Dear Miss Emily,

I am 19, and I have been best friends with this guy for about 6 or 7 years now. I tell him absolutely everything, and I am one of the only people he confides in. We have often talked about taking our relationship to a physical level, which I am fine with. My question is: How do I know if I'm in love with him? I get jealous when he talks about other girls, but it's not horrible jealousy because I talk about other guys. I also can't picture my life without him. Besides my family, I think he is the most important person in my life. I am just unsure if it is strictly friendship or more. If we do take our relationship to a physical level, I am worried that new feelings will arise and I would hate for them to be one sided on my part. What should I do?

------------------Miss Emily's advice------------

You are bright, and I'm sure aware that the best romantic relationships have a solid friendship at its core. Of course, I wonder why this great friendship hasn't graduated to this level sooner than this if the element of physical magnetism is  present -- but you are nineteen and that might explain it.  I would continue to discuss this with him so you two can figure out if you are doing this for all the right reasons.  I would bet that you are both mature, and even if you did enter into a physical relationship and it didn't work out, you could still maintain this great friendship with even a greater understanding of why it works so well.  Concerning your thoughts on whether you risk your feelings being one-sided --   well, that kind of tells me that you think you're ready, but not sure that he is truly on board.  Again, talk about this until you both agree that going to the next step is a natural transition for two people who share a deep, abiding love.