When Robin first met Starfire, he didn't know he had met the love of his life.
At the time, when he was busy dodging that car she threw at him (with her foot) he didn't know he had just met his future teammate. When he unlocked her cuffs, he had no idea he had just met his future best friend. And how was he supposed to know when she kissed him that he would grow to have these… well, that it might even grow into something more than best friendship.
(OK, maybe he should have known when she kissed him).
Robin wasn't entirely comfortable calling what he felt for Starfire 'love'. When he thought about it (which he tried not to do whenever humanly possible) he didn't call it love in his head… and not for the reasons Beast Boy and Cyborg would assume (that he was raised by an emotional robot and felt uncomfortable with touchy feely terms like 'love'). Love wasn't a term someone should use lightly. Batman hardly ever used it. Robin didn't even think he'd once heard Batman use the term to say something as banal as 'I love ice cream'.
… okay, so maybe Beast Boy and Cyborg had a point.
But… love… love was something you couldn't come back from. 'Something more'… well implied something more but not necessarily something irreversible or irreparable or incurable.
Robin was not completely unaware of the plight of best friends who 'wanted more', mostly because when it was Starfire (or strangely enough, Cyborg's) turn to pick a movie they ended up watching a lot of teen-centric romantic comedies. And doubtlessly, there were more than a few male/ female best friends when one of the friends inevitably wanted to take it to the next level unbeknownst to the other friend. About 80 minutes of said movie was filled with the angst of should they should they not risk their friendship or continue onwards as they were.
The couples in movies always decided to risk their friendship. Something that always seemed to play out OK on the big screen.
Cyborg, without any provocation for Robin, assured Robin it was much more complicated on TV shows. "In movies, they have to satisfy you with a conclusion in ninety minutes, but TV shows can last for years. Joey and Dawson were never able to go back to things the way they were after they took their relationship to the next level. And they were like siblings before," Cyborg took a second to think about this, "Well, like siblings who wanted to sleep with each other. Well, she wanted to—that's not the point. They were super tight before, and they could never get back to their super close friendship after they dated. But here's the thing: they both had so many burgeoning feelings for each other that if they hadn't gone for it, they probably still would have ruined the friendship they had before. Once two people start to develop those kinds of feelings for each other, there is no turning back to the previous friendship—no matter whether or not they decide to kiss and go for it."
Robin, who had merely been going in to make a sandwich (and just peanut butter and jelly—nothing even remotely complicated) just leveled Cyborg with a stony stare, "Cy…" he said warily, raising a single eyebrow under his mask, making one eye appear much larger than the other, "Why are you telling me all of this?" And since when did Cyborg know the word burgeoning?
"Oh, no reason," Cyborg replied affecting airiness, even going so far as to wave his hand in the air dismissively, while also giving Robin this intense stare that said the reason was obvious and that Robin should very well know what Cyborg was implying, "With all the news about Katie and Tom's breakup it's just had me thinking about Dawson's Creek a lot recently."
Robin carefully finished cutting his sandwich with intense effort, "… I think maybe instead of spending all your time re-watching Dawson's Creek you should spend a little more time training. It didn't take Gizmo more than three minutes to knock you on your back the other day." Robin tried to keep his face schooled and stony, and if Cyborg's sigh was as real as it sounded, it seemed like Cyborg bought that Robin hadn't understood the point of his barely veiled attempts to give him advice on what Robin called in his head, the Starfire situation.
For some reason, Robin's entire team thought he was completely oblivious to their pointed remarks. If it hadn't been so beneficial to him, he would be kind of annoyed that they thought he was that oblivious. Did the title of World's Greatest Boy Detective mean nothing to them? Did they think their thinly veiled (if even veiled at all) remarks were beyond his ability to grasp?
Because of course he understood.
But what Cyborg did not realize, and what had not escaped Robin's notice, what had kept him up many nights ever since he noticed how good Starfire's hair smelled when she got too close or how long her legs looked in those boots of hers, or how one of her hugs could have him feeling warm for hours afterwards, was that Starfire was not only his best friend. If she was only his best friend, sure, things would be complicated. And maybe like Dawson and Joey (apparently) they wouldn't be able to take their relationship to the next level successfully.
But things were infinitely more complicated because Starfire was not only his best friend, but also his teammate.
The Teen Titans were all friends, it was what gave them strength as a team, but at times it was a tenuous balance. Raven got frustrated with Beast Boy's antics and threw him into the ocean; Cyborg would butt heads with him when it came time to make an important decision and disaster struck. What they absolutely did not need to add to the mix was a relationship. Even a good relationship had its rough patches, and no matter how mature two people were, feelings inevitably got in the way. And they would indubitably change the team dynamic. Robin did not need to throw into the mix of five teenage superheroes managing themselves with five distinct and contentious personalities two of those five teenage superheroes dating. Robin still wasn't convinced this wasn't just a case of hormones acting up (except he knew it wasn't). Two teenagers dating could be complicated, period. Especially when one of those two teenage superheroes' powers was controlled by her emotions. What if Robin got caught up on a case and forgot some important anniversary? Starfire would have every right to be mad at him- and what if it messed up something with catching criminals? In the Titans line of work, the smallest mistake, being even just slightly off their game, could result in any one of them killed.
And to top it off: he was team leader. Not only might his actions be called into question, not only might his priorities become… skewed if he was dating one of the members of his team, but most of all, as team leader he had to always consider the well being of the team before his own. Even when he really, really didn't want to.
So as much as Robin was in… something more with Starfire. As much as he wanted to be the one who made her laugh, as much as he wanted to spend time with her, as much as he wanted to… well, sometimes, nothing in the world frustrated him more than being in something with Starfire and completely unable to do anything about it. Sometimes, well, sometimes it even made him feel like he hated her for making him feel this way about her.