I’ve come to believe that at some point in our lives, we find ourselves developing feelings for one of our friends.

Whether the feelings are for the girl next door, your study buddy or the guy you have been friends with since 2nd grade, one of these days it will happen, like it always does.

When it happened to me

For me, it happened six months ago when I met my friend *Eric (*names have been changed).

It was my first class of the day, English 105 and he sat across from me. Over the course of the semester we became really good friends. We took walks around campus, ate lunch together, sat next to each other in English, had the longest talks about the dumbest and most important things.

But more recently, I started to question our friendship and my feelings for him; did I like Eric as a boyfriend or did I simply care for him as a close friend? What happens when your friendships start moving in the “relationship direction”?

Lizzie and Gordo

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How and Why it can happen to you

In friendships, you tend to become very close through talking and spending time together. But spending all your time with this person sometimes gets you thinking about the possibility of your relationship getting more serious.

Your friendship doesn’t even have to be flirty; by simply being yourself with your friend, you can get into a very comfortable mindset making it easy for the lines of your friendship to become very blurry.

With friends, we’re don’t focus on hiding our flaws or impressing them which is why it is so appealing to fall for a friend: he/she already knows who you are and loves you just the same.

When dating, often times we put “our best self forward” and hide the things about ourselves that we don’t want someone else to see; we focus on the façade of being perfect, rather than just being ourselves.

So where do you stand in your friendship?

One of the biggest things that can make you question where you stand in your friendship is the way your friend treats you.

Last week, I was exhausted at school and Eric offered to drive me home. Was he just being nice (as he usually is) or is it his way of showing me what a good boyfriend he would be?

It also made me question what his gesture meant and why I had never been offered something like this before; why was I only experiencing it now? What changed? Does he like me now?

When your friend’s normal, everyday behavior makes a bit of a switch to something that can easily be confused with romance, you sometimes can’t help but think it has something to do with you. The important thing to remember is to not let yourself get prematurely caught up in “what could be”. Focus on reality.

Lizzie and Gordo

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Fun as it is sometimes to try to guess what your friend is thinking, it can get a little exhausting.

As scary as it sounds, talking about it with your friend may be the only way to stop all the conjecture in your head and get some real, clear answers.

It may be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s better to know what’s really going on than constantly thinking about what could be instead of knowing what is.

Do you want to continue feeling confused and anxious over this friendship or do you want to put it out in the open and see what could happen between the two of you?

Knowing whether or not to keep the friendship or abandon it for a relationship is a very hard decision. Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter answer for it (if there was, I wouldn’t be writing this article); every relationship is different and unique.

You and your friend know your friendship best. You know yourself better than I do. Make the decision that you know will best benefit both of you now and later on – not just the decision that makes you feel good right now.

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