"We are just good friends..." is one of those sentences that no-one really buys into.
Why doesn’t anyone believe us?
Maybe because we don’t believe ourselves either. Of course, no one wants to lie. But often this is exactly what happens when we avoid thinking more seriously about our feelings.
How important is this relationship to you? Is it really just a beautiful friendship? It’s not always easy to understand the nature of our emotions, so here is a list of questions to think about.
1. When something good or bad happens to you, who is the first person you want to talk to?
This person is certainly someone you trust. At this level, you may only notice your desire to create or maintain an emotional bond with this person. Humans are social creatures and invest emotionally in others. But when this investment focuses on one person of the opposite sex, it is good to pay a little more attention to ourselves too.
2. What do you usually talk about?
About everyday life events or feelings? Do you discuss your friendship?
The conversations you have show the level of a relationship. If we imagine the stages of a relationship as three concentric circles, the divisions would sound like this: the first circle - convenience. We greet each other, we ask basic questions, like "How are you? How are your parents?", etc. We can have this kind of relationship with anyone, without any special affinity.
The second circle - actions: we talk about what's happening in our country, about our life in general, about various events that are relevant to us. This circle includes our friends, those with whom we have things in common and share our opinions.
The third circle - feelings: it's an emotional space that can only be accessed with trust. We talk about our needs, our fears, our feelings only with very close friends, and sometimes we don’t even communicate everything we feel. If your friend (of the opposite sex) has access to this circle, it is obvious that your friendship has surpassed the level of mere friendliness.
3. When you hang out with a group of friends, do you like to separate yourselves from others and take a walk alone?
We’re not talking here about accidentally lagging behind during a trip or taking the lead in front of the group in the park. There is a difference between doing this action intentionally and repeatedly, and it being a random occurrence.
4. Physical contact. Do you often want to touch them?
It is in our nature to seek physical closeness, but we do this in different ways with different people. A friendly tap on the shoulder doesn’t have a special meaning, but when you seek, with or without a reason, to touch your friend, it’s a tangible proof of an already close connection at a mental level.
Analyze your behavior towards your buddies and that one good friend. If you are just friends, your behaviour towards them shouldn’t be any different.
5. Do you glance at them when they’re not looking?
Do you find yourself staring at your one good friend while they’re looking for a seat at church? Do you notice how good their clothes look on them? Their hairstyle?
What do you do when your eyes meet? Do you come back to your senses, to reality?
6. If your friend was the same sex as you, would you be as involved in your friendship?
Would you spend as much time talking to each other? Would you be just as excited to meet? Would you have the same topics to discuss?
7. If your friend were to get married, how would that affect your relationship?
Would it decrease in intensity?
Would you be shocked to find out your friend has started a serious romantic relationship with another person? If that other new person were to join your talks, would you still be open and honest to one another? Would you choose the same topics of conversation, knowing they’re married?
8. Do you want to know if your friend finds you attractive? Does that influence the way you dress?
Friends can have different tastes in terms of clothing. This usually means you will not feel pressured to dress in a certain way to please your friends.
9. Do you save small souvenirs from your friend?
The bookmark your friend gave you, a gift, a train ticket - these are things you shouldn’t find so amazingly precious.
10. Do you think about the small gestures your friend does towards you?
You had a bad day and nothing cheers you up. But you remember a beautiful gesture that your friend did for you and you find yourself happy. You find your smile again because you feel you’re valuable to that one person, that they care about you.
Answer honestly and analyze your intentions. You will be surprised by how much clarity you gain just by being honest with yourself!