At first I posted this on r/NoStupidQuestions because I felt like this was such a trivial thing compared to everything else here, but I'm thinking now I should give it a shot and get some opinions from other writers.
So I have this friend who I've known for a while that has the same name as one of my main characters from this story I'm writing. In fact it was my first real OC that I made back in like middle school. I gave him my favorite male name, and its been that way ever since. Fast forward a couple of years and I meet someone with the same name, and we ended up being good friends. We're not that great friends anymore, but they still follow me on social media and stuff. Not only does this dude have the same name as him, but hes really similar in appearance, and likes the same things that my character does, generally. Like looking at the two side by side, you'd maybe think I had based my character off of him, but I definitely did not.
I post a lot of art and writing stuff online, and so far I haven't posted anything about my character because for some reason it feels weird, knowing that my old friend might see it? I don't think hes ever seen him before, and I'm not sure if I ever made it clear that he is NOT based on him, but I made him way before I ever met him. Even if he does know, idk, maybe he would've expected me to change something about my character or the name so that it isn't so much like him?But I really like my OC's name, and I really like who he is, especially since hes basically my oldest character. But every time I think about the character, it just goes straight back to my ex-friend. And it just feels weird. I wish I weren't over complicating this like I am, but I can't help my brain lmao. How should I get over this? Is this even worth something to worry about? Like would my ex-friend start to notice his name coming up in my posts if I started posting more about my character and his story?
I just don't want it to be such an awkward thing, you know. Especially since we aren't friends anymore, I feel like still having a character thats similar to him would get noticed and seem kind of obsessive or clingy. Like I said, we don't really talk anymore (we haven't really talked at all in months), so I think warning him beforehand would be kind of weird to just do out of the blue.
Update: A lot of people have been suggesting that I might just have to change the name or something about the character. That makes me sad lmao I've had this character for so long that it seems impossible. I know I'm probably not going to change the things that hes interested in, because it feels important for me to keep them for the story. The name I might be just slightly more flexible with, its just I've been calling him this name for years and years and I just can't think of something that would be able to properly replace the name I've given him. I've been thinking of names all day that I could switch to, but I really suck at naming characters – and this name was my favorite male name, so thats a real bummer. Idk, I'm still open to more suggestions, that would be much appreciated. And thank you to whoever has responded to this so far, you've helped me a lot.