Reader Mail: "I might be in love with my best friend"

I got this question in my Tumblr Ask box:

Hi!Big fan here, love your books! So im gay or I kinda think so not really sure about anything in my life right now. Im just confused and feel messed up because I think I might be in love with my best friend, shes smart and sweet, and when I see her I feel happy like she is the only sun ray in my life. She hugs me and I feel butterflies she kisses me on my cheek and it takes all my self control to not move my head so I can kiss her. I feel lost and dont have anyone to talk to. Dont post my name.

My response:

Hi there! I totally know how you feel. I think that falling in love with a best friend happens a lot; in fact, it happened to me. I was really confused and messed up when it happened too, because it was the first time I had felt that way about a girl, and because she was my friend! It can be really hard to separate your friend-feelings from your more-than-friend feelings.

The first thing for you to remember is that this is totally normal! This is a very confusing situation, so it makes complete sense for you to be confused.

Second, how great is it that you’ve discovered you feel this way? I think it’s always, always wonderful to find out that you care about someone. Whether or not they return the feelings, it’s important for you to honor your own feelings about them. Recognize that this is a significant thing for yourself. It’s OK to be freaked out because it means something big about who you are. It might be even scarier if this is the first time you’ve felt this way about someone, and that’s also totally normal. Honestly, every time you fall in love can be scary, but every time is also life-changing.

Third, I bet you’re wondering what to do about this scary/wonderful thing you’re experiencing. You can, of course, tell your best friend how you feel about her. This can be even scarier than keeping it to yourself, because you’re probably not sure how she feels about you. Remember that if she doesn’t feel the same way, it’s not because of you. She might not be gay or bisexual. If she’s not gay or bisexual, she’ll never be able to feel the same way — and it’s not your fault.

When this happened to me, I did tell my friend, and she didn’t feel the same way. It was really devastating, but you know what? I got through it, and later on, I met someone who did feel the same way about me. My friend and I are still friends today, and now I’m glad she didn’t feel that way about me. I’m glad about the way things turned out for both of us.

Finally, you don’t have to tell her how you feel about her. If it’s too scary and you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Sometimes the only thing you can do is to recognize how you feel, and that’s a huge step in itself. Just be with yourself and your feelings for awhile, and see what happens. The only thing that’s guaranteed in life is that things change, so while you might feel stuck in this crazy scary wonderful situation right now, it will change. Hang in there!

Originally posted on Tumblr.