by: E.B. Johnson
Friendships add a lot of value and texture to our lives, and they allow us to explore the world around us in courage and enjoyment. Sometimes, though, these friendships turn into something far more substantial and we find ourselves standing beside someone we see more as a partner than a friend. It’s perfectly possible for our friendships to blossom into love, but how this blossoming progresses depends on us and the way we decide to move forward.
A friendship transformed into a passionate partnership can change our lives in some truly special ways. We have to ensure, though, that we get the timing right and make full consideration of what it means to commit to someone so substantially in our lives. Falling in love with a friend is easy, communicating those feelings and deciding how to take action is a lot more complicated. Understand the feelings that are growing between you so that you can take the right action and explore the love that has shifted your friendship.
Friendships make fertile grounds for love.
Our friendships can make fertile grounds for love, and it’s not hard to see why. Friends form an important part of our happiness, and help provide both perspective and contentment in our lives. They support us and stand beside us when things get tough, and they motivate and inspire us when we’re looking for new opportunities. Our friends see us for who they are, and that seeing and that knowing can (sometimes) lead to a passionate love affair.
Not all friendships are worth taking the romantic leap, but some are. Our friends can bond with us in ways that we never quite manage when it comes to making the jump straight into romantic relationships. And that’s primarily because of the depth of shared history, and the expanse of shared interests.
It can also come down to our lack of expectations, though. When we’re friends, we’re not looking to gain anything or prove anything. There’s a lot less judgement and a lot less that we’re looking to score. Being friends allows you to casually come to know one another in deep ways. One day, you turn around and see that the person you’ve spent the last 10 years laughing with is actually the person you want to spend forever with. If your friendship is turning into love, carefully assess what you want and what actions you can take.
Why friendships turn into romantic relationships.
It’s not hard to understand why our friendships sometimes blossom into love. Our friendships are pure and allow us to connect without expectation and along the lines of similar interests. We’re open with one another when we’re “just friends” because we allow ourselves to see and be seen. The sooner we understand these reasons, the easier it becomes to embrace our love.
When we come together as friends, the expectations are much lower, and our intentions generally tend to be purer. For this reason, we are able to connect more honestly and openly, which then allows us to be ourselves and see one another for who we truly are. Wanting little more than a social connection is a great way to bond on a genuine level, without the pressure of needing or wanting to get anything physical out of it.
While the most solid of relationships are built on a foundation of common long-term goals, sharing common interests never hurt a relationship. These common interests help us to bond and help us to see one another with more understanding and compassion. The more interests you share, the easier it becomes to spend time together as well — a crucial part of building and romance.
A shared history
Our friends share a history with us, and this history can be both good and bad. However it unfurls, it brings us closer together and allows us to see (more fully) who we are on the inside. We bond over our experiences. We have fun and we make memories that last a lifetime. We also learn to trust one another through this shared history, though, and we learn whether someone is capable of giving us the physical and emotional support that we both want and need.
Similar values and ideals
More often-than-not, we share similar values and ideals to our friends. Like sharing common interests, these help us to bond in unique ways and see the deeper value in one another. It can also help us, though, to be more empathetic or understanding. When you come from the same places, it’s easier to see and understand who someone is and how they act without judgement and without fear. These values and ideals align us and unite us in a common purpose and motivation.
A stable starting place
Falling in love with a friend is easy, because it offers a stable starting place. This love is easier to ease into as you already share social circles, and might even have intertwined families who know and love one another. There’s little real navigating or “merging” that has to be done, because your lives are so already in-sync and already share such extensive history or links. When you fall in love with your best friend, much of the hard early work is already done for you. Being friends first can give you a stable starting place to launch from.
Signs your best friend is becoming much, much more.
Think you and your friend are heading in a much more serious direction? Look for these signs of a platonic relationship that’s blossoming into a potentially passionate partnership.
Getting those silly butterflies in your stomach any time your friend comes around? Do suddenly notice yourself getting particularly excited or jumpy at the thought of or even the mention of their name? This little skip you get could indicate that the way you feel about your friend is changing. You suddenly care about how they see you. You might suddenly want to look your best when they come into the room. Chase the butterflies and you will often find love.
An undeniable future
What happens when you (or even your friend) look to the future? Do you talk about your plans a lot? Do they always include one another? This kind of future planning is something necessary when it comes to building long-term romance. Look at the way you’re building your tomorrow. When you make future plans, they are there with you (and the same goes for them). You can’t imagine what your life would be without them it, and you can’t imagine yourself doing anything great in the future without them there to celebrate it with you.
Looking for body language
Body language is one of the simplest signs we can look for when trying to determine how our friend feels about us. Do you find that they are always leaning into you? Touching your hand? Or brushing your hair out of your face? These are small, subtle physical indications of affection that could indicate your friend is also developing deep feelings for you. Don’t underestimate the power of a casual glance of the hand.
Giving away prime real estate
Our lives come with a set and finite amount of space in them. This space is filled up with all the people, places and things that make up our lives. That includes our experiences within this life, and the relationships we choose to give our energy to. If you’re giving away prime real estate to someone who is “just a friend” — that is to say spending all your time with them and concentrating your emotional energy on them — then it’s a serious indication that they probably mean more than you’ve allowed yourself to admit.
Always there in a pinch
Is your friend the king of person that’s always there for you in a pinch? Do they support you no matter what? Or are they always the first person that you call when you’re up against it, or need a helping hand? This is because you know that you can rely on them, and you know that you can trust them to act — not judge. These types of people are rare and priceless in this world, and they can see us in ways that we aren’t even able to see ourselves. When we take notice of this deep trust, it can change the way we see them and care for them.
Putting down the walls
It’s not always easy to put down the walls we build to protect ourselves, and some couple spend years (and thousands of dollars) trying to learn how to be vulnerable with one another. If you and your friend don’t have any walls, or you feel like it’s effortless to let yourself open up around them — then it might be time to take a second look at your deeper emotions. Are you falling for them? Are they falling for you? When we love someone, we want to show them who we are from the inside out.
Taking your friendship to the next level.
Have you and your best friend fallen for one another? Before taking any dramatic action, or open up your heart for the world to see — take some time to consider your feelings first. Friendships are delicate. Don’t move to fast and risk wrecking it all. Take your time and ease your way into the new waters of romance by calculated action and careful thought.
1. Address your feelings first
Before you open up to your friend or expose the way you might be feeling, you need to take some time to address your feelings first. You can’t just assume that what you’re feeling is love, or that what you’re feeling is worth acting on. Before you react, you have to honestly assess the depth of your feelings and their roots, and then compare that against your known and concrete needs.
Spend some time journalling or meditating on the affection you feel for this person. This simply requires you finding a quiet space and clearing your mind, so that you can focus on what your emotions are really trying to tell you. Picture your friend, and then let your feelings and your thoughts come to you freely. Record them and drop and feelings of shame and embarrassment. No one ever has to see these thoughts but you.
What do you like about them? What value do they bring to your life? Is what you’re feeling really love, or is a short burst of lust? Be honest and be real. Then, once you’re sure that what your feeling is serious, assess your needs separately. Just because you’re in love with your friend (and they’re in love with you) doesn’t mean that you can provide mentally or emotionally for one another. A guaranteed disaster isn’t worth wrecking your friendship for.
2. Honestly assess the situation
We’ve been taught to think of love as the end-all-be-all solution to our happiness. Many of us think that it has the power to cure any ills, and that any problems we face as partners will be magically fixed by our overwhelming feelings of affection. As nice as this lie might be to believe, it is still just that — a lie. Honestly assess the situation before you make a dramatic display of love and action for something that’s not ready to bloom.
Addressing your feelings is the first step, but things don’t stop at your needs. You next have to honestly assess the situation and assess the status of the other person involved. You might have gotten a handle on your feelings, but have they? Is this a good time for them to make a move? Or are they still attached to commitments of their own?
Likewise, you need to consider reality. If they live on the other side of the world, things might not be as straightforward as you want them to be. If they have a long list of bad relationships (or you’re both immature and struggling with heavy emotional baggage) it might be important to consider the realistic longevity of such a relationship. Honestly assess your situation and theirs. Is this the right time to make a move? Is this the right person to invest in our passion in…even if we love them?
3. Open up to one another
After taking some time to consider your feelings and whether this new relationship has legs, you have to open up to on another and express your feelings. Until you get on the same page, it’s impossible to be sure whether to jump. You can’t take action to form a relationship on your own. You have to open up, share the way you feel, and then allow your friend to do the same for themselves.
If the timing is right and the feelings are shared, you have to open up to one another and reveal those deep-seated emotions. Find a safe space in which you can both express your emotions to one another without fear of interruption or upset.
This is a conversation that needs to have a few focuses. Get excited about the butterflies and the new and exhilarating feelings, but focus too on the realities of your situations. Express your relationship needs to one another (outside of your prospective partnership), but also express your goals and objectives to the future. Don’t hold back. While you might have shared similar conversations before, it’s a very different conversation to have when the expectations are shifted.
4. Share needs and expectations
Breaking down our needs and expectations to other people is a process that deserves its own headline. This isn’t as easy as telling your friend what you like in bed, or what color you want at your wedding. It’s far deeper than that, and these deeper needs and expectations are something we have to be explicitly clear about. We’re talking long-term objectives like family-planning and career goals; no-go limitations and attachment styles.
Your friend might realize that you want a partner who hangs out with you every weekend — but they may not realize the extent of your attachment needs at home. If you need constant verbal validation, express that up-front. If you need a partner that ultimately gives up their career and stays at home — tell them that.
Be honest and frank about your sexual expectations and needs; the way you want your family to grow. Don’t shy away from the things that you knowyou want from your future, because you think it might make your burgeoning relationship a poorer fit. Though you might have fallen deeply for your best friend, or they for you, it doesn’t mean you’re going to match up when it comes to the long-term game of happiness and contentment.
5. Take action for your futures
If you’ve laid it all out there and it all matches up, then you have to come together to take action for your futures. Building a relationship isn’t a one-sided affair. It takes both time and effort from all parties involved. Put your heads together to figure the best ways to move forward. Put your heads together to figure how you want to start building out the rest of forever.
This action-taking might begin with a closer-merging of your lives. If you’ve been friends for a long time, then a lot of this merging might already be done . You won’t have to introduce them to your other friends, or get the stamp of approval from your parents. When you share a long history, a lot of this merging is done for you.
You’ll still need to communicate this new partnership to others, though, so that they too can understand the changes and how expectations and interconnections might shift within your social circles. Let them share in the happiness with you and allow them to be a part of the journey (if that’s appropriate). Enjoy your time together and start making happy memories right away. There’s a great comfort in falling in love with someone who saw you first as a friend. Embrace it.
Putting it all together…
Friendships often prove to be fertile grounds for passionate and lasting love affairs. If you’ve fallen for a friend, there’s likely a number of good reasons why. It’s up to you, though, to understand the reasoning behind your emotions, and then take action accordingly. Who knows? This friendship might be the great romance you’ve been waiting for all your life.
Address your feelings first and make certain that what you’re experiencing is love, and not just familiar affection or excitement. Once you’re certain that this is the person you want to make moves with, honestly assess the situation and try to see things from their point of view. Is it the right time to turn your relationship into romance? Timing is everything, and so is careful consideration. If you know that it’s meant to be, you have to open up to one another and share your feelings and expectations so that you can get on the same page. Once your love is out there, you can take steps to reaffirm that commitment and begin the process of building your futures together. Friendships are a fertile soil for love. If you and your best friend have fallen for one another, count yourselves lucky and look forward to a horizon filled with fun, acceptance and passion.