The best thing about people is that we can change. Of course, this also means that our relationships are always changing too. When a friendship starts to become something more, it can be difficult to know what to do about those feelings and how to communicate them.
The same is true of a relationship which has stopped being romantic and has started to become a friendship. Although there isn’t much guaranteed advice that you can rely on, there are a few things to remember that might help while your life is busy being confusing.
If you’re having strong feelings for a friend:
Whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. You have a right to your emotions, and there’s no need to feel guilty about your thoughts. Remember, it’s not what you think, it’s what you do! Attraction isn’t a bad thing, and it’s fine and natural to have feelings for friends. After all, If they weren’t good people, you probably wouldn’t like them in the first place.
Friendships aren’t any less important than relationships. Nowadays, especially with the amount of records, films, TV programmes and magazines all using the lure and promise of romance in order to make money, it can be hard not to feel under pressure to be in a relationship. If anything though, friendships often last longer and can be a source of love and support long after a lover has been and gone.
A lot of the time relationships do begin as friendships. If this does happen, it can be very rewarding, as you’ll already know your partner and have a good start to exploring your feelings for each other.
It’s normal and understandable to find yourself feeling emotionally passionate and physically comfortable with a close friend, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take the relationship further either physically or romantically.
If you’re finding your feelings are changing to friendship:
Love doesn’t necessarily happen very often, and it’s ok to not be in love with a romantic partner. If you’re honest with your partner, you might find that they feel the same way too. So long as you’re happy, it might not matter that you’re not in love.
As people change, and you yourself change, so can your feelings. It’s as easy to fall out of love as it is to fall in love, and this might happen many times within one lifetime.
Relationships often come and go. It’s perfectly normal for a relationship to end, to become more like a friendship, and then even much later on become a romantic relationship again.
Within a relationship that has been romantic, or is sometimes romantic, you don’t have to prove to someone that you love them by being their partner or sleeping with them. You’re entitled to your own feelings, and deserve not to be rushed into making a commitment to someone physically or emotionally before you’re ready to.
Because many of us have grown up thinking of marriage as ‘the way’ relationships are done, it can be difficult not to feel pressured into living our lives that way.
Marriage doesn’t have to be the aim of a relationship.