We all want to believe we can be close friends with someone we’re also physically attracted to, or even just have the potential of being physically attracted to. “We’re just friends. I’m not into them. That would never happen.” And yet, so very often, it does. Friends who swore they were just friends fall in love all the time. It just takes the time for each of them to realize the change has occurred. If you’ve got a best friend you think you might be starting to feel more for, here are 10 revealing signs you are in love with your best friend!
1. They’re the First One you Want to Tell Anything
We all know that the best part of Gilmore Girls–when Luke finally buys that self-help tape that makes him realize he’s in love with Lorelei. And it’s simple. it doesn’t make him analyze every relationship he’s had or deconstruct every piece of his personality. All it does is ask him a few questions: “Whose phone calls or visits are never unwanted or too long? Who would you most like to have in your life to ward off moments of loneliness? When something wonderful happens in your life — a promotion at work, a successful refinancing — who do you want to share the news with?” Every time the tape asks him one of these questions, the first person to pop in his head is Lorelei. She’s the first person he thinks of when it comes to spending time with someone or sharing a piece of news, and that’s how he knows he loves her, even if before he thought she was just a good friend. If your best friend is the first person you want to share all your good news with, it could be one of the signs you are in love with your best friend!
2. You’re Comfortable Being Physically Intimate
Physical intimacy is a clear line between friends and something more just waiting to happen. I don’t mean just hugging when you see each other or putting an arm around one another for a photo. It’s more than that. Leaning into one another when you’re standing. Sitting close on the couch. Casually letting your legs linger together. Picture it like this: if you had an S/O, would they be jealous or unhappy to walk in and see you and your best friend close in one of these kinds of intimacies? Then you’re definitely expressing a physicality beyond that of “just friends.”
3. You’re Overly Protective of Them
Are you the one always coming to your best friend’s protection? Do you defend them to anyone? Do you worry about them when you think they might could get hurt, maybe worry a little bit too much? Then it could be you have a little something more on the line. This is an especially good sign if the things you often want to protect them from have to do with getting hurt in a hook up or a relationship. Recently, a friend of mine who was newly single was trying to get a bartender’s number for fun on a night out. We all thought it was fine, let her have her fun, except for one of the guys we were with who kept trying to get her to stop, trying to protect her from embarrassing herself or getting hurt. But to me that really was him trying to protect himself from watching her flirt with other guys. Inside a subconscious voice is thinking, they’d be better off with me. This is definitely one of the signs you are in love with your best friend!
4. You Don’t Even Like Sharing Them with Other Friends
The closer you get to realizing you’re in love with your best friend, the more jealousy will start to rise up and make itself known. It’s a definite sign that you want something more than just friendship when you start wanting to monopolize your best friend’s time. Whether you know it or not, inside you want to be with them, and that physical reaction, that knot of jealousy, when they hang out with other people you feel in competition with, is a clear indicator of what’s going on inside. We really only expect that sole kind of attention from someone we want to be in a relationship with.
5. You’d Do Anything for Them
Think of all the things you would do for your second closest friend. Now think of all the things you would do for your best friend. Is there a huge disparity between the two lists? Are you willing to make way more sacrifices for your best friend than you would for someone else? Do you even get pleasure or excitement from making those sacrifices for them? Driving a long way to see them, bringing them lunch on a whim, buying them something special. If these are things you often like to do for your best friend and it makes you giddy to think about making them happy, you may very well be in love.
6. You Aren’t Interested in Dating Anyone
Look at your life outside of your best friend. Are you seeing anyone? Are you making an effort to meet anyone? Are you finding yourself disinterested in any of the potential matches available to you in your circle or online? If you’re lonely, but you can still swipe through an entire swatch of Tinder matches or scan an entire bar without any interest, then there might be something going on, bigger than not just being able to find anyone. You could be in a rut. You could really just need to find that special person. Or it could be one of the signs you are in love with your best friend, so everyone else just pales in subconscious comparison.
7. You Feel Uncomfortable Sharing Relationship Stories
You’re supposed to be able to tell your best friend anything. Anything. But it could be that recently you’ve started hesitating when an old hook up or relationship story comes to mind. You close your mouth rather than recount the details. You for some reason stop and make a conscious effort to keep those pieces of information to yourself. If this is happening, you probably have started to feel like you owe your best friend something. That talking about yourself being romantic with other people would be some kind of betrayal to their feelings, even though it wouldn’t be since you’re just friends, right? Well, maybe in your heart you’re not just friends anymore. This is definitely one of the tell-tale signs you are in love with your best friend!
8. Other People Ask if You’re Together
The judgements of outsiders are for the most part irrelevant and unsubstantiated. They don’t know your life. But sometimes those not so close can see things you can’t. If you find that strangers, or even mildly close friends, are often asking whether you and your best friend are together, like together together, then you must be putting off some serious romantic vibes to make so many people make the same guess. There has to be some good reason so many people keep asking. This is definitely one of the signs you are in love with your best friend; if other people see the chemistry, it is probably there.
9. You Find Yourself Impressed by Them
One of my good friends realized about a year ago that after years of being “just friends” and putting off his advances, she had actually become interested in one of her totally platonic guy friends. She told me she just started realizing that she was impressed by him. He was clearly growing up, maturing as a person and figuring his life out. She was proud of what he was doing and inside she realized she was attracted to that aspect of him that had suddenly snuck up and impressed her so much. We are all huge supporters of our best friends, but if you often find yourself looking them over and feeling overwhelmed by all they’ve done and become and who they just are, then this may be one of the signs you are in love with your best friend.
10. They’re the Person you Seek Comfort From
There was another question that the self-help tape asked Luke that made him envision Lorelei and realize he was in love: “when you’re in pain, who would you most like to comfort you?” This is a huge tell when it comes to determining whether or not you’re in love with your best friend. Whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain, are they the one you want by your side? To rub your back or distract you or just be held by until you feel better? Ding ding ding. You’re probably in love. And y’all I realize this is a fictional example I keep using, but it’s real in my heart. And also it’s just true. We all know it.
It’s a big step going from being friends to being in a relationship. It’s a big step to take together, but it’s a big step to even think about and wrap your mind around too. The thing is that when you’re emotionally and physically comfortable with someone, as best friends usually are, (and also physically attracted to them), there’s no way to subvert the natural growth of deeper feelings. All you have to do is finally see it: recognize those urges and take the plunge. Your life is about to change in a whole lotta ways, hopefully with them feeling the same, hopefully in only the best of ways.