You've shared countless hours together. You've shared dark secrets and hopes for the future with one another. You've vented about everything and everyone including horrible exes and dysfunctional family members. You may have even cried on each other's shoulders before. It seems only natural that the person you've shared so much with, suddenly looks attractive to you romantically. There's nothing inherently wrong with loving your BFF as more than a BFF, but it can feel awkward and confusing (at first). So what are the signs you are attracted to your best friend?
Whether you have many friends, a few, or just one, it's widely thought that having friends makes life better generally speaking. They're a support system, and they can boost self-esteem. Turns out humans don't just intuitively know friends are good for them, the science also backs it up. According to Psychology Today, participants in a study stood in front of a hill either alone or alongside a friend. Those alone estimated the hill was steeper and those with a friend next them estimated the hill was less steep. Having a friend makes life experiences less daunting. One could assume that coupling with your bestie makes the most sense because who wouldn't want to try being with their best friend forever, happily ever after? It sounds like the perfect long-term or life-partner situation.
So are you feeling your friend as more than a friend? It can be hard to discern your feelings, but here are seven signs that you might want to take your friend out of the friend zone and into the relationship zone.
1. You're Jealous When They Talk About Someone Else
Starting to feel envious about the date your friend just went on? Do you hate on your best friend's sweetheart for no good reason? Jealousy is thought to be a totally normal human emotional reaction. According to Psychology Today, jealousy is sparked when a person perceives a threat to a valued relationship from a third party. The good news is you don't need to suppress it if you feel it — it's typically a signal that you should re-evaluate the relationship.
2. You Care What You Look Like In Front Of Them, Even If You Didn't Before
Your best friend is typically a person you can call to hang out with while donning old pajamas, unwashed hair, and unbrushed teeth. If you start caring about your appearance in front of your best friend, it may be a sign that you're starting to like them more than a bestie.
3. You Text Them Constantly, At All Hours Of The Night
If you have this insatiable desire to be in contact with your best friend, it may be because you're in love. It comes down to science — Mental Floss explained that when your brain experiences love it's like an addictive high. The hormones that are activated cause a constant rash of urgent lusty feelings that make you want to be connected to the person more and more (it can feel obsessive and possessive). Once you're in love those feelings give way to a more calm feelings.
4. You Feel Butterflies Around Them
If you used to be totally chill around your bestie, but lately not so much, it may be a sign that you're attracted to them. According to a study titles, "The Neural Basis of Love" by Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki, seeing a photo of a loved one prompted activity in the insular cortex of the brain. The insular cortex of the brain is thought to process stress and may send messages to the gut making it react.
5. You Feel Sexual Tension
Do hugs with your BFF feel a little different? Maybe a little tingly. . . down there? Does eye contact feel more intimate? All of these feelings might be signs that you want to have sex with your best friend. The actual signs of arousal for men and women differ because there are different body parts involved, but generally speaking, you know when you feel like "getting it on" with someone.
6. You Fear You Could Lose The Friendship
This is a big one, because there's a huge risk associated with taking the risk with your best friend and try the romantic route. You make yourself super vulnerable and risk your feelings not being reciprocated by your friend. If you get through the confessing stage and both of you agree to move forward romantically you risk losing the friendship should the relationship dissolve. It's totally normal to feel anxiety and fear about losing your friendship to your loving feelings. No one wants to lose their best friend.
7. You Picture Yourself With Them
Find yourself musing about the life you and your bestie could have together constantly? Turns out, it's totally normal to daydream about your love object and your future together. According to Live Science, this drive to be with another person is like your human drive towards basic
needs like water and other survival needs.
"I think of romantic love as part of the human reproductive strategy. It helps us form pair-bonds, which help us survive," Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said in the aforementioned article. So basically if you're thinking about marriage, babies, and future road trips together while in retirement with you bestie-turned-love-interest, it's very normal.
In the end, fessing up your feelings to your best friend is your choice. As with all forms of love, there is no guarantee they will feel the same way towards you. It will be up to you to either tell them straight up how you're feeling or move on with the friendship and find ways to detach romantically.