When the line between friends and more-than-friends starts to blur, and you begin to feel things that definitely go beyond the platonic, it may be time for a little reflection. We’ve enlisted an expert to help you spot the signs that you might just be falling in love with your bff.
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You seek attention from them above everyone else
You might be falling in love with your best friend if it’s attention from them that you seek more than from anyone else. Our relationship expert, therapist Alyson Jones says this might be the case if you can relate to the following: “You might find yourselves out with a group of friends, but your focus is on that one best friend above anyone else. Even when others are talking to you your mind wanders back to them, and you find yourself staring at them a lot. They fill up the space and you are not paying attention to others in the same way you used to do.”
Expert advice:Monitor the situation and see if the feelings stick around. “Sometimes we go through a phase of excitement with new friends as we discover each other, but if these feeling continue you are probably developing romantic feelings for that friend,” says Jones.
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You primp extra hard when you know they will be there
That extra time spent fixing yourself up for occasions where you know your friend will be present may also be a sign of developing feelings. “You find yourself putting more effort into what you wear when you know you are going to cross paths with your friend. You may be dressing to get their attention and wanting to stand out to them,” says Jones.
Expert advice:Feelings or not, keep it authentic. “Try to stay true to your own self and not fall into trying to make yourself something you are not just to get their attention. If this is going anywhere further, you want to know that they are attracted to the true you. If they are attracted to you it will emerge and they will start to send signals as well – just trust this and do not try to control it by adapting yourself too much,” advises Jones.
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Praise or compliments mean so much more coming from them
When the little things just hit different. Says Jones, “A compliment from them feels different than when your other friends complement you. You feel excited that they noticed, and it makes your day to have their attention on you.”
Expert advice:Read the room and see if the feelings are being felt on both ends. “If they respond similarly when you compliment them a mutual attraction may be emerging. If they do not seem to respond in any special way when you compliment them, you may want to raise your awareness and slow things down on your end as it may not be reciprocated,” says Jones. Stay true to you and always keep an eye out for signs you might be losing your identity in your relationship.
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When a hug from them is so much more than just a hug
If something as simple as a hug hello has you antsy, you might be catching feelings. Says Jones, “If you find a hug with this friend lasts longer and feels physically closer, you may both be craving physical closeness with each other. A physical attraction is the beginning of a romantic relationship, and when you find yourself wanting to hug your friend as much and as deeply as possible you are probably developing some feelings.”
Expert advice:Jones advises tuning in and paying attention the next time it gets physical: “Are you hyper aware during the hug? Does the hug last longer when it is just the two of you? Have you had thoughts of kissing your friend when you are hugging him or her?”
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Other people have started to spot the chemistry
When the vibes are so strong that others start to take notice, there may be some real feelings at play. Says Jones, “If other people sometimes think you are a couple when you are not others might be picking up on something before the two of you are even aware.”
Expert advice:Reflect on how the outside attention makes you feel — and also how your friend reacts. “If this keeps happening to you and people are commenting on the chemistry with your best friend look at how that makes you feel. Does that excite you and make you feel a little bit flirty, or does it feel awkward when they say that? In addition, pay attention to how your friend responds when people say you are a couple or should be. If they respond with flirty and fun comments, they may be developing feelings for you. If they seem shut down when others comment about your chemistry, they may only have platonic feelings for you.” Is it time to throw in the towel? Get a read on things with our healthy relationship checklist.
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You want to be with them as much as possible
Sure, you love spending time with your friends – but it’s time with this one person that you crave the most. Says Jones, “When the time apart feels increasingly difficult then you may be falling in love with them.” <h2>Expert advice:</h2> Know the difference between enjoying time spent with a friend, and desiring as much time as possible with this person for reasons that go beyond the platonic. “We might miss a friend but yearning for someone feels a lot stronger than just missing a friend. When we are falling in love, we want to be physically close and seeing that person takes precedent over other things and people in our lives,” says Jones.
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When every song on the radio becomes a love song that reminds you of them
Have you got Sam Smith on repeat? “When you find yourself listening to music and thinking of that friend and finding that the words in the songs express how you feel about them. You start to thing about a future with that person and they become an increasing part of your dreams and fantasies.”
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Expert advice:Proceed with caution on those daydreams. “When we start to hear our own stories and feelings in song, and our fantasies start to focus on that special friend it is a sure sign that you are moving them from friend to lover in your mind. The caution here is you want to pay attention to how they are responding to you, because you do not want to begin to romanticize a friendship if it is just you who is experiencing the feelings,” says Jones.
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Everything is on extra-sensory mode when they are around
If those spidey senses start tingling at the sight, sound, or (weird as it may seem) smell of them, you might be falling hard. “You find yourself noticing how they look, how they smell, and the sound of their voice draws you in. You may find yourself leaning into them and touching their arm and always wanting to sit beside them. These are strong signs of physical attraction,” says Jones.
Expert advice:Look for indicators that your friend is on the same wavelength. “If you are developing this attraction pay attention if they are also reaching out to touch you and sit by you as well. Are they making eye contact for longer periods, and seeking your company, conversation, and physical closeness?” says Jones.
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You go the extra mile for them
Feeling over-eager to do the most when it comes to this person? Says Jones, “When you find yourself going above and beyond for this person, and you are thrilled that they have asked for your help you might be developing deeper feelings for them.”
Expert advice:It’s great to feel so invested, but make sure there’s a return on what you’re putting out there. Warns Jones, “If you are not getting signals back that they are just as thrilled to help you then make sure you balance your time with other friends and do not make yourself too available. You could fall into an unhealthy pattern if you allow yourself to be swept along without receiving the signals that they would go above and beyond for you as well.” Just say “no” to these bad pieces of relationship advice.
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You find yourself getting jealous
Going a little green with envy at the sight of your friend dishing attention out elsewhere? Says Alyson, “You might find yourself having a strong negative reaction to any other person your friend is romantically interested in or begins to date. You may only see how wrong that other person is for your friend, and when asked what you think of their new boyfriend or girlfriend you can’t really say what the reasons are but you know you do not like them.”
Expert advice:This is a definite sign of interest — but not necessarily the healthiest one. Says Jones, “Be careful with this one. Pay attention to how serious they seem to be about this other person they are interested in. If you are interested in them you may need to let your friend know before things go to far with the other relationship. Revealing your romantic feelings to your friend is a scary thing to do, but sometimes it is the only way to figure out if there is a chance or not for this relationship to move from friends to lovers.”
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