Denise writes, “I started college last year and met a guy who I became friends with pretty much instantly. We got to know each other pretty well over a couple of months and found ourselves hanging out together more and more. Initially I only considered him to be a friend. I always felt that I could tell him anything and would go to him for advice and would just love being with him since we got along so well. But after a few months passed, I realized that I started to like him as more than a friend and now 7 months later I still feel the same way, thinking about him all the time and missing him a lot during the summer break. The thing about him is that he is really difficult to figure out – he doesn’t show his emotions or how he’s feeling. He’s very shy when it comes to these matters and I’m not even sure he would ever say anything even if he did feel the same way. I really don’t know what to do. I’m the kind of person who would only go out with a guy if I felt that there was potential for something meaningful and long-term and I don’t often fall for a lot of guys or date randomly. I really want to know if he likes me and whether there could be any potential here, or is it just a risky business falling for one of your friends? I feel as though I’ve been dropping hints but I’m not sure whether he’s picked up on it. At the same time, I don’t want to freak him out, especially if he doesn’t feel the same way. How can you tell? I have thought about telling him that I like him but I’m worried that this could ruin our friendship and I wouldn’t want to lose that over this. What would be the best thing to do in my situation? I would be really grateful for any advice you have to offer as I feel I am in such a muddle right now.”
There are several reasons why a man may not notice the signals that you have been sending him.
- He is shy, as you said.
- He thinks of you as a friend and any time you say something romantic, he just takes it as a friendly gesture rather than something romantic.
- He is not single or is interested in someone else and has yet to share that information with his best friend (you).
- He wonders, like you, if you feel the same way and what would happen to your friendship if he wrongly concluded that your attraction has now become romantic.
- He, like you, values the friendship too much to risk it.
How to find out if your best friend likes you romantically too?
This is what I would suggest you do. As you are talking to him, present hypothetical scenarios — you could even cook up a story about a girl friend in a similar situation — and ask for his input as a guy. See what his reaction is. What are the answers to questions like Can a guy hide his feelings when he considers the friendship too important or Is a man willing to risk his friendship if his heart has fallen in love? This will all be innocent talk but you would get the idea where he stands. The key is that you have to think through the story and the question well and learn to act too.
If you get very negative responses from him then you know he will be an awesome friend for life but a lousy boyfriend/husband. If you sense that he is struggling with the same issues as you are, you have hope. But don’t jump and say “I love you.” Wait for a few weeks, digest the information, and think it through before admitting to him how you feel. If he is a true friend and does not feel the same way, he will still be your friend. If he feels the same way, you may have found a perfect man.