Knowing if a relationship is 'more than frends'

Long story short I've been friends with this guy for a while (few years), and have been getting a lot of vibes that we might be 'more' than friends. We hang out a lot, cook dinner often, will grab drinks together even if rest of our friends can't make it, etc.

I'm open to exploring if we can be 'more' than friends, but am afraid of ruining our friendship or making things awkward if I'm wrong. We've discussed very personal topics, spoke openly about our past relationships, so we're quite open in overall talking. He outright has told me that he needs a break from relationships (his last ended this winter) and doesn't know what he wants next. Meanwhile, he knows I've done some online dating and few dates, but am not seeing anyone and my last relationship ended a year ago.

Physically it's hard to flirt - we are good friends and he is pretty affectionate (to all friends) like hugging. I don't know if it was because I was just now looking for a potential sign, but he did recently tap me on the arm, and on the knee, on seperate occasions when getting my attention, or saying something funny. We also hung out and watched TV, while lying on his bedroom floor after dinner one night (new apt, no couch for him; my apt has no living room) which seemed kinda personal - note we had like 4-5 feet between us, not cuddling or anything but still. I've tried dressing up a little more than I normally would / throwing on a little perfume when doing stuff like grabbing drinks - most of the time we're going out to a bar, so not blatantly 'for him' but likewise subtle message?

What's my next move? I've been waiting it out for over a month in this new era, and don't know if I just have a bit of a crush and making up these signs, or taking his just being a good friend as something more. If we remain just friends, awesome. But I also don't want to question "what if..." and regret later.

Do I go for a slightly bolder flirty move and see how he responds? If so, what? I'm not very bold when it comes to initiating physical affection. Bring up relationships again in a conversation? Bring up it in a funny way - like "this fall air is so chilly, I wish I had a cuddle buddy!" or in a off-humor way "gahhh I'm never going to date or fuck anyone in this city!".?

hmm. The mere fact that you're in the company of one member of the opposite sex quite often is what's making you think "are we more than friends?" And, believe it or not, or how much society likes to tell us otherwise, two people can spend a lot of time together, alone, and can still be platonic. Maybe your mind is playing tricks on you, in that sense?

There's one thing I noticed, that I should point out. You two sound incredibly close, almost thick as thieves, but you never mentioned one that you like him that way (aside from saying?maybe?you have a bit of a crush on him.) Well, do you? Do you actually have any genuine romantic feelings for him?

Or, is it that, because the two of you have spent a lot of time together alone, and based off your general knowledge about how "how boys and girls interact among each other and what it?might?mean based off these things" and how relationships, in general, are expected to work, it's eluding you to believe that it's just?socially appropriate?to consider, or even pursue, a romantic relationship?

Really good comments, thank you Rira. I do, in general, have many platonic friendships with guys - as bit of a backgorund, I moved to this city about a year ago; so while I saw him and some other friends from this area sporadically, I've now been spending tons of time (multiple times a week) both with him and our greater friend group. In this new city the majority of my friends are now guys, which I'm totally fine; I'm working to try to meet some other people from completely new social circles (i.e. via a sport or activity) which is hard when you're an adult haha.

I had a bit of a crush on him this past winter, but quickly put those feelings aside, as it was right after his relationship ended (and I am friends with his ex via him, so even having feelings felt kind of wrong as things were rocky but not officially over with them right away - they are still friends, but now clearly over). I think at that time it was me personally projecting some of my feelings of lonliness, etc. as I was about 4 months into living in this new city, and wintertime meant I felt a bit isolated. Upon realizing this I was able to overcome that little crush, and all spring was then fine.

Do I actually have feelings now - I think I'm afraid to even question that seriously myself, because I don't want to admit it or explore those feelings and then find out they aren't reciprocated? But to some degree, yes, I have feelings that I've squashed but could defeinitely grow if I let them; I admire him greatly as a person, as a friend, and in many ways he would be the perfect guy to date - handsome, friendly, generous, etc. (also aspects that make him a great friend). I do consider myself sexually attracted to him, but again have shoved the thought out of my mind because that's taboo for a friend and so cliche of 'guys and girls can't be friends without thinking about sex'. I've never dated/hooked up with a guy who was first a friend, so have never really had that conflict before.... I've also never felt this close, felt sexually attracted, or had even a inkling of 'something more' with any of my other guy friends (acquaintances aside).

I guess, if he were to initiate something, I could definitely see it becoming something more. But I'd be terrified if something went wrong and I lost him as a friend...

Yeah, that'd be pretty tough. Especially since, once you're in a relationship, it's a much bigger change than I think people realize. In a relationship, you're expected to say and do certain things for the other person because, that's what you're supposed to do. You're also expected NOT to say and do certain things, because it would be deemed inappropriate. Something that was once a joking manner you tend to take to heart because, now you're hearing it from a significant other, who's supposed to love you despite your flaws (or at least make you not feel embarrassed about them.)

I'm not trying to scare you or anything, lol. Just some food for thought. Maybe you two would be great for a relationship, maybe you're great as just friends. There's no way to tell at this point. I think the best thing to do is wait it out, since he may still be trying to get over his ex, and just really doesn't want a relationship. If it's meant to happen, it will happen.

Yeah. We're both pretty laid back and non-drama, and both of us are still friends with our respective ex's - so I'd like to think that if something happened or did initiate- and then realized it wasn't a fit, or one of us wasn't interested, we'd be able to communicate and move on, without it drastically changing things. But actually having a relationship or anything more intimate than that definitely changes things; it'd never be quite the same going back to friends - and always has potential to outright ruin what you already have.

I think I will just continue on same path, of putting friendship first, and see what happens. I guess I can?be a tad flirty if I'm feeling it (within reason that I could brush it off as being a bit of joking around, or non-direct, as I've been doing), but otherwise keep feelings to myself -?on the flip side, I won't feel bad about saying no to hanging out as much if I find that I need to create some space in order to keep my feelings in check.

I recently had another guy invite me out on a first date - it had been a little while since I've done any dating, so I'm happy to take up the offer, which if nothing else can lead to new social circles. I feel like making an effort to keep other options open, so I'm not overthinking on my feelings for my friend will help too.

that's a great idea! :3

 

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