It can be hard to differentiate between loving your friend platonically and actually developing romantic feelings for them. How to know you're falling in love with your friend can be difficult when you already have those feelings of platonic love for that person. You probably spend plenty of time together, are supportive when they need you, and familiar with their other close friends and family members.
But if you start to view that friend in a more romantic way, how do you know you're actually developing those more-than-friends feelings and it's not just a phase?
I spoke to Diana Dorell, an intuitive dating coach, to understand how to know if you're falling in love with a friend and it's not just some passing thing. Here's what says indicates you have stronger feelings for your friend than platonic ones.
"You start to think about them romantically, you may even fantasize about them kissing you or sexual fantasy," Dorell tells Elite Daily. "You start to feel nervous around them, [and you may be] suddenly hyper-aware of yourself, your mannerisms and what you say. You may even start to feel jealous if they want to spend time with other people, especially if they are going on dates and telling you about them."
She says that a way to know that this isn't a phase or something temporary is if you feel this way for a few weeks. "This is a good indication you feel more for your friend than platonic love," she says.
And how can you know for sure if you're ready to take your friendship to the next level?
“If you start to visualize yourself in a romantic setting with them (sex, intimacy, not wanting them to be with anyone else in a romantic way or vice versa)," then that could prove you're in it for more than friendship, Dorell says. "Basically, if you find yourself wanting exclusivity in a romantic sense, that's more than loyalty.”
Once you realize you may be falling in love with your friend, you may want to think about what to do with those feelings. Do you speak up? Stay quiet? Make a move?
"If it's interfering in your ability to function day-to-day or if you feel like you are pretending in your friendship, opening up and expressing how you feel could be very healthy," Dorell says. "If you are in a relationship, that makes things trickier, but you have to ask yourself: Are you willing to risk your current relationship for one that may not pan out at all?" That is up for you to decide.
These are all factors that would dictate telling your friend about your feelings. But if you're single, they're single, and you want to see where things could go? Try telling them how you feel if it's really getting in the way of the friendship — if it's something you need to get off your chest, telling them will only make you feel relieved. And maybe, telling them could determine a romantic future between the two of you.
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