The signs it's time to shoot your shot with the friend you fancy

In the latest will-they-won’t-they, Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen play friends in Platonic, a new comedy series for Apple TV+.

It’s a classic case of tip-toeing around the idea of romance – an experience so many of us can relate to.

Going from friends to more-than-friends is risky business, but if it works, it can have great pay off – and research from 2021 pointed to ‘friends-first’ being the preferred way of initiating a romantic relationship.

So, when is it worth taking the leap of faith?

Georgina Vass, a relationship and sex therapist, says: ‘Romantic and sexual attraction can blossom among friends and sometimes lead to a relationship – and there are signs of this.

‘Nervousness around you, accompanied by an apparent desire to spend time with, could suggest the friend is attracted to you.

‘Studies show that nervousness is more apparent when there was a perception of mutual attraction compared to where someone felt as though someone was attracted to them but didn’t feel the same.’ 

Nonverbal communication, such as holding a gaze longer than is expected, is also a sign.

‘Other things to look for include smiling more than usual, using a softer or lower tone of voice, and a more confident posture – this could all be evidence of flirting,’ she says.

‘Changes in behaviour like more frequent requests to hang out or meet up, appearing more groomed in your company than unusual, physically standing or sitting closer to you than usual, or touching you more often could also indicate an interest beyond friendship.’

And if you’re the one doing all the above, but they’re not reciprocated, Georgina says it’s not a good time to try for anything more. The signals would suggest your friend probably isn’t interested in the same way that you are.

But, if the signs are pointing to a mutual attraction, and you are going to make a move, the key thing is simple communication over big gestures.

‘Keep it real and talk to your friend about it. It’s highly unlikely that the thought never crossed their mind,’ Georgina says.

‘People like to avoid difficult things, but typically the feared outcome is way worse than the reality.

‘It may be that the person feels the same way about you, or doesn’t, but already guessed you felt that way and doesn’t let it affect your friendship.’

Good luck!

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