When friendship crosses the bridge into love it’s a wonderful experience.
But it can also be confusing. All those lines you thought existed start getting blurred. The Platonic feelings become romantic feelings – or you discover they already were all along.
It’s exciting, scary, and also occasionally overwhelming.
This is especially true when you are right at the beginning of a friendship that seems to be becoming more.
You don’t want to torch what you have – true – but you also don’t want to miss out on the chance at something deep and romantic that might otherwise pass you by.
This is when you start looking for signs. Which is fine. All of us want to know the right information to make decisions and know how to act. The thing is that human beings are not machines and you can’t approach these kinds of situations from a purely logical standpoint.
Instead, you need to step back and get in touch with intuition and become observant. You also need to avoid the trap of over-analysis and over-neediness, which have cut down many a budding romance before it could flower.
Nonetheless, it is good to know the signs that you’re more than friends. There’s no need to analyze it to death, but keeping in mind when a friendship is becoming something else will potentially do a lot. It can:
- Stop awkward misunderstandings;
- Bypass unintentional heartbreak and missed opportunities;
- Improve your emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills;
- Help you become a more empowered and confident person.
And that’s just to name a few of the advantages of learning the signs that a friendship is becoming more.
Here are 21 signs you’re more than friends. If more than a few of these are showing up you can make a move and take your chances with a good chance of something other than “I don’t think of you that way” being her response.
1) Daydream believer
When someone’s on your mind it’s a sure thing that they have made an impression on you in some way.
Think about it.
Maybe they really pissed you off, impressed you, touched your heart with a compassionate action or scared you with their behavior.
But in some way, something that person did, a look they gave you or even just their presence made an impression on you. It stuck with you.
That’s how it is when a friend is becoming more than a friend. You start daydreaming about them in a way you wouldn’t daydream about a friend.
With a friend, you might think of your hilarious dinner last week or your mutual interest in cars, but you’re not going to imagine you and her enjoying a picnic in the moonlight or talking about where you dream of settling down one day.
Your heart pounds a little around them and there’s a kind of electrical charge in the air that stays with you hours after you part.
That’s the real deal, my friend. So the next time you find yourself thinking how her hair looked luminescent when you went to the river at dusk take note that you wouldn’t be thinking of that if she was just a friend.
These kinds of daydreams are firmly in the “more than friends” category.
2) You get a lot of visits from the green monster
When a friendship is becoming more than that the green monster – jealousy – is going to be hanging around a lot more.
This can catch you off guard, too.
I know in situations I’ve had where a friend was becoming more than a friend it kind of hit me in slow-motion.
We used to go to drop-in volleyball a lot and talk and laugh about everything we could think of. But when she casually dropped issues she was having with her new boyfriend I felt weirdly uncomfortable.
I shook it off and offered some empathy and advice.
But it wasn’t until I tried to sleep that night that I realized I was a bit jealous. I also felt strange that she didn’t think her having a new boyfriend was something that was very important to mention to me.
If I only liked her as a friend why did I care?
Spoiler: that’s when I realized I liked her as more than a friend, and prayed she liked me as more than a friend, too (she didn’t).
3) They look at you with ‘the look’
This has happened to me a few times from female friends who I didn’t like as more than friends (I’m just the luckiest guy, aren’t I?)
What is it? It can manifest in different forms: prolonged eye contact or watching you after you already look away; smiling and making intense eye contact frequently; a kind of desire-filled look with lip-biting or licking.
It’s usually not too subtle.
They do extra nice little things for you and seem extra attentive. They give you the look and deep down you know they are.
If you have a friend who’s giving you the look – whether you are romantically interested in them or not – I can guarantee that you realize on some level they are eyeing you up.
It’s just a matter, then, of deciding if you feel the same way and want to pursue being more than friends and – if not – of letting them down the easiest way possible with minimal heartbreak, which isn’t always possible.
4) You help each other… a lot
Even if you guys are just friends now, do you guys step up to the plate for each other? Protect each other (even in little ways)? Go out of the way to make sure they’re okay?
Sure, friends will often help each other out. But there comes a point that the desire to help out comes from a place that goes beyond friendship.
You want to be more than friends with them.
This brings me to a new theory in relationship psychology that explains how men in particular will act when they have strong feelings for a woman.
It’s called the hero instinct.
To enter into a relationship, a guy needs to feel like he’s your protector and the one guy you can count on. And that you genuinely appreciate him doing this.
The hero instinct is generating a lot of buzz at the moment as a way to explain what really drives men in relationships.
I know it might all seem kind of silly. After all, women don’t need a ‘hero’ in their lives to “rescue them”.
But this misses the point about what the hero instinct is all about.
The hero instinct is an instinctive need that men have to step up to the plate for the woman in this life. This is rooted in male biology.
Although you may not need a hero, a man is compelled to be one. And if a woman wants to be more than friends with a guy, then she has to let him.
The trick is to make him feel like a hero in an authentic way. And there are things you can say, messages you can send, requests you can use to trigger this natural biological instinct.
If you want to learn exactly what to do, watch relationship expert James Bauer’s excellent free video here.
He reveals the things you can do to trigger it in your man starting today.
I don’t often recommend videos but the hero instinct is one of the most fascinating concepts in relationship psychology I’ve come across. And James Bauer is the real deal when it comes to relationship advice.
5) You want them around as much as possible
Some friends are so awesome that you basically want to be with them all the time.
But this is a little different: if you’re wanting this particular friend around constantly and vice versa it can be a definite sign that some love potion is bubbling beneath the surface of your friendship.
When they’re gone do you sit around daydreaming like I wrote about in step one?
Do you think of an upcoming day you’ll be together and get this weird little jump in your step and an irresistibly good mood?
Is that mood boost joyousness from the upcoming time with your friend or the upcoming time with your special friend?
If you get these strange pangs every time they say “see ya” then you’re heading toward love land.
6) They turn you on
Your friend may be an absolute stunner supermodel. I haven’t met them.
But if they’re just a friend or at least if you’ve drawn and accepted that boundary then they’re generally not going to turn you on.
Unless you’re friends with an intimate side then your connection to them is likely more platonic and even so-called “friends with benefits” has often rapidly turned into … “more than friends with benefits.”
If you find yourself:
Catching your breath in your throat when they brush up close to you;
Awkwardly shifting yourself while seated to avoid pitching a visible tent;
Having the hair on your arms and neck stand up when they speak softly to you and look you deep in the eyes;
And generally turned on as hell by them then, yeah, they’re more than a friend.
7) What does Sigmund Freud say?
Sometimes working out whether your friend actually has feelings for you seems like an impossible task.
Now, I know a thing or two about relationships and in this article I’m giving you the main signs to look out for.
But why not take things to the next level and get a love diagnosis from Sigmund Freud himself?
Yes, Freud himself can tell you whether your friend has feelings for you.
I’ve just created a fun new quiz where Sigmund Freud will answer the one question all women ask about a guy at least once in their lives. All based on his most famous theories.
Sigmund Freud was the grandmaster at understanding sex and attraction.
In my quiz, we’ll dig into the deeper layers of your man’s subconscious to reveal what’s really motivating him in your relationship.
Simply answer a few personal questions and Freud will give you the answer you need.
8) You turn them on
This is the other side of the equation: if a friend is more than that then a crucial sign is not only when you are excited by them but when they are visibly turned on by you.
As I mentioned about the deep eye contact, lip action and so on, those are definitely indicators.
But there are many more, especially:
Them trying to be physically close to you as much as possible;
Making flirtatious or sexually suggestive jokes with you;
Changing their tone of voice to a more attractive and intimate style when speaking with you as compared with when speaking with others;
Generally acting in a much more attracted way than just a friend would act.
9) Every day is a walk in the butterfly park
Even when you have an awful day, the thought or sight of your friend makes you get butterflies.
Guys with butterflies? Absolutely. Come on, guys. You all know you can get them and you have before.
They’re that fluttery feeling in your stomach: a blend of anxiety and elation and infatuation.
Limerence, I believe is the technical love term.
It can be the start of something great, even sometimes a serious relationship.
So when you’re feeling those fluttery friends coming to pay you a visit and they’re bringing up images and memories of your friend the whole time then it’s time to take a clue.
She’s more than a friend to you!
10) Your paradigm shifts …
In addition to all the butterflies and heart tremors and being turned on by your friend you will find that if they’re becoming more than a friend your paradigm – or framework and outlook on reality – shifts.
Sometimes rapidly and sometimes slowly you begin to see your friend in a romantic and sensual way – and it doesn’t feel strange like you figured such a thing would.
It feels more like a gear shifting in your truck or putting on a pair of glasses and seeing things in a new, sharper way.
It’s not that friendship wasn’t as good, it’s just that you didn’t see the romantic reality underneath it and now you do.
And it will feel exciting and profound.
So don’t be surprised when your paradigm shifts and you naturally start to feel more romantic vibes.
11) Friendly touches turn to sexy touches
There’s a lot that’s communicated non-verbally by touch.
Friend touches are along the lines of quick pecks on the cheek, jovial hugs, slaps on the back, affectionate, and completely platonic pats on the arm.
More-than-friend touches are along the lines of extended and lingering touches, holding your hand a little more tightly than usual when you help her up somewhere, brushing your should or arm lightly and also stroking your hair lightly or letting hugs get a little more intimate and close.
Is that a friendly hug or something just a little more titillating?
If you really reflect on it you will likely know the truth.
12) Oops, I bumped into you again
Part of the touching and intimacy is all sorts of “accidents” where she bumps into you.
She may also bend over just a little more slowly, and trail her fingers on yours when your hands touch.
These cues are generally very intentional, although you should – of course – never read too far into anything until you’ve asked how she feels and reached a decision about the status of your friendship.
13) Text game on fire
Modern friends tend to text, but if you have your own line of communication and inside jokes and flirtatious exchanges going 24/7 then this kind of texting is morphing beyond the friend zone.
Think of the feeling you get when you text this friend. Is it purely someone you like but could never imagine kissing or introducing as your partner?
Or is it the one person you’d want by your side when the chips are down, someone you’re becoming increasingly interested in – who you hope is also getting into you?
Your texting relationship is its own microcosm of your whole relationship, so if it’s hitting new flirtatious, romantic levels then it’s time to look at what you really want out of this friendship and what she wants.
14) Watch for little changes that mean a lot
Sometimes subtle things say it all.
I’m talking about extended eye contact, little touches, extra favors or even just … a change you can feel in the air.
Never underestimate your own ability to sense a change of atmosphere in somebody you’re close to. Trust yourself that if you’re feeling something has changed it probably has.
Look for the way she speaks about you around mutual friends. How her facial expression is when you walk in the room.
Keep your eyes open for little changes and tone shifts that indicate a transformation in your relationship and its
15) You crave every moment with them like a nugget of gold
All of us value our time with true friends and love hanging out with them when we have the energy and time.
But if the friend in question is becoming something more think of it like a spotlight: suddenly every time with them becomes special, rare, exquisite.
You appreciate everything so much more, even the lame jokes they make or the annoying hassle catching the bus after going to an art museum.
Any time with them is valuable to you and you feel like an explorer who just happened upon a trove of gold nuggets.
And maybe – metaphorically – you have.
16) Your main interest becomes … them
When you chat with your family their name comes up. When you chat with your friends their name comes up.
You find yourself just loving the music they like that you used to find … kind of really quite rather very cringe.
What in the world is happening?
Well, my platonic friend, you are likely falling for this friend.
None of us usually talk a lot about what we’re indifferent about. When you’re going on about her it’s a pretty good sign she’s become more than a friend in your eyes.
She’s become your number one interest.
Just don’t go overboard and become a stalker or something. Just because you’re their friend doesn’t mean dating or a relationship is necessarily going to happen – or work out if it does happen …
17) Friend nicknames become couple nicknames
If you have some affectionate nicknames for each other as friends, watch for them to evolve or change into more flirtatious and romantic nicknames.
Obviously, you’re not going to suddenly shift into calling each other “babe” or “honey” but watch for more subtle cues like her jokingly calling you “Mr. Handsome” or “Number one Bachelor.”
Yes, it’s a joke … but every joke has a grain of truth right? Or at least some of them.
And the grain of truth in this one is heart-shaped and has your name on it.
Get a girlfriend nickname ready for her, too, because you just might need it.
18) They want to know all the details on your love life
What may have once been a jokey side-subject about who was dating
who or your struggles in love becomes more than that …
It becomes a serious interest …
It leads to late-night talks and all sorts of profound discussions about where you’re both at in life and the ups and downs you’re finding on the road to romance.
The friend who likes you as more than a friend is going to be curious in a real way about where your heart is and whether you’re currently beginning – or ending – a relationship.
They also will want to know the sort of things that you like or dislike. It’s not just idle curiosity, it’s your friend trying to assess exactly what you’re looking for and see if they might fit the bill …
19) They pay extra attention when you’re dressed up or looking especially good
If your friend is giving you more than a passing nod when you’re all decked out fashionably and sporting a stylish new hairstyle there might be more to it than amicable appreciation.
The same goes for your side.
If you’re noticing those jeans she’s wearing are triggering a bit more than just your friendly side then you’re on the road to romantic – or at least physical – attraction.
Noticing the way someone looks is normal, but having it make a deeper impression on you enough to mention it or truly take a deeper interest is generally the realm of romance.
Watch how she reacts the next time you’re looking like a million bucks. How she makes you feel like a real man and a hero.
If she thumbs up and slaps you on the back you’re likely still just friends, but if she bites her lip and says “wowww …” then you can be pretty confident something else is going on entirely.
20) Your future plans suddenly become a top interest
Your study, work, or life plans go from being something you would talk about as friends to something that takes on a new weight.
The chance of moving to a faraway place or changing your lifestyle in a major way may cause this friend to worry or become preoccupied.
The same goes for if they tell you they were moving or making a big life change.
Think about how you would feel?
If the answer is that you would feel like you were losing more than just a friend then you have your answer right there.
21) They begin sharing more and more of your interests and opinions
This won’t always be the case, but if you notice your friend starts sharing more and more of your opinions and interests – that they didn’t before – it can be a strong sign they’re into you.
It’s true vice versa as well.
Indeed, the same goes for if you find part of yourself craving to appeal to them on that romantic level and wanting to impress or appeal to them.
You should resist being a showoff or changing yourself to fit someone else, especially since finding true love and intimacy is in the opposite direction – but it’s still good to take note of that instinct in you to appeal and align with them.
It shows you see them as more than a friend.
So they’re more than a friend … what now?
When the signs are there that you’re more than friends – from one direction or the other – then the friendship will undergo an evolution or sometimes even end one way or another.
It is best, to be honest and bring up the subject if you are having feelings for your friend, and if they come to you expressing romantic interest then if you share it you can decide to begin dating and if you don’t you can let them down easy as much as possible.
Friendship is a wonderful thing, and being more than friends is also a journey that many have taken along a beautiful path.