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Ask Bish – What if you fancy a friend?

Is it okay to fancy a friend: would it ruin the friendship?

Bish I notice someone’s posted about fancying a friend’s ex.. what if you fancy a ‘friend’ directly? Good / bad idea?

I don’t think there’s anything inherently good/bad about fancying a friend. Lots of people end up having romantic relationships with someone they were friends with.

However there are some things you might want to consider.

Not telling them

You could fancy a friend and not want to tell them (for instance if you fear not being fancied back, worried about whether a relationship would actually work, whether you could be friends etc). However how would you feel about friend going out with someone else? Could you honestly be happy for them? If so, great, if not 🙁 It’s easy to get jealous in these situations if you see your friend having a romantic relationship when this is what you want with them. These difficult feelings can put strains on friendships. So you might just wanna tell them anyway.

How to tell them?

Well you could try flirting but if you are good friends then they might not notice or they might think you weren’t being serious. Your friend might give you signals that they fancy you. These might be conscious things that are said or might be things unsaid: sometimes people can tell if someone fancies them. If someone likes looking into your eyes, or their pupils are really big, or smiles a lot at you, or gives you really excellent attention, or is really excited to see you, or is quite tactile (touching your arm or something)

You could try the age old method of getting a bit drunk and just getting off with each other but that often ends in tears because one person can think it was just a silly snog and the other can think it was true love. Also booze and drugs can affect people’s judgement and ability to agree to do things so I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’m afraid I think the best way to deal with this is to tell them. Don’t make a big drama about it, just try something like “look I know we’re really good mates, but I think I fancy you and I’d like to snog you.” You could test the water by saying “I had this dream about you last night where we were snogging and it was great.”

Telling them and it not going well

Telling a friend that you think they are hot is very different to telling someone you don’t know very well: particularly if they don’t feel the same way. Telling a relative stranger (eg someone you’ve been chatting to on the internet, or a friend of a friend, or a colleague/classmate) that you like them and them not really feeling the same might feel a bit embarrassing and might be a bit of a downer. However because you don’t have to see them very much or don’t have to spend time with them then you can get over it.

But but but, it’s different when it’s a friend. If your friend is a super nice person but they don’t feel the same way then they’ll be really sweet about it. They would tell you face to face how much they like you and value you as a friend and how lovely you are, but that they don’t feel the same way. That it’s just a chemistry (‘I just don’t think of you that way’) thing, that you shouldn’t take it personally and they’ll not mention this to any other friends and/or can just not talk about it again if you prefer.

It may also be that by telling someone you fancy them then you have to also tell them that you identify as a different sexual orientation to one they assumed you had. For example if you are a guy and your friend is also a guy and he doesn’t know you’re gay (or are attracted to guys).

Even if they were super nice about it (let’s hope they are) then this can still be tough to deal with. You might feel upset about spending time with them or it might be a little weird. However if you’re friends you can get through it with communication, time, space, banter and looking out for each other.

Telling them and it goes well

You like them they like you (I say them not as a plural but as a gender neutral pronoun), you kiss you go out, ahhhhh. Romantic relationships with someone who was a friend can sometimes become quite deep and committed quite quickly, because there is high levels of trust, you know about each other, you share friends and spend good times together already. Check out my relationship graph here, a good friendship might already be ‘scoring’ quite ‘highly’ on a number of these categories.

However, a romantic relationship is different to other friendships. There is sex for instance – sexual feelings or attraction which might be felt by you both. That can bring with it new and different feelings, emotions, anxieties which you hadn’t expected or had to deal with before. This means a different kind of communication and trust. Also just because a couple are well matched in terms of being friends, this doesn’t mean to say they work well together in terms of sex and sexuality (or what this means). Relationships that begin as friendships may well slip into friendships rather than sexual relationships.

Some stuff to think about: what do you think?

Justin

Bish


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