ask toni & josh
This is the first time I've written to anyone for advice. I just don't know what to do right now. I'm in secondary school, and I have a good male friend. He is really nice, kind and understanding, so I've grown to like him.
Before I realised my feelings, he told me he liked another girl. Then when I came to terms with how I felt, I decided just to let him know. He was understanding, but we didn't talk much about it because he still liked the other girl.
I don't think I want to go out with him, and I think it's just a crush. But the problem is, whenever I see him talking to that girl, I feel really jealous. When I talk to him, I feel really happy and can't stop smiling. I think about him all the time.
I don't know what love is. Any time I've tried to go out with someone before hasn't really worked out. But the thing is, I'm starting to like him so much to the point where my heart hurts.
I've talked to my friends to see if I should give up but they tell me I shouldn't. I don't know if I should be doing something to get him to like me, be content being his friend or what.
It's common for people to grow to really like someone after spending quality time together. Think about it: you spend time together, you get to know each other - it's natural and even a more honest way of falling for someone. You should know that this happens all the time and you're not alone.
It sounds as if your friend is a good guy who doesn't mind you sharing your inner feelings with him, even if it involves revealing your crush. You did a brave thing by telling him how you feel: part of being good friends is sharing your feelings about things that bug you.
It also sounds as if you really, really like him. But if he's not ready to get into anything beyond friends, nothing you do will make him change his mind. You need to respect him as a friend and not try and sabotage his chances with the other girl. If you truly consider him a friend, try to be happy for him - seeing him happy should put a smile on your face, too. And remember: you can never make someone like you. You can treat them nicely, but affection never equals attraction.
It can be tough hanging out with someone you really like and seeing that person fall for with another. Maybe you can make arrangements so that you're less likely to bump into the two of them together. If it just hurts too much, maybe it's time to hang out less. If he's a worthwhile friend, he'll understand your hurt feelings and not jeopardise your friendship for another girl.
Finally, don't let this ruin your chances of finding another guy. There are a lot of good guys out there, and if you give someone else a chance, you may just find them as interesting and likeable to open up to and maybe fall for.