3 Thoughts That Mean You’re Crushing On A Friend, So The Ball’s In Your Court

Back before I was officially in a relationship, I used to get crushes on my friends all the time. I put a lot of love and energy into the people in my life, so it's really no surprise that the line between friends and potential lovers got a little blurry sometimes. I would find myself having all the usual "I wonder" thoughts that mean you’re crushing on a friend when we spent time together, and would ultimately realize I had to decide if I was just having a passing attraction to them, or if my feelings meant there was something deeper between us that I could pursue. I usually went the route of continuing as just friends, but occasionally, I decided to take a risk and try for something more. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn't.

As it turns out, my experiences are far from uncommon. According to Andrea Amour, founder and dating coach at UpDate Coaching, catching feelings for the people close to us can happen all the time. "It's extremely common to have a crush on a friend," she tells Elite Daily. "In fact, I'd even say in many friendships where both people are single, someone has a mild crush on the other at the beginning of the friendship. That's because a relationship equals a friendship plus attraction. If you're attracted to the other person, chances are you'll crush on them. If you're not attracted, your thoughts stay focused on friendship."

If you suspect that your feelings for a friend have tipped into something more romantic, these are the kinds of thoughts the experts say might confirm it.

1. You Get Excited At The Thought Of Spending Time With Them.

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When you have a crush on someone, you can’t help but get excited and giddy at the thought of being around them. So, if you start feeling that way when you and your friend have plans to hang out, that might mean you've caught deeper, more romantic feelings for them. These sensations can be explained by brain chemistry, as clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Rhonda Freeman previously told Elite Daily. Specifically, it's your brain releasing dopamine, norepinephrine, and endogenous opioids. "This is the chemistry we can actually feel throughout our body, not only in our mind," Freeman explained.

2. You Wonder What They're Doing When You’re Apart.

Do you find yourself daydreaming about what they're doing while you're apart? Or maybe you can’t resist peaking at their social media to find out what they're up to… every hour. If so, Dr. Freeman explained this can also be a sign you're crushing on your friend. Basically, any time you think about about the object of your affection, the release of the endogenous opioids feels rewarding. "This is heightened even more when we see them, get texts from them, or spend time with them. Our stress system heightens our senses and we notice everything about them: Their smell, their smile, their mannerisms, their laugh, facial expressions,” explained Dr. Freeman.

3. You Want To Be Physically Affectionate With Them.

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Perhaps the clearest sign that you are crushing on a friend, says Amour, is simply that you find yourself sexually attracted to them and want to be physically affectionate. “I think it really comes down to just one thing: if you want to sleep with them,” says Amour. “If you think about kissing, dancing with, or sleeping with someone, your brain's telling you that you're attracted to them, and thus are more likely into them as a romantic partner, not just a friend.”

Is this all sounding awfully familiar? If so, chances are your feelings for your friend extend beyond the friend zone. Now, the question becomes what to do about it, if anything. “There's nothing wrong with having feelings for a friend,” says Amour. “Many people think that it will ‘ruin’ friendships to tell their friend they're attracted to them or want to date them. In fact, if you don't tell them what's going on in your mind, it will start to change your behavior and your friend will notice — and ask you what's going on. So, you might as well take a chance and just tell them,” she concludes. “Best case scenario, they're into you, too! Second best scenario, they're not into you, but now you understand that you're just going to be friends.” Ultimately, the ball's in your court.