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Dear Dr. Frankie,

My best friend was in an eight-year relationship but has had an affair for the past three years. She has left the eight-year relationship and started an open relationship with the person she had an affair with. The kicker is that I am in love with my best friend. I don’t know how to handle these feelings as she pursues a relationship with this other woman? Please help!

Dear Distraught,

Have you ever expressed your feeling to your friend? I am sensing that you might not believe your feelings are mutual, otherwise you would have already confessed your feelings. If you believe your friend might share your feelings I suggest you communicate how you feel. If you don’t believe she shares your feelings, then I recommend carefully considering whether you tell her. Hearing that a close friend has deeper, unreciprocated romantic feelings can put added pressure on a friendship. This tension can negatively impact the friendship, sometimes resulting in distancing and disconnection altogether. Only you know your friend well enough to make an informed decision about how to proceed. Ideally, you would be able to share your feelings regardless of whether she has the same feelings, but in reality emotions are complicated and not everyone is able to handle them effectively. If you decide to tell her regardless of what she might say, I recommend preparing yourself for a wide range of reactions. If she does not share your feelings she might distance herself from you because she feels awkward or bad for hurting you. This could leave you feeling abandoned and confused, and possibly less one Bestie. Carefully consider the options and prepare yourself emotionally for what could be a wonderful or complicated, negative response.

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