Can Platonic Feelings Become Romantic?

Instead of hanging out, ask your gal pal on a real date.
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Although the electric spark of attraction that comes along with meeting someone new is a thrill, some of the best romances stem from true friendship. If you're thinking of taking your friendship to the next level, but aren't sure if a platonic relationship can transform into a romantic one, your best bud can go from BFF to BF.

1 Growing Up

As you move from childhood into the teen and young adult years, your feelings are changing and growing in new directions. While you may have seen the girl next door as someone to play soccer or catch fireflies with during your elementary or early middle school years, your teen self may suddenly see her as a potential date. A long-standing platonic friendship that began developing well before you started having romantic feelings for anyone can turn into a more mature, love-based relationship after puberty sets in. You may begin to see your "friend" in a new light, noticing how attractive she is becoming or that her smile is suddenly making you blush.

2 Close Call

Building a long-lasting romantic relationship requires more than just chemistry or attraction. A mature, loving partnership requires the sharing, caring and support elements that are part of developing closeness with another person. Having a platonic relationship before a romantic one allows you the time to develop closeness and true caring for one another. Instead of starting off at the attraction or smitten phase, you can begin your new relationship on a deeper level with your friend.

3 The Big Reveal

If you think that you're ready to take the next step and ump from friends to romantic partners, you may feel anxious that your BFF doesn't feel the same way. Additionally, you may worry that revealing your true feelings will scare off your friend or that if the relationship doesn't work out you'll lose him completely. While these feelings are completely normal, they don't mean that platonic friends can't turn into a romantic couple. In a survey of 1,450 members, 62 percent of the respondents said that they have had at least one friendship that turned romantic, according to the Psychology Today website. This demonstrates that while taking the leap from platonic to partner is scary, it's also realistic.

4 Two-Way Street

Before taking the plunge and going from friend to boy or girlfriend, keep in mind that the other person may not feel the same way. Just because you are developing romantic feelings doesn't necessarily mean that your best gal pal is too or that she's ready to move to the next level. Even if she thinks that you're the sweetest, smartest guy she's ever met, she may only care for you in a friendship way. If you have concerns about changing the status of your relationship, take it slowly and show your friend respect and understanding when it comes to her decision.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.