18 Ways To Know Whether You're In A Friendship Vs. A Relationship

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 difference between friendship and relationship

We've all been there: falling in love with a best friend. 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, especially when you know the difference between a friendship and a relationship.

If you're a man lusting for a woman, but she's your best friend, make sure the lust is not fleeting. If it turns into a friends with benefits type of situation, it might lead to more or it might explode. In either case, it's 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's mutual and has the 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, it'll be reciprocated, which might make it all worth it.

Sometimes, this is your only choice. Because if you're crazy about someone who was once just a best friend, you won't want to be in the friend zone.

RELATED: 7 Signs Your Friendship Is Turning Into A Full-Fledged Romance

If you feel that it's not mutual and you value having the person in your life, don't act on it and wait it out. 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.

Don't ignore any potential red flags you see pop up during your friendship. If you notice small problems now, they will become bigger problems later with the emotional baggage added in.

18 Differences Between a Friendship and a Relationship

1. A best friend can call a romantic partner if there's 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're 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" because that's the road you're headed down by crossing that imaginary line, without being upfront and honest with all parties involved.

2. A best friend can hang out with current or potential romantic partners.

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 best friend will be told about possible romantic interests.

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 best friend will be listened to because there is no emotional connection.

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's in love with. He loves his best friend, but he's in love with his girlfriend.

RELATED: 23 Best Love Songs About Falling For Your Best Friend

5. A 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 best friend can have the spare keys to the home.

Girlfriends are usually want to know everything 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 best friend can have all-access to personal life.

Oftentimes with a girlfriend, there may be some stories in his past he may never feel comfortable telling her about. Don't 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. Commitment to a 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's 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 best friend will be used 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's 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's 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 best friend will listen; while a romantic partner may have emotions blocking them.

You enjoy listening to your best friend; you have no choice but to listen to your romantic partner if you want the 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 knows 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.

RELATED: 7 Reasons You Should Be Friends Before Lovers In A Relationship

12. A 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 best friend can be desired, but nothing will come of it.

A man can and will desire his best friend (but it doesn't mean anything will come of it).

It doesn't 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 best friend doesn't need to be taken care of the way a romantic partner 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's easier to trust a best friend than it is to trust a romantic partner.

Eventually, girlfriends and baby mamas are more apt to turn on a man.

The more 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 best friend can criticize constructively.

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 best friend isn't relied upon to bring happiness like a romantic partner is.

How many times have you heard a woman say to a man, “You don't make me happy”? It's 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's 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 best friend is a safe place when it comes to money.

Trusting a girlfriend with money will take quite some time.

RELATED: 7 Brutally Honest Signs He *Only* Sees You As A Friend With Benefits

The relationship coaches of How To Get The Man Of Your Dreams are dedicated to empowering men and women with knowledge, building their confidence, and helping them to accomplish their ultimate goal of love and a loving relationship.