Best friends for four years and he knows I love him but I think religion is a barrier stopping him from letting there be more. How do I get past this?

I have been in love with my best friend for the best part of four years. We met at college and fast forward a few years of the usual mixed messages, declarations of love, an emotionally draining friend break up, no contact for six months, were both now back in a really great place.

Our friendship has survived so much and weve both grown and developed during that time. Neither of us have been in serious relationships even though our friendship sometimes feels like one without the intimacy. I know a big barrier is religion. he's a very forward thinking guy and knows how much religion means to me and would never ask me to give that up. Whilst he's not religious himself his family are and they are amazing and kind but would struggle accepting me as anything more than his friend - as would mine. My guess is he's pushed back any idea of us being anything more than friends because of those potential complications. I want to let him know that I think we could work through them and if thats whats stopping him please dont let it. But I dont know how to even begin that conversation. Weve had so many deep conversations about each other about our friendship it should be easy but at this point i think im pretty terrified of pushing him away.
Best friends for four years and he knows I love him but I think religion is a barrier stopping him from letting there be more. How do I get past this?
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