If you recognize these 8 feelings, you care deeply for someone but it isn’t romantic love

It’s possible to care for somebody deeply and love them but not in a romantic way. 

I should know, I’ve been there. In fact one of my closest friends is somebody I love but don’t have romantic feelings for. 

Realizing that I felt this way for her was a step forward in my ability to be clear in how I feel and express it to others. 

If you recognize the following feelings then you’re experiencing a similar journey:

Caring deeply for somebody but not in a romantic way. 

Let’s dive in and take a look!

1) You empathize with their struggles 

You empathize a lot with what they go through and care about them and their wellbeing. 

But you also find that the level of comfort and sharing you have is so close that there’s no real mystery left. 

You don’t feel romantic about them, and can talk about anything from your bowel movement to a weird infection you had last month. 

There’s no sexual or romantic tension as there would be in a romantic connection, instead it’s very much a friend thing.

“Some healthy reluctance to sharing such info is a sign of a sexy relationship,” points out Kira Asatryan.

2) You’re protective of their wellbeing 

You want to shield them from harm and genuinely care about what happens to them. If a person is manipulating or mistreating them, you stand up for this person and back them up fully.

The thought of anything happening to this person fills you with dread and sadness. 

But there’s no sense of a missed romantic opportunity:

It’s entirely a friend and soul-level feeling of anguish. 

You care about them deeply, but it’s clear you’re not in love with them or experiencing romantic love for them.

3) You take pride in their achievements 

You’re super happy for them, but you aren’t necessarily keeping close tabs on what they’re up to or remembering everything they tell you. 

You just generally love it when they’re doing well!

You celebrate their wins and feel real joy when they’re doing well in life. 

But the feeling doesn’t have a romantic or couple vibe behind it:

It’s fully the way you feel for your other friends when they’re hitting home runs and doing well in life, not the way it would with somebody you feel for romantically where you remember every detail they tell you.

“When you are interested in someone, you notice the small changes and you remember things that they said or told you — nothing gets past you,” explains psychologist Dr. Holly Schiff, PsyD.

4) You wish all the best for them in the future

You wish them all the best for the future and genuinely care what happens to them, but you don’t necessarily see yourself being a major part of that future. 

While you hope to remain friends and stay close, the idea of them having other important individuals in their life fills you with happiness. 

In fact, them having a life in which you aren’t the main piece doesn’t feel like a rejection or a big disappointment:

It just feels like you naturally sliding more into the role that you feel with them. 

Which brings me to the next point: 

5) You have lots in common but there’s no ‘spark’

signs a man has a special attraction for you according to psychology If you recognize these 8 feelings, you care deeply for someone but it isn’t romantic love

You have tons in common with this person, from your core values to many of the things you find funny and interesting. 

You have shared activities and friends and doing things together feels effortless and natural:

But there’s no spark, and there never has been. 

While you’re open to there being a spark and the idea seems perfectly reasonable for you that the two of you could grow into a couple, the feeling just isn’t there (at least not for you). 

Thinking of the difference if you were a couple doesn’t fill you with excitement or interest, but rather with a fair amount of indifference and lack of interest in the romantic side of things.  

As counselor Klare Heston, LCSW asks:

“How would your dates be different than when you hang out as friends? Do you ever imagine or wish that you’re on a date instead of just hanging out as friends?”

6) You feel almost like siblings 

The dominant feeling with this person is almost like a sibling. 

They feel like a sister or brother to you; somebody you love deeply but not somebody you’d ever feel romantic about. 

They’re the person you would get advice about somebody you’re interested in from. They’re the one you’d turn to in a crisis you didn’t feel comfortable discussing with your significant other. 

You don’t feel a romantic love for them, you feel a filial love. 

The way you care about them is very much real and it does guide your actions and make you think of them and worry about them sometimes:

But it doesn’t have a romantic backing nor undertone to it. 

7) You don’t feel physically attracted to them

Physical attraction is far from the only important thing in a relationship, and it’s certainly possible to want to sleep with somebody you don’t feel any romantic attraction for. 

But if there’s a lack of physical chemistry between you and this person then it’s a sign that the romantic side is very unlikely to pan out. 

The difference with somebody you’re interested in is that you feel a flush and excitement around them on both the physical and emotional level. 

Something primal in you responds to them whether you like it or not, whereas with this person there’s a real comfort and caring about them but not an excitement or frisson of any kind.

As relationship strategist Elizabeth Overstreet writes:

“You’ll have a physical response to someone. You often feel a chemical response, like a faster heartbeat or a sense of excitement, when you are around them. You are likely attracted to them.”

8) You’re not jealous when they meet someone new

When this person meets somebody new, you don’t feel jealous or possessive in any way. 

In fact, you feel genuinely happy for them without reservation. 

You want the same thing in your life, and the fact that they’re meeting somebody special fills you with nothing but gladness. 

When there’s no jealousy at all (not even a hint) then make no mistake about it:

Your care for them is not romantic in nature. 

“Jealousy is a sure sign that you want to be more than just friends. Do you feel possessive, sad, or angry when you see your friend acting flirty with someone else?” notes Heston.

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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