The Sex Column: 'I’m scared to admit feelings for my friend'

Should I confess to a friend that I have feelings for him?

We’ve known each other for a few years and were both in relationships but are single now.

We share a similar interest and whenever we see each other in social settings, we always have long chats.

We saw each other recently but he spent a lot of time talking about his ex, from whom he separated recently.

When he left, he suggested we meet up soon and texted later to say it was good to see me. I can’t work out how he feels and whether I’m wasting my time.

I feel impatient. I’m ready for a new relationship but I’ve never admitted my feelings before.’

Wanting a friendship to evolve into something more is always risky but you appear to have a strong foundation.

‘There is so much potential — a shared interest, years of knowing each other and both of you now single,’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin.

So are you ready to be vulnerable with him?

‘You say you’re impatient and ready but you seem like the wallflower who stands at the edge of the dance floor staring at their shoes before complaining that no one danced with them,’ says Rupert Smith. ‘Why have you never told another how you feel about them? Were you brought up in a family where feelings and attraction were taboos?’

Perhaps what you both need is a little more time, especially if he is processing his last love.

‘Although it is natural to want to grab something you like, the urgency may put undue pressure on you both,’ says Rudkin.

You say you’re worried about wasting time but being with him is rarely a misuse of your time because of how much you appreciate his company.

‘Instead of making impulsive moves, enjoy this period of transition where you can continue learning about each other in a more intimate way,’ says Rudkin. ‘Invite him to an event around your shared interest, which is a way of letting him know how you feel through your actions rather than words in this first phase.’

Perhaps you could also use this time to connect with your courage by creating strategies around gently moving out of your comfort zone in another area of your life.

‘Then, when you finally admit your feelings, it’s quite likely he’ll respond with something along the lines of “I’ve been hoping you would say that”,’ says James McConnachie. ‘And why not? He’s suggested you meet up! He says he liked seeing you.

‘Or you could be traditional. See him some more and just see if things develop. The very start of a relationship is the very best thing in the world. Why not take your time and enjoy it?’ lisa scott

The experts

Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor

James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)

Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist

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