I am in love (or as convinced of it as I've ever been), but the woman I love is my best friend. This situation leaves me in emotional ruin after every time we see each other. I am sure that she is not romantically interested in me. What I need to know is: to what extent am I obligated to make my feelings clear to her, even if doing so runs the risk of damaging our friendship?

I don't think you are in any way obligated to make your feelings known, since we are not obliged to tell someone we know everything we think about them. For example, there might be things about a person who is a friend yet which we do not like, and we are not obliged to make this known to them, and many friendships and indeed more romantic relationships would collapse were perfect frankness to be pursued.

There is something rather exciting about unrequited love and also noble about remaining silent in a situation where the object of love is unaware of one's feelings. It might not be much of a consolation, but it is worth reflecting on how banal a relationship can be when both parties are in love with each other, while by contrast where one is and the other is not all sorts of interesting possibities arise.

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