If you’re unsure about your feelings towards a friend, I feel you.
About 12 years ago, I developed feelings for a close friend of mine. My best friend, actually.
It was a really tough time because I was in a relationship at the time. Naturally, I kept suppressing my thoughts and feelings – I thought I could bury them under the rug.
But that rarely works out.
So, don’t follow in my footsteps. If you are developing feelings for a friend, it’s better to know now rather than a year down the line.
Here are 10 undeniable signs you’re confused about your feelings for your friend:
1) You overthink every interaction
One of the first undeniable signs that we’re going to look at is how you feel after hanging out with your friend.
Do you find yourself analyzing every conversation? Running through every little touch, smile, or laugh shared?
If so, it could be that these interactions mean more to you than they would with a purely platonic friend.
And it makes sense – if you’re confused, you’re going to reflect on your time with this person heavily, to try to understand what you’re feeling.
You may also be trying to work out their stance on the friendship – were they being overly friendly? Flirty? Did you imagine the lingering eye contact or was it for real?
It’s normal to feel this way if you’re questioning how you feel about a friend and whether you may like them more than you initially realized.
2) You find yourself getting jealous
Now, after the first point, this is probably the most telling.
If you weren’t confused about your friend, you probably wouldn’t get jealous.
If they mention they went on a date with someone the other night, you’d be interested and happy for them.
But if you feel a tight knot in your stomach, and you can’t stop ruminating over the fact they’re dating other people, it’s a sign you’re unsure of your feelings.
In my case, this is how I realized I was falling for my best friend. I’d spent years listening to him talk about other girls and it never bothered me.
But when my feelings shifted, I vividly remember hating the fact that he was interested in other girls. I found it harder to listen to him talk about his dating life – in fact, I avoided that conversation altogether.
3) You experience mood swings
When you’re with your friend, how do you feel?
If your emotions are quite up and down – one minute happy, the next you’re in a mood for no apparent reason – this is another sign to look out for.
I get how frustrating it is for you if you are experiencing mood swings, but logically speaking, it’s not unusual.
Especially if you’re confused about how you feel about them.
If they do something nice for you, you’re going to be over the moon. On the other hand, you’ll take it personally if they are quiet or distant.
All of this indicates that you’re not seeing them in the same light as before. Their actions and behavior is affecting you more than it should.
4) You struggle to define the relationship
Someone asks you who your “friend” is…but rather than just say, “They’re my friend,” you find yourself unsure of what to say.
Even if nothing has happened between you, you may struggle to answer the question without hesitating.
But that’s not all…
Perhaps you crave more intimacy and alone time. You invite your friend into situations that you wouldn’t have done in the past…
You may also allow deeper, more personal conversations to happen. Conversations you wouldn’t necessarily have with *just* a friend.
5) Your body physically reacts when you’re around them
When I was confused about my feelings for my best friend, I noticed that I got nervous whenever we were together.
Which felt super strange since I’d pretty much grown up with him.
But suddenly, my hands got clammy. I was way more conscious about everything I said.
If he hugged me or put his arm around me in a friendly manner, I’d get butterflies.
You know, sometimes our bodies tell us everything we need to know. While your mind might feel cluttered and confused, your physical reactions to your friend are clear.
Especially if you never felt these feelings before.
6) You daydream and fantasize
Another undeniable sign you’re confused about your feelings for a friend is if you fantasize about them.
You no longer imagine what it’d be like to kiss the cute barman or barwoman you used to dream about, now they’ve been replaced with your friend.
Or maybe you fantasize about them suddenly confessing their feelings for you and what life together would look like.
This works in conjunction with the previous point:
When you have these fantasies, what’s your physical reaction? Do you feel butterflies? A warm, pleasant feeling in your tummy? Does your heartbeat increase?
If so, this says a lot.
If you weren’t confused, your friend wouldn’t be showing up in such scenarios.
7) You worry about your appearance
Before, you’d turn up at your friend’s place in sweats, still hungover from the night before. How you looked was never a concern.
But now, things are different.
You find yourself grooming more before meeting up. Perhaps you’ve caught yourself dressing in a way that might catch their attention, or using a perfume or cologne you know they like.
In my experience, I also got quite self-conscious.
I’d worry about how I looked when he was around; was I slouching? Would my spotty teenage skin put him off? And mainly, I hated myself for biting my nails.
In hindsight, it’s quite funny to look back on this as I didn’t even realize at the time that I was falling for him.
All I knew was that I wanted him to think I was attractive.
8) You fear losing them
If you imagine losing a friend, a normal friend, you’d feel sad. But you’re not thinking about it on a daily basis.
You’re not worried about it.
Yet, with this particular friend, you dread not having them around.
If you have a disagreement, you worry they’ll drift away and distance themselves.
This is another sign of your confused feelings – you get the feeling you’re more attached to this friend than all your others.
So, what is it that makes you value them more? Why is it that you so desperately want to keep them in your life?
If I were you, I’d be asking these questions to try to get to the bottom of your feelings.
9) You act differently around them
My best friend and I used to act like total goofs around each other. We’d tease each other, lots of banter, and I honestly didn’t care about embarrassing myself in front of him.
But when my feelings took a turn, I noticed I started acting in a more controlled manner.
I was careful not to look stupid or say something dumb.
I was also a lot nicer to him.
So, have a think about how you change when you’re with your friend.
Do you feel like you need to act differently from how you usually do?
If you’re confused about your feelings, it’s natural to be unsure of how to behave.
Also, you may seek their validation and approval more than before. I know this was true for me – I cared way more about what he had to say than my other friends.
10) You have difficulty expressing emotions
And finally, do you struggle to show your emotions to your friend?
For example, in the past, if they’d do you a favor, you wouldn’t think twice about giving them a big hug to say thanks.
But now, you’re unsure of what to do. You might even respond coldly, not intentionally, but out of confusion and uncertainty.
You end up giving mixed signals just because you’re still trying to figure things out for yourself.
If all of the above resonates with you, then it’s time to have a good long think about what’s going on.
And if you have fallen for a friend, that’s okay.
It’s pretty normal and common, certainly nothing to feel bad or ashamed about.
Take time to think (and feel) properly before making any rushed decisions. When you’re sure, broach the subject with your friend.
You never know, they may have been experiencing the same thing.