One of the most perplexing dating quandaries you can find yourself in is deciding if and how to tell a friend you like her.
You’ve probably heard people say they married their best friend or have a great relationship because it’s based on a strong friendship. You may wonder how that idyllic-sounding phenomenon could possibly come to be.
Does it start out romantic and then friendship grows right along with the passion? Or is there an existing friendship that becomes something more? Both have been known to happen, but it’s the latter of the two that seems to really trip people up.
The concept of taking a friendship from platonic to romantic is both exciting and horrifying. But there’s a lot to gain if you do it right.
Should I Tell Her I Like Her?
“Should I tell my friend I like her?” is one of the most common questions men ask. And the answer is almost always a resounding “Yes!”
Really, what better start for a relationship could there be than a solid friendship where two people have already established that they care about, trust and value each other?
You already have great communication, enjoy each other’s company and know a lot about each other. That’s a wonderful foundation to build a romantic relationship on.
However, there’s always an inherent risk. What if your friendship collapses during the attempt to shift it into something more? Then you'd lose the possibility of a relationship along with the friendship you have come to cherish.
The very premise of telling your friend you like her evokes fear in the hearts of even the most confident men. For that reason, many guys keep their feelings for female friends buried. And those who actually try to express their love and fail wish they hadn’t.
That’s why the real trick to telling a friend you like her is to do it in a way that won’t create any awkwardness or frustration if she doesn’t have the same romantic feelings for you. But tell her you must.
You see, in the vast majority of cases, it’s always better to tell your friend you like her. Because if you like her romantically but don’t dare to express those feelings, your whole friendship is effectively based on a lie.
If you don’t tell her you like her, your unrequited feelings will gnaw at you constantly, which will eventually degrade the quality of the relationship. She’ll notice things starting to get weird between the two of you, and eventually, your friendship will be doomed to fail.
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How to Tell a Friend You Like Her Without Ruining Your Friendship
So is it even worth the risk to let a friend know you have feelings for her? I think so. But I want to roll the odds in your favor to help minimize the chances of a not-so-desirable outcome.
First, attempting a transition from being just friends into romantic partners has to happen gradually and without any unexpected surprises.
This is where many guys screw up. They harbor these blossoming feelings and continue to act completely platonic, then spring it on the unsuspecting woman out of the blue. She, in turn, is usually taken off-guard and has a lot to process all at once.
The natural human instinct is to stay in the comfort zone where things are safe, predictable and familiar. A sudden, drastic shift in any relationship is usually very distressing.
Your friend most likely values the friendship she has with you and feels safe and comforted knowing she can rely on you to be there for her as a friend. The prospect of changing that dynamic could be anxiety-inducing as it's such a dramatic departure from what she has had with you in the past.
Therefore, it’s your job to gradually close the gap between what you’ve had in the past and what you hope to have in the future.
Subtle gestures on your part can help to gently shift the dynamic between you two. So when you do let her know how you feel, it won’t feel like a bomb’s being dropped out of nowhere. It’ll also help you to gauge her feelings based on her reactions to your subtle flirting.
In effect, when figuring out how to tell your friend you like her, it’s more of a “show” and not “tell.” You show her you like her with your actions throughout the whole friendship.
How to Tell Your Best Friend You Like Her
When it comes to figuring out how to tell your best friend you like her, here are some practical tips:
One of the easiest ways to gradually mix some sugar into the recipe of your friendship is through the eyes. Look at her just a second or two longer before turning away. Or look back at her after you’ve walked away. She’ll notice.
When she’s talking to you, make sure she feels your attention is fully on her. Look her in the eyes. Lean in. Hold your gaze.
Then add a physical touch every now and then. We’re talking an appropriate touch here, not a sudden ass grab.
If it feels natural to put a hand on her hand or knee when you’re engrossed in conversation with her, do it. Or playfully put your arm around her when you’re walking together. Let a hug last just a little longer than a platonic one and add a gentle rub of her back.
Pay attention to how she responds. If she looks uncomfortable or pulls away, she may not be ready and/or interested in taking a romantic turn with you. If she’s receptive and/or reciprocates, your feelings may very well be aligned. Either way, you’re given the information needed to proceed in the appropriate way.
You can also slip in comments that extend a little beyond the friend line. Compliment her looks. Tell her she’s making you feel “weird stuff.” Think of something you could do together that’s a little more personal than your usual outings and ask her if she’d be interested.
If she’s not receptive to anything, you can decide to keep the friendship how it is or you can choose to talk to her about it. While the latter choice may seem awkward, it can be done.
How to tell your friend you like her without telling? Let her see you in a different light
One of the best ways to evoke romantic and sexual feelings in a long-time friend is to change your behavior. Do it in a way that she won’t be able to help but feel attraction towards you.
You see, if you’ve been friends for a long time, she’s always seen you behave in a certain way around her. She’s very used to you and there’s little excitement and attraction left in your interactions.
She expects you to act a certain way around her, and she doesn’t have any strong feelings for you.
To change this, start behaving in a way that evokes emotions from her. Be more lighthearted, start teasing her, start being weird, joke around more, and flirt with her constantly. But do it gradually.
Start telling her “no” more often and stop being there for her whenever she needs anything.
Stop seeing her so often and stop responding to her messages as soon as you get them. Don’t be at her beck and call and go find other stuff to do with your life.
Basically, start treating her the same way you’d treat a new potential date. Scarcity is the key here, both with your time and your affection.
This will make her see you in a much different, better, more emotional light. She’ll start missing you more often, she’ll start thinking about you more frequently. And if you practice teasing her and flirting with her more, her thoughts will eventually start being more sexual towards you.
Also, don’t forget to change how you look as well. Hit the gym if you have to, to make yourself more appealing. Change your clothes or your style, get a great cologne and an awesome haircut.
The point is to become a “different” person. Unexpectedly new and fresh to her.
Other Things to Consider When Thinking of Telling Your Friend You Like Her
Before you take any steps toward letting your friend know how you feel, make sure you’ve thought the whole thing through.
It’s not uncommon to start to form an emotional bond with someone you shared a lot of time, thoughts, ideas and experiences with. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be compatible when it comes to a relationship, even if there is a physical attraction as well.
So before you take that leap, really consider whether or not this thing would have a fighting chance if you did take it to the next level.
Are you in similar stages in life? Are your current dating intentions aligned? If you are thinking in terms of the future, would your personal goals and plans take you in different directions or would they complement each other?
If you run through all of this in your head before making the decision to attempt something more with her, you may come to the conclusion that, although your feelings have grown, you’re probably better off as friends.
However, if you’ve considered the important issues at hand and decided that yes, there are plenty of reasons a romantic relationship with your pal could actually work, keep those at the forefront of your mind.
They’ll help push you beyond the nerves to let her know you’re interested in more than just friendship. It’ll also give you the confidence to help you approach the whole thing in a smooth, assured way that’ll feel natural and reassuring to her.
Find the right time
When considering how to tell a girl you have feelings for her, you have to find the right time to do so.
When you’ve established enough of a bridge between friendship and romance, it’s time for a conversation. To ensure it goes as well as possible, keep in mind these three brilliant words: Timing is everything.
Let’s start with when not to have the conversation. Don’t try to squeeze it in when rushing somewhere. Don’t bring it up when she’s preoccupied or stressed about work or such. Abruptly changing the subject when she’s trying to talk to you about something else is another no-no.
When deciding how to tell a friend you like her at the right moment, find a time when you’re both feeling calm and comfortable and are in no hurry.
Also, do it when you’re alone. Don’t bring it up at a public place or near other friends or family. Neither of you needs the added tension nor the embarrassment of an audience.
Have a good lead-in
How do I tell a friend I like her? When you’re getting ready to broach the subject, be prepared. Know what you’re going to say and come up with a carefully worded preface. But present it as casually as possible, as though you haven’t rehearsed it in your head a million times (even if you have).
Don’t scare her with a “we need to talk” statement or a similar panic-inducing intro. Try something like sincerely letting her know how much you value her as a friend and a person.
Let her know that when you first started to become friends with her, your intention was only to be friends. This is important so she knows all the times you were there for her, it was out of genuine care for her as a person and not with the intention of getting in her pants. Tell her how much you appreciate her friendship.
After she’s had a chance to respond, you can ask if she’s ever considered the possibility of dating you.
Listen to her and be sensitive to what she has to say
However she reacts, keep in mind your desire to preserve the friendship. Holding this intention throughout the conversation will help you to be receptive to her response, whether or not it’s what you hoped to hear.
If she tells you she’s thought about dating you but decided she didn’t want to risk the friendship, you can share how you feel about that and what conclusions you came to after thinking it through.
If she says she’s never thought of you as anything more than a friend and can’t imagine thinking of you that way, accept what she says. Then make sure she knows that the friendship will continue. Or take the drastic step described earlier above and change your behavior around her. That way, she sees you in a completely different, more attractive light.
Or maybe she’ll say she hadn’t thought of you that way because she didn’t think you saw her in that light either. You could then suggest in your own way that she be open to thinking about it. But again, reassuring her that you’re happy to remain her friend if that’s what she decides she wants.
When she’s telling you her thoughts and feelings on the subject, give her the sense you really care about what she's saying. Look at her when she’s talking to you. Listen to any concerns she may have. Help her feel at ease through your calmness and willingness to hold space for her to share her feelings.
Be completely cool no matter what her response is
This is a close relative of the previous point but it deserves its own section. Not only should you make her feel comfortable with whatever her response is while she talks to you, but also afterward.
If she just wants to remain friends and you understand that nothing you can do will change that, don’t pull back or treat her differently. Don’t let a bruised ego keep you from continuing to see all of the wonderful things that made you such great friends to begin with.
If she says she’d like to give dating you a chance, don’t get crazy with lust and/or emotion and jump all over her. Take it slow!
This is something very new for both of you. And if you really want to preserve what you’ve already spent significant time and energy creating, you’ll take care not to rush the process of developing it further.
Equipped with these guidelines on how to tell a friend you like her, you should be able to muster up the courage to go for it. If you do it the right way, you may successfully cross the bridge from friendship to love. At the very least, you won’t burn it.
How do you tell a female friend you like her? ›
If you're still thinking about sharing your feelings with your best friend, go over exactly what you'll say. Aim for a brief disclosure that tells her how you feel and maybe how long you've felt that way. For example, you might say something like, "I really like you and I've felt this way for months now."How do you date a friend without ruining a friendship? ›
- Get really clear on what you're feeling.
- Tell them you like them if they don't know.
- Share your concerns about dating them.
- Establish boundaries for your new relationship.
- Avoid making assumptions about what your partner wants.
- Give the relationship time to unfold.
- How to Tell Someone You Just Want to be Friends.
- Don't Circle Around the Rejection.
- Try to be Straightforward.
- Don't Let Their Emotions Change Your Decision.
- Don't Lie About Your Feelings.
- Don't feel guilty.
- Touch your face and hair when you're talking to them.
- Touch them, casually, on the arm or knee when you're talking to them.
- Laugh at their jokes.
- Touch their arm or knee when you laugh at their jokes.
- They Always Seem To Direct The Conversation Toward Your Friend. Giphy. ...
- Their Body Language Tilts Away From You. ...
- They Find Excuses To Touch Your Friend. ...
- They Ask You For Insider Info On Your Friend. ...
- They Start Acting Differently When Your Friend Is Around.
On average, the “friends first” initiators were friends for nearly 22 months before the relationship turned romantic and almost half of the total sample thought that friends-first initiation was the best way to start a new romantic relationship, versus the other options presented such as meeting at a party or online, ...What is a date with a friend called? ›
A friend date signifies the act of getting to know somebody or spending time together in a purely platonic way. It's much like a date-date, but with a few key differences. My friend dating history had been quite conservative and gradual.What is more than friends but not dating? ›
A situationship is that space between a committed relationship and something that is more than a friendship.How do I stop having feelings for a female friend? ›
- Allow Yourself to Grieve. ...
- Pick Your Distance. ...
- Understand What Your Brain is Doing. ...
- Find Non-Romantic Media to Consume. ...
- Treat Your Feelings Like a Third Person in the Relationship. ...
- Let Your Feelings Inspire You.
- She's Your Friend. That brings us to reason number two: she's your friend. ...
- It's Good For You. Reason three is also about your benefit. ...
- Spend Time With Friends. ...
- Keep Looking. ...
- Break It Off. ...
- Talk To A Therapist. ...
- Talk To A Relationship Therapist.
How do I confess to my crush without getting rejected? ›
Be upfront and honest.
Tell the other person how you feel directly and let them know why you're confessing. This can be difficult if you're really shy, but if you've spent time building up confidence, you should feel a little better about confessing. Say something like, "I wanted to tell you something.
Don't shy away from it, like you're embarrassed. Make eye contact and smile flirtatiously when you see the person you're crushing on. Show an interest in what they do and what they are like. Try to get to know your crush as a friend first, before you confess anything.How to tell your crush you like them without making it awkward? ›
Drop a few hints
Make eye contact when you're talking to them, or hold their gaze for a couple of extra seconds when your eyes meet in the hallway. You could playfully tease them, or send a flirty text after school to let them know you're thinking about them.
- She Goes Out Of Her Way To Help You. ...
- She Smiles A Lot Around You. ...
- You May Catch Her Checking You Out. ...
- She Acts Differently Around You. ...
- She Will Always Lean Your Way. ...
- She Tries To Lengthen The Conversation. ...
- She Laughs When You Crack A Joke. ...
- She's Quite Interactive On Social Media.
On the most basic level, you are in the friend zone with someone if they only see you as a friend and don't have any romantic or sexual feelings for you. They might even see you like a sibling. This usually occurs with someone you've known for a while, such as a childhood friend or someone in a shared friend group.How do you tell if someone is attracted to you? ›
- They lean in.
- They tilt their head as you speak (a sign of engagement).
- They smile at you.
- They make eye contact with you.
- They reach out and touch your arm, hand, back, or leg.
- They Take The Time Out For You. ...
- They Always Want To Impress You. ...
- They Feel Protective Towards You. ...
- They Spend A Lot Of One-on-One Time With You. ...
- They Flirt Quite A Bit. ...
- They Try To Get Intimate With You. ...
- They Are Always There To Support You. ...
- They Always Listen To You.
Nearly 70 percent of romances may begin as friendships, new research suggests. Only 18 percent of people reported they intentionally became friends with their now-partner due to romantic attraction.How often do best friends fall in love? ›
To be exact, the researchers estimated that 68 percent of romantic relationships start from friendship.Can a friendship turn into a romantic relationship? ›
Sometimes one turns into the other. Research has largely ignored friends-first romance initiation, focusing instead on the romance that develops between strangers. A recent investigation finds friends-first initiation of romantic relationships is not only common but also frequently preferred.
Do friends with benefits kiss? ›
These additions can be anything from cuddling to kissing, oral sex to intercourse. Typically, people see friends with benefit dynamics play out exactly as they did in the movie by that same title: Two people—who are legitimately friends—discover that they also enjoy physical intimacy with one another, says Tanner.What is a Flirtationship called? ›
What is a flirtationship, exactly? A flirtationship is a hybrid of the words “flirtation” and “friendship.” Basically, it's a relationship between two friends who flirt for fun. People get into flirtationships with their friends, classmates, coworkers, and anybody they regularly see and flirt with.Do friends with benefits cuddle? ›
Is it OK to cuddle with friends with benefits? Along the same lines as the last piece of advice, you and your FWB should avoid having sleepovers. After having sex, LEAVE! Cuddles and spooning fall squarely into activities for couples and should be avoided if you want your FWB relationship to work.Can I guy and a girl be just friends? ›
Sociologists have documented that men and women can indeed just be friends and that there are actually benefits that come with cross-sex friendships — like learning from the other side how to best attract a mate — that you can't get from same-sex friendships.Can you be friends with someone you have feelings for? ›
Staying friends with someone after developing real romantic feelings for them can be hard. However, many people have successfully remained friends after unrequited love confessions. Although it's common for two people not to be able to get past potential awkwardness, it can still be possible for some.What do you call friends that like each other? ›
Platonic friendship specifically refers to friendship between two people who could, in theory, feel attracted to each other.What happens if you Friendzone a girl? ›
It does not serve any healthy purpose at all. It will not even help them because it will give them false hope that you will decide to get together with them. Instead, if you are concerned about them, encourage them and suggest ways to find a romantic relationship that is right for them.What are Friendzone words? ›
- “I value our friendship too much.” giphy.com. ...
- “I love you, bro.” giphy.com. ...
- 3. “ Let's go bra shopping.” ...
- “I wish I could find someone just like you.” ...
- “You're like a sibling to me.” ...
- *BURP* ...
- “I want to explore my options.” ...
- “You're too nice for me.”
- Actually commit to the process.
- Keep your distance.
- Take a break from the friendship.
- Maintain emotional distance.
- Unfollow them on social media.
- Avoid triggers.
- Acknowledge all the reasons it realistically wouldn't work.
- Focus your energy elsewhere.
It's The Reward Theory of Attraction in action: their presence makes us feel good and so we unconsciously prioritize our relationship with them. By being someone often (propinquity), getting to know them (familiarity) and having positive experiences with them, we start to build attraction.
What to do when you have a crush on your friend? ›
Opening up about your feelings might actually deepen your friendship. It's up to you to decide if you want to tell your crush about it now, later, or possibly never. Give yourself a pep talk. If you do decide to tell your friend that you're super into them and are feeling shaky in your boots, keep calm and confident.Should you ask a girl if her friend likes you? ›
Telling her that you have feelings for her may cause her to tell you that she likes you as well. Ask her if she likes you. If you're not getting a clear answer from her, you should simply ask her if she likes you. Don't catch her by surprise or make her feel uncomfortable.Is it normal to have feelings for a female friend? ›
You may feel more comfortable interacting with someone that you consider more of a good friend than a potential romantic partner. However, over time, more romantic feelings may start to grow. If you realize that you're attracted to your friend, know that this is normal.What to do if you have a crush on a girl but she doesn't like you? ›
- Don't Be Quick To Take It Personal. ...
- It's Not A Reflection Of Your Personal Worth. ...
- You Don't Like Every Person That Likes You Either. ...
- You Can't Force Someone to Like You Back. ...
- Give Yourself Time To Process How You Feel. ...
- Avoid These Common Social Media Pitfalls. ...
- Move Forward.
Is it good to confess feelings to a guy? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on the situation and relationship between the two people involved. However, in general, confessing your feelings to a guy can be a positive experience if both parties are open and honest with each other.How do I confess to my crush naturally? ›
- Write a letter or note: Sometimes, it's easier to express your feelings in writing. ...
- Use a creative approach: Get creative and use a fun approach to confess your feelings. ...
- Ask them on a date: Sometimes, the best way to confess your feelings is to ask your crush out on a date.
While men tended to consider confessions of love acceptable after about a month or so, women tended to say it was better to wait 2 to 3 months or so. Confessions of love generally inspired feelings of happiness, but men felt more positive about confessions that happened before the relationship became sexual.How do you hint to your crush? ›
- Touch your face and hair when you're talking to them.
- Touch them, casually, on the arm or knee when you're talking to them.
- Laugh at their jokes.
- Touch their arm or knee when you laugh at their jokes.
Just say hello, make them comfortable with a joke or casual comment, say, "I wanted to tell you something," and then reveal your feelings. Talking over the phone will make you feel less nervous because you won't see your crush face to face.How do you make your crush admit that they like you? ›
- Signs a Shy Guy Likes You.
- Get to know him on a deeper level.
- Build a trusting relationship.
- Pause to let him talk.
- Make eye contact with him.
- Touch him on the arm or the shoulder.
- Give him some space.
- Ask him what his first impression of you was.
Why does my crush look at my lips? ›
He is looking at your lips
If his gaze keeps slipping down to your lips while he's talking to you, it's a sign that he is admiring you, fantasising about you and might even want to start a stable, long-term relationship with you," says Madan.
- Give them subtle hints. The first step towards confessing your love to your best friend is always to give them subtle signs. ...
- Meet at your favourite spot and tell them. ...
- A letter with a gift is perfect. ...
- Call them up in the middle of the night.
“Should I tell my friend I like her?” is one of the most common questions men ask. And the answer is almost always a resounding “Yes!” Really, what better start for a relationship could there be than a solid friendship where two people have already established that they care about, trust and value each other?How do I tell a girl I like her over text? ›
Tell her you enjoy spending time together.
This is a confident, indirect way to tell a girl you like her without actually saying you like her. Send this text after hanging out together, or even after an official date. For example, you could say something like “I had fun with you tonight and enjoyed your company!
- "You don't have to feel the same way as I do, but I really need to tell you that I like you a lot."
- "I don't want you to feel weird or pressured! I just want to let you know how I feel."
- "I know this seems like a lot at once.
Yes go tell her , if you really feel for her, tell her quickly before its too late. Many time just waiting for perfect time or in fear of getting rejected we tend to delay, but it might happen that you the shot and someone else might let her know about his feeling, so instead of playing it cool.What to do when you like a girl but she likes your friend? ›
- Accept their feelings. First things first, you need to come to terms with the fact that your crush does not like you. ...
- Be honest with both of them. ...
- Set boundaries. ...
- Invest time in yourself. ...
- Surround yourself with your squad.
- Work on yourself & have your own life. ...
- Be optimistic. ...
- Keep the conversation going. ...
- Respect her as an equal. ...
- Be her friend and make it fun. ...
- Take it slow – things will fall in place. ...
- Be chivalrous. ...
- Give her all your attention.
Acknowledge your feelings for her.
This helps get rid of any awkwardness you both might be feeling. Tell her that you do like her, but make sure she knows she isn't expected to respond with her own feelings. You might say, "I know you found out that I like you, and I wanted you to know that those are my real feelings.
You can try: "When we talk and spend time together, I feel like we have a great connection. I've been wanting to ask you if you have feelings for me, because I have feelings for you." You could also try saying something like, "I've liked you for a while now, and I was hoping you had feelings for me too. Do you?"
How soon should you tell a girl you like her? ›
If you've been thinking about this girl for a while, try setting a deadline for when you're going to tell her that you like her. It doesn't have to be immediately, but it should be within the next few weeks at least.When should you confess your feelings to a girl? ›
While men tended to consider confessions of love acceptable after about a month or so, women tended to say it was better to wait 2 to 3 months or so. Confessions of love generally inspired feelings of happiness, but men felt more positive about confessions that happened before the relationship became sexual.