimes it might take literally kissing the other person to see how you really feel about it. Yet, one thing that isn’t recommended is to simply discount the idea of becoming romantically involved with your friend simply for the sake of the friendship. Your friend will interpret that as a cop-out and will feel you didn’t really even give the idea a chance. It’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t have romantic feelings for them but to avoid the issue because it’s easier will eventually cause your friend to drift away from you.
The next thing you have to realize is if you don’t have romantic feelings for your friend it may lead to the end of the friendship no matter how delicately you handle it. This is through no fault of your own, but in many cases due to your friend realizing that seeing you with someone else romantically will be too painful for them. If the friendship does continue, you will have to change how you handle things going forward for the immediate future. For example, it’s not the best idea to talk about your romantic life with your friend for the next several months after rejecting them as they are not going to be eager to hear about your love life. In fact, it’s probably best not to mention your love life to them until such time that they’ve found a romantic partner.
Taking time to figure out how exactly to respond to your friend is heavily recommended. Ask your friend for some time to search your feelings and think about your response. If you don’t have romantic feelings for them, write down what you’re going to say to them first before speaking to them. That way you’ll have answers to the questions they may ask you and you’ll have a higher likelihood of the friendship continuing.
The response you give to your friend has to be done in person, especially if you don’t feel the same way. This is your friend and they deserve a response that demonstrates that you do care about them. Responding to them by any other method will simply tell your friend that you didn’t think all that much of your friendship. Also, when you make an appointment to discuss your friend’s romantic feelings for you, keep that appointment no matter what. Barring a medical emergency if you stand up your friend, they’ll never forgive you and the friendship will be over at that point. Nothing will hurt your friend more than sitting in a restaurant alone waiting for you to show up to find out how you feel about them only for you to never turn up. To do such a thing would be cowardly and cruel.
Lastly, many marriages come from friends who fell in love so try to keep an open mind. The transition from friends to lovers can be a difficult one, but the potential reward is great. Falling in love with your friend has certain advantages that falling in love with someone new won’t have such as the fact that in most cases they already know and get along with your other friends and family, have common interests with you, and you have a good idea of their morals and ethics. These are all elements that can take a long time to figure out with a newly encounter, so if your friend does tell you they’re in love with you give your response a great deal of thought. It may lead to more than you could have ever imagined.