My best friend and I are both seventeen and have been friends with benefits since we were fifteen. This whole arrangement began one weekend when I was sleeping over at her house and we decided to experiment. I don’t consider myself to be gay or even bi and neither does she. I’m not interested in doing anything with any girl other than her. Anyway, we agreed from the beginning that this was just for fun and that we weren’t a couple or anything. We were both free to date anyone we liked.
Well, until recently, my friend had never been out with a boy before, but now she has a boyfriend and I’m insanely jealous. This has me really confused. Like I said, I don’t consider myself to be gay, but now that my friend is with someone, I realize I don’t want her getting physical with anyone but me. I also feel like a hypocrite because I’ve dated guys before and she didn’t get jealous (as far as I know). I think I’m in love with my best friend. I never expected to feel this way about her and I also don’t know what to do about it because she’s with someone else now. Arggh!! I’m so confused and could use some advice.
- When we realize that we are beginning to develop feelings for anyone, it can definitely lead to a lot of confusion. That sense of uncertainty is probably even stronger when those new feelings involve somebody who is already a friend. Although these situations can be really tough, we are so glad that you decided to reach out to the TeenCentral.com community and ask for some advice. We would encourage you to read through some of the other Stories related to being in love to see how other young people have tackled some of the same issues. Everyone’s story is unique, but it can often feel good to know that you are not alone!
- It sounds like you and your best friend have been close for several years and developed a very strong bond. Although you may feel a little confused about what type of connection you have with her right now, it may help to focus on the qualities that have made your friendship so strong over the years. Many successful relationships, regardless if they are romantic, are based on open communication and honest sharing of feelings. The Learn Section of TeenCentral.com has a whole page about the 8 Signs of a Healthy Relationship, which may help guide you in determining how to proceed with your current situation in a way that preserves, and maybe even strengthens, the positive aspects of your connection with your best friend.
- When we are facing a tough situation, just having somebody to listen to what is happening and how we are feeling can help us even more than we realize. It may seem hard to open up about such private feelings with someone other than your friend, but if you can identify a trusted adult who cares about you, they may be the perfect person to offer you some comfort and support as you navigate your feelings.
- It seems like you may be a little unsure if you want to open up to your best friend about how you are feeling right now. Even though it is completely normal to feel this way, that does not make it any easier to do! Sometimes when we are faced with a tough situation, it can be helpful to weigh our options and make a decision about how we would like to proceed. Instead of feeling paralyzed by indecision, we can take action feeling confident that we are making a well-considered choice. If you want some guidance in using a pros/cons list, check out the Making Hard Decisions tool from TeenCentral.com to get started.
- If you do decide that you would like to talk to your best friend about how you are feeling, you may still feel a little uncomfortable sharing something so personal, especially since you may be unsure how your best friend may react. TeenCentral.com has a great handout about Social Skills that includes lots of useful tips that may help you to navigate what could potentially be a stressful conversation. The advice on reading non-verbal communication and allowing the other person space and time to respond may be very beneficial in helping you feel more at ease in talking to your best friend about this or any other tough situation.
- Thinking so much about your best friend and how you feel about her may start to feel overwhelming. Remember that you always need to take time to care for yourself, too! Sometimes, just having a distraction can be very helpful in providing us some space away from the situations that may be adding more stress to our lives. Whether it’s a physical activity, a favorite hobby, or an artistic means of expression, these positive self-care activities are essential to keeping us grounded and prepared for whatever surprises life has in store for us!