In a perfect world, the person you're in love with would feel the same way. Sadly, that's not always the case. Dealing with unrequited love can be really tough. But what do you do when you have unrequited feelings for a friend? According to experts, it may be tough at first. But it is possible to have a friendship with someone you have feelings for.
"The trickiest part of maintaining a friendship with someone you're in love with is that it absolutely requires you to accept this person exactly as they are," Dr. Mark Borg Jr, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. That means you have to accept this person as a friend who doesn't feel the same way.
It may seem obvious. But due to the way people are wired, it's a lot easier said than done. "Because of our own psychological defense system that serves to protect us from emotional pain and being overwhelmed by anxiety, it's not always possible to know for sure that we accept the fact that this person doesn't love us back," Borg says.
According to Borg, time, a commitment to friendship, and a willingness to be honest with yourself, are "the necessary ingredients" to maintaining a friendship with someone you're in love with.
So here's what you should do if you have unrequited love for your friend, according to experts.