5 Signs You’re More Than Just a Friend (But He’s Afraid to Take It to the Next Level)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man … is an absolute mystery. While you never can really tell what the men in your life are thinking, here are a few tips to help demystify those friends that might-be-more-than-friends in your life. If your best friend, Bob, exhibits any of these behaviors, it could be a sign that he wants your relationship to progress beyond the casual.

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Do you notice that whenever you’re out with a group of friends, this particular friend always seems to be nearby? Whenever you’re having a one-on-one conversation, does he enter your “intimate space zone… [of] 0-18 inches from your face” (Science of People, 2018)? While that might happen if you’re at a loud party or in a library, it could also be a sign that he’s into you.

Another way to determine whether or not your friend might have feelings for you is to pay attention to subtle body positions he might be imitating. If you catch him changing his body position to replicate one of yours (like crossing his legs), it’s usually a sign of attraction. According to Jack Schafer, Ph.D., a professor at Western Illinois University, mirroring “sends a subconscious signal to the person you are with that you like them” and vice versa (Schafer, 2016).

Eye contact
Direct eye contact is a surefire way to establish a connection – romantically or not. However, it can be somewhat intimidating. That’s why if you notice your guy friend making direct eye contact with you that seems to last longer than usual, it’s a good indication that you may just be the apple of his eye. Schafer states: “The neurochemical oxytocin may be responsible for increased eye contact. Elevated oxytocin levels increase mutual eye gaze and provide a sense of well-being, which increases mutual attraction. Oxytocin also increases pupil dilation, which indicates interest. The wider the dilation, the more attracted people feel toward one another”.

No barriers
If you find yourself together on a couch and all of the cushions seem to magically disappear, it could be another sign that your friend wants something more. This principle applies to books, purses and anything else that could be perceived as an obstacle. It’s subtle, but removing objects that act as a barricade is a subconscious sign that the person on the other end is an object of interest. This also opens the door for light, playful physical touch – which is yet another sign.

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Emotional intimacy
Chances are if you’re friends, you have some sort of established relationship. If you find that your conversations consist of more than just casual inquiries and polite small talk, your friend could be trying to create emotional intimacy. Vulnerability is important to develop relationships, and while vulnerability can be a sign of deep friendship, it could also be a sign that your friend wants to take it deeper.