It really is true that, in the best relationships, your partner is also your best friend. That's because they’re usually a person with whom you can fully be yourself, have the best time, and trust the most... but sometimes, the opposite is true, and your best friend becomes your partner. If you have a crush on a friend and you’re not sure how to go from friends to dating, then the first step is learning how to flirt with a friend, as you’re nothing without a good flirt game.
Making that transition from friendship to something more is not without its challenges. Sometimes things just evolve naturally, but just as often, going from besties to lovers takes effort. Flirting is a great way to subtly tell them you'd like to change the dynamic of your relationship while also testing the waters. Flirting also gives you an excuse to easily back down without putting the friendship at any real risk, should you get the message they just want to be friends.
If you're looking to go from crushin’ to lovin’ with a friend, the way you flirt is actually not all that different from how you would with a stranger or someone you're still getting to know. So if you are already comfortable flirting, this should be easy. The one key difference is to take it slow and feel things out before you make any sudden moves. Not sure how to make a move on a friend? Here are some tips to get you started.
Flirt With Confidence, Not Cockiness
Whether you're flirting with a friend or a total stranger, the most important thing is to do it with confidence. Not only is confidence sexy, but a lack of it can make things unnecessarily awkward, fast. Remember that confidence does not equal cockiness or rudeness, so keep the flirting on the sweet side. “Flirt with your words of kindness," Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of the Kurre and Klapow Show, previously told Elite Daily. “Flirting doesn't have to be sexual in nature. Being kind, being polite, being engaged in conversation — these are all ways of flirting. As soon as you cross over to overt physical compliments and stronger words, you run the risk of coming on too strong.”
Pay Attention To Your Friend’s Body Language
Touch is a big part of getting your flirt on. Whether it’s brushing their arm, pushing back a lock of hair, or just grabbing their arm when you laugh, making contact takes your flirting to the next level. Body language is crucial when you’re trying to see if someone likes you, according to Damona Hoffman, certified dating coach and host of the The Dates & Mates Podcast. “When someone is flirting, they tend to smile, make more eye contact, and look for chances to touch the other person (usually in neutral body zones first),” Hoffman tells Elite Daily. “If the other person isn't giving you vibes, you can try one of those flirting methods to see if it changes the dynamic between the two of you.”
Save All Your Flirting Just For Your Friend
Have you been told you’re a big flirt? Well, chances are that — if you're known to be flirty — your friend may not even register when you're flirting with them and actually mean it. So, if there is one person you are actually interested in, focus all that energy on them, so they can sense that your intentions for them are different. Dating Transformation founder and dating coach Connell Barrett said this singular approach to flirting can show your friend that you are being meaningful with them. “Are they nice and friendly with everyone, or do they give you extra attention? If they single you out, they’re likely flirting,” Barrett previously told Elite Daily, and the same goes for when you’re flirting with a friend.
Take It Easy With Your Friend At First
This is key: Don’t go too hard all at once. For one thing, that might make your friend uncomfortable, especially if they aren't feeling the same way. Hoffman says you want to tread lightly when flirting with a friend and to start off with suggestive comments, like telling them they look cute, or saying that your one-on-one hang out with them feels like a date. “If they respond in a flirty way and amp up the energy then you know you can take it a step further,” says Hoffman. “If they try to deflect the attention or change the subject you're probably barking up the wrong tree.”
Use All The Tools At Your Disposal
Flirting in person is great, but it’s not the only way to start hinting you want something more. Flirty texting is also a good way to get your subtle flirt on. Start easy with a sweet goodnight text. If they respond with a sweet one back, game on! Hoffman also suggests using text to recall something you have in common. “One great technique is to callback something you discussed or experienced together,” says Hoffman. “You can do this through text, with a GIF or meme or even linking to something that reminds you of them.”
Don’t Smother Your Friend With Attention
When you're crushing on someone, it’s natural to want to focus all your attention on them all the time, but that can be a little awkward. Instead, try flirting, and then, back off and let the moment be. "You shouldn't have to over-flirt to grab the attention of someone you like," Dr. Klapow previously told Elite Daily. "If you flirt in small amounts and in an authentic manner, it is much more effective." Give your friend the time and space to reciprocate.
Ask Your Friend For Some 1-On-1 Time
If you're typically spending time with them in a group setting, invite them to do something — just the two of you. If they are feeling you, too, they will jump at the chance. “You can say ‘I’m going to this place for a sangria, would you care to join me?’ It shows you were going to the place regardless,” breakup recovery and dating coach Cherlyn Chong previously suggested.
When In Doubt, Be Direct With Your Friend
Have you exhausted all of the subtle flirting techniques, and now, you just want to know what’s up? Well, there's always the direct route: telling them straight-up how you feel. It doesn't have to be all grand and dramatic. It can just be something like, "Hey, I'm kind of catching feelings here... thoughts?" Just be sure that, before you make any declarations, you're ready for the possibility that they just want to maintain your relationship as it already is.
“Things might be awkward — it does change the dynamic of the relationship,” Hoffman points out. If you are comfortable with continuing a friendship regardless of the answer, Hoffman says to let them know. “Tell them, ‘If you don't feel the same way, I'm happy to just be friends with you and I can move on. But if you do feel the same way I would like to take this to the next level and get to know each other on a romantic basis,’” she suggests.
OK, so that last one is a little trickier to walk back from, but as you can see, for the most part, these tips are low-risk with the possibility for high reward. Always pay attention to any subtle cues they are giving you, whether it’s the green light for more or the red light to cool it.
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist and host of the Kurre and Klapow Show
Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and dating coach
Damona Hoffman, certified dating expert and host of the The Dates & Mates Podcast
Cherlyn Chong, breakup recovery and dating coach
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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