Do you find yourself caught up in a complex web of emotions? Are you torn between the deep bond you share with your best friend and the love-dovey feelings that unexpectedly blossomed at some point? Navigating the bittersweet journey of letting go of romantic feelings for your best friend can be an incredibly challenging and confusing experience.
Falling for one’s best friend is a story as old as time. It happens to many of us, and some of us get lucky. If you’re here, I’ll assume that your best friend does not return your sentiments. If you actually confessed your feelings and faced rejection, I believe you are very brave.
Seeing your best friend head over heels for someone else is heartbreaking when you’re constantly wishing that someone was you. Sometimes, telling them how you feel is not an option, so you just have to keep silent and move on.
Before we dive into the topic, know that your heart will heal and love will find you. The following steps will help you recognize your self-worth and realize that one unrequited love is not the end of the world.
1. Stop Texting Them First
If you’re the one who’s always texting your best friend first, it’s time to quit that habit. They should not be your first thought in the morning and the last one before you fall asleep at night. Breaking the habit isn’t going to be easy, but it’s necessary.
When you give the other person the chance to approach you first, it’s a good way to assess your importance in their life. This may hurt immensely when you don’t hear from them anytime soon, but it allows you let go of irrational hopes.
2. Don’t Say Yes to Everything
When you’re madly in love with a person who’s also your closest friend, saying no to them can be pretty much impossible. However, always being available for someone who takes you for granted is no way to live. You don’t owe your life to your best friend, and saying yes to their every whim will neither win their affection nor respect.
Start saying no and you will set your soul free. The ability to say no is empowering, and it is your birthright. You don’t need anyone’s approval; when you get that in your head, you’ll always be enough for you.
3. Get your Priorities Straight
Relationships are important, but you cannot let an unreciprocated love get in the way of living your best life. You need to focus on things that matter more and the choices that shape a better future. Think about your career goals and concentrate on achieving those.
Love will come to you when it’s time, so don’t fret about it. Engaging oneself in productive activities, helps escape a depressive state of mind. Self-development should be your number one priority because success is attractive and it brings happiness.
4. Hang out less often
Have you heard the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’? When you see less of a person, they cross your mind less often. If you’re always hanging out with your best friend, you won’t be able to deflect your intense feelings towards them.
Since your best friend is only interested in you platonically, he or she should not expect you to accompany them everywhere and anytime. Value your time and utilize it in better ways. If you’ve skipped class, missed work, or neglected other duties because of your bestie, stop doing that starting now.
5. Establish Boundaries
Best friends are usually treated like family, which sometimes entails their interference in personal matters. Unfortunately, this closeness does not bode well when you possess romantic feelings for them. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain a safe distance by establishing some basic boundaries.
For instance, your best friend should not barge into your home unannounced, and they must refrain from dropping in at inappropriate hours. If you are busy somewhere, they should respect your privacy instead of blowing up your phone and badgering you. Tell them that you need your space and do not tolerate a privacy breach.
6. Make plans with other friends
When you’re in love with your best friend, you tend to wrap your whole world around them; this is seriously unhealthy and disparaging for your mental health. If you neglect your other friends and family members to spend more time with your bestie, you’ve got to change that.
Make plans with other people in your life for a change. You don’t need to include or invite your best friend for everything. You’re missing out on making so many good memories by ignoring everyone else apart from your bestie. Not to mention, you can have more than one best friends, and you are allowed to have a good time with other people too.
7. Pay attention to your Admirers
We often fail to see many promising prospects around us because we’re helplessly hung on that one unattainable love. If you truly want to get over your feelings for your best friend, you have to start noticing other people clearly interested in you.
When someone complements you, pay attention and respond in kind. Strop dismissing others to focus on your best friend because he/she doesn’t need that kind of attention from you. If someone asks you out or tries to have a conversation with you, give them a chance and see where it goes.
8. Meet new people
Have you ever wondered why your heart is stuck on your best friend, even though you two are not on the same page about your relationship? In most cases, the reason is lack of communication and interaction with other people.
Perhaps you have no other close friends and you’re not a very social person; due to this situation, you’re always crawling back to your best friend. If you want to break out of your lovesick mode, start socializing and making new acquaintances. You will find so many amazing people who share your interests and are capable of giving you what you need.
9. Limit Physical Contact
Hugging, holding hands, a slight peck on the cheek, and any similar physical gestures may seem harmless, but they are to be avoided if you’re catching feelings for your best friend. These actions might not mean much to them, but they surely affect you more than you’d like to admit.
If the proximity or intimacy is driving you crazy, just tell them that you’re not comfortable with it. If they really care about you as a friend, they should understand rather than getting offended. If you cannot verbally tell them to keep their distance, you may politely push them away and they’ll definitely take the hint if they’re smart.
10. Make yourself busy
Stop moping around the house when your bestie cancels plans at the last moment or chooses to spend time with their significant other over you. I understand that it hurts, but theoretically, they’re not in the wrong. The only way to quit thinking about them and their love life is to get a life of your own.
Focus your attention on you, your personal wellbeing, and a bright future. Pour your heart into your work or anything you are passionate about. When you’re busy chasing goals and living your best life, some unrequited love will become the least of your concerns.
11. Put away the Souvenirs
Many of us have the habit of holding onto things associated with an unattainable love. These souvenirs become a hindrance on the path of moving on. When you surround yourself with objects that don’t let you forget about your best friend for a single minute, you’re voluntarily sentencing yourself to doom.
Whether it’s gifts from your bestie, photos of you and them together, or any other kind of memoir, put them away. You shouldn’t expose yourself to reminders of them all the time if you wish to escape your lovesickness.
12. Accommodate yourself before them
I cannot say this enough – start putting yourself first. Your friendship is undoubtedly valuable, though nowhere near as important as you. It’s nice to do stuff that makes your bestie happy, but not at your own expense. Don’t go out of your way to please anyone, even if you are in love with them.
Learn to love yourself and make choices that simplify your own life. If you keep on giving and never get anything in return, you’ll eventually become an empty vessel. Nourish your body and soul to replenish the life in you and move forward.
13. Cry out the Pain
There is no shame in crying and shedding waterfalls of tears when the heart aches. Tears don’t make you weak, regardless of your age, gender, and situation. Crying out helps release the pain and lessen your grief. If you feel ashamed of sobbing or weeping before someone, you can do it in solitude.
There’s nothing embarrassing about falling for someone who doesn’t feel the same way. Humans don’t have control over the development of feelings; it happens naturally and we just have to deal with the consequences.
14. Talk to someone about it
If there’s someone to lend you a shoulder and listen to you rant, consider it a blessing. Sharing your sorrows and talking about how you feel is a healthy mental exercise called ‘catharsis’. The person you confide in can be a family member, a good friend, or even a therapist. It depends upon who makes you feel comfortable and safe.
15. Write a Journal
If you don’t have someone reliable to talk to, or you don’t want to speak about what you’re going through, consider journaling. Writing a journal is an alternative form of catharsis that is equally effective for expressing heartache. You’ll feel lighter when you let it all out, and it gets a bit easier to fall out of love.
16. Keep off their Socials
Stalking anyone’s socials is a bad idea because it makes you obsessive and creepy. If you stalk your bestie’s online activities, it probably means that they don’t include you in every important event of their life. This can be wrenching if you always tell them everything and hardly have a social life without them.
What you need to do is ditch the stalking gadgets and make your own memories with people other than your best friend. Expand your social circle, participate in new activities, and upload your stories, so that you don’t have time to pine over one-sided love.
17. Quit Endorsing their Opinions
You are not obliged to support all of your best friend’s opinions; nor do you owe them any affirmations. Being in love with them is so reason to approve and endorse whatever they say. You have a mind of your own and the ability to shape your own opinions, so quit acting like their puppet.
Start respecting yourself today and only speak for yourself. If your best friend expects or demands constant blind support, you must realize that they’re out of line. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you just because you have a soft spot for them in your heart.
18. Challenge your Idealization
Now that you’re heading towards the end of this post, I hope you’re seeing things more clearly. Have you realized that your best friend takes you for granted and doesn’t care about you the way they should? If that’s not true, you’re lucky to have a good person in your life. Nonetheless, nobody is perfect, but love makes us oblivious to the flaws.
Once you start acknowledging the negative or undesirable traits in your bestie, falling out of love with them doesn’t seem like a challenging task. Ask yourself what is so special about this person? Are they really worth the sleepless nights and relentless yearning? The correct answer is always ‘no’.
19. Be Kind to You
Don’t blame or pity yourself for falling in love with someone who does not return those feelings. If your friendship is affected because of the way you feel, do not feel guilty about it. Never consider yourself unworthy just because one person does not love you back.
You are worthy and deserving of love, so do not lose hope. Each one of us has fallen for at least one person who didn’t fancy us even a little bit. These things happen to everyone and they are eventually forgotten – it’s all a part of life. The only way to get through the toughest of times is to be kind to yourself and embrace your human tendencies.
20. Focus on your Happiness
Life is beautiful when you look at it from the right perspective. Happiness lies in the smallest of things we overlook and it comes from the most unexpected places. Be thankful of what you have rather than lamenting over what you don’t.
Stop worrying about what would make your best friend happy or unhappy. Focus on your personal wellbeing above everything else; the rest will fall into place on its own.
Elijah Cole is the founder of The Witty Minds blog and a professional content creator. His expertise lies in creative writing and lifestyle blogging. At Witty Minds, he is the lead writer, editor, and publisher of all original content.