I just started reading your column and I need advice on the following problem: I have an unrequited best friendship with someone (you could call her A). Like, I want to be best friends and she wants to be good friends or friends. And I don’t know how labels work. I just want to hang out with her all the time. And I just worry that I’m not good enough (like, everything I like about myself, such as being friendly and funny, such as enjoying sci-fi books, she has tenfold) and I worry that I will drive her away (maybe us hanging out so much puts strain on the friendship, maybe me finding excuses to hang out with her has started becoming transparent) and I worry about my ulterior motives that, maybe if I hang out with her enough, we will magically move from being good friends to best friends.
I really can’t help it that I’m so happy hanging out with her and she is for all intents and purposes my best friend. We see each other in groups and one-on-one almost every day each week. I look forward to hanging out with her all day on the rare days that we don’t see each other, then I’m waiting to hang out with her the next day. Like, I have a good number of friends. She just far outshines them all.
As background, we have the same lifestyle (a few years out of college, work part-time) and hobbies (hiking, books). We have the same taste in everything. We now hang out almost six days each week. The timeline of our friendship is as follow:
11 months ago: we started seeing each one-on-one as friends. We hung out one to four times each week to do our mutual hobbies.
2 months ago: we become, in my view, best friends. We really started discussing our personal lives and we realize just how many shared interests and commonalities we really have together.
1 month ago: she becomes incredibly busy with a personal project and is worried that I think we’re dating. She tells me that we need to stop seeing each other one-one-one. I tell her that I have no desire to date her and that I only want to be friends. I incorrectly figure we’re breaking up as friends (and I text her a few days later that ‘she’s one of my best friends and that I wish we could see each other again’).
1 week ago: she asks for my help with that personal project. I, of course, say yes (while it’s work for her, it’s fun for me and I also want to see more of her).
So, as we’re working on the project, about a week ago, she clarifies that she thinks we’re good friends. She explains that she’s had some bad, male “friends” who wanted to date her (which is additionally not good because she’s gay). She said she likes me as a friend. And I really like that. I just can’t think of her as a friend, because, while I have plenty of friends, she is my only best friend. Like, I see her four times more often than anyone else. And, unlike all my other friends, she and I have the same taste in basically everything. I know I shouldn’t compare other people. She’s just my favorite person to hang out with and, if I had a choice, I would hang out with her every day.
And I just wonder what your advice is as follow:
1) Do I just keep going along with this friendship like I don’t have all these feelings (besides that earlier text, I have never said anything about us being “best friends,” even though that’s basically how I feel)?
2) How do I stop worrying about our future as friends (like, I personally already have plans for us eating brunch twenty years from now; well, we do also have a few plans set for six months from now; I really see potential for us as friends and I just can’t help thinking constantly about ways to be a better friend to her)?
3) How do I avoid becoming too much for her (like, I have stopped texting her as much given she’s now a lot more busy; and I’m trying to keep myself collected. I’m just always available for plans with her in a way that I wouldn’t be for other friends and I think she’s starting to notice that)?