20 Signs Your Best Guy Friend Likes You Back

20 Signs Your Best Guy Friend Likes You Back - student project

All of a sudden you find yourself crushing hard on your best guy friend. Maybe you were always attracted, maybe it’s crept up on you, or maybe the realization hit you over the head one day and you never saw it coming. Now that it has, everything suddenly feels different – you want more.

The old joking around feels like the new flirting. The old indifference has morphed into possessiveness or even jealousy. A total lack of curiosity about the future has given way to an excruciating anticipation about what happens next.

This isn’t unusual. In fact, I believe that for most single, straight people a close friendship with a member of the opposite sex is very likely to get complicated. I guess you could say I’m one of those cynics who thinks it is really, really difficult for guys and girls to maintain intimate platonic friendships. I’ve never managed to pull it off, and neither have either of my kids.

But I have observed these friendships in real life among young people so I know that it is possible. My guess is that it can work with two friends who share a particular constellation of personality traits (though I’m not sure what those are). Aside from that I think cross-sex friendships work best when:

  • Boundaries have been explicitly stated, e.g., “You’re not my type.”
  • One or both of the people is in a serious relationship. That makes the terms non-negotiable, and prevents unrealistic expectations from developing.
  • All parties are friends with each other.
  • There is no romantic or sexual history between you.
  • You do not share the same sexual orientation.

What should you do when you find that sexual tension has somehow sprung up in your friendship with your favorite guy? You may be psyched about it, or at least curious. You may be dreading it, if you know that you absolutely do not want to go there. Or if you doubt he’s feeling it too.

Women like having guy friends but I don’t really buy that guys put real time and effort into cultivating platonic friendships with women. Or so says Billy Crystal in the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally:

It’s also true in my experience that women are usually the ones who worry about ruining the friendship. A guy will risk the friendship every time to fulfill the fantasy of having sex with you. He knows he’ll have to deal with the fallout, but it will be totally worth it, and he’ll think about that tomorrow.

Right before my husband and I hooked up for the first time, I suddenly pulled back while we were making out and said, “Wait! What about our friendship?” He looked at me like I was crazy and said “Who cares” as he picked up where I left off.

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If you’ve got it bad, and you’re wondering whether he feels it too, here are 20 signs that your guy friend has probably started thinking about you (a lot) when he gets busy with his right hand:

  1. You hear from him more often.
  • He seeks the role of primary contact when making group plans. He texts you to coordinate your friends meeting up with his friends.
  • He initiates more random chats via text, phone, etc.
  • He suggests hanging out alone. It may still feel platonic, but you notice that the two of you have gotten closer.
  • He focuses on you more. You sense that you’ve moved up on his list of priorities.
  • He makes plans with you instead of making them with another single girl.
  1. He begins to assert his physical presence.
  • He’s touchy. Hugs, standing close by, with arms or shoulders touching. You find yourself sitting next to each other. Kisses on the forehead, cheeks, etc.
  • He focuses on you specifically during conversation, and maintains eye contact.
  • He seems to be putting more effort into his appearance or grooming. If you suddenly notice he’s wearing cologne or nicer clothes around you, you can be sure he’s trying to change your impression of him.
  • There may be moments that feel awkward, where he seems nervous or you feel tension between you.
  • You catch him staring at you, especially when he thinks you’re not looking.
  1. He begins to take more risks in your conversations.
  • He demonstrates friendly affection by using nicknames and inside jokes.
  • He stops talking to you about other girls.
  • He jokes around about the two of you winding up together someday.
  • He lets you know that he thinks you’re a catch. When you complain about other dudes, he’ll mention that if he were your boyfriend he would never treat you that way, and that you deserve better.
  • He’s always been a great shoulder to cry on. But if he’s getting interested in you, you’ll see signs of his patience wearing thin. He may act mad at you if he sees you go after another guy, although he’ll categorically deny it when you ask him if you’ve done something wrong.
  • He becomes curious about what you like in a guy. He may ask you outright what you’re looking for, or he may ask you what you see in some douchebag you’ve got a crush on.
  1. Other people see what you cannot.
  • His friends make observations about the closeness of your friendship. Or they may ask you what the deal is.
  • Your friends think he’s crushing on you, for sure.
  • People you meet assume you’re a couple because of your obvious closeness.
  • He may make “weird” or hostile comments, frustrated with his lack of progress, as he perceives you are keeping him in the friend zone through cluelessness or lack of interest.

If your friend is doing a bunch of these, there’s probably minimal risk in bringing it up with him. 

The potential gain from making your feelings known outweighs the risks of feeling foolish. (Which you needn’t do with a close friend anyway.)

A regular HUS reader said this beautifully recently:

“I’m very happy to have him as a friend, and indeed he is a thoughtful man. A solid friendship is better than a fragile romantic relationship.”

Friendship is an excellent foundation for love. In fact, research shows that the best marriages are those where spouses describe each other as best friends they’re in love with.

The perfect man for you may be the one you haven’t even kissed yet.