Not everyone wants to be the one to mess up a friendship. But how do you even tell if you’re falling for your best friend or not? We can help.
It’s hard to admit when your feelings for a good friend have crossed over the line of friendly. But are you really falling for your best friend or is it a momentary lapse in your emotions? Being able to tell the difference can be difficult.
And you don’t want to risk losing the friendship over something that could really be nothing, right? It’s hard enough to have those feelings and it can be harder to know what to do about them once they’re confirmed.
Sometimes you’ll feel closer but it’s not the same as being romantically interested
Everyone has moments with friends where you bond a lot more than you normally do. You get into a deep conversation and just see more of them. That moment of bonding can increase your feelings for them but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suddenly interested in them romantically.
It just means your friendship is stronger. It’s easy to mistake those feelings as something more than they really are. That’s why knowing the real signs can help you avoid catastrophe. [Read: What to do when you like a friend]
How to tell if you’re falling for your best friend
Getting really close to a friend of the same gender you get romantically interested in can be a little confusing. You never really know what’s going on in your head or your heart. But taking a step back and looking at the signs from a distance might give you the clarity you need. Here’s how to tell if your friend might mean a lot more to you than you previously thought.
#1 You start thinking about dating them. You’ll find yourself daydreaming about doing couple-like things with them. Going on dates, snuggling up on the couch, and even doing the physical stuff will start popping up in your mind all the time. That’s a pretty clear sign deeper feelings are at play.
#2 You get shy around them. Being best friends, you’ve probably seen just about everything of each other. If you truly have real romantic feelings for them, you might start withholding information or getting shy when they talk to you. This is a major sign you’ve started to develop feelings. [Read: 10 motivational tips and tricks for shy people and introverts]
#3 You withhold information about people you think are attractive around them. You’ve probably talked about people you like before. They’re your best friend, after all. And that actually helps to be able to tell if you’re falling for your best friend.
When you stop telling them about people you find attractive, it’s because you don’t want them to think of you with other people. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re protecting your chances of being romantically involved with them.
#4 You get upset when they talk about people they like. This is probably one of the most telling signs you have real feelings for them. If you didn’t, this wouldn’t bother you at all. You’d even be happy for them. Getting upset when they talk about liking someone is a sure sign you have deeper feelings for them.
#5 You want to spend alone time with them. Normally you wouldn’t really care about hanging out in a group or alone. But if you have feelings for them, you’ll want to spend more alone time. You’ll want to have time with just the two of you more often than not. [Read: How to avoid the friend zone and make them desire you]
#6 You get jealous of their other friends. Basically, if they’re spending more and more time with people who are not you, you’ll get upset. And understandably so. If you have real feelings for someone, you often want them all to yourself.
#7 You want to know everything they’re doing. You’re just overall curious about their life. You want to know what they’re doing in their free time and who they’re with. This is more in a sense that you just want to be in the know of their life.
#8 You’re more interested in how they spend their free time. Basically, you’re worried about them getting close to someone else. You might not realize that this is the case, but it’s essentially what’s happening. The more you’re curious about what they’re doing when they’re not with you, the more you like them. [Read: 6 little ways to stop being so jealous]
#9 You imagine kissing them. You’re not going to picture making out with just a friend. Sure, you may have thought about it a time or two before, but now you’re imagining. More importantly, you like it. You like to think about getting intimate with them. That’s a huge sign you’re romantically interested.
#10 You have to try not to think about them. Basically, they’re always on your mind no matter what. You just can’t help but think of them and have to actively shut those thoughts down.
#11 You flirt with them accidentally. Flirting is a natural thing. As much as you can do it on purpose, you can also do it accidentally. When you find yourself flirting and then catching yourself after, you have feelings for them.
#12 You realize your feelings have developed. When you just feel like your emotions toward them are different than they used to be, it could be a sign you’re falling for your best friend. Sometimes you just know. [Read: How to know if you like someone]
How to deal with falling for your best friend
Now that you know how you feel, what do you do about it? Here are some tips for what you should do after you realize they mean more to you than you initially thought.
#1 Gauge how they feel. Pay attention to their own actions. Are they sitting closer and touching you more? Do you feel like they’re flirting back? Figure out how they feel first, before making any moves.
#2 Decide if you want to tell them. Not everyone wants to risk the friendship. If you feel strongly enough for them that you want to give it a shot, confess. Tell them you like them. Worst case scenario, they don’t feel the same and your friendship is slightly awkward for a while.
#3 See if it’s a momentary crush. Give yourself some time. If you’ve had feelings for your best friend for a couple months, they could be there to stay. Any less and it might just be a momentary crush that’s not worth pursuing. [Read: 16 hush-hush signs your friend wants to have sex with you]
#4 Talk to other friends. Get their thoughts and opinions on the matter. Ask if they think it’s worth going for. They might actually have more insight into how your friend feels about you than you realize. Just get to talking and see if they can picture you two together or if it’s not worth the risk.
#5 Think seriously about the consequences of either decision. There are risks. No matter what way you look at it, you could lose something great. Think long and hard about what could happen with every decision you could make and then go forward with the one you’re most willing to live with.
Falling for your best friend could be the best thing in the world, but it could also be a nightmare if you were wrong about how you feel. With these signs, you’ll be able to know for sure so you can make the right decision.
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Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...