Dear Mr. Manners,

You probably realize how hard it is to find someone you can get along with, share interests, and just simply have a good time — it’s very hard!  It doesn’t apply just to dating but also friendships, as making a real, good friend these days is nearly impossible.  And there is another issue that arises — what to do when you start having feelings for a friend? Do you hide your feelings and work on strengthening your friendship making sure it won’t get affected by what you feel?  Or do you just go with your heart, take your friendship to the next level and see where things go?

How do you approach that issue with caution?  

Help!

Friend in Love  

Friend in Love,

Looking at your predicament, I feel you already know the two options you have. It was once explained to me that love is merely a “friendship on fire,” but I caution you to not let this fire burn out of control. A mutual attraction can be fun, but if you are feeling one way and he is feeling another, you may lose a great friend because your feelings may not be returned.

In my experience, you can never go back to before. If you jump into something and then it doesn’t work, the relationship doesn’t tend to mend. You both may try the friendship route again, but it is not the same. In the same vein, I know some people who are still great friends after sex, but the friendship has changed.

If it is meant to be, give it time. When faced with trying to decide if I really like someone, I tend to prescribe the adage, “give it four seasons and a road trip.” Have you experienced this person in all conditions and for lengths of time? Are your feelings toward this person generated through a true attraction or from giving you attention?

I do not tend to regret kisses, but there is one that I wish I could take back – a kiss from a friend. We still have a deep friendship, but if I could retract that moment I feel that our friendship would have taken a different course. I have no doubt that it would still be great, it would just be lacking the moments of confusion.

According to C.S. Lewis,” Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” A friend is rare. When deciding to take things to the next level, you have to decide if it is worth possibly losing the bond you currently cultivated. If both of you have similar feelings for each other, go for it, but if not proceed with caution!

 

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