Before you cross the line from platonic to romantic, consider these critical distinctions.
We've all been there... falling in love with a best friend. I'm one of those girls: I like hanging with the boys. When you're taken though, this becomes harder to do because suddenly many of the people in our lives who we thought were platonic, start showing us a different side.
When this happens, it becomes a problem.
If you're the one on the other side (debating telling someone that you like them as MORE than just a friend), please reconsider if they are taken. If they're single, don't wait — learn to differentiate so that you're not disrespectful or effectively putting an end to the friendship as you know it.
Rejection sucks, but learning to tell these signs for what they really are — that friendship is becoming more — is sure to save you from much heartache.
If you're a man lusting for a woman, but she's your best friend, make sure the lust is not fleeting.
This is because if it turns into a friends-with-benefits type of situation, it might lead to more or it might explode — and in either case, it is difficult to recover. At best, your friendship will never be the same.
If you feel an emotional bond with your best friend, and you feel that it is mutual and has potential to last 'forever'... be prepared to face rejection and possibly lose him or her. However, if it's really THAT strong of a connection, then it'll be reciprocated, which might make it all worth it.
Sometimes, this is your only choice... the only remedy. Because if you're crazy about someone who was once just a best friend, you won't want to be in the friend-zone.
If you feel that it's not mutual, though, and you value having the person in your life by any means, don't act on it and wait it out — maybe it's just a temporary confusion.
Maybe you just have a strong emotional bond, but it doesn't mean that you're IN LOVE with the person.
If it does become a relationship, prepare for the dynamics of the relationship to change entirely. It likely won't be as laid-back as the friendship; jealousy might come into the mix; and if either or both of you are dramatic or very sensitive, prepare to face the music.
If you choose to cross this proverbial line, you have to be smart enough to weigh all the possibilities, both negative and positive.
Be honest and upfront with yourself. Sex should be the last act on your mind when you're with your best friend.
Don't ignore any potential red flags you see pop up here and there during your friendship. If you notice small problems now, they will become bigger problems later with the emotional baggage added in.
Don't you think that it is often best to save your friendship, which can last a lifetime, rather than trading it in for a fleeting sexual moment? Plus, do you know how hard it is for a man to just be friends with a beautiful woman without wanting to sleep with her?
It's really hard. In the back of every heterosexual man's mind is the thought of what it would be like to sleep with a woman who is his friend.
You've heard the stories such as, "We came home drunk last night and ended up sleeping together." If a guy finds you remotely attractive, well... Believe me, these actions are often a result of the desires and curiosities already stored in their subconscious minds.
The liquor was the excuse needed to perform the act — or the 'object' that pushed them over the edge. Do what you must, but consider the difference between best friend and girlfriend before you screw up your friendship.
So to make sure you're not riding that (really thin) lin between friendship and romance, here are 18 friendship and relationship tips to keep you on the straight and narrow:
1. A man's best friend can call his girlfriend if he is in trouble.
A man's girlfriend will not be offended by the phone call if she truly knows you're his best friend. But if she feels like you are hiding your feelings behind your "best friend" title and it later comes out, she will feel betrayed by you.
So get ready to be on the next episode of "Jerry Springer" or "Maury," because that is the road you are headed down by crossing that imaginary line, without being upfront and honest with all parties involved.
2. A man's best friend can hang out with his girlfriend or potential girlfriends.
But obviously, if you're his best friend-turned-girlfriend, he will not feel as comfortable about you knowing about or hanging around with other women he may find or has found attractive. This will undoubtedly create uneasiness in your relationship.
3. A man can tell you about women he's interested in.
Men often confide in their female friends in order to get a woman's point of view. Should he proceed or not? Telling his girlfriend about other women he likes may not work so well, unless you have an open relationship or these are women you both would not mind getting to know mentally and physically.
4. A man can listen to a mouthy best friend because you are not emotionally connected.
You can always hang out and speak up with your best friend and let an intense situation cool, with no love lost. It's not quite that simple if the person is a girlfriend, especially if you live together. Every decision you make becomes critical and one you have to face because of the physical and mental connection.
A man can't run away or dismiss himself from a woman he is in love with. He loves his best friend, but he is in love with his girlfriend. So whether he likes it or not, he will have to deal with a mouthy girlfriend, which takes the tension to a whole new level.
5. A man's best friend can go out of town with her girlfriends or guy friends.
This should be no problem at all if you two are strictly friends. It will not be easy, however, for his girlfriend to just waltz out of town with her girlfriends or male friends, without a fully documented explanation.
6. A man's best friend can have the spare keys to his home.
Girlfriends are usually too nosy early on in a relationship.
For example, a man might be reminiscing by looking at an old photo album of an ex that he just happened to leave open while he was rushing out to go to the airport. A best friend would just look and say, "I remember her" and close the book.
A girlfriend, on the other hand, may want to know "who, what, when, where, and how?" She may even draw the conclusion that his business trip is really a rendezvous with this old fling.
7. A man's best friend can have all-access to his personal life.
Oftentimes with a girlfriend, there may be some stories in his past he may never feel comfortable telling her about. Do not take it personally. Some men may be just too embarrassed.
A best friend would just laugh it off, but the same stories may destroy his girlfriend's perfect image of him, e.g., "That's what you used to do?" She might not be able to handle stories from his past, not truly taking into account that his past experiences, good or bad, helped make him into the man he is today, the man she currently loves.
We don't all have perfect, fairy-tale lives. But it's not about who you were; it's who you are now that matters the most.
8. A man's commitment to his best friend comes without the drama of being in a relationship.
A man who is in a committed relationship obviously has certain expectations to live up to, and if he fails, it is often fatal and filled with emotional trauma.
Are you prepared to take the place of the girlfriend in the life of the object of your affection, also known as your best friend? Ready to take the gamble and either lose it or gain it all?
9. A man sometimes uses his best friend as a scapegoat.
A female best friend may not like this idea so much, because it can put her in an awkward position, especially if she is tight with his girlfriend. But in an emergency situation, she would rather not see their relationship fail because of a stupid mistake he made. We are not condoning this behavior. We all make mistakes. For obvious reasons, it is a lot harder for a man to use his girlfriend as a scapegoat, although some men have used reverse psychology to find a way.
10. A man enjoys listening to his best friend; he has no option but to listen to his girlfriend if he wants his relationship to last.
Best friends truly listen; girlfriends often hear the words that are coming out of his mouth but fail to listen. Girlfriends tend to listen when they are happy but not when they are upset.
11. A best friend accepts a man for who he really is; she knows his inner secrets.
Girlfriends are infamous for not accepting the reality of a situation until the end, when all hell breaks loose. Perhaps they had always painted a picture in their mind of the perfect relationship, or perhaps they took a scene from their favorite romance and filled in the blank spaces with his name and picture.
12. A man’s best friend has no right to be jealous.
A BFF will not be as intensely jealous as his girlfriend, because there is no sexual component to their relationship that brings on feelings of jealousy and possessiveness–weapons of mass relationship destruction.
13. A man can and will desire his best friend (but it doesn't mean anything will come of it).
It does not matter what a man’s best friend looks like, but men always desire the most attractive girlfriend they can find. Body type, look and feel all matter as much as inner beauty when choosing a girlfriend.
14. A man's best friend doesn't need him to take care of her the way a boyfriend would.
A man is supposed to be the head of the household in a relationship or family. A man’s best friend governs herself.
15. It is easier to trust a best friend than it is to trust a girlfriend who has feelings for her man.
Eventually, girlfriends and baby mamas are more apt to turn on a man. The more the emotional investment in the relationship, the harder the whiplash. Love has an equal but opposite energy, often witnessed in failed relationships: hate. A best friend is not physically and emotionally attached to the relationship in the same way, so the whiplash, if any, is minimal.
16. A man’s best friend can criticize him without him freaking out.
Friends usually say something negative and a man will respect her opinion (but not always agree), because it usually comes from a place of pure love and without her personal bias. A girlfriend’s negative comments usually come with a mixture of love, bias, emotions and her will for him and the relationship.
17. A man’s best friend does not rely on her best friend to supply her happiness.
How many times have you heard a woman say to a man, “You do not make me happy?” It is more of a mutual exchange of energy between her and her best friend. A girlfriend relies on her man to bring and be her happiness.
Ladies, for the record, that is a lot of pressure to put on any relationship.
Happiness comes from within yourself and compliments the happiness you hope to find in another person.
18. A man's best friend is a safe place when it comes to money.
Trusting a girlfriend with money will take quite some time. A woman who is upset with a man, nine times out of 10, will make a wrong and unfair decision and justify it based on how she feels and not how she would want to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot. How many times have we heard of the divorce court nightmare? You may agree with the large, unearned sums of money that women believe they are entitled to, but then you wonder why men are afraid to commit. It’s more like we are afraid of what happens if it does not work out. Women who celebrate these false victories should realize that every action has an equal and opposite reaction in the minds of men.
In closing, you have to be honest with yourself, wise enough to know the difference and be able to weigh each possibility very carefully. Do not ignore any potential conflicts observed across the faint lines leading from friendship to relationship. If you see small problems now, they will not disappear with sex, but only become bigger if not properly addressed. It is very important to realize that some problems are deeply-rooted and may take years to resolve. Sometimes what is needed most is an honest friend. It is often better to save your friendship, which can last a lifetime, than to trade it in for a relationship that could be temporary. A man or woman can always find a potential boyfriend or girlfriend, but a true best friend, if you’re lucky, comes once in a lifetime.