How to get over a crush on a friend

Sometimes a relationship with a close friend can feel like it has the potential to become romantic. Fleeting thoughts along the lines of ‘am I in love with my best friend’ are pretty common, but deciding to act on them is a big step. Remember, falling in love with a close friend doesn’t always lead to a fairytale ending. Sometimes you find that your friend just doesn’t feel the same way as you. A user of The Mix got in touch to ask how to get over a crush on their friend after it turned out they didn’t share their romantic interest. Find out what we had to say below.

“I’ve been in love with one of my friends for the past three years. I found out she didn’t feel the same way about me after I sent her a drunken text about it. She didn’t ever mention it. The trouble is she’s in my close circle of friends so it’s virtually impossible to avoid her. If I stopped hanging around with them they’d want to know why and I couldn’t tell them. They’re all so nice to me and such good friends but I feel trapped – we live in a small town and it’s impossible to avoid anyone. My other friends are all couples so I never see them. The whole thing’s really getting to me. I’m having panic attacks. I’m not a confident person as it is and I just feel so shy. I don’t know what to do with myself. How do I move on?”

Take some time and space to get over your friend

How to get over a crush on a friend? Step One: Let yourself HEAL

It sounds like there are a few things that probably left you feeling lonely lately. It’s a shame that this person doesn’t return your affections – but at least you know where you stand. Falling in love with a close friend is always tricky. In this case, you gave her an opportunity to respond and it may be hard to cope with, but it seems that things just didn’t go your way. This doesn’t mean you’re unlovable or completely hopeless. All it means is that you guys weren’t a right fit. 

Three years is a long time to keep thinking ‘am I in love with my best friend?’. So it might help to take a moment. Think of it as one of those heart wrenching romantic breakups. Give yourself time and space to grieve the loss of the romantic relationship. But keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be one of those clichéd friendship breakups, if you don’t want it to be. You might need to give your feelings a minute to settle down before talking to her again though.

Remember you can still have fun without them

It’s easy to think of all the “what ifs?” but you should really focus on moving forward right now. There may be a lost friendship currently – that’ll sort itself out, we promise. For the foreseeable future just work on keeping yourself busy. Arrange a night out, for example. This stops you from spending all night googling ‘how to get over a crush on a friend’. Plus, having fun without her around could help you to realise that you can continue on with life, even if she’s not always in it. We know it’s going to be difficult, at times almost impossible, but you will get through this. 

Seek out new friends and experiences

Alternatively, you should try to find new people to hang out with for a while. Living in a small town can be difficult but it can also give you the opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to in a while, maybe even a childhood friend. From there, you can gradually start to build up a good support network. Before you do this though, it might be worth thinking about whether you feel ready to meet new people and boost your social life

It can be really challenging to make new friends so you don’t have to jump into this straight away. Start by exploring your interests through joining a local club or volunteeringthat way you’ll organically meet people you’re likely to get along with. You should also remember that you can spend time with other people without letting your long-standing friendships fall by the wayside.

Dealing with stress and anxiety

Panic attacks are triggered by stress and anxiety. So it’s important to try and look after yourself in every way possible. This helps to reduce stress levels. Are you taking care of yourself? Do you eat good food and get exercise, for example? What do you love to do – are you into movies, reading, walking? Are there courses or classes you’ve always wanted to do? Spending your time focusing on what you need to do for yourself will make you feel happier. Instead of asking ‘am I in love with my best friend?’ start asking ‘am I in love with myself?’. If not, then start doing the work to make that answer a yes. 

Alternatively, if none of these practises seem to be working, you can always seek out a therapist. They’ll provide non-judgmental, caring help and can really help to understand your mental health.

Lean on your friends or family

While you’re going through all of this, make sure to reach out to the people in your life. You’ve got a good friend group – is there one you feel you can confide in? Or could you talk to a trusted family member? It may help you to feel less isolated. Plus they can provide some insight that you might not be able to see right now.

Extra support

You could speak to your local doctor (GP) about how you’ve been feeling – GPs can offer help and advice in these situations or refer you to someone better equipped to help. If you’d simply like some space to talk through your feelings, you can always reach us through our support services. Any member of The Mix team would be more than happy to help you out.

We’ve also got an article to help you decide what to do if you’re in love with your best friend here. If you’ve got other relationship concerns, check out our sex & relationships hub, which has tons of resources.

Next Steps

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 31-Dec-2021