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I'm a 26-year-old woman and I think I have feelings for a friend. I have no experience with women. My friend (also a woman) recently went on a date with a woman, which is also new for her, and I got really jealous and sad about it. The problem is that she's one of my best friends and I know it's going to ruin everything if I tell her how I feel (it always did in the past with guy friends I had feelings for). We're also colleagues, so there's no avoiding her. I can't even look her in the eyes without feeling a crushing pain in my stomach. I'm wondering how her recent date went, how far it went ... but at the same time, I'm scared to find out. I know they've seen each other since then. I really have no idea what to do.
Some background: We met at work two years ago, and we spend a lot of time together. She's been there for me at my lowest moments. We've cuddled in bed before, and it always felt a little more than just friendly to me, but maybe she doesn't see it that way at all (she's more affectionate with people in general than I am). We share a lot, including intimate details of our life.
It's understandable that you're afraid of ruining the friendship, but your platonic relationship with this woman has already become something else. You can't pretend you're BFFs and nothing more. I mean, you can, but it won't help that crushing pain in your stomach. The more you deny your feelings, the more it'll hurt.
It sounds like it's time to disclose your feelings. You can explain that you're scared and hopeful, and that you'd like to know how she feels about you. Let her know that these are open-ended questions; you just want to be honest and to talk it through.
It'll hurt if she doesn't reciprocate, but you're better off knowing so you can take space and get over it. Make it clear that you're a grownup, which means you'll respect her wishes and treat her well at work, no matter what happens. Make a commitment to be professional and kind.
Disclosure is scary for so many reasons, but so is keeping these feelings to yourself. At this point, you want answers – so get them.
Readers? Should she wait until she's sure her friend is single? Cuddling thoughts?