Dating and falling in love with a friend seems like the ideal situation. Monica and Chandler on Friends certainly made it work. But in real life, it can be a little bit more complicated. Since you and your friend probably already have a great dynamic, it might be tricky to tell if those feelings are turning romantic. If someone in your group has started to demonstrate the signs a friend likes you as more than just friends, you might want to keep an eye out and have a conversation. After all, nothing stings quite like losing a good friend because you're not on the same page about your feelings.
"If a friend that you've known takes a stronger interest with you than normal, it might be more than just a desire to hang out as friends," matchmaking and dating expert Stef Safran tells Elite Daily. On top of that, theres the whole issue of whether or not to actually pursue anything, because if you break up, things can get real awk, real fast. "Dating within a friend group will certainly change the dynamic of the group," dating coach Erika Ettin previously told Elite Daily. "Whether that's for better or worse is really something no one can know until it happens."
If someone in your friend group has been a little more flirty than usual, or giving you more one-on-one attention lately, read below and keep an eye out.
1. They're touching you more than usual.
When you're friends with someone, a hug is just a hug... until it's not. "If they try and touch you more often than normal, they might like you," Safran explains. You'll know when a hug lasts a little longer than normal, or when their arms stay on your shoulder in a romantic way as opposed to a "You're my pal!" way. Pay attention to these tiny details, and don't feel like you need to be OK with someone's unwelcome advances. Don't be afraid to move away or tell them to kindly stop touching you if you feel uncomfortable. Unsolicited touching is never OK, people!
2. They want to hang out at places that feel like date spots.
"If they suggest meeting at places that come across as more 'date like,'" like dinners or movies, Safran says they might have developed feelings for you. This is especially true if they want to spend Saturday nights alone with you, she adds.
3. They want to talk more.
Finally, a friend might be into you as more than just a friend when you notice they want to talk to you a lot more than usual. "If they start asking you more questions that seem more personal, they could like you," Safran explains. Pay attention to how often they text you, if they're texting you for a specific reason, or if it's just to say hi. If they're sending you texts late at night that make it seem like they want to meet up (or hook up!), then their intentions are pretty clear.
Once you've identified the signs above, it's time to decide how you feel. "If you know you don't feel the same way, the best thing you can do is either be honest that you value their friendship but don't see them in a romantic way, or you can state that you like someone else romantically and have them get the hint that you are into someone else," Safran advises. On the other hand, if you want to be more than just friends, let those sparks fly!
"If you do feel the same way, figure out a way to spend some time together where you can talk and be in a more romantic setting to create the ability to move the relationship to the next level," Safran says. It's totally possible to go from just friends to more, and if you're both into it, then heck yes! But if you don't feel the same way, it's good to know where you stand and how to handle the situation. Whatever happens, remember that you were friends first, and hopefully, your friendship is strong enough to endure this potentially awkward situation.