How to let someone know you want to be more than just friends

It can be incredibly risky to jump from "just friends" to something more romantic. Will they be interested, too? Or am I sabotaging our good friendship? These types of questions are natural, as admitting feelings may ruin the entire platonic friendship. But leaving feelings and emotions bottled up can also be detrimental to yourself and to the friendship. So, what's a love fool to do? 

Good news awaits you. In one study, 40 percent of couples surveyed said they started out as friends. It makes sense, really. The more time you spend with someone, the more interested you are in them. In another study by the University of Texas, students rated one another at the beginning of the semester and at the end of the semester. By the end, many people found one another more attractive. At the base of every good relationship is a solid friendship, so it's no mystery that the more you befriend someone, the more you find them attractive (via The Independent).

It can be complicated to begin unpacking these new feelings for your BFF. Before you can begin having regular make out sessions with your pal, it may be a little awkward figuring out how to take the plunge with a bestie.

Test the waters but understand what's at stake

First, consider the situation. Is your friend single? Are they hung up on anyone? If the answer is "no," take this chance to experiment with what your friendship means. Dating expert Matthew Hussey, suggested to The Independent that flirting is the way to test the waters when trying to escape the friend zone. "Instead of telling someone 'I like you, what do you think?', which forces theme into a position of having to give you an answer, start flirting with them through simple gestures and see what happens," he says. Being aware of someone's lifestyle can make it easier for you to make a move or open up a conversation about pursuing a relationship (via Stylecaster). 

Of course it can be a bit tricky to decipher if your pal is really flirting back or not. Relationship therapist Simone Bose told The Guardian, "If you are going to take that step, ask yourself: are you serious about this? Is it an intense friendship? Does it sometimes feel like boundaries are crossed?" Emotional boundaries and physical boundaries are two separate things and sometimes with intense friendships, emotional boundaries have already been crossed (talking about secrets, emotional experiences, and intimate moments). It's more difficult to make the first step with a physical boundary and into a sexual relationship (via Moral Revolution).

Take the relationship shift slowly

It's imperative to take things slow as your friend may not have mutual feelings (and you have to come to terms that this may be a reality). If you feel ready, talk to your friend about your feelings and understand that you may be risking the loss of a friendship. Psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. Gary Brown told Bustle, "You absolutely have to ask yourself if you want a romantic relationship. And if you're willing to potentially lose your friendship with them if it doesn't work out." Chat with your friend and discuss the potential of being something more. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised and discovere they feel the same.

At the end of the day, you're going to have to be vulnerable and brave when talking to your bestie about your newfound feelings. There's really no way around it.