Signs a friendship is turning into love

Updated July 20, 2017

She's always there when you need her. He's the person you most look forward to seeing at work. You are good friends and confidants. Sometimes love is an acute emotion that erupts suddenly, but in many cases it develops slowly with true friendship as an ideal foundation. Signs that your friendship may be metamorphosing into love include new body language, subtle behavioural changes and stronger emotional responses.

Body Language

Body language is one of the clearest indicators of how someone feels about another person, in part because many of these reactions are subconscious. Someone who is interested in and attracted to someone else will lean in closely or even slouch, perhaps tilting his or her head to one side and betray a genuine smile. Men will hold your gaze for at least eight seconds if they are smote and may lift an eyebrow slightly or look surprised when speaking to you. Women may stroke their hair, toy with their jewellery, cross and uncross their legs or part and lick their lips. Men and women will both look for excuses to touch. He might reach out and touch your arm, elbow or shoulder while she might brush his thigh or knee. In general, someone who is interested in you will find a reason to be around you as much as possible.

Subtle Behavioral Changes

If a friend's feelings toward you have changed, some signs may be subtle, but still noticeable. You may find that your friend's behaviour changes. He may start paying more attention to his physical appearance and clothing, making an effort to look good in your presence. You may also notice an increased interest in your hobbies, family and friends or a new anxiety about hearing from you via e-mail or phone. Your friend may appear to be more distracted than usual or tired due to difficulty sleeping. This is possibly the result of anxiety and uncertainty your friend is experiencing because his feelings toward you are changing.

Stronger Emotional Responses

If you notice that you get anxious when you don't hear from him after a short period of time or if you don't receive a quick response to a voicemail, text or e-mail, this could be a sign that your feelings are growing deeper for your friend. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable when he is on a date and you find yourself making negative comments about his significant other. Maybe you are finding every excuse to monopolise his time. You may even subtly flirt with your friend, but end your provocative comments with a phrase like "just kidding!" which reduces the risk of betraying your vulnerability. If you are engaging in any of these behaviours, it may be time to reassess your feelings for your friend.

An Honest and Open Talk

If you are confident that your feelings for your friend have changed, the best option may be to have an honest and open talk about the situation. Ignoring your friend in an attempt to control your emotions will only cause confusion, and denying your feelings might imply that you are deceitfully continuing the relationship with your own hidden agenda. You may fear that a frank discussion could change or ruin your friendship, but this is an emotional rather than a rational response. If your feelings have truly changed, then the relationship between the two of you has already been altered.

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About the Author

Patricia Rose Lynn completed her Ph.D. in Spanish language and literature in 2009 and holds several information-technology and teaching certifications. In addition to her teaching and work in academic technology, Lynn works as a freelance writer and has authored many articles on such topics as the college selection process and animal rights.