10 steps to deal with unrequited love with your best friend

So you think you’ve fallen in love with your best friend.

That’s the problem because apparently, they don’t feel the same way about you. What’s worse is that the feeling has become so overwhelming and you don’t know how to deal with it.

Unrequited love is something that we have seen in many movies and read about in books. But now you’re the one who has to deal with it.

Here are 10 tips on how to handle unrequited love as a friend and avoid awkwardness or hurt feelings in the process.

10 steps to deal with unrequited love with your best friend

1) Be honest with yourself

First and foremost, before we get into any other tips, it’s crucial that you be honest with yourself and recognize if your feelings are truly unrequited.

Unrequited love is when you have feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you. You might be thinking you’re in love, but that person doesn’t love you back.

If that’s the case, then you might be experiencing unrequited love.

The thing you need to do is accept the fact that you have fallen for your best friend and that the feelings are not reciprocated.

How can you do this?

For this, you need to identify the signs of unrequited love. Look at the list below and see if you are feeling any of these things:

  • You’re constantly thinking about them.
  • You feel like your heart is being squeezed when you see them with someone else.
  • You feel anxious or depressed when you’re not with them.
  • You feel like your mind goes blank when they talk to you.
  • You feel sad when you’re not talking to them.
  • You want to spend as much time as possible with them so that you can get close to them.

Do any of these signs sound familiar to you?

If so, then you’re probably experiencing unrequited love.

And you know what?

You should be honest with yourself about how you feel and what it means for your relationship with this person.

So, be honest about your feelings and recognize that you’re truly experiencing unrequited love with your best friend.

2) Don’t look for excuses for not moving on with your life

Let’s be honest:

Are you constantly looking for excuses to say that you’re in love with your best friend?

Do you tell yourself that you love this person so deeply that you can’t open yourself up to loving someone new?

If so, you need to know that that’s not the adaptive way to cope with unrequited love with your best friend.


Because not having accepted that your best friend isn’t feeling the same way towards you prevents you from moving on with your life and finding someone who is truly in love with you.

That’s not to say that you have to move on with your life, but it does mean that you have to accept the fact that the person doesn’t feel the same way about you.

It also means that you need to accept that, if she or he did feel the same way, your feelings are going to change. You can’t stay in a state of unrequited love forever.

I know that it might be hard to do this, but it’s important.

So, how can you move on with your life?

In this free video, Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod, reveals the brutal truth about unrequited love in the modern age.

After some deeper reflection, he has come to a few realizations about the experience of unrequited love.

And guess what?

The problem here is not the other person. The real problem is hidden inside you!

So watch this video if you want to find efficient ways to actually deal with unrequited love with your best friend and see how it can help.

YouTube video

3) Look at the bigger picture

When you feel unrequited love with your best friend, you will probably feel like it’s the end of the world.

You might even believe that there’s something wrong with you.

And if you’ve been in this situation for a while, you may have convinced yourself that there’s something inherently wrong with your best friend.

You might have convinced yourself that she or he is not good enough for you. You might have told yourself that she or he doesn’t love you as much as you love her or him. And so on and so forth…

Now you probably understand where we’re going with this.

The problem is that you’re not looking at the bigger picture.

Instead, you just have this one thing on your mind.

And that’s a problem because it’s preventing you from moving on with your life and finding someone who is worth loving.

The solution to this is to start seeing the bigger picture.

You need to start seeing that there are other people out there who would love to be in a relationship with you and that these people are good enough for you.

You need to start seeing that there are other people out there who would make you happy and that these people are good enough for you.

And here’s the truth: there are other people out there who would make you feel loved, and these people are good enough for you.

So, it’s important to remind yourself that love isn’t always immediate.

In fact, it’s often the most unrequited kind of love that lasts the longest. In many cases, it will take years and years before the person realizes they have feelings for you as well. If ever.

But if you’re only looking at a short-term scenario and you’re expecting this person to suddenly turn around and feel the same way about you, then you’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment.

4) Don’t keep reminding them of your relationship

Are you still holding on to the hope that they will one day realize how much they love you? Do you still keep sending them messages trying to convince them that you’re right for them?

If so, you need to take a step back.

You need to stop doing this.


Because constantly giving out clues about your feelings to your best friends simply won’t work.

But instead, you’re keeping it alive by constantly reminding your best friend of what they could have.

If you have been in an unrequited relationship with your best friend for a while, chances are that they have started seeing other people.

And if they have started seeing other people, then there’s no way they’re going to suddenly change their mind about what they want from a relationship.

So, is that the case? Then there’s no point in sending them messages trying to convince them otherwise because it’s not going to work now.

Why would it be okay for you to do this?

It isn’t okay!

If something is not working out between two people, then the solution is not just telling yourself “it’ll work out” and hoping that things will magically change.

The solution is admitting that what could have been an amazing relationship has come and gone and moving on with your life…

Not holding onto the hope of something.

So, stop reminding your best friend of what they could have. Stop constantly reminding them of your unrequited love and try to move on.

5) Be honest with them

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Can I be totally honest with you?

If you’re not ready to lose your friendship, then you should be honest about how you feel.

This means that you need to be honest with your best friend, you should say so and stop sending them messages.

You can tell them how much they mean to you and that you don’t want to lose them because of this.

Just don’t make things difficult for yourself by lying or pretending that nothing happened or pretending like everything is fine when it’s not.

If they are worth a friendship, then be upfront with them and let them know how much they mean to you as a friend. And if they are worth more than just being friends, then let them know this too without any hesitation.

But what if it doesn’t work out?

Then at least there will be no misunderstandings between the two of you in the future, right?

That way, when either one of you meets someone else who might potentially become more than just friends, it’s easier for both of you to move on from there without any regrets in the future.

So, don’t make things awkward between the two of you. Be honest and tell them how you feel.

And if they are not willing to give in to your feelings, then it’s time that you accept the fact that they aren’t interested in a romantic relationship with you.

This will help you move on and find someone who is interested in a romantic relationship with you.

6) Find out the truth about love

I know it may seem a little bit weird, but being in unrequited love with your best friend naturally raises the question:

Why does love so often start out great, only to become a nightmare?

And what’s the solution to dealing with unrequited love with your best friend?

The answer is contained in the relationship you have with yourself.

I learnt about this from the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me to see through the lies we tell ourselves about love, and become truly empowered.

As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, love is not what many of us think it is. In fact, many of us are actually self-sabotaging our love lives without realizing it!

We need to face the facts about our intentions and the reasons why we feel overwhelmed because of our feelings towards this person.

Far too often we chase an idealized image of someone and build up expectations that are guaranteed to be let down.

Far too often we fall into codependent roles of savior and victim to try to “fix” our partner, only to end up in a miserable, bitter routine.

Far too often, we are on shaky ground with our own selves and this carries over into toxic relationships that become hell on earth.

Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.

While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to deal with unrequited love with my best friend.

If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.

Click here to watch the free video.

7) Let yourself grieve

Okay, now you have to understand that sometimes you can’t get over your best friend.

You’ve tried everything, and nothing seems to work. You’re at a loss and don’t know what to do next.

This is normal.

While you may be able to move on with a new love interest, it will take some time – even years – until you are ready to let go of your old friend.

And that’s okay! It takes time for us all to heal from the pain associated with unrequited love.

It took me years before I could even consider getting back together with my ex again. I was in so much pain and didn’t want to be hurt again that I just wanted him out of my life completely.

But the truth is, he was never really gone at all and he always had a special place in my heart that would never be filled by anyone else ever again… If only I had realized this sooner!

What I’m trying to say here is that sometimes it’s okay to grieve about your ex, but you need to learn how to grieve in a healthy way.

I know it’s hard to hear, but you’re not alone.

Let yourself feel the pain, cry your eyes out and then take some time to heal.

You deserve this time, and you can’t give yourself a fresh start if you’re constantly pining for someone who won’t ever come back.

If you don’t let yourself grieve in a healthy way, then it will only prolong your pain. Trust me on this one!

8) Maintain a distance between you and your best friend

I know this isn’t going to sound like a lot of fun, but there are a few things you can do to help you cope with your unrequited love for your best friend

First, don’t get too close to him or her. It’s okay to still be in contact with them, but don’t make it a regular thing.

I know how tempting this can be when you’re feeling insecure and lonely, but try not to let yourself get too close.

If he or she is still your best friend after all of this, then they will still want to be around you – for support. But if they’re not as close as you’d like them to be, then just leave them alone… for now at least.

Yes, it’s not going to be easy, but you need to give yourself some space from your best friend.

I mean it: you need to keep a distance between the two of you.

You can’t allow yourself to be around him too much or else he will have a hold on your heart and you’ll end up going back to him.

If they still hold onto your heart and emotions, then it’s time for him to face his own issues with unrequited love… And maybe even take a step towards finding someone new.

9) Stop blaming yourself for your feelings

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If you’re dealing with unrequited love with your best friend, chances are that you’re blaming yourself for falling in love with them and ruining your friendship.

You’re probably thinking that it’s all your fault, and you’re going to end up hurting them.

It’s a common thing for people with unrequited love to feel guilty about it.

Nut you know what?

Being in love with your best friend doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ruining their life.

There are so many other factors that come into play, and there are plenty of people who have found love with their best friend and it’s not ruined their friendship.

A lot of it depends on the person themselves.

What if they feel the same way towards you but just like you, they’re afraid to admit their feelings?

Wouldn’t it be much easier if they’d just come out and say that they like you?

The point is this: don’t give up on your friend because of unrequited love.

You have to think about what’s best for your relationship.

Still, what you need to realize is that he was never going to be happy for you. He wasn’t going to be happy with any of the things you did for him.

If he had no feelings for you, it’s not your fault. It’s just a sad fact of life sometimes.

And it doesn’t matter how hard you try or how much effort you put into being with him. He didn’t want anything from you, so don’t even waste your time trying to make him like you… or fall in love with you!

10) Learn to love yourself

And the final step towards moving on with your life is to learn to love yourself.

As simple as it sounds.

But how loving yourself will help you deal with unrequited love?

Well, it will help you realize that you’re the only one who can make a difference in your life.

You have to be the one to make yourself happy. You have to be the one who makes yourself happy.

You can’t rely on anyone else but yourself.

And you know what else?

Loving yourself will help you accept the fact that there’s nothing wrong with having feelings for your best friend. It’s natural, sometimes it just happens and you shouldn’t blame yourself for it.

You have to learn how to accept things you can’t change. And if you’re not happy with yourself, it’s only natural to feel insecure and lonely. But that’s not something you need to dwell on.

You can learn how to deal with the feelings of unrequited love by learning how to love yourself.

And the best way for you to do so is by being kind to yourself and accepting your feelings without trying to change them.

You must learn to accept that you’re different from other people. You’re not a bad person just because you’re in love with your best friend.

You deserve happiness, and you deserve to be happy. And the only way for you to get that is by learning to love yourself and ignoring any feelings of unrequited love.

Accept the situation and move on

Here’s the one last thing I want you to remember.

Do not dwell on the fact that you’re in love with your best friend.

It’s not going to help you move on with your life and you’re only going to hurt yourself.

You don’t want to carry around those feelings of unrequited love forever, and it’s only going to hurt your heart when you realize that there’s nothing that can be done about it.

You have to accept the situation and enjoy being his friend as best as you can. You have no other choice but to move on and learn how to be happy without him.

So here’s the thing:

At the end of the day, if your feelings are unrequited, there’s really nothing you can do about it.

You may love this person with all your heart and soul, but it doesn’t mean that they will ever feel the same way about you.

Accept the situation for what it is and try your best to move on. It’s not easy, but at least you’ll know that you beat yourself up over nothing. Your friend will also appreciate it if you move on.

They might feel bad that they don’t have feelings for you as well. If you can accept the situation, then you can be healthy and open yourself up to new opportunities that may await you.

Final thoughts

All in all, it’s obvious that unrequited love with a friend is simultaneously one of the most difficult and confusing things to deal with.

It’s something that forces you to evaluate your friendship and question whether or not a potential romance is worth the risk of ruining an otherwise perfect friendship.

But remember: love needs time. It cannot be forced. If your friend doesn’t have feelings for you, there is nothing you can do to change that.

Instead, try your best to move on from the situation and open yourself up to new opportunities that might await you.

Picture of Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

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