It’s not impossible to develop feelings for a close girl friend. And it totally makes sense: she listens to your pointless rants, she hangs out with you when nobody else wants to, and your family loves her, maybe even more than they love you.
While you might have the desire to date her, you don’t want your interest to ruin your friendship. That’s why Dr. Maria Lourdes Ramos-Laydia, a registered psychometrician and certified specialist in clinical and assessment psychologist, advises to make sure your feelings are real before making any move.
“Your friendship will be at stake if you aren’t sure of your feelings,” she explains. “It's likely that she might feel hurt because you're not an ordinary person or a mere acquaintance, but someone who has been a friend.”
The next step is to figure out whether pursuing a pal is worth the possible consequences. If you decide it is, here are few tips to ensure things don’t go awry:
Test the waters first
“You can test her reaction and opinion about turning the friendship into a more intimate relationship in an indirect way,” says Dr. Ramos-Laydia. Invite her to a movie rom-com then ask her about what advice she might give to someone experiencing the troubles of the main character. This is one way of gaging her romantic interests. Or better yet? Just ask her. There’s honestly no harm in doing so.
Talk to mutual friends
No one else can give you helpful pieces of advice on pursuing your girl pal other than your mutual friends. Who knows they might even know if she feels the same way for you, eh?
Treat her better
Small things count like texting her once in a while and surprising her with chocolates and flowers. If you shower her with affection and attention, she’ll surely wonder why you’re acting different. This is when you break the news to her.
...or just ask her directly
If you’ve got balls, don’t beat around the bush. “If you ever get a chance to be alone with her, just say ‘Serious question. Would you ever go on a date with me, yes or no?’”, suggests Ria, 27, who is now in a relationship with her childhood best friend. “Be confident. Don’t act weird. If she says yes, well then, congrats! All you have to do now is take her out. If she says no, just say ‘Cool, that’s all I wanted to know’ and then move on like you normally would.”
Timing! Timing! Timing!
Timing is everything. Make sure she is not preoccupied with many things, issues, and concerns. “Be sure that it is not a busy and bad day in school or at the office. The iight place, right time and occasion must be planned where you can talk more seriously and without the buzz of daily hassles,” Dr. Ramos-Laydia suggests.
Respect her decision
Respect whatever decision she makes. Don’t pressure her if she tells you she’ll think about it or make her feel guilty in case she rejects you. You have to accept the result whether positive or negative. The reality is, you might lose a friend or feel awkward for some time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, but you should be aware that it’s a risk.
Dr. Maria Lourdes Ramos-Laydia, PhD, is a registered clinical psychometrician and psychologist from Lucena City. She is a diplomate of American Academy of Traumatic Stress and the National Crisis Management, New York. For more on this and other relationships concerns, you may reach her on Facebook.