31 surprising signs your best friend is in love with you

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Are you wondering whether your best friend likes you as more than just friends?

Relationships can certainly blossom from friendship. After all, your best friend is probably the person who knows you better than anyone else.

They see you at your worst and they also see you at your best. They know exactly what makes you tick.

So if your best friend has started acting differently towards you, it might mean they are falling head over heels for you.

In this article, we’ll cover 31 signs your best friend is in love with you.

How common is falling in love with your best friend?

Falling for a friend is probably way more common than you might think.

In fact, one study discovered that relationships that started out as friendships are far from the exception. If anything, it’s how most relationships actually begin.

Researchers found that two-thirds of the adults who took part in their study said they were friends first before becoming lovers.

What’s more, they discovered that this was a much-preferred way for romantic relationships to start. Most of us like getting to know someone as a friend before letting things naturally progress.

The rate of being friends first was even higher among certain groups of people. For example, for people in their 20s and LGBTQ+ communities, as many as 85% said their romance began as a friendship.

You might also assume that if you’ve been friends for a long time then romance is probably off the cards. But again, the research suggests otherwise. It found that on average it took nearly 22 months before friendships shifted into romantic relationships.

Speaking in the Guardian newspaper, one of the authors of the study, Danu Anthony Stinson, said it just goes to show how there really aren’t any “rules” when it comes to love.

“So there is a huge, messy, blurry line between friendship and romance … it emphasizes how you really cannot define for somebody else what a friendship is versus what a romance is. They define it for themselves.”

If friendships not only can but do frequently progress into more, then how do you know if your best friend loves you more than a friend?

Here is what to look out for.

31 signs your friend likes you more than a friend

1) They try to get closer to you physically

It’s often not even conscious. But we want to be close to the people we’re attracted to. It’s almost magnetic.

We all have an invisible bubble that surrounds us. This is our personal space, and we don’t let just anyone into it. We also instinctively know not to move into someone else’s. Otherwise, it can feel very vulnerable and even invasive.

The exception is those people with who we are most intimate. That includes our romantic interests.

So if they always stand right next to you, lean in towards you when you talk, or try to sit very close together on the sofa, it shows they want to be physically close with you.

This is a sure-fire sign of attraction.

2) Your friends tease you that you’re like a couple

Sometimes the people around us have a better intuitive read about what is going on. They can stand back and notice things that you can’t always see from the inside.

If their friends and your friends comment that you guys act like a couple, then they are picking up on a vibe.

Other people’s opinions on whether you two have feelings for each other that go beyond friendship tend to be more objective.

So if they tell you that it’s obvious something is going on, then it could be that you two are really starting to fall for each other.

3) They don’t talk about any romantic interests with you

This is a big one. If your best friend is secretly in love with you, they will want to appear available.

That means they will either play down other romantic interests on the scene or completely avoid talking about it with you altogether.

They’re unlikely to brag about conquests or casually chat about people they’ve been dating. That would send the wrong impression to you.

The only exception is that they might still talk about other people who are interested in them.

That’s because this makes them sound desirable but still available. Someone having a crush on them signals to you that they’re a good catch.

4) They try to get you on your own

If your best keeps trying to get you on your own, it could be a sign that they like you as more than just a friend.

Think about it: Do they invite you to things and no one else? Do they suggest movie nights alone? Or solo activities?

Maybe they’re hoping that spending time alone together will bring you closer. But how can you be sure?

I mean, you don’t want to make a mistake about something so important and ruin your friendship — and I get it. The line between platonic and romantic attraction can often be blurry.

But there might be something real between the two of you — something healthy, even — that you’re not noticing because you were predisposed to think about love as something that hurts, something that can be toxic, sometimes.

But that’s just not true — and I know that my favorite shaman, Ruda Iande, agrees. 

If you don’t know him, Ruda Iande is a renowned contemporary shaman who helps people discover and love themselves.

In his Love and Intimacy Masterclass, he teaches you that love is something that doesn’t have to hurt. It’s something that nurtures you, something that fulfills your soul.

And maybe that’s all you need to unlearn to realize that your best friend is in love with you — and they love you in return.

Click here for the free masterclass.

5) They get very flirty when they’re drunk

Sometimes alcohol can be a bit of a truth serum.

When we drink, our inhibitions tend to relax. How we really feel is more likely to come out, in both words and actions.

Does your friend start to loosen up and get more flirty with you whenever they’ve had a bit too much to drink?

This is a big indicator that they have a romantic interest in you.

They’re maybe not confident enough to act like this when they’re sober.

But the fact they get flirty when they’re drunk suggests that they’re attracted to you and struggle to hide their feelings after a drink or two.

6) They tell you how great you look

Compliments are how we show someone we care. Whilst we do give our friends compliments, there are usually limits to it.

We probably don’t do it all the time, and the compliments aren’t too flirty. Does your friend always say nice things about the way you look?

If they tell you how hot you look, or that you are beautiful, then chances are they’re already thinking about getting together with you.

It’s a pretty clear-cut sign that they’re interested.

7) Whenever you go out in groups, they’re always by your side

If you’re honest, are you two kind of joined at the hip?

On a night out do you spend every single moment together? When you hang out with your best friend, do they always stick close to you?

These are all clear signs that they want to be near you. And if you notice them doing this, it means they’re probably sweet on you.

8) They really open up to you

Plenty of people wonder ‘Can you fall in love with your best friend?’ Of course you can. Sometimes those feelings seemingly come out of nowhere.

But what is usually going on below the surface is that you have been building a strong connection which then flourishes into romance.

Growing from the firm foundations of friendship can make for the very best relationships. If your best friend really opens up to you, then that’s a sign of those firm foundations.

You two clearly have a very close bond and feel comfortable enough to share personal things with one another that you wouldn’t tell just anyone.

9) You catch them looking at you with puppy dog eyes

There are lots of different ways in which we use eye contact to communicate with one another. Holding someone’s gaze is a clear sign of attraction.

So if they’re often gazing at you, perhaps even when they think you’re not looking, it’s a definite sign of their interest.

But there’s even a step further than that.

When you have genuine feelings and have fallen for someone you may use those puppy dog eyes. What I mean is a lovey-dovey gaze that is filled with admiration.

It’s hard to describe but pretty noticeable when you see it.

10) There is chemistry between you

You might have come looking for the clear signs your best friend is in love with you because you’ve just got a feeling.

A lot of us rely on our intuition when it comes to romance. Gut feelings guide us for good reason. The chemicals that are released into our body and brain when we’re into someone and falling in love have a powerful effect.

It can create a euphoria that is almost electric. This energy between two people who are mutually experiencing the same emotions is often known as “chemistry”.

It’s difficult to define but it’s the big difference between someone being just a friend or more.

Sometimes all the other elements can be in place — you get on well, you share the same interests, and values, etc. — but the chemistry is missing.

If you can feel a spark between you and your best friend, then chances are there’s more than friendship lurking below the surface.

11) They’re touchy-feely

Most of us aren’t particularly touchy-feely with our friends. It’s not that we never touch them or avoid touching them, it’s just that there isn’t much of a need for a lot of physical contact.

So if your best friend finds excuses to try and touch you then it’s for a reason. Maybe they fix an item of your clothing, shift your hair around, or they reach over to touch your arm when you’re talking.

They might use something like play fighting as an excuse to get physical with you in a flirty way.

Basically, if your best friend finds reasons to touch you then it’s probably a sign of deeper feelings.

12) They make flirty “jokes”

Humor masks a lot of truths. So you will find it appears several times on the list. That’s because joking about something is actually a great way to test the water.

It’s a way of putting yourself out there, seeing what kind of response you get, and still being able to hide behind the excuse that it was just a joke.

Your best friend could be making jokes to see how you react. If you don’t respond positively, then it’s likely they’ll stop making them. But if you do respond positively, then they’ll keep going.

If they often make flirty jokes with you, you can safely assume that they’re not actually joking at all.

13) You have passionate arguments

True story…

When I was in high school my best guy friend was in love with me, but for years I was totally oblivious to it. When I finally found out, it all made sense.

One of the many signs was that we would have these passionate arguments. Not total screaming matches or anything. But certainly more dramatic than I had with any of my other friends.

What was actually going on was our feelings for one another were bubbling through in other forms of tension.

It meant our frustration over repressed feelings would occasionally come spilling out. Often it’s the people we care most about who are capable of pushing our buttons the most.

14) They get jealous

Even though we often think of jealousy as an ugly emotion, there’s evidence that in very small doses it can actually be a good thing in a relationship.

Why? Because it shows you care.

If the little green-eyed monster makes an appearance in certain circumstances, it’s a sign your best friend is secretly in love with you.

Maybe it tends to happen when members of the opposite sex are around or other potential love rivals.

Perhaps they suddenly become quite protective over you. Particularly for guys, a desire to protect the woman they love is a strong biological drive.

So when your best guy friend falls in love with you, he’s likely to become a lot more defensive over you.

15) You do couple things together

It’s not just fun things that you guys do together. You also have a life a bit like an old married couple.

You hang out binge-watching your favorite shows. You do date-style activities like visiting museums, going on long walks or picnicking.

You even do chores together. Maybe you go to the grocery store together, to the hardware store, or enlist each other’s help for the flat-pack furniture.

If you’re doing lots of couples things, it’s pretty much like you already are a couple in all but name.

16) They don’t want to hear about your love life

If you’re in love with someone, the last thing you want to hear is about your romantic rivals.

If they seem to get annoyed by you mentioning other people or try to very quickly change the subject, then it’s a huge sign of their romantic feelings for you.

Particularly if you are close and talk about everything else, avoiding conversations about your love life means it’s this topic in particular that they have a problem with.

The only real explanation is jealousy and that it’s painful or uncomfortable for them to hear.

17) They “joke” about being your boyfriend/girlfriend

Remember earlier we said that jokes are often used as a disguise for real feelings?

Well, that’s the case if they’re making jokes about them being your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Read between the lines. What they’re actually suggesting is that they want to be your SO. It’s not a joke at all. They are looking for your reaction and any clues that you might feel the same.

They may even say self-deprecating things in the hope you will correct them.  For example: “I know you’d never want to go out with me”.

18) They’re always messaging you for no real reason

It’s true that most of us are glued to our phones these days.

In fact, according to research the average text messaging user sends or receives around 41.5 messages per day.

Especially with our closest friends, we are more likely to be in frequent contact.

But if your best friend is messaging you all the time, for no apparent reason you might start to get suspicious that they’re interested in more than friendship.

They could check in with you several times a day, send you funny memes, or just try to chat about nothing in particular.

This is essentially just attention. It shows they’re thinking of you. And the more attentive we are, the stronger our feelings generally are.

19) They’re not dating anyone else

There’s nobody else on the scene right now. Come to think of it, you can’t even remember the last time your best friend went on a date or even hooked up with somebody.

They probably don’t have much time for other people as you two spend most of your time together.

Maybe if you bring up other guys or girls, they’ll play it down and brush it off.  If they’re still single, it could be because they are already hung up on you.

20) They take an interest in all the same things as you

It makes total sense that your best friend would have similar interests as you. But if they’re into the exact same activities, sports, music, and movies as you, there could be something more to it.

In fact, it’s likely that there are much deeper psychological factors at play. Taking a really strong active interest in someone else’s life is a sign of compatibility.

The truth is that opposites don’t actually attract. Like attracts like. And we have a tendency to seek out romantic partnerships with the people who share our values, interests, and opinions.

21) They make an effort with their appearance around you

If your best friend dresses well when they see you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re trying to impress you. But it certainly could do.

If they never look sloppy around you, it could be that they’re mindful of trying to look their best. It may be a subconscious way of trying to get you to notice them.

So one of the signs that your female best friend is in love with you could be that she makes an extra effort to be more glamourous around you, even when you’re just hanging out at home.

Or you might notice that your guy friend has started to always wear cologne when he never used to.

Being conscious of their appearance is a clue that your best friend has feelings for you.

22) You “joke” that you’ll get married one day

You’ve been joking about getting hitched since you were kids. Or maybe you have made one of those pacts that if you’re not married by the time you hit a certain age, you’ll marry each other.

Perhaps you’ve even joked about how long it will take before you tie the knot.

If your best buddy starts talking about marriage, you should pay attention. Because it’s a pretty clear indication that they probably want to settle down with you. And not “one day” — now.

Even if you’re only kidding around, they’re still subtly showing you that they’re serious about you.

23) They remember everything you tell them

Your best friend knows everything about you. Maybe they even know what you had for breakfast yesterday, or where you bought your favorite pair of shoes. We also tend to confide in people who we feel close to us.

But whatever you tell them (big or small), you can guarantee that they remember it. Even when you can’t recall telling them.

It means that your best friend really does listen to you. The fact that they make an effort to remember every little detail of your life is what signals strong feelings for you.

24) You cuddle

Are best friends allowed to cuddle? of course they are. There aren’t any specific rules. But realistically, most don’t.

Whilst plenty of friends will hug or show physical affection, they’re less likely to cuddle or hold hands. That’s because these are more romantic forms of physical connection for most of us.

Whilst there are cultural differences around the world — for example in Asia it’s common for friends to hold hands —  generally speaking we tend to draw a line between friendly contact and romantic contact.

Cuddling is more than just platonically affectionate for most people. It symbolizes attraction and loving feelings.

So if every time you two watch a movie on the couch you end up in each others arms, this is definite couple vibes.

25) They’ve started to flirt with you

Flirting is a natural part of human behavior. We all do it from time to time. And sometimes we don’t realize that we’re doing it.

But when you start noticing that your best friend is flirting with you, it’s a sign that they’re attracted to you.

It’s them trying to bridge the gap between friendship and becoming more than friends.

Flirting can include anything like making suggestive comments, having lots of eye contact, gently teasing you, or slightly showing off to try to impress you.

Think of it as the mating dance that humans do in order to get each other’s attention.

So if your best friend has started acting increasingly flirty, they obviously want to turn up the heat between you two.

26) They make themselves available for you

Best friends often become very close over time. One of the reasons why is because they spend so much time together. This means that they inevitably develop a bond.

As a consequence, they come to rely on each other. But even best friends still have other things to do and other relationships to nurture.

But if your best friend always makes themselves available for you, it shows that you are their number one priority.

Maybe they cancel other plans if you say that you want to hang out. Perhaps they come running whenever you need their help.

Making ourselves constantly available is a strong sign of our love for someone.

27) They “joke” about being in the friend zone

Even though many relationships grow out of friendship, ending up in the “friend zone” is what everyone dreads when they are attracted to somebody.

If you’ve been hanging out with your best friend for years, chances are they may think that they already know how you feel about them. They might assume that their love is unrequited.

If they keep joking about being in the friendzone, it’s a clear indication that they think you’re too cool for them. Or they think that you’re not interested romantically.

Even though they’re acting like a friend, secretly they still see you as a potential boyfriend/girlfriend, and want more.

28) They message you when they are drunk

The drunken 3 am text is one of the cliche signs of closet feelings for someone.

Much like the ex who messages you whenever they’re out drinking, you get a text in the middle of the night because you are on their mind.

It’s somehow easier to say the things that we’re too embarrassed to admit when sober. That’s why drunken revelations are more common.

Getting messages from them on nights out is a subtle sign that they care about you. Even though they’re out having fun, they’re still thinking about you.

29) They fish for details about your love life

Whenever you talk about your love life, does it feel more like your best friend is really asking you questions about your relationship status?

If they seem a bit too curious about other potential love interests, then maybe they’re fishing for information.

They’re actually trying to find out whether they stand a chance or not.

If they discover that you don’t have your eye on anyone, maybe they seem relieved. They may even try to put you off love rivals or dissuade you in some way.

On the other hand, if you give them all the juicy details, then they’ll probably start feeling jealous. And they will act accordingly, getting moody or sulky.

30) They remove obstacles between you

We’ve already talked a little about wanting to be physically closer to someone that we’re interested in romantically.

Well, one of the psychological signs of attraction is removing barriers that come between you.

For example, if you are sitting at a table they may slide over glasses or objects that are in between you to clear the way. If you sit on the couch together, they’ll probably move out of the way any cushions that are in between you.

Think of it as a subconscious way of showing affection towards someone. They’re quite literally making sure that there is nothing standing in the way of your relationship.

31) They invite you to go on trips with them

They want to take a trip, and it’s not a group thing, is just you two. Perhaps it’s just an overnight road trip or a full-on vacay together.

It’s not that it’s totally unheard of to go away with your bestie, it’s just that it’s one of those things that falls into a couple’s activity. Especially if it’s more of a romantic type of break too.

It means they’re seeking more one one one time, and even more intimacy with you.

My best friend is in love with me but I don’t feel the same way

Not all love between friends is going to have a happy ending.

Maybe you suspect your best friend is in love with you but you have a boyfriend. Or perhaps the crush your friend has is simply unrequited, and you don’t see them that way.

Whilst it can feel awkward, honesty is going to be the best policy. It’s not your fault if you don’t feel the same way.

It could be time to have an open chat about what they may be feeling. But you should also understand that they may not be ready to or even want to talk about it yet.

Falling for a friend can feel incredibly vulnerable, and they’re likely to be a bit embarrassed if you don’t share their feelings.

It can be helpful to create some clearer boundaries around your friendship if it feels like things have become muddied.

For example, making sure there isn’t any inadvertent flirting going on or confusing physical contact that might give them false hope or the wrong impression.

Perhaps you feel like your closeness has crossed a line recently. Creating a little bit of space can be useful if either of you needs it.

Remember that it can take time for things to get back to normal if your best friend has confessed feelings for you. Rejection is painful for all of us, so be patient and give them time.

Ultimately if you both value the friendship, it should be able to survive this, given enough time.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

13 traits of a reliable person that we can all learn from

10 reasons you’re dreaming about an ex years later (complete guide)