So... you and your best friend got drunk and made out.
We've all been there. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Maybe you catch them staring at you when you're not doing anything interesting, or they've stopped talking about other hook-ups around you, or they one-time mumbled "I love you" when they fell asleep on that road trip.
All of these things could be signs you're on your way to something more serious, and it can be confusing as hell.
Navigating between the friend zone and a relationship is as mysterious as it is exhausting and often results in unnecessary stress, pressure and awkwardness that makes everything MORE stressful, full of MORE pressure and even MORE awkward.
How do you know where "this whole thing" is going, or if it's going anywhere at all?
Here are some tips that will help guide you through the confusing path from the friend zone to a relationship:
Have You Kissed? If So, How Was It?
Chemistry is real, people. Feeling a spark with someone isn't made up or in your head. Consider it a giant, flashing, neon arrow pointing you toward the person you're supposed to be with.
If there are fireworks between you and this person, you'll feel it when you kiss. It should be both the easiest and most natural thing in the world, and also the most exciting, remarkable sensation at the same time.
If you've already kissed and it was, lucky you! Pursue that shit. Lots of people never find it.
If the kiss was "meh," your physical attraction to them is "blah" or your interest in their life outside of your friendship is nonexistent, you don't care about them that much.
So don't lead them on.
Are They Acting Weird Around You?
You're their best friend and you know when something is up.
Has their behavior changed at all when you're hanging out? Are they more distant, or more affectionate?
Both might be signs that their feelings towards you are changing. And as their bestie, you're the best person to get to the bottom of it.
Maybe you know that when they have something on their mind (like maybe lifelong happiness with you?) they always go quiet.
Or, if they're being extra nice, is it because they're making up for something they know would upset you if you found out (because they are picturing you naked now every time they see you?).
Call them on it! You're their BFFL damnit, you deserve to know why they're being so weird.
Are They Still Hooking Up With Other People?
Sometimes we might think we're the only person that really "gets" somebody, and all we have to do is wait for them to figure out we're their soulmates.
Look, if your friend is hooking up with other people, the hard truth is they're just not thinking about you that much.
If you find yourself rationalizing it by thinking they need to kiss a few frogs before they get to you, that's likely denial talking — and it's better to accept you aren't on their brain like they might be on yours.
Is Everyone Else Joking That You're Going To Get Married One Day?
If you and your friend ar putting out MAJOR relationship vibes, your other friends and family will pick up on it. Listen to the people around you.
If there's a general consensus you'd be great together, it's probably because you ARE great together!
If your bestie doesn't bat an eye when your mom brings up your future babies, odds are, you're already past some of the difficult stages of entering a new relationship — like getting to know each other's families and future long-term life goals.
This sign is definitely a step toward relationship-level status.
What Is Your Gut Telling You?
Try your best to decipher if that feeling you have in your stomach when it's just the two of you driving late at night with the windows down and the wind in your hair is butterflies... or a pit.
Our guts tend to know what's best and can be an excellent resource when navigating matters of the heart.
You're not an idiot, and you know when something is real or not.
Can You Just Ask Them?
The best part about living in "will-we-won't-we" land with your homie is that they love you no matter what.
If you don't want to make things weird, make a joke out of it. Say, "Hey, been picking up on some new vibes lately. You're not, like, in love with me, are you?"
Or, just be upfront, "So, are we going to do this or what?"
Whatever happens, you know they have your back and aren't looking to make you feel like an idiot. Sometimes the most direct route to a relationship is by calling it when you see it.
It gives them an out to say how they really feel, and then you can KNOW once and for all.
The bottom line here? You're smarter than you think. So, if you feel like something is up, odds are, your bestie does too.
Don't panic. Put on your big girl panties and try to enjoy the (maybe bumpy) ride with your friend-zoned pal.