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Thread: How To Get Over Unrequited Love For A Friend And Still Be Friends Like Before

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    How To Get Over Unrequited Love For A Friend And Still Be Friends Like Before

    There are pages of advice on internet for such situations... but in real life things aren't as easy.

    A few advises I personally found to be more valuable than others:

    8. Maintain your friendship.

    Probably the worst thing that could happen for having unrequited love for your friend is not the love being unreciprocated to you but losing him/her completely as a friend. Shattering the friendship you built for a long time is much more heartbreaking than being rejected.


    To avoid reaching up to this extent, talk to him/her about your feelings. It will be for sure a torture for you but there’s no way other than that. Express your feelings towards him/her but let him understand that you want to keep the friendship you have and as much as possible, maintain how you treat each other before. Your romantic love for him/her shouldn’t be a reason to break your bond as friends.



    9. Accept that your relationship is nothing more than a friendship.

    Acceptance is the most important thing to do but also the toughest one. You must accept the fact that your relationship with each other will be nothing more than a friendship only. Since you grew romantic feelings for him/her while your friends, set borders in order to protect yourself from being hurt over and over. Respect these boundaries between the both of you to avoid crossing the line again and hinder your healing process.


    Remember that love is not just about your own happiness. Sometimes it’s all about being happy for the person you love even if you’re not the reason behind it. If your friend doesn’t want to level up your friendship, respect that. Be happy no matter what his/her decision is.



    10. Believe that there is someone meant for you.

    “Everything has a reason”. In many aspects of our lives, this could be applied. Just like love, if that certain friend isn’t into you, then someone out there is destined for you. Maybe, it’s not the right time for your paths to cross but eventually, you’ll get there. This happening in your life will help you to understand that in every failure or rejection, there are greater things that come along with it. And if you happen to meet the one who is meant for you, in the end, you’ll be grateful that you went through this phase.


    Love is not always a give and take process because, in reality, you can’t force someone to return back the love you have given to him/her. You must understand that not all things will work how we want it to be. Soon, this pain you are experiencing right now will fade and you can finally move on. Just believe that everything has a purpose and it’s for the best.



    Read whole article here.
    Yes, more painful that not being loved back for me is to lose the friendship with that person. Mentally I can understand the situation as it is, and take it as it is... I also accept there might be someone better for them than me, and also someone better for me than them... meaning someone more suitable for each of us... and I also respect their decisions and I wish with my whole heart for them to be happy no matter with whom, if they are happy... but it's not so easy.

    Have you ever been in such situations? And how did you deal with them? How did you manage to stay friends despite the whole situation created?

    I understand it's not easy for the other person either... not only for the person that isn't loved back, but also for the other who doesn't share the same romantic feelings.

    Some more thoughts on the issue:

    [...]

    If you’ve ever loved someone who doesn’t return your feelings, you may have tried to cope by turning to your friends for support. But what happens when the object of unrequited love is a friend? Dealing with the pain of unrequited love may be even harder if you’re already close to the person you’ve fallen for. You might not understand how they can reject you when you’ve shared so much.


    Over time, though, you may come to believe it’s more important to treasure the friendship you do have instead of wondering about other possibilities. If you want to sustain the friendship through the challenge of unrequited love, know that it’s often possible to do so.

    Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to consider your intentions honestly. If you continue the friendship because you’re secretly hoping they’ll change their mind, you’re not honoring yourself, your friend, or your friendship. In the end, this deception can lead to more pain for you and your friend.


    WHY DO WE FALL FOR OUR FRIENDS?

    Developing romantic feelings for friends isn’t uncommon. Love grows over time, and strong friendships that last for years often provide numerous opportunities for intimacy to flourish.


    • Friendship as a gateway to love: Many people believe a strong friendship is an essential foundation of a romantic partnership and prefer to build a friendship with potential partners first. This belief could help create a tendency to see friends as potential love interests.
    • Proximity: People generally spend a lot of time with close friends. Eventually it may become difficult to imagine not seeing a particular friend often.
    • Shared hobbies: Friendships often grow out of shared interests. Having multiple hobbies, interests, or other things in common with one person can make them seem even more like an ideal romantic partner.
    • Mixed signals in a friendship: Some friendships are characterized by flirtatious jokes, physical affection, or other behaviors typical of romantic relationships. Mixed signals won’t “make” you fall in love with someone if attraction isn’t already there. But frequent touching or affectionate nicknames can fan the flames, so to speak, by giving the impression of a mutual interest.


    [...]

    CAN FRIENDSHIP SURVIVE REJECTION?

    You told your friend how you feel. They apologized and said they just didn’t feel the same way, though they valued your friendship. You agreed the friendship was important and assured them you wanted to stay friends. You feel sad and hurt, but you’ve experienced rejection before and know the feelings will pass in time. In the meantime, how do you deal with frustration and pain while continuing to spend time with your friend as if nothing had happened?

    First, it’s important to understand your feelings are normal. It’s normal to grieve, to feel hurt, sad, confused, or angry. But it’s also important not to direct those feelings at your friend. As long as they didn’t lie to you or lead you on, they’re simply being honest about their feelings, just as you were with yours. Your friend can’t help having platonic affection for you, just as you can’t help having romantic affection for your friend.

    When your friend doesn’t return your romantic feelings, you both might struggle to deal with the situation. Yet friendships can recover from unrequited love if the situation is addressed with care and maturity. What happens next depends on both you and your friend.

    DEALING WITH AWKWARDNESS


    Some friendships may continue but feel slightly different. You might experience some awkward interactions or occasionally feel embarrassed around each other. This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault—this can happen even if you both truly want to remain friends. It may simply indicate you both need time to recover.

    According to research published in Michael Motley’s Studies in Interpersonal Communications, friendships often end after a confession of unrequited love when awkwardness or embarrassment develops. To avoid awkwardness, it may help to avoid bringing up the situation once you’ve agreed you want to stay friends. Instead, move forward from it.


    It may feel more natural to completely avoid your friend, but Motley’s research suggests friends who continue to talk and see each other are more likely to remain friends than those who stay away from each other. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t give yourself some space. Even if you don’t feel you need it, it can help to take time for healing.

    Your friend might also need space. If they seem distant after you’ve told them how you feel, consider that they too may need to work through what happened. They may feel sadness or guilt and wonder how to act to prevent hurting you further. Give them some time. If you communicated daily in the past, after a few days you might send a casual message letting them know you’re there when they’re ready. Then wait for them to reach out.


    On the other hand, your friendship could also bounce back right away. But this scenario can present other challenges. If your friend has a partner already or begins dating someone before you’ve fully healed from the rejection, you may feel hurt and jealous. You may end up comparing yourself to their partner, and anger or resentment can develop.

    Jealousy is a common emotion, and it’s not inherently harmful. However, it’s important to manage jealousy in safe and healthy ways. Acknowledging what you feel is often a helpful way to start. Open communication can also help. If this isn’t possible in your situation, try talking to another close friend or a counselor.

    [...]

    Meeting new people can also help. Trying to date when you’re still recovering from rejection may not seem appealing at first. If you’re still feeling heartbroken, you may not feel ready to consider any other potential romantic partners.

    Read whole article here.

    Anyone here who experienced such things? And how did you deal with it? Did you manage to stay friends and how?

    Personally, even though I tend to have mixed feelings (both romantic love and friendship), the most important for me is to stay friends, especially after being friends for many years. Losing my friend because of my romantic feelings would be more unbearable than the unrequited love itself.

    I feel it's not alright for my friend, he doesn't want me to love him like that (he told me this several times), I feel it's difficult for him to still be friends with me... or maybe I get his signals wrong. Talking about this seems difficult (and painful) too. I really don't know how to approach this, keeping him as a friend is the most important, while also I cannot stop loving him secretly (maybe for him this isn't a secret anymore, it's hard for me to hide my feelings)!

    I know that my romantic feelings can simply fade away over time (I hope so) even if continuing to be friends like before. Rejecting me as a romantic partner is not as painful as being less closer friends as we used to be and communicating less and feeling like he is colder to me as a friend than he used to be. I can get over unrequited love, it's not the first time, so I will get over it, I hope... But not being friends anymore as we used to be... this is unbearable! I want to be close friends with him as before!!!

    I feel like I didn't do anything wrong to tell him my feelings and be honest about everything. Maybe I acted stupid because of that, I'm sure I did... but I also don't know how to apologize to him, I don't know how to repair things. I guess I did mistakes because being so much in love with him... Sometimes when we are in love we don't act rationally. But what to do now to have my friend back as a close friend?

    I feel like I didn't do anything wrong with being in love with him and being honest about my feelings. Again, I get it it's not easy for him either to be in his situation. But what can I do? While I cannot change what my feelings are... I still want to be friends like before... That friendship was and still is so precious for me.

    Maybe I sound stupid or pathetic for asking such advice... but well, when we're deep into it, we often can't be so rational as if we could see things from above. Maybe the solution is there and I cannot see it? Anyway, this gives me a hard time...

    So, any of you who have been through something like this and has some advice? Or maybe you know from a friend's situation?

    In any case... thank you at least for reading and being emphatic and sending me good thoughts!
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    I don't think you can ever be friends like before with someone you had unrequited love feelings for. Unless it's a momentary crush, and nothing serious. But even then, the friendship might never be the same again because that person will never look at you again as "just" a friend. My sister dealt with this, and it messed her up. In fact it messed her up so much she had to go to therapy over the guy. My family and I advised her to break contact with him so many times, he was also not a good match to begin with, politically dubious and he took advantage of her sensitivity and inexperience, but she was blinded by her feelings. But she just wouldn't listen. It's like she was brainwashed and pulled by this guy in his direction. That's where all the problems came from. She also couldn't really hide her feelings for the guy, it was dead obvious, not only to him but to other people as well, and it made the guy extremely uncomfortable, so he instinctively withdrew from her, avoided her. Can't really blame the guy for that though, I'd do the same if someone confessed their feelings for me and I didn't feel for them. What I do blame him for is not being clear with her and using politeness and all sorts of false niceties to excuse himself. A simple and firm "it's over" was justified. But I suppose he was afraid to hurt her feelings since she was a very sensitive person, or just didn't want to deal with the drama. Anyway, at some point they had a drama and it ended up with my sister becoming so depressed she ended in hospital. That's when they sort of lost contact until a few years after when they accidentally ran into each other. So my sister, thinking she's still over the guy, apologises to him about the past and everything, the guy, being fake as he was accepts her apology and blames himself instead. This sends again mixed signals to my sister who thinks maybe they can be friends like before. But it's never the same again, and the guy doesn't know how to act around her. It makes it very awkward and uncomfortable. Same with my sister, who tries to hide her feelings from him so that it doesn't upset him. Ultimately, my sister makes the difficult, but right choice: she cuts him out of her life for good. Deletes all his contact information, pictures and text messages they had together, literally everything, like he never existed in her life. It was hard but she had to do it. It took another good 2-3 years but my sister was finally over that guy. Distance can destroy feelings, and in this case it was for the better. In the meantime she met a nice guy, far more suitable for her.

    Long story short, in such cases it's best to cut the cord IMO. Understand that this person has no feelings and get over it. It can't be the same again, once you've "dropped the bomb" about your feelings. And what happens once this person gets in a relationship with someone else (or is already)? More drama, of course. How would you like your partner being courted by a 3rd? Some relationships just aren't meant to be.

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    My own experience is that it's never going to be the same again. When one of the friends has feelings for the other, it can no longer be called a friendship. Perhaps the only thing that could save it is both of you getting your own partners and see how you feel about each other then. Otherwise, expect it to be awkward.

    I've been on the other side of the things too and I can understand why your friend feels uncomfortable. I've had one of my colleagues developed a crush on me and although I made it clear to him I was not interested, his interest was still quite obvious. Maybe it was subconscious. Unfortunately, I had to break off the friendship. I did feel bad about it but it was for the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtengel View Post
    My own experience is that it's never going to be the same again. When one of the friends has feelings for the other, it can no longer be called a friendship. Perhaps the only thing that could save it is both of you getting your own partners and see how you feel about each other then. Otherwise, expect it to be awkward.

    I've been on the other side of the things too and I can understand why your friend feels uncomfortable. I've had one of my colleagues developed a crush on me and although I made it clear to him I was not interested, his interest was still quite obvious. Maybe it was subconscious. Unfortunately, I had to break off the friendship. I did feel bad about it but it was for the best.
    So did your friend confessed his feelings (talked about those to you) or did you just noticed/sensed that via his other talks & behavior?

    What if one you have known long time; so lets call him a friend here (but you are not interest in him), will not go and will not take that first step (where is no coming back anymore) but you go and hear via third person ... he has crush on you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnish Swede View Post
    So did your friend confessed his feelings (talked about those to you) or did you just noticed/sensed that via his other talks & behavior?
    Both. In the beginning, I had a hunch because his behavior was a little suggestive. Also, another female colleague of mine told me that he seemed to be into me. But as long as he didn't say or try anything too inappropriate, I brushed it off as maybe some sort of excessive friendliness or something like that. Then when he confessed to me that he was interested in me in a romantic way, I realized that my gut feelings, as well as the observations of my colleague were right.

    What if one you have known long time; so lets call him a friend here (but you are not interest in him), will not go and will not take that first step (where is no coming back anymore) but you go and hear via third person ... he has crush on you?
    This scenario is actually quite common in men who are shier or afraid of rejection. It depends on the situation, from where does this third person know about the crush? Is it a hunch? Did the guy tell them? Did they observe his behavior? Is this person usually reliable or are they prone to gossip and false rumors? etc. But in general I'd say trust your gut feeling (instinct) about the situation. And if you aren't interested in the the other person, give them subtle (or not so subtle, depending on how "thick" they are) hints that there is no chance with you in that direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtengel View Post
    This scenario is actually quite common in men who are shier or afraid of rejection. It depends on the situation, from where does this third person know about the crush? Is it a hunch? Did the guy tell them? Did they observe his behavior? Is this person usually reliable or are they prone to gossip and false rumors? etc. But in general I'd say trust your gut feeling (instinct) about the situation. And if you aren't interested in the the other person, give them subtle (or not so subtle, depending on how "thick" they are) hints that there is no chance with you in that direction.
    I think he actually knows me too well (plus knows what I would reply) and he doesn't want to go on that. Someway saving both of us from pretty uncomfortable situation and future.

    Yes, I think third person spoke true (of course I can not be 100% sure, but now as I ''know'', yes); other issue is should she have talked that to me, or would I even have wanted to know about it.

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    I exaggerated a bit too much in the opening post (sorry!), I mean it wasn't really like that, I had nothing to worry about. I felt over emotional when I wrote those words, I didn't know why... I felt like I was going to loose a friend, but didn't know exactly whom, and this made me feel over emotional. I couldn't explain it back then. But later... Indeed, I wrote that post just some hours before a friend... left this physical world. So, it was that... May she rest in peace!


    (some silence in her memory)


    Sometimes we are connected by hidden strings which we don't see, but we can feel. These invisible strings can connect us even beyond life and death, and this is how some meetings with people we never met before in this lifetime but with whom we feel very connected from the very beginning can be explained. I have many examples like these from my own life (this life), and I also checked them (and had them confirmed) using some knowledge of astrology. Many "karmic" meetings (people with whom we were connected in previous lives and whom we meet again in this lifetime to continue something not finished from past lives)... These meetings can also be not so good, for example when we meet old enemies from past lives... or persons whom we love very much and they simply don't feel the same... This is also "karma". Things happen because they are supposed to happen, and we have to deal with them properly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Finnish Swede View Post
    What if one you have known long time; so lets call him a friend here (but you are not interest in him), will not go and will not take that first step (where is no coming back anymore) but you go and hear via third person ... he has crush on you?
    You mean someone you are friends with and who falls in love with you and don't tell you that? But you find out from another person? This is somewhat the topic of this thread...

    This happened to me too, and to some close female friends of mine also... Sometimes the guys told us directly, sometimes we found it from other persons... Personally I appreciate honesty, I am honest and I expect other people to be honest about their feelings too.

    In my case... just one example that came to my mind now... I was good friends with someone for a long while, we were going together all over and... sometimes people even believed we were together (a girl who had a crush on him even asked me if we were together, and she confessed to me the feelings for him)... but again, we were only friends... I never imagined he was in love with me, until once... when I slept at his place... and he tried something. After that... things were a bit weird... but I also moved to another town soon after that, so naturally we couldn't keep in touch (mobile phones were quite rare at that time)... When I came back I met him again... and tried to still be friends with him. I still see him from time to time... Well, I got over it (quite weird experience that night), and since we were very good friends, I don't want to miss a friend for a crush. He's also married now and has a child, even though he complained to me about not being so happy with his life... That's it... I'm sorry for him, to be honest...

    Another example... A comrade from a far right local group with whom I was also good friends wanted very much to be with me... He insisted a lot, and I said to give him a chance... but I had to stop it soon, because I felt it was not good to be together. He accepted it and we continued to be friends. We still keep in touch from time to time... He was married meanwhile, had a child, and now he's divorced... not so happy... We are not living in the same place anymore anyway... but if we were, I see no problem in being friends with him and met just like before.

    Examples from my female friends' lives... One close female friend had many male friends falling in love with her... sometimes they told her, sometimes not really... But anyway... she appreciated them as friends enough to want to keep being friends with them. The guys just had to move over that crush... time solves these kind of problems... One of such cases I know about well, because I was also friends with that guy that was in love with my friend. He just moved over it (I don't know how hard it was for him, but he did it) and he is still one of the best friends of my friend. It's been many years since then... many many years...

    Well, some people appreciate friends and friendships more than... possible crushes which can sometimes give people a harder time and challenge their friendships. But if people still want to be friends, they can do it. Not easy, but it's worth it.

    For me the most difficult was when I fell in love with a female friend who was a very close friend of mine, I told her... and she decided to not be friends with me anymore, she wanted me to not call her anymore, to not meet at all... and cut any contact with her. This was one of the most painful experiences ever! A couple of years later I met her again (it wasn't planned), we hugged each other like nothing happened, and she asked me why I didn't call her anymore! I was astonished! Some women are just... I cannot find my words! I was really speechless! I mean she wanted that and then she asked me why I stopped calling her. She also changed her telephone number, so I couldn't call her anymore anyway. And she acted like nothing happened. That was so painful for me, again... Another while later, we met again, it was again unplanned, and she invited me to her place. I politely refused, without even thinking about it. I simply couldn't do it. Recently we met again and I asked her if she wanted to meet... so now we both have each other's telephone number... but at this point I don't feel like doing any other step towards her. I will just wait and see... I'm curious, however, if we met, how I will feel about it and what does she have to say... I feel like I got over it, mostly... However, with this woman I also have some karma, it was supposed to be like that... maybe some debts from a previous lifetime... Who knows, maybe I acted like that too at some point in the past? Anyway, this was really painful, and the most painful was to loose her as a friend. She is straight and she had another previous experience when a female friend (who was lesbian) fell in love with her, and she kept being friends with her. But why she acted like that towards me... I was unable to understand so far... I think this is the worst case scenario, to cut any contact with your friend, especially when you are really close friends, because they are in love with you... I never acted like this and I hope I will always find better solutions than that!

    Anyway... there are cases and cases... I felt sorry to read about that sister who had to go to therapy because such a situation... Sometimes it looks like it's better for some people to stop being friends... but personally, in my own cases, and in the cases of my closer friends, we value friendships and friends more... so we prefer to get over other feelings and keep just the friendship...

    If anyone would ask me for advice, I would probably advice them to do all possible efforts to keep being friends... I think it's totally worth it! After all, a friend who was in love with you like that and who is still your friend... will most probably be a better friend, more willing to help you anytime, than one who never was in love with you. This is very practical too... If people can get over that and still be friends, then that friendship really is a valuable friendship!

    Example: my best female friend is still very good friends with a guy who was in love with her, while they were very good friends. They never tried anything, as far as I know, but their friendship resisted all storms. They are still very good friends and it's been more than 10 years since then... Both of them are in relationships at this moment, and their partners are also friends with each of them. It worked very well for them to continue to be friends, and at some point they were even best friends! (I was a bit jealous on the guy, to be honest, to be better friend with my friend than me... but I was still her best female friend, so... no more reason to be jealous... )
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    What I think as reading these unhappy stories is that people should (learn to) control their feelings, emotions and behaviors bit "better". Selfcontrol!

    But I'm Nordic "Viking"... .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnish Swede View Post
    What I think as reading these unhappy stories is that people should (learn to) control their feelings, emotions and behaviors bit "better". Selfcontrol!
    Exactly! Self-control! Not easy, but definitely worth it!

    About telling it or not... here it's a matter of choice, how honest you want to be. I appreciate honesty, so I prefer to be honest myself. In my opinion it's always better to discuss with all cards on the table, than trying to guess from someone's behaviour what they mean or what they want. A honest discussion can solve many unwanted problems too...

    I guess someone needs self-control to be able to be only friends with someone they love or with someone who is in love with them... But as I already said, I am sure it's worth the efforts!


    Quote Originally Posted by Finnish Swede View Post
    But I'm Nordic "Viking"... .
    Hehe, you got it! While I'm 'colder' and have much more self-control than many of the people I know... I still have to work on that... Now this is something one can learn if they really want it! Learn to be like a Nordic "Viking", haha!
    Die Farben duften frisch und grün... Lieblich haucht der Wind um mich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Víđálfr View Post

    Hehe, you got it! While I'm 'colder' and have much more self-control than many of the people I know... I still have to work on that... Now this is something one can learn if they really want it! Learn to be like a Nordic "Viking", haha!
    I'm bit divided person (I like to call that "interesting" ... LOL).

    Someway "ice princess/snow princess"... sport has taught me a lot here (self-control, concentration/focus on something, self-knowledge, target setting, perseverance etc). On the other hand I'm a firecracker/one with short temper. No matter what ... I hate mistakes, stupid things ... something I will/would need to regret later on. So far I have been able to avoid those quite well in my own life. As keeping in minds those two sides of me ... perhaps I will need to be smart (or smart enough anyway ). Real life sign of being valuable person (= Scandinavian).

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