9 Ways To Know Whether You’re In A Friendship Or A Relationship

Where’s the line in the sand between friendship and something more? Do you just love their hair or their abs, or do you want to screw them six ways to Wednesday? Do you, in short, want to be them, or do you want them? We’ve all been there. This always starts the great debate about whether guys and girls can ever really just be friends, and the same is true for queer people. Over time, however, you get better at trusting your gut. However, if you’re struggling to figure out if you’re in a friendship or a romantic relationship, look for these signs.

  1. They find reasons to touch you. Yes, friendship should include affection, but you generally can keep your hands off someone you’re not in a relationship with. This can start from friendly touches and build-up. It should never feel uncomfortable, but if they’re interested in you — and a good human being — they will ask your consent and be respectful of your boundaries. Do they touch your arm, compliment your collarbone, compare hand sizes? These are all bonding techniques that increase physical intimacy under the guise of a question.
  2. Do you fantasize about them? Maybe it started with a rogue sex dream about them one evening when you had too much cheese before bed. A dream can always be dismissed. But if you start to fantasize about them, even in platonic ways, then it shows you’re starting to have a really deep connection with them. Friends, generally speaking, do not dream about friends when you’re just getting to know each other.
  3. Does this feel different than all your other friends? I know that the boundaries between love and affection in romantic and platonic senses can be blurry, but if you feel that your crush feels different from your friends, that means it’s serious. If they talk about their friends to you and confide in their life with you then they’re also differentiating their friends from you. You are different, special even. You have a friendship with them, sure, but you might be edging your way towards a relationship.
  4. Do you rarely spend time apart? Quality time together is a great way to judge another person’s interest in you. You can’t spend all day together accidentally or one-sidedly. By definition, it suggests reciprocation. As a result, if you find that you’re both texting asking to hang out every day; you’re obsessed with each other. And it’s definitely a mutual attraction.
  5. Are you self-inserting your relationship with them into all the media you consume? We all have moments when we pine for someone else, no matter how attractive you are. It leads to daydreaming where every song you listen to will become about them. In fact, if you listen to a song together, or start watching a show together, you will find that it becomes your ‘thing’ to do together. Only with them. That level of intimacy and exclusive activities suggests it’s more than friendship.
  6. Do you like how you feel when you’re with them? This is essential. When you start thinking about it, you realize that you don’t feel that way about everyone. Hang onto that when you find it.
  7. Can you handle each other’s silences? Are you so comfortable and intimate with each other that you don’t need to plan big events and occasions to get together? This means that each other’s company is more than enough reason to hang out. There are no phones posting about each other constantly; it’s private, but so, so effortless.
  8. Do you want more? I sense that the answer will be yes if you got this far down the checklist. I reckon it’s likely that the person you’re crushing on is thinking the same things about you. People can be clueless, yes, but most of the time we need to play dumb while we figure out how we feel. If you want more, communicate that. By all means, pine for a few weeks, but if you’re making yourself sad, take initiative. If you get shot down then at least you tried, and if you don’t, then you were right all along.

Friendships are so valuable nowadays, so even if your feelings aren’t reciprocated, don’t dismiss a person who is clearly really important to you. Maybe they just need a little time to come to terms with their own feelings. Maybe it’s not meant to be, but you owe it to yourself to find out if it’s friendship or something more. After all, we should all want to be friends with our partners, otherwise, there’s no connection.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.