Can friends be lovers?

Can friends be lovers and vice-versa is a never-ending debate that's not going to be resolved anytime soon.

It's a thin line to walk anyway. That comfort zone that everyone seeks ideally in a relationship is most practically found when we are with our friends. Think about it, who is it that knows your inner-most feelings? The guy you love or the friend who comforts you? It's this comfort zone that makes it difficult for a lot of people to realise they are crossing the friendship line and moving towards a deeper emotional bond. Am I in love with my friend?

Gia, a working professional, says, "As cliched as it may sounds, people are not wrong when they claim that love happens. I met Dave through mutual friends, and we instantly clicked, sharing a comfort zone from Day One. We were clear about ours being a platonic friendship, where love would not enter the picture. However, gradually as time passed, both of us realised that we were in love. It took some time for us to get there and to realise the extent of our feelings."

Signs that could have helped Gia realise her feelings for Dave

Does your friend want to spend a lot of time alone only with you?
If you and your guy friend have been increasingly spending a lot of alone time together, and it has been more on his insistence then you should consider why that's the case.

Has the physical intimacy increased?
If a friend keeps looking for excuses to touch your face or hair, and if the physical intimacy in terms of hugging you or holding you has increased, you should question why.

Does he spend a lot of time with you, chatting late at night?
While everyone chats with their friends, when someone stays up till late hours, sacrificing his sleep everyday, just to chat only with you, it definitely says you mean something more than any other friend.

Is he open about talking about love and relationships?
Does your friend bring up the topic of relationships a lot? It could be that he is trying to find out how you feel about relationships, so he can decide whether to approach you or not or he is giving you subtle hints that he wants to be in one.

When in a group, does he single you out, making you feel special and going out of his way to make you feel comfortable?
When you go out for a movie or a day out with your friends, does he pay special attention only to you, watching what you eat, whether you are comfortable or need something, often disregarding his own convenience even insisting he drop you home, even though he stays far away from your place, that's a sure sign that he is interested in you.

Think before you act
Dr Parul Tank, consultant psychiatrist says, "Guys give subtle hints when they are interested in someone, but you need to be careful about how you read or interpret these signs. Look at things objectively, as it's easy to see what you want to see at times."

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