Falling in love with your best friend can go one of two ways. It could be a dream scenario straight out of a Hollywood movie that ends in a beautiful relationship.
Or it could end up being a nightmare on Awkward Street if your best friend doesn’t feel the same way.
Either way, if you find yourself in this predicament, you will realize pretty fast that taking the risk is better than suffering in silence.
How you choose to deliver this potential friendship-shattering news makes all the difference.
But you probably have no clue how to tell your best friend you’re in love with her, huh? Don’t worry, we have your back!
Below is all you need to know about how to tell a friend you like her.
First, should you confess your feelings?
Should I tell my friend I like her?
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all type of answer for this question.
Whether you should confess your feelings really depends on many factors, from the nature of your friendship to how long you have known each other and whether or not they may feel the same for you.
You have to weigh the pros and cons of telling your friend about your romantic feelings and not.
On the one hand, you do not want to keep struggling with the huge, all-consuming secret. And yes, we understand that keeping something like that can be torture.
On the other hand, it could ruin everything and turn what was once a beautiful friendship into an awkward mess.
So, should I tell my best friend I like her?
The best answer is that it depends on what you are more prepared to live with. Would you rather have the pain of living with the secret and the torture of “what if?”
Or would you rather take the risk of spoiling a good thing and the awkwardness of unrequited love?
If you feel that your friendship is strong and mature enough to weather the worst, there is no reason to continue suffering by keeping it to yourself.
Secondly, do you think the relationship could work?
You like her, and you think she likes you back.
But now what?
It is crucial to understand that just because you like your friend and they feel the same, it does not mean that you are guaranteed a happily ever after ending.
There is so much more to a relationship than mutual attraction and interest.
In fact, it is the poor grasp on how to make the relationship work after the confession that is a bigger threat to your friendship than actually coming clean about your romantic feelings.
Before you make a grand gesture of confessing your love to your best friend, take the time to figure out whether the two of you are a good match. This is not just about mutual goals and interests but also about where you are in your lives.
If one of you is in a settling phase of life and the other is all about fun without commitments, you will have many problems. It could be any number of differences from career levels and aspirations to personal beliefs and relationship expectations.
If you are not on the same page or at the very least headed there, it is probably best to hold off until you get there to avoid dooming your relationship to failure from the start.
Things you should do before you tell your friend you like her
Gauge her feelings towards you
Before you go blurting it out, try and figure out whether or not she would be receptive to such a revelation.
How does she relate to you? Has she ever referred to you as just a brother? Has she ever completely negatively overreacted when someone assumed you were a couple?
Start by paying attention to how she behaves and her body language when you’re together:
- Do you catch her looking at you?
- Does she laugh at your jokes even when they’re not that funny?
- Does she blush when you enter the room or start talking to her?
All of the above may be a sign that she has a crush on you! (Don’t jump to any conclusions yet, though. There is a big difference between crush and love.)
Analyzing your relationship will help guide you on whether or not to break the news to her. Needless to say, if the forecast seems dismal, then it might be harder for you if you choose to proceed with ‘Project Open-Heart.’
Test her with some subtle moves
If your history (or present) doesn’t give you enough clues, you may have to set things in motion yourself. Teasing her and initiating delicate contact could help you figure things out.
Try to be affectionate and loving. That is, of course, assuming that your relationship doesn’t already include flirty touching.
If she seems to welcome you playing with her hair or leaning on her shoulder, then maybe things will turn out great. And if they thought at least, you will go into the reveal with some confidence, albeit unfounded.
Bring up the conversation hypothetically
“Imagine if you and I dated, that would be interesting, right?”
It is a safe way to play it, but it works. Think of it as a test run with a safety net and a bunch of airbags. Just don’t be too forward about it to the point where you make her suspicious.
Find a way to bring in a bogus scenario of the two of you together and listen to her reaction. You could even make up a story about some friend or cousin of yours who fell in love with their best friend and see what she feels about it.
Have someone tease her about you
If the thought of facing your best friend is too daunting, then have someone you trust help you out.
One way to find out if she’s interested is to have someone tease your girl BFF about how the two of you would be great together. Your friend can then tell you all about her reaction and whether they think you have a chance with her.
You could also get someone to tell her that you like her, but in a maybe-he-does-maybe-he-doesn’t kind of way to see how she feels about the idea.
And now, how to tell a friend you like her
You’ve weighed your options as well as all logistic factors, and telling her seems like the best decision. The next step is figuring out how to tell a girl you like her without ruining the friendship.
Here are a few tips that should maximize your chances of success, whatever the outcome.
Think about what you’ll say in advance
The best way to guarantee your failure is by completely winging it. You are more likely to fumble with your words and your feelings and can end up completely missing the mark.
Instead, take the time to think about what you want to express and how you want to say it. You don’t necessarily have to rehearse everything like a speech because this may come across as disingenuous.
However, planning out your talking points in advance will definitely help calm you down when you are finally ready to approach your girl bestie with the big news.
If things don’t work out, at least you will know it wasn’t because you mumbled through your entire love confession.
And if she does like you back, your composure will probably earn you extra confidence points from her.
Be prepared for your relationship to change
The most important thing to prepare yourself for when telling your best friend you like them is that everything will change. It doesn’t even matter what the outcome is.
If you are fortunate enough to have her like you back, you will no longer be the platonic chums you once were. Your new romantic relationship will come with new boundaries and new expectations.
If the relationship ends badly, you also have to accept that you may never get your best friend back, even as just a friend.
On the other hand, if she doesn’t like you back, your friendship will also change, and things can get super awkward. She may try to play it off and move on like nothing happen. She may also just end up feeling sorry for you and distancing herself to not upset you further.
Whatever the outcome, just know that your relationship will change forever once you let your best friend know you like her.
Be prepared for rejection
Unfortunately, rejection is a real possibility when confessing your love to any woman. Arguably, your chances of getting rejected by your best friend are higher as she probably already has you in the dreaded friend or brother zone.
However, being her best friend could actually play to your advantage as she knows just how awesome you are.
Even with that small sliver of hope, it’s best to prepare yourself for the worst – they may just turn you down. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the way it is sometimes.
Getting rejected will hurt a lot. But it is not always the worst thing. Rejection is a chance to grow as an empathetic person and become a much stronger version of yourself.
Let her know you want to talk to her in private
If you were planning some grand, romantic gesture as your method of confessing your love and proposing a relationship to your best friend, then you need to go back to the drawing board.
It is important to understand that your best friend is not just some random stranger you had a couple of dates with and now want to take things to the next level with.
This is a friendship that has probably spent years working to build. So, it is best to avoid making a spectacle out of the confession and just keep it between the two of you.
So you need to tell her you want to meet up privately or have a private phone conversation to talk about it.
She will appreciate it whether or not she likes you back. It will also save you a lot of public embarrassment if she happens not to feel the same.
Find the right timing and setting
Timing is everything if you want to increase your chances of a favorable response when you tell your best friend that you like them.
Here, we’re not talking about picking the right time of day. It honestly doesn’t matter whether you choose to tell her over a romantic dinner or on some random midday.
What matters the most is that the timing in terms of her schedule and emotional status line up.
So find a time when she is relatively happy and at peace in her life. She is more likely to respond positively in these cases or at the very least let you down easily.
If you choose to tell her when she is juggling a ton of stuff in her life, when she is in a bad headspace, or worst yet, if she is in the middle of another relationship, you might as well reject yourself for her.
Be honest and direct
It’s a big day. You did your hair all nice, wore your best cologne, and are ready to pour your heart out.
Make sure that when you get to her, you leave nothing inside. Tell her not just that you love her but also why, for how long, and what you would hope. It might be the only chance you get to make your case, so do yourself some justice.
Prepare yourself for any outcome
Remember that this could go either well or poorly. I have heard many “I love you, but I’m not in love with you“ stories in my life.
A part of preparing to tell her is acknowledging and accepting this fact. That way, you will be able to find smart ways to do it and move on afterward.
Listen to what she has to say
Unless your confession leaves her completely tongue-tied, your best friend will definitely have a few things to say.
It could be that she knew all along and has felt the same way. Perhaps she has never seen you as anything more than a friend. Or perhaps she likes you back and has a few concerns she would like addressed before making any solid decisions.
The moment you are done spilling your heart, and she starts talking, the ball is entirely on her court, and your job is to let her play.
Listen patiently and open-mindedly, whether she is letting you down or expressing her concerns. And under no circumstances should you assume a defensive position, even if she is telling you all the reasons why it can’t work.
Do not put her under pressure
When figuring out how to tell your best friend you like her, it is vital to avoid ultimatums or exceeding expectations. You do not want her to feel under any pressure.
And while it is essential to state what you would like to come out of you acknowledging your feelings, you need to let her know that she can do whatever she wants, and you will be ok with it.
Stay calm whatever her reaction is
Keep calm and carry on whether this ends with you in a happy relationship or an awkward friendship. She has every right to feel whatever she feels and to react in whatever way she reacts.
So keep calm and take whatever comes out of it gracefully.
To be honest, this piece of advice counts most if she ends up having concerns or straight-up rejecting you. Don’t freak out, and don’t be mean about it.
Staying calm is actually the best way to give your friendship any chance of surviving and bouncing back.
On the other hand, if she likes you back, you have the green light to positively freak out just a bit. Good for you! Now don’t screw it up!
Give her time and space to process
The final tip on how to tell a friend you like her is to back off. Whether or not she feels the same way, she will need time to take it all in. Let her. And when she is ready to give you her response, be warm and open.
Hopefully, you can stay best friends if things don’t work out your way.
All the best!