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Onset of anxiety with guy best friend
I have been close with my 'guy best friend' for a while now. We have always had a great, natural bond. Lately I have realised I have developed romantic feelings for him (we are both 24 and single) and it's extra hard to ignore them because I already have that friendship with him. He has been a little flirty lately so that hasn't helped - joking about us getting married and having kids, etc. So distancing myself seems impossible as our friendship and simply having him in my life means more to me than a relationship. For the last two or so weeks, I have been getting anxiety/intrusive thoughts which is uncharacteristic of me "what if he wakes up and doesn't want to be my friend anymore" "what if we drift" - even though nothing has changed between us. If he takes more than 10 minutes to text back "he doesn't want to talk to me anymore" which sounds ridiculous I know since I have never been like that. What could be causing my sudden angst? I want to go back to how I was.
I have just put together a 'care package' for him just in regards to his studies, which I hope he will like. But all week I have been thinking "what if he doesn't return my call or text when I tell him I have a surprise?" - so generally intrusive/irrational thoughts like that have been dictating my mind lately.
Hi Phoebe, welcome
Life is risk taking in many regards so I understand your dilemma.
I think your hints haven't gone far enough. I peck on the cheek, jumping on his back and a peck on the neck and so forth. But at the same time re-enforcing your friendship- telling him that above all else your friendship means the world to you, is very important. My guess is, he feels the same.
From a shy guys perspective, when young, it might also be better to wait until there is a crisis of sorts when he needs support and attention. A hand on his shoulder or if you think he will feel ok about it, hold his hand. In those moments you might be able to tell him how you feel. eg "its ok if you don't feel the same as I do, I want to make sure our friendship doesn't fade away, but I feel for you so deeply" etc. Keep it short.
I"d tend to agree with Tony. If you are starting to feel romantically involved with someone it is very natural to stress about it and worry if he will return your calls or respond as you wish to anything you do or say - it just goes with the territory.
It looks to me from your post that there may be two people that want the friendship to go further. His being 'flirty' as you call it may well be a sign he is interested in you romantically in return. Many people have trouble saying things straight out and do resort to hints or jokes in the hope of getting their message across.
I guess you have to ask yourself what might happen if you do nothing. Do you think - from both your perspectives - the friendship will go on the same as it has been, or will the new feelings not dealt with one way or the other mean that unhappiness and disappointment will make the friendship wane anyway?
I'm probably a different sort of person to you, I tend to be rather direct in such things, but if it was me I'd have an earnest discussion with your friend in a suitable setting, say what is happening to you, and see what follows.
Like the others, I think your anxiety is perfectly normal given your newfound feelings. It’s normal to want to protect those things we value and this is a manifestation of that.
With regards to your friend, if it was me, I’d go for it! All the things you describe have the makings of a great relationship. When I say go for it, I don’t mean jump him, but I’d be a bit more playful/flirty and see if it is reciprocated and then take it from there. There is always the risk of losing the friendship if the relationship doesn’t work out, but to be honest, there’s always the risk of losing a friendship. For example, he may get a new girlfriend and she might not like you hanging around (and I would say this is the most likely other scenario). Life is short, be bold :)!