Dear Patricia Marie,

I am in love with my best friend and I don't think she feels the same way.

In fact, I think she would be horrified for me thinking as I do, as she has said in the past I am like the brother she never had. We are on the same course at university. I see her every day and we go out to supper a lot and she says she loves my company. However, she also talks of fancying the really good looking, fit guys, in our group, leaving me with a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to my body. I am overweight and she is very beautiful.

I don't want to ruin our friendship by saying the wrong thing, but at the same time I want her to know how I feel. This isn't just a lust thing - she is intelligent and truly gorgeous. What should I do?

Patricia Marie says...

It does seem that this girl sees you as a close friend rather than a prospective romantic partner. I would be very careful and don't go blurting anything out as she may find this revelation quite overwhelming, and also be concerned that it could jeopardise your friendship.

You could test the waters with subtle flirting and say something such as: 'Do you ever see us going out on a proper date together?' If she responds to this lukewarmly or seems to feel uncomfortable, you'll know to back off. Although it may not be the answer you so desired, you will feel lighter and happier once you've confronted this. Then loosen your ties a little and look to date other girls.

What I do very much believe is that you need to start focussing on yourself - if you're unhappy with your body image perhaps you could try exercising, or take up a sport to lose a few pounds? It would be good for your health and your self-esteem.