Fallen For a Friend? Here’s How to Test the Waters
Some of the best romantic relationships start out as friendships. And it makes sense. You already trust each other and know each other’s pasts. You’ve seen them at their worst, and they’ve seen you at yours.
From friendship to love is actually one of the cutest story tropes of them all.
Maybe back in school or by way of mutual friends … or at work.
You hang out.
You act silly together.
You don’t care what you look like … you’re not worried if you talk too much or not enough …
And then one day …
Maybe slowly, maybe all at once out of the blue … you just think: Holy crap, I like this person more than just as friends.
And at first, you’re wondering how, where, and when this change really took place. But then you realize you just don’t care!
It’s an exciting feeling. It’s not that shaky, “Is this really real?” feeling with other people that’s thrilling but also a little risky. You know them. You know their habits, their views, their likes and dislikes. You know their history, their hobbies, their faults. And with all of this information in hand, you have chosen to be friends with them. They want to be friends with you too.
So why couldn’t “something more” be in the cards for you two …
Well, maybe something more is in the cards.
But going head first into the “I like you. Do you have feelings for me too?” situation can be risky and super scary.
If it turns out the feelings aren’t mutual … your friendship could immediately change. You may feel completely embarrassed and not want to ever see them again. Even if you decide you’re okay with just staying friends if they turn you down, when they find out that you have those types of feelings for them, they may feel uncomfortable or act differently around you.
That’s why you’ve got to test the waters first. Once you realize you have feelings for a friend, take a beat. Stand back and assess the situation. Decide whether you think you have a chance or not.
Answer These 10 Questions: YES or NO
The following YES/NO questions will help you figure out if this friend you have deeper feelings for might share the same feelings for you.
The more ‘YES’ answers you have, the better your chances at a real relationship with this person.
- Do you see them at least twice a week?
- Do you ever get together one on one?
- Have you ever gotten close to something intimate—e.g., almost holding hands, sort of cuddling on the couch, an extra long hug?
- When something really great, really funny or really bad happens, do they call you right away?
- Do they seem to be extra critical of the past or current people you date?
- Are they either exceptionally interested or not at all interested in the people you date?
- Do they ask you to go with them to important events that would/could otherwise be done with a partner—e.g., weddings, going to funerals, visiting someone in the hospital?
- Do they put extra effort forth for you—e.g., dressing nicely, bringing you supplies when you’re sick, letting you know your favorite movie’s on TV?
- Do they remember important things, like your birthday, your siblings’ names, the date of that big job interview?
- Are they currently single?
If It’s a “Go” … What Now?
Alright. You’ve gone through the questions. Hopefully, most of them were YES’s. If they were, you can feel pretty comfortable that they may feel the same about you as you feel about them. The YES’s from the questionnaire mean that you mean a lot to this friend. And that’s good.
But keep in mind, you don’t have to be best friends for something more to happen between you two. Maybe they are just an acquaintance and you’ve decided you’re into them as more than that. Maybe they’re an old friend you randomly saw again, and all these feelings came flooding to you. Either way, some of these questions might have produced NOs for you. And that’s still okay.
Regardless of your score, if you have decided you want to go forward and definitely see if your friend has feelings for you, here are some options for approaching the situation.
There really aren’t too many scenarios to choose from, so if you don’t want to wait around to see if they will make a move, you’ll probably need to choose one of these:
- Up your game of attraction.
If you feel like you two are friends but that you may be going unnoticed by them romantically, this could be because you’re too chummy together. They might only be looking at you like “another gal pal” or “one of the guys.”
It’s probably the result of the way you interact. As a woman, maybe you never bother to wear makeup or your cutest outfits around him or as a guy, you are a complete slob in front of her. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t act natural and be yourself. You should. But think about it this way: How do you act around someone you’re dating? If it’s different than the way you act around this friend you’re into, change your ways. Aim for attraction.
- Be really blunt and ask them.
This is actually a very sneaky way to approach things. You literally say nothing about your feelings. Instead, you just ask them first: Hey, have you ever had/do you have feelings for me?
If they say yes, great! If they say no, you don’t have to worry about feeling embarrassed or pushing the relationship. Just remember if you don’t “go first,” they may be too shy to tell the truth if they really do have feelings for you.
- Tell them how you feel first, then see what happens.
Finally, if you feel like you saying that you have feelings for them first would sway things in your favor and open things up for them, do it!
Ask them if they would sit down with you sometime alone, and just come out with it. Be frank and serious and tell them why you like them. But don’t lay too much out in the beginning. After you basically say, “I have feelings for you,” shut up and let them respond. You don’t want to wear your heart on your sleeve and gush on and on about them only to hear that they don’t feel the same.
Hopefully, however … they will.
And this … could be the start of a beautiful friendship relationship.