In the movies, love is a big, loud emotion that drowns out everything else. But in real life, love can be sneaky. Rather than a crashing wave of emotion washing over you, it creeps up out of nowhere. One minute you’re buds, and the next you keep catching yourself imaging what it would be like to kiss them... on their mouth... like a lot. But changing a friendship into a romantic relationship can be risky, so you want to be sure what you’re feeling is real. So how do you know if you're in love with your friend and not just lust?
There are lots of subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways to know that your feelings have begun to evolve into something less platonic. You may find the way you act around them begins to change — maybe you’re weirdly nervous or you can't stop finding ways to touch them. Or maybe it’s just that the vibe in the room has changed. What used to be so relaxed has a hint of tension. While you may not be sure of how you feel, usually deep down you know… you just don't want to admit it yet. So, let me help you out by running through some scenarios to see if you really are low-key in love with your friend. Although chances are, if you're reading this, you totally are.
1. You Get Jealous When They Start Dating Someone
You can’t help it. You just feel like there is someone else out there who is better for them. Someone who just so happens to look, act, and think exactly like you.
2. You Want To Spend All Your Free Time With Them
I mean, you could hang out with other people, but why would you when they are obviously the most fun person to be with. Every moment. Of every day.
3. You Would Do Anything For Them
No, seriously, anything. Yes, you say that to all your friends, but somehow you know deep down in your heart that you’d go that extra, extra mile for them and them alone.
4. Everyone You Date Is Disappointing Next To Them
Whenever you meet someone new, you can’t help but compare them to your bestie, but no one ever seems to measure up. I can’t imagine why?
5. Your Day Is Not Complete Until You’ve Talked To Them
If the best part of your day is talking to them, or it feels incomplete without at least touching bases, then your love may not be so low-key.
6. People Mistake You Two For A Couple. All. The. Time.
You can't understand why people think that, just because you are the two closest people on the planet who spend all your time together and are always each other’s plus-one. Also, when you’re apart, you talk about them constantly. Yep, it's a real mystery why people are always so confused.
7. You Can't Stop "Accidentally" Touching
Whoops! My arm brushed against yours for the tenth time. Totally on accident and no, it didn't feel like an electric shock. And no, I'm not going to accidentally do it again in about 60 seconds.
8. You Would Rather Hang Out With Them Than Go On An Actual Date
If the idea of grabbing pizza and hanging out with your “just friends” friend beats out looking for romance with a sexy new stranger, then, girl, who you trying to fool? Even pizza is not that good.
9. You Start To Feel Butterflies When You See Or Think Of Them
Uh oh. You may have been able to deny you've caught feelings before, but this is a glaring sign that reads "Exiting The Friend Zone, Bon Voyage!"
10. Their Happiness Is Everything To You
We all love to see our friends happy, but if their happiness is literally your happiness (or, worse yet, more important that your own happiness)? That's a love connection, homie.
11. They Are The First Person You Want To Share All Your Life Updates With
When something amazing happens in your life, your first instinct is to share it with them. Because only they can really understand what it means to you.
12. They Are The Shoulder You Cry On
The same goes for the bad. When negative things come your way, the only one who can actually comfort you is them. They are your safe space and the shoulder where you leave all your tears.
13. You Always Try To Look Your Best Around Them
But not like you're trying too hard. Low-key sexy. Yeah, because you're just friends. Ha!
14. When You're Not Together You Can't Stop Checking Their Social Media
If whenever you're apart you cant resist keeping tabs on their Insta, you better take a beat and ask yourself why. Spoiler alert: You're in love.
15. You Keep Thinking "Maybe Someday"
Do you find yourself wondering more and more if someday you'll be more than just friends? Maybe when they break up with their lame girlfriend. Or wondering if it's worth risking the friendship every time you’re around them. Yeah, just friends don't usually do that.
16. Past Relationships Have Ended Over Your Friendship
Have you or your friend been broken up with by one or more partners because they felt like the third wheel in the relationship or like they come in second place? Come on, don't make me say it. You know what's up.
17. There’s No One In The World You Trust More
Trust is one of the hardest things to earn in a relationship. If you have total trust in one another, you’ve already got a solid foundation. Maybe it's time to get real with yourself and take things to the next level.
If you do decide to take that leap, just keep things respectful, fun, and honest. That way, if for some reason it doesn’t work out, you won’t have to sacrifice the friendship. But also, don’t let fear hold you back from exploring a romantic relationship if you are both feeling it. Otherwise, you might miss out on something really amazing.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.