In Summary

Friendships are complicated, but those between men and women are more complicated. And matters get even more complicated when one falls in love. Questions assail your mind, “Do they feel like I do?”, “Will my confession ruin our friendship?”

It is exactly two years since Moses and Maria (best friends) tied a knot. “It all started from campus, I think it is the Holy Spirit that guided me to Maria. She was a very quiet and reserved person but we managed to get along,” Moses recalls. He adds, “We became confidants, and we could share a lot. She knows about so many things my siblings or mother will never know.”

How he later changed the version of their journey, Moses says, “ it was not easy as Maria distanced herself for a month after he disclosed what he felt for her.” However, when she warmed up to the idea, she realised Moses was her perfect match given the closeness and the trust they held.
“I left the person who had approached me first to spend the rest of my life with Moses because I realized he owned my heart and understood me more than any other person,” Maria confirms.

Relationships that start from strong friendship last longer and are more enjoyable according to studies done by relationship experts.
It is now time to face the truth; let that best friend know about how you really feel about them.

How to do it
Do things differently
Evelyn Kharono, a counselling psychologist advises one to first of all reduce on the familiarity. For example, if you have been spending a lot of time with them, it is time to cut it down a bit. She continues to say that you can invite them for a dinner.
However, for a change, it should not be in big group but rather a free atmosphere in which you will be free to tell your best friend that you want to be more than friends. “Some things happen naturally, in most cases when you like someone of the opposite sex, they also like you and are waiting for an opportunity like that, especially ladies,” she reveals. Therefore, you need not push off your feelings; expressing them might be all the other party is waiting for to open up.
That is common among ladies because they like it when the man takes the lead.

Be creative
Jonathan Okiri, a relationship coach, says that the most important thing in this situation is being creative. Just like Kharono, Okiri says plan for a date. He says, let the timing be perfect, probably on a weekend, public holiday, work day off or when she is on a work leave and give her an ample notice.
“Let the date be in her areas of interest. For example, if she loves nature, a beach setting would be appropriate, if she is an introvert, an indoor simple classic hotel would work. Follow her likes,” he advises.

In addition, if she is okay with the date, visit the planned venue earlier just to make sure her favourite things such as food, drinks, and games are available.

And if she is the kind of person who hates surprises, Okiri suggests that you, gently tell her of an intended outing for the two of you without giving her the main reason; that you have fallen in love with her. Knowing her interests will be so great in making this work otherwise, things may go wrong.

Be intentional
When breaking the news, the expert says that you need to be intentional because your best friend might have already figured out what you want to say to them. Nevertheless, be simple and creative. “You could start by saying, I like you so much and lately, I see you as the mother of my children.” Her feedback will determine your next line.
However, Okiri says, “As you propose, be serious, sound serious, and eye to eye contact is key.”

Act out your feelings
Kharono says that actions speak louder than words. In this case, the

things you do will communicate your feelings, such surprise gifts. Your facial expressions will also enable the person to know that the friendship is getting deeper.
If it is a conversation, mind about the tone and the words you use. “The words you choose are an eye opener to your best friend that you are up for a more serious relationship,” she clarifies.

Personal assessment
It is an added advantage if you fall in love with your best friend and marry your best friend too. However, Samuel A Bakutana, a relationship expert says, before you take a step, ask yourself why you need to tell them. “The truth of the matter is that we often rush to the ‘how’ of what before we establish the ‘why’,” he says.

Bakutana explains that it is imperative to ask yourself questions like, “Is it necessary to tell him/her? If it is, must I do it right now? If I must, what do I want to get out of this?” Other relevant question in this sense are; is it a journey leading to marriage or I am on a feelings rollercoaster, playing games with him/her? The expert says that your answers should give you a better clue on how to go about it.

Otherwise, with second thoughts, many have realised they never needed to have told those people because it was just a 30-second chemical reaction at the sight of someone that looked nice to the eye.

Having communicated your feelings, Okiri says that you need not paster her for a response, give her time to respond. “You could even suggestively give her a month to respond or give you feedback. Even when there is an immediate positive response, guide the talk, be on top of the game,” he cautions, adding, “Allow her time for a delayed response.”
While in the agreed time-frame for their response, Okori suggests that one acts romantically; daily calls are key, most especially in the morning and evening, just before she goes to bed. “Capitalize on sending texts that communicate care, love and affection,” Okiri stresses, “That done, at the end of the waiting period, you can be sure for a green light.”

And if they say no!! says that the less you pressure them, the more likely they will feel attracted to you.
Nonetheless, here are some steps to take:
•Do not expect anything, not even an answer.
•Do not call more often than usual.
•Do not be needy.
•Do not tell them any of the fantasies you have about them.
•Act just like before.
•Live your life just like before.
•Let some time pass.