A good friend can become a great boyfriend, but making the transition from one to the other may be nerve-wracking. If your guy friend is creeped out by your suggestion of a date, it may have a negative effect on your friendship. However, if you really want to explore the option of dating him, and think your friendship could survive a little embarrassment if things don't quite go as planned, you have nothing to lose.
You'll feel more comfortable asking your guy friend out if you have some idea of how he really feels about you. Look for signs that he may be interested in more than friendship. He may appear more flustered, nervous or giddy around you than he once did. When you have a crush on someone, the release of dopamine in the brain creates feelings of happiness and excitement, writes psychologist Maryanne Fisher in the article, "The Science Behind Falling in Love." Body language reveals a great deal about a person's feelings, suggests body language expert Judi James in the article, "Language of Love." If you notice your guy friend holding eye contact for a few seconds than is necessary, being more tactile with you or consistently mirroring the style and pace of your body language -- for example crossing his leg when you cross yours, or smoothing his hand over his hair when you play with yours -- he may be flirting with you.
If you drop a few hints to your guy friend about how you feel, he won't be so taken aback or creeped out when you ask him out. Paying someone a heartfelt, genuine compliment is one of the best ways to reveal your feelings, advises Hara Estroff Romano, editor at large of "Psychology Today," in her article "The Art of the Compliment." The key is to let him know you're looking at him in a different light. If you are close friends, you may already be accustomed to giving and receiving compliments. Focus on the qualities that make him a great boyfriend, but keep it light-hearted. For example, say something like, "You're such a sensitive guy. Why on earth are you still single?" or "You'll make a great husband one day. Maybe I should snatch you up before someone else does!" He may not know if you are being serious or not, but it should be enough to plant the seed in his mind.
Time and place is crucial when asking your guy friend out on a date. Make sure you do it in private, when your children aren't around. It's best to do it when you haven't been drinking, to ensure you keep a clear head. If you feel anxious before you speak to your friend, do some deep breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Remind yourself that he is your friend and that he cares about you.
Go For It
Open body language will help you come across as confident, natural and relaxed when you ask your guy friend out. Maintain eye contact, smile, keep your arms by your sides and don't fidget. Get right to the point, but don't make it too serious. Express your feelings with warmth and honesty, advises Human Development Specialist Dr. D. Wayne Matthews, writing for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. For example, you may say something like, "I really love hanging out with you, but I've been wondering if we might become more than friends. Do you fancy going on a date sometime?" Stay upbeat, and don't force him to give you an answer. He may be shocked by your suggestion and need some time to get his head around it.
C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."
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