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Is This Love Or Friendship?
by Toni Coleman

He's your good friend.

She's your best confidant.

You have known each other for a few years and have shared meals, movies, hobbies and vacations.

You have confided to each other about your latest love interest and turned to one another for support when the relationship(s) failed. You can't imagine life without your good friend. 

But for a while.... 

You've felt jealous of his dates. You've been overprotective of her since she has been seeing the jerk. You've been having very strong feelings of attraction and a desire for something more than friendship.

Could it be that your feelings for him/her have grown into something more? If so, your relationship may have developed into a "friend crush". 

You don't know what to do. You know you want to continue spending time together- more time. But it's getting hard. You fantasize about having more with this person and are beginning to feel like a jealous would-be partner.

Do you pretend everything is the same? Do you start distancing yourself- hoping your feelings will go back to the way they were? Do you actually TALK directly and honestly with your friend about how you feel? 

What will happen to the relationship if you make the WRONG choice? 

Just as all people are unique, so are the characteristics of their relationships with others. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this increasingly common dilemma. So, let's take a look at your options. You can:

 * ignore your feelings, keep your boundaries in check and pretend everything is status quo.

In order to choose this option, you must be able to deny your feelings so well that even you don't know what they are.

You will also have to continue being comfortable on the sidelines while someone else has the relationship with this person that you desire.

You will most likely be asked what you think of this or that person and be expected to be happy and supportive of your friend when they meet the right someone for them. In return for all this, you will still have your friend

* begin to spend less time with your friend (crush) while seeking out new friendships to pursue and strengthen

About the Author:
Toni Coleman is a relationship coach who specializes in working with singles seeking lasting, healthy relationships. She is the author of numerous email classes that teach meeting, dating and healthy communication skills. She has also authored many articles on relationships that are published on over 40 web sites. Her monthly column and newsletter are read by thousands of singles seeking love