8 Signs It’s Not Friendship, But LOVE

Having fun together, being open with one another, spending a lot of time with one another, and sharing a deep, emotional connection with someone — does that sound more like a close friendship to you or a romantic relationship? The answer could easily be both, right? And for a lot of us, the lines between love and friendship can get blurry sometimes, and adding romantic feelings to the mix can make things even more complicated.

But when you find both friendship and love in the same person, you should count yourself lucky because that kind of love is hard to come by. After all, the strongest, most lasting relationships, psychologists say, usually start off as friendships (Guerrero & Mongeau, 2008).

So if you need some help figuring out where to draw the line in the sand between love and friendship, here are 8 clear signs that tell you things between you and your friend are starting to become much more romantic than platonic:

1. You daydream about them.

Do you often jokingly say you and your friend should just date each other instead? Or daydream about what it might be like to end up with them romantically? While it might seem like nothing more than playful banter and light-hearted fun to you, these romantic fantasies might mean a lot more than you think, especially if you feel butterflies fluttering in your stomach every time you think about it.

2. You get jealous of their partners.

While it’s understandable to have jealous feelings towards your best friend’s other friends from time to time, the difference between platonic and romantic jealousy is clear: the former stems from a fear of your friend leaving you behind, while the latter comes from the disappointment of having your romantic hopes dashed (Messman, Canary & Hause, 2000). So if you find yourself feeling jealous of the romantic partners and love interests of your friend for more than platonic reasons, it’s time to take a good long look at why.

3. You can’t wait to see them.

Be honest — do you enjoy spending time with your best friend more than you do with your crushes? Are they your favorite person to hang out and make plans with by far? Enjoying your friend’s company and looking forward to seeing them is one thing, but eagerly counting down the moments until you see each other is another thing entirely. And if you’re dying to see this person at all hours of the day, then it might be that what you feel for them is more than just friendship.

4. You want to be more intimate with them.

While emotional intimacy is certainly not uncommon to have in a close, meaningful friendship (Parks & Floyd, 1996), wanting to be more intimate with this person is as sure a sign as any that romantic feelings are already starting to blossom between you. Are you becoming more physically affectionate with them? Do you immediately turn to them for comfort even when other people can offer it to you? Or have deep, meaningful talks with them almost every day? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then what you want might already be more than friendship.

5. You’re overly affectionate.

Similar to the last point, if you find yourself acting more flirty than friendly around this person, it’s probably because your feelings for them are starting to show, even if you don’t realize they’re there yet. More than ever before, you want to be close to them all the time, to hold their hand, to act sweet with them, to hug and kiss them as much as you can get away with, and to take just about any excuse you can get to touch them and show them affection (Egland, Spitzberg & Zormeier, 1996).

6. You talk about them constantly.

One of the reasons why everyone else seems to be raising their eyebrows at your so-called “friendship” with this person is because they seem to be your favorite topic to talk about. You can’t say enough good things about them and you’re always sharing funny stories or fond memories you have with them. And if you notice yourself constantly finding ways to incorporate them into any conversation you can, well, it doesn’t take a dating expert to see that you’re already falling in love with your friend.

7. You’re not interested in anyone else.

Another tell-tale sign that it’s not friendship, but love? If your friend becomes the reason you’re not interested in anyone else. You’re no longer interested in dating around or pursuing anything with anyone else because, deep down inside, you know this person is already everything that you want in a partner. The tricky part is whether you’ve already admitted it to yourself or not.

8. It’s never enough.

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, if you find that, no matter how much time you spend with your friend, it’s never enough to make you stop missing them and wanting to see them, then you’re definitely catching feelings for them, no doubt about it. After all, that fluttery feeling in your heart every time you’re near them? That desire to see them and talk to them all the time? The certainty that you won’t ever be sick of them? Those are all signs of newly found love (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1993). And though you might still think of them as a friend, you’re definitely smitten with them, more than you’d maybe like to admit.

So, be honest: do you relate to any of the signs we’ve mentioned here? Do you think your friendship with someone is turning into something more romantic? If so, opening up about it to this person would be a good first step to take, especially if you suspect they might feel the same way, too. Ponder on the true meaning of your feelings and think about what it is you really want, where you’d like to go from here. Then, once you’re sure that this is something worth pursuing, don’t be afraid to make your intentions clear.

References:

  • Guerrero, L. K., & Mongeau, P. A. (2008). On becoming “more than friends”: The transition from friendship to romantic relationship. Handbook of relationship initiation, 175-194.
  • Messman, S. J., Canary, D. J., & Hause, K. S. (2000). Motives to remain platonic, equity, and the use of maintenance strategies in opposite-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17(1), 67-94.
  • Parks, M. R., & Floyd, K. (1996). Meanings for closeness and intimacy in friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13(1), 85-107.
  • Egland, K. L., Spitzberg, B. H., & Zormeier, M. M. (1996). Flirtation and conversational competence in cross‐sex platonic and romantic relationships. Communication Reports, 9(2), 105-117.
  • Hendrick, S. S., & Hendrick, C. (1993). Lovers as friends. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10(3), 459-466.

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