Want to be more than friends
I am an 18 year-old college student. I have a pretty average problem. It has, though, sent me into a great deal of turmoil. I have known this girl for three years. Over the last year or so, I have found myself to be falling in love with her. She's the first thing I think of when I wake up and she inundates my thoughts all my waking hours. All of my friends have noticed what I'm like around her. She hasn't, though, or at least she hasn't ever said anything to me.
Here's where it gets sticky. She has a boyfriend. He's a nice guy. I have nothing against him. She has lately been acting differently around me. She buys me little presents, and wants me to go places with her more and more often.
My problem is... do I tell her how I feel about her, and risk my friendship with her? I see her nearly every day at college, and I have to make a decision soon. Do you think that I'm just being stupid?
I don't think you're being stupid. Love isn't stupid. It isn't always comfortable either. There's something wonderful about your awful situation. And that is that you just won't be able to stay the same no matter what choice you make. And you stand to learn a lot of important things about yourself: do you wait till things get unbearable before you take action? Or do you take a long-suffering, non-action approach? Do you hold things inside for the sake of stability, or do you take risks for the sake of resolution? Are you active or passive? Do you let things happen by default or by intervention? And more, I'm sure.
The main question I hear you asking is: do I risk my friendship to possibly bring our relationship upscale? This is what I think: If you do speak your feelings, things will undoubtedly get messier than they are now. And then they might get better, or they might get worse. That's the risk, and the risk is real. The possible loss is real. Unfortunately, there aren't any formulas when it comes to this sort of thing. It has more to do with what sort of a forward-moving style you'd like to develop when it comes to tough human interactions. A style you can not only live with, but even be proud of. The action you take here will help define you, for better or for worse.
There are several reasons I think you ought to go for it, and express your deeper feelings to your friend. One, if your other friends recognize how you are around her, odds are, she does too, that is, she already knows or suspects how you feel. Two, you've hinted she's making some invitations and getting you presents, that may indicate she's feeling similarly. So if I read you right, I think you are strongly leaning towards letting her know how you feel, and that you think the odds are in your favor. With a sense like that, if you don't follow your intuition to express yourself honestly to her, you've got some big regrets in the making. I say go for it. Speak your heart and take your chances. That old phrase really applies here: "T'is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all".
Write me and let me know what happens!
This question was answered by Andy Bernay-Roman, RN, MS, LMHC, NCC, LMT. He is a nationally certified counselor in private psychotherapy practice in South Florida working with individuals, couples, and families with a deep-feeling therapy approach. Andy's medical background as an ICU nurse contributes to his success with clients with difficult medical diagnoses and/or chronic physical conditions. He also serves as head of the Psychological Support Department of West Palm Beach's Hippocrates Health Institute.For more information visit: http://www.deepfeeling.com/