We spoke with America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts, Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz. They gave us the rub on whether falling in love with your best friend is actually feasible and if so, top tips on helping you decide whether you and your best friend are gonna be loving for the long haul.
In most cases, relationships start with love and from there a friendship is built, the idea is that through time, you recognize that your man is actually your best friend.
On the flip side, this doesn't mean there's no way you can't fall in love with your best friend. The Schmitz Doctors say that being friends initially "could be a wonderful situation because of the trust you have already built with each other from your friendship."
"?You already have learned how to communicate about important issues; how to share their successes, failures and dreams; how to support each other; and how to enjoy spending time together."
They continue, "The caveat is that they have to experience the indicators of knowing that they are really in love."
Dr. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz have interviewed thousands of successfully married couples in 48 different countries and 7 continents over the last 30 years. And in most cases 'love' trumps everything, but love alone is never enough.
So as much as you’re thinking of hooking up with your best dude, because let’s face it, it’s been like a year since you met a decent guy, it's best to assess your position first and decide whether you’re really 'in love’ with him or simply tired of being single.
Are you in love with your best mate? The 7 tell-tale signs:
People in love have a positive physical reaction when they think about or see the one they love. If you meet your best guy for a drink and you feel a fluttering of butterflies in your tummy and your heart begins to palpitate - well there's obviously something there right?
?Sweaty palms, goosebumps, the lot - these are all positive physical reactions that people experience when they’re in love. If this happens when you meet your BFF then it could be a sign to upgrade him to your new BF.
Dr. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz say: "People in love feel emotions for the person that they do not routinely feel for others. Most of the people they have interviewed have experienced emotions such as 'an uncontrollable smile comes over my face whenever I see her' and 'I miss him when he leaves the room'."
If you have mad emotions for your bestie that you don’t usually feel towards others, like HAVING to see them every day, because you can’t bear not seeing his smile, there might be a love spark in there.
It’s undeniable that when you’re in love with someone you want to protect that person from anyone and everything. It's the nature of caring and feeling this unexplainable duty to stand by the person you love.
Dr. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth have been amazed over the years to discover how consistent people are when they claim to “worry about their lover”. A positive worry of course. A worry like this could only be a positive thing - it shows you care about them.
?So if James hasn’t called you all day and you start to worry for his wellbeing, lady this could be love.
Can't imagine life without him
The love-haze is creeping in. You begin to ask yourself, 'where do we stand in each other's lives in the future?' In 10 years' time, he might have a wife and kids (with someone else) and with such big commitments in this chapter in your life, friendships are bound to fade.
?How does that make you feel? The Schmitz Doctors say: “When you cannot imagine your life without him, you are in love!” So, are you?
When two become one
When two people stop looking at each other as individuals and start recognizing themselves as a team, a pair, double trouble, whatever you label your love duo as, it starts becoming a totally different situation.
“You begin to realize that you truly want this other person in your life... we refer to the notion of 'turning two into one'. Everything changes from you and me, to WE!” says Dr. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth.
You’re on the bus, on the tube, heck you’ve just woken up and the first person that ignites your thoughts is your one and only bestie. Every day on the trot making excuses to call him?
?“It's simply stated, you think about the one you love most of the time. You can’t get them out of your mind. You are in love with them!” say the doctors.
You wanna shout it out
You can't bottle up those emotions any longer, you have to say "I LOVE YOU!", you're shouting it to the stars and if it isn't obvious at this point, you are IN LOVE missy.
A hot love affair or a friendship set for doom?
In short, falling in love with your best friend is possible - it may not be the norm, but it does happen. Follow the indicators above to find out if you could really be falling for your best guy and identify if his feelings are reciprocal.
But don't use friendship as a shortcut to everlasting love. "The worst thing would be to settle for being friends and miss out on the elation and exhilaration of being truly in love with each other," say Dr. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth.
If you’ve fallen for your BFF hook, line and sinker, salvage your friendship and take the appropriate steps to discover if it's something you both want. And it could be something wonderful!
Do you think you're in love with you best friend? Are you considering changing your BFF for a BF? Tweet us @wewomenCA