When getting to know someone as a single person, we often ask ourselves if we’re just friends, or if there is something more. It can be confusing, since you can have warm feelings for someone who wouldn’t be a good fit for you in a relationship. On the other hand, plenty of friendships have blossomed into romantic relationships.
I understand the feeling. I hope these ideas encourage you to feel more confident and comfortable talking to people close to you.
Don’t Rush It
One of the most important things I learned when getting to know people is to take my time. There’s a lot of pressure to “define the relationship”. Your friends may try to sway you one way or the other, but it’s important to take your time and do what you can to understand your feelings clearly.
Your friend may be trying to figure out their feelings, too. Giving things time and space is essential to maintaining healthy boundaries in the relationship, no matter where it goes in the future.
Whenever I’m in a period of waiting like that, I find that taking time to pray helps me gain greater peace than if I were to face things in my own strength. God will give you strength in times when you’re wondering what’s coming next for a close relationship. He cares about you, your friend, and your feelings
Talk Things Through
If you’ve been getting to know someone for a while and you’re open to pursuing a relationship, there will come a time when you’ll have to talk about your feelings. If you suspect that your friend might have feelings for you, it’s okay to ask them about it.
It can be hard to have this conversation. It’s not easy to put yourself out there. After all, you don’t know 100% how things will turn out. But if waiting to talk about it becomes stressful, overwhelming, or confusing, it’s time to have a conversation. You can talk to them about:
- How you feel about the relationship
- How you feel about them
- What you like about them and getting to know them
- Where you’d like to see the relationship go
After this conversation, it’s important to give your friend time to answer honestly. If your friend comes to you to ask about the possibility of a romantic relationship, you can:
- Let them know whether you’d like to have a romantic relationship or not
- Let them know if you need more time to process things
Whatever you decide, answer honestly. Your feelings may be difficult to share, but I promise you this: being honest in the moment will save you a lot of unnecessary pain in the future.
Move Forward with Respect
Whatever comes of talking about your feelings, it’s important to respect your friend’s wishes about the future of the relationship, don’t pressure or push them into a situation they’re not comfortable with. And if you feel they’re trying to do that to you, take a step back and get some support if you need it.
Do your best to express gratitude for the friendship, even if times are tough.