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Relationship answers: Are you just friends?

by Eharmony Editorial Team - October 28, 2010

Sometimes we can blur the boundaries between friendship and relationship to the point where we don’t know where we stand with someone. Here’s our guide to working out if you really are just friends.

The line between friendship and romance can sometimes get very blurred. After all, close friendships can almost seem like relationships; you do everything together, share intimate moments, know each other’s deepest secrets.

But, there still needs to be a very clear definition of a friendship. Otherwise, at least one of you is going to get their feelings hurt.  If you’re currently unsure whether your friend things about your in a romantic way, here’s our guide for what to look out for.

You always have to make the first move
Is it always you that picks up the phone first? Or perhaps you’re always the one to suggest something to do? If this is the case, and it feels like he’s holding you at arms length, then you might be the only one who sees your relationship heading down a romantic path.

They always suggest ‘friend’ things to do
On the other hand, maybe he or she does suggest things to do – but they’re always friend activities. When they suggest a drink one evening, you have an intimate glass of wine in mind and they bring along all their mates for a boozy session in the pub.

They tell you about other conquests
Imagine – you’re sat having a quiet coffee together thinking ‘This is it, he/she is finally going to make a move’, when they start telling you about this amazing man/woman they met last night. If your ‘friend’ is telling you about members of the opposite sex they’ve noticed, then they’re sending out a very clear signal that they see you very much as a friend. And if they’re telling you about members of the same sex they’ve noticed, then you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree.

They always want to know about your love life
As well as telling you about their conquests your ‘friend’ is always asking whether you’ve ‘met anyone nice recently’. Admittedly, they could be asking to rule out any competition, but along with other signs on this list, you can be pretty sure you’re in the ‘friend zone’.

Right from the start they’re completely relaxed around you
If they never seem nervous around you, even when you first meet, you can take this as a sign they don’t see you in a romantic way – even the most confident of us get nervous around someone we fancy. Extra signs include extreme relaxation, such as not bothering with their appearance when they meet you. And other things we’ll leave to your imagination.

They’re only interested after a few drinks
Maybe your friend has made a move in the past, but if it’s after a few too many glasses of Rioja then again you can safely exclude that from your ‘evidence’ that they like you. Unfortunately, alcohol makes people think they want things that in reality they’d never consider. Any move they make under the influence is a non-starter.

They say things like ‘We’re friends, right?’
And, after they’ve made that boozed up move, if they say something like ‘We’re still ok as friends aren’t we?’ then you’ve got your message loud and clear. That kind of backtracking is painful for you, but if they were interested they’d never say something like that.

If you’ve got feelings for a friend that go beyond the norm, and you think they’re not interested, then it’s time to re-evaluate your friendship. You need to ask yourself if you can continue the friendship if you’re trying to convince yourself it’s something else. And you should also ask yourself if they’re leading you on. After all, alcohol isn’t really a valid excuse for a grown adult to make a move on someone they’re not interested in.

Maybe now is the time to put some distance between you and your friend, until you can gain some perspective on the situation. Then you can happily resume your friendship a few months down the line once your crush has died down.