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(Stock photo)

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Dear Dr. T and Colleen,

I have this friend that I’ve always sort of had romantic tension with, but we’ve never acted on it because we didn’t want to ruin the friendship. But it’s about to be our final summer before college—it could be our last chance. Should we just go for it? I don’t want to wonder forever. —J.L.

 

Go for it

Colleen-KaveneyBy Colleen Kaveney
Cary Grove

Dear J.L.,

Wow, this is a tough situation. I would honestly advise you two to go for it! I think that if you guys don’t just give it a chance, then you might regret it later. I know that if I were in this situation, I wouldn’t want to look back and wonder, “What if?”

If you two have both romantic tension and a great friendship, chances are you guys will work really well together.

If it doesn’t pan out as more than a friendship, then hopefully there wouldn’t be any hard feelings, considering how close you guys are already. It does stink to lose a friend, but you will be going off to college so it won’t be like you two will awkwardly be seeing each other in school if it ends.

Hopefully if it doesn’t work out, you can continue on as friends, though. If this person makes you happy and you think of him or her as more than a friend, then go for it. Hope it all works out!

 

Consider carefully

dr-t
By Dr. T
Adolescent psychiatrist

Dear J.L.,

This is a common challenge, so you are very much not alone in this. Fortunately, you don’t have to make this decision alone either. You should talk with your friend and see where things go.

Talking about things like this can be difficult. So ask yourself first if the joy of possible romance will be worth the awkwardness of bringing up the issue. If the answer is no, then you don’t need to do anything else. If the answer is yes, here’s how to bring up the issue.

The conversation might sound something like this: “I have always had romantic feelings for you. This scares me a little because I like our friendship and don’t want to mess that up. I want to know what you think about this.” Then, listen carefully and see where things go.

If your friend feels the same way, then that’s great. Go for it! If not, give yourself a pat on the back for being brave and honest. At least you’ll still have the friendship.

* * * * *

Disclaimer: The comments by Dr. Christian Thurstone and The Mash staff are not intended as and should not be considered medical or psychiatric advice. Although we endeavor to provide information that is accurate and useful, we recommend that you seek the services of a competent, independent mental health professional in the relevant jurisdiction to the extent you require personal help or advice.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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