How to Know If an Acquaintance Wants to Be Best Friends

An acquaintance who tries to connect on a deeper level may want to be your best friend.
... Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

You and your lab partner in biology class get along really well -- you trade jokes in class and share many of the same interests. When she asks you to do something on the weekend, you are excited to spend time with a new friend. The more time you spend together, it starts to become clear that she wants to be "best" friends -- at least you think that is the message she is sending.

1 Constant Contact

If your acquaintance starts to contact you more regularly, that could be a sign that she is interested in a close friendship. Best friends get together often to share problems, talk about feelings or just have fun, says psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith in the "Psychology Today" article "10 Ways to Be and Have a Best Friend." If she sends a lot of emails or texts, calls a lot or hangs around you at school, these are all good signs that she might want to be your best friend -- or at least spend more time together.

2 Thinking About You

Best friends are thoughtful and considerate. They take opportunities to show they care by doing little things for their friends, such as bringing soup to their best pals who are sick with a cold, according to psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker in the "Psych Central" article "Turning Acquaintances Into Friends." If your acquaintance is quick to offer help when you are in need, she may be thinking of you as a close friend. If she is the first to respond to your online post about feeling down in the dumps -- or even sends you a private message -- she wants to be a part of your life.

3 Honest Opinions

An acquaintance who wants to be a best friend will try to deepen the connection she has with you. She might talk about her feelings or problems and ask about yours. Best friends also offer honest opinions rather than sugar-coating responses, according to marriage and family therapist Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem, as cited in the "Canadian Living" article "Top 10 Reasons You Need a Best Friend," so don't be surprised if she is overly direct. An acquaintance who wants to become close to you may try to develop a bond by having honest conversations and not holding back anything.

4 Cut to the Chase

An acquaintance who already has a best friend whom she spends a lot of time with may not be looking to develop that same bond with you. In contrast, if she has a lot of acquaintances but no best friend, it could mean that there is a void in her life that she is looking to fill. If you still aren't sure, come right out and ask her whether she would like to become closer friends. If you are looking for the same type of friendship, it could be the beginning of a close bond.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.