How to Show Romantic Interest in a Friend

Friendly banter with a friend can show romantic interest.
... Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Perhaps you notice that your stomach does a flip-flop or your heart beats a little faster when you're near your friend. You feel the yearning for something more than friendship and want to show him that you're interested in him romantically. Fortunately, sending him signs of romantic interest is fairly easy once you know what you're doing.

1 Considerations Before Taking the Plunge

As friends, you already have an important foundation for a healthy romantic relationship. However, prior to showing a romantic interest in your friend, consider a few things. First, reflect on what it is that is drawing you to your friend and where your feelings are coming from, suggests, the website of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Consider if you are simply feeling lonely, if you're confusing your closeness for romantic feelings or if you truly have feelings for her. Also, consider if your friend returns your feelings. If your friend does not share your interest, showing romantic interest could potentially jeopardize your friendship. Carefully consider if you are willing to risk your friendship with an attempt to take your relationship to the next level.

2 Be Aware of Your Vocal Signals

When showing romantic interest, pay attention to your vocal signals. Your tone of voice, pitch, volume and speed are much stronger indicators of interest than what you say, according to the Social Issues Research Centre. For instance, the way you say, “Hey there,” could be interpreted as a flirtation or a simple, polite greeting. SIRC suggests saying a word in various intonations to illustrate the vast variety of emotions that a word can convey. A slow, low-pitched, deep-toned, drawn-out greeting with a rising intonation at the end, as if asking a question, is likely a sign of interest, while a short, high-pitched, monotone greeting does not likely indicate interest, says SIRC.

3 Give Your Friend Compliments

Make it a point to compliment your friend. Compliments can show your friend that you carry a flame for her. For example, if she gets her hair cut, take note and tell her that you like her new style. On the other hand, a girl might mention a new shirt you're wearing and say, "Wow, that shirt really makes your eyes stand out." Aside from physical appearance, compliment your romantic interest on his talents and friends and family, suggests dating coach Tristan Coopersmith on YourTango. For example, you might say, “You’re really great at baseball” or “I really like spending time with your friends.” Another great way to compliment your romantic interest is to tell him that you enjoy spending time with him. Doing so tells him that you like him because of who he is, not what he looks like or how much money he has, says Coopersmith.

4 Show Interest Through Body Language

Body language is a valuable means you can use to communicate romantic interest to your friend. According to Jeremy Nicholson, a doctor of social and personality psychology, writing for "Psychology Today" online, nonverbal communication is generally a more authentic way of gauging someone's feelings than words. Make and maintain eye contact with your friend, at times holding the gaze longer than you usually would. Give him your full attention and close the physical distance between the two of you. You can do this by brushing your hand against his arm or briefly placing your hand on top of his while you're talking. You can also come across as interested by keeping your arms and legs open, in contrast to crossing them, and turning your body towards your friend, says relationship and sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman on her website.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.