The dating scene is hard enough when you know that you’re in it. Whether you are being set up, posting profiles online, or using the old “hanging at the bar” trick, navigating the waters of romance at any age and phase of life causes anxiety.
However, from the buds of adolescence to the second chance relationships of middle age, there is one part of dating and relationships that seems to trip people up the most: figuring out whether or not a “friend” has a crush on them.
Dating a friend or coworker has a lot of amazing benefits. You already have things in common and get along. Often, it is easy to skip the routine aspects of early relationships (i.e., getting-to-know you questions) and get down to more interesting, deep connections.
Unfortunately, crossing the line from friend to lover is tricky. If feelings are one-sided, an otherwise healthy and fulfilling relationship can be ruined. If you do get together, there is also the chance that it won’t last, again ruining the friendship.
However, the “old fashioned” way of finding love — through real connection without an agenda — is also one of the best ways to create a love that lasts. Therefore, it is important to read the signs correctly, especially if the feeling is mutual. To begin to do so, consider these three common social interactions that will change when a “friend” has a crush on you. Take notice in these instances to catch the tell-tale signs.
It is not uncommon for friends to touch base every few days, week or month via text. Best friends may talk every day. Couples, on the other hand, generally stay connected via text every day, several times a day. Now, everyone’s phone habits are different and those are obviously just generalities.
However, one thing is true regardless of how often you text your friends: if one “friend” starts texting you A LOT more than normal, something is up.
The content of the text is important, too, however. Clearly, if there is an upcoming event or party or something, communication lines tend to open and a lot of words go back and forth about the mundane. But if your “friend” is texting you about seemingly small or unrelated things or to ask questions with answers that are easy to find elsewhere (you know, like the internet), it is likely that he is just trying to find an excuse to stay connected.
2. Social Media
Again, this varies according to lifestyle, but when you are both heavily involved in social media, your “friend’s” actions within those spheres may sharply change if she has a crush on you. For example, she may – all of the sudden – end up “liking” all of your posts or photos. Every one. All. The. Time.
Another sign is a bit harder to catch, but if you are active on social networks, you can. Say, for example, you get a notification that he “liked” photo from 6 months ago, and that notification quickly goes away. This is usually indicative of social media “stalking” – a hard-to-avoid habit when you have a socially active crush. What happened was that he accidentally tapped or clicked on something as he trolled your page and then tried to quickly cover it up.
3. In Person Interactions
Just like friend-to-lover relationships are as old as time, so, too, are the ways that “friends” interact in person when thinking about becoming lovers.
It usually starts with subtle clues. Your “friend” may look at you more often when talking in a group. He may also look away when you try to make eye contact, embarrassed at being caught.
As she warms up to her feelings, touch begins to play a more prominent role in your exchanges. She will find little ways to come into contact with you from a gentle push on the arm to a tap on the shoulder to a lingering hug hello and goodbye.
Finally, the essence of your “friend’s” behavior will change dramatically. From playing with his hair, a phenomenon called “peacocking,” to ignoring her cell phone and giving you her undivided attention, there are many little changes in behavior that occur when you are attracted to someone and thus trying to impress them. If you secretly hope that your “friend’s” crush is real, these small signs are often the best indicators of what is going on inside his head.
4. Going from Friends to Lovers
Unlike our first junior high “friends” that became crushes, one of the benefits of adulthood is the self-confidence and experience that we gain and how that bleeds over into more authentic relationships with friends, family, and potential love interests.
In the adult world, the very best way to know if someone has a crush on you is that they will come out and say it. So keep your ears, your eyes, and your heart open.
…and if you’re the one with the crush, open your mouth, too.