We all love the idea of the perfect relationship—one that flows freely; brings immense joy and lasts forever.
Yet, our modern world seems to be in conflict with the idea of happily ever after, and our intimate relationships are often presented as either non-existent or on the rocks. What if we’re not looking at things correctly?
Could it be possible to maintain all the qualities of an ideal romantic relationship, minus the romance?
In other words, can you be friends with someone you love? Or does one simply have to choose between being friends or lovers?
Love can be complicated, and sometimes relationships end in heartbreak.
When you’re no longer in love with someone or the person you have feelings for has rejected you, should you still remain friends? Or can you be friends with someone you once loved?
Recommended reading: How to be friends with someone you love?
If so, how do you keep staying as friends when you wanted more and maintain the friendship without bringing up difficult feelings?
In this guide you will learn whether, can you be friends with someone you love, tips for staying friends when you wanted more, and also how to end a friendship with someone you have feelings for if things don’t work well for you both?
Can you be friends with someone you love?
So, can you be friends with someone you love? And Can you be friends with someone you have feelings for? Love and friendship are two very different things.
You can have one without the other, or you can have both at the same time, but many people confuse the two terms because of the similarities between them.
If you’re asking yourself if you can be friends with someone you love, the answer is yes and no. ‘Yes,’ because they’re not mutually exclusive, but ‘No,’ you can never be just friends with someone you once fell in love with.
Because they’re also not entirely interchangeable either. To understand how a relationship based on love differs from one built on friendship, we need to get to know each concept better.
But What Exactly Is Friendship?: Let’s start by defining what a friend is. Merriam-Webster defines it as one attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, or an associate in a relationship marked by mutual affection or personal regard.
Essentially, a friend has goodwill towards another person (that doesn’t necessarily mean romantic feelings), enjoys their company, wants what’s best for them, etc.
In some ways, it feels like an extension of your family unit—you spend time together doing activities you enjoy (as opposed to mandatory ones) and giving each other help when needed—though some friendships do last longer than others.
Also read: How to stop loving someone but stay friends?
So, where Does Love Come Into Play?: Well, here’s where things get tricky. We tend to confuse being in love with being in a relationship.
You can’t simply be friends with someone you’re in love with because that means there are feelings of romance or sexual attraction involved.
When those feelings come into play, they turn a friendship into something more akin to infatuation (but not quite love).
To clarify further: A person can feel both romantic love and platonic love for different people at once. However, if those two loves conflict or interfere with each other, problems arise.
Many see emotional infidelity as cheating just as much as physical infidelity because falling out of love with one person but staying connected in your heart creates confusion and instability in any existing relationships you have.
For example: Imagine you’re married but have been secretly writing letters to a coworker with whom you’ve developed strong romantic feelings for over several months.
Those feelings haven’t been reciprocated yet—it’s not clear whether you’ll ever act on them either—but even so, your husband still feels threatened by your connection to him.
Not only does he fear losing his marriage; but he also worries about losing his best friend as well.
It may seem difficult at first, but remember that when friendship is based on real feelings rather than chemical ones, it can be a stronger bond between two people than romantic love ever could.
So, my personal advice would be to you is, if at all still you have been emotionally attached to the person you love but want to be friends with, then make yourself come out of your emotional side and see the situation from a rational perspective or from an outsider’s perspective.
You will be able to see the issue clearly and judge yourself accordingly
In cases like these, you should see the consequences of your choices and decisions in the long term and how they would affect your future relationships.
If you don’t want your life to be miserable in the long term, my suggestion to you would be to cut them from your life immediately.
Maybe you will suffer for some time, but remember it’s only short-term if you work on yourself. This is the best you can do to yourself in order to save yourself from the complications that are going to come along if you stick with them.
That is of course unless you know you’ll never be able to look past it and feel at peace with your decision. There might be some gray areas—like with family or coworkers—where it’s harder to sever ties altogether.
But try to set clear boundaries and think carefully before you engage with them again. The moment your heart speaks up in favor of getting back together, ask yourself why.
Can you articulate why you want a certain person back in your life? Are those reasons smart and defensible from a logical standpoint?
As long as your mind and heart remain separate, focusing on rationality instead of emotion, everyone wins. You won’t put yourself through needless drama or pain and neither will anyone else.
Trust me, I am speaking from experience. So, better suffer now, to save yourself later. Good luck.
Tips for staying friends when you wanted more with someone you love
Staying friends when you wanted more can be a maddening endeavor. Your feelings for a friend can change, but that doesn’t mean your friendship needs to suffer.
When you realize you want something more from a relationship or friendship, tell yourself I don’t need them to change—you just need to manage your own expectations.
Realize that their feelings and wants may not align perfectly with yours, so be willing to make compromises where possible.
It can help if you identify what elements of your relationship are most important and decide which ones are non-negotiable for either party.
Finally, take advantage of those moments when life is going well to share how grateful you are for them in your life.
From there, try to build on it by putting extra effort into creating shared experiences and being an active listener (especially at times when they might feel vulnerable).
Even if they aren’t ready to reciprocate in an explicit way yet, these efforts will pay off down the road. Stay patient as things unfold; give people time to work through whatever obstacles or confusion stand between you.
If all else fails, remind yourself that sometimes you have to let go of one thing before another great thing comes along.
But do try as hard as you can not to write them off completely—because in my experience it’s nearly impossible to get over someone completely unless they’re also over you.
And remember that boundaries set early on can protect relationships before they even start heading down a rocky path.
Try having honest conversations about what you both are and aren’t looking for out of your relationship sooner rather than later.
Breaking up doesn’t necessarily have to end forever. Once you’ve given yourselves some space, keep communication open in case everyone has a change of heart after all.
Also read: How to get someone to like you over text?
Never underestimate how powerful words can be: Tell each other exactly why you care so much about staying friends—which might sound super cliché but could end up striking just the right chord with each other.
Maybe saying I miss hanging out means more than I’ll always love you.
One last tip: While inevitably some feelings will fade naturally over time, stay cautious about relying on distance or time alone to fix things – especially with best friendships because we usually expect such strong connections to last no matter what happens.
How to end a friendship with someone you have feelings for?
How to end a friendship with someone you have feelings for? It’s never easy to end a friendship with someone you love, but sometimes it has to happen.
If there’s one thing all people who have experienced it can agree on, it’s that ending a relationship doesn’t get easier as we get older—in fact, it feels more difficult.
Breakups suck. There’s no way around it, they hurt and they don’t get any easier over time. But you’ll eventually make your way out of a painful breakup and into a better place because of it.
No matter how much history you have with that person you have feelings for, change is inevitable in relationships, so there will always come a time when one or both of you need to let go.
The bottom line is that letting go doesn’t mean ending things for good; just taking a break for now, so that you both can reevaluate what you really want from each other and give yourself some room to breathe and find clarity about what really matters most in your lives at that point in time.
You could also consider avoiding harsh confrontations by using an outside party, like a mutual friend or counselor, to help talk through sensitive issues
This option allows you to express your honest thoughts and feelings without putting either of you in a potentially harmful situation.
It’s especially helpful if one of you tends to take criticism personally and has a hard time hearing constructive criticism.
Another strategy is keeping communication lines open so that each of you knows what’s going on in their life. In doing so, neither partner feels left out or forgotten after moving forward with their own lives separately.
Also read: 21 Tips on how to get someone you never had
Keeping communication open allows each partner to maintain frequent contact while taking pressure off yourselves while still enjoying being together on occasion when work schedules allow it.
Finally, remember why you chose them as your potential partner – often times things aren’t too different today than they were back then.
If they are, communicate these differences so you can reassess whether or not you should really stick it out, even if it feels right on some days (just because something doesn’t feel right every day doesn’t mean it isn’t right).
None of us live inside anyone else’s head but our own – so ultimately only you know what makes sense for YOU to do (or not do) regarding your unique personal circumstances & needs. Everything else is not nearly as important as realizing what works best for YOU! Good luck.