Turning a Platonic Friendship into a Relationship

Platonic friends can become dating partners if there is mutual attraction.
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Platonic friendships work when both people are interested in being friends, but they get murky when one of you is interested in more. Turning a platonic friendship into a relationship is possible -- but it requires a major shift in how you relate to each other. The first step in making the transition involves figuring out whether romance is even a possibility between the two of you.

1 Communicate Interest

The first step in turning a platonic friendship into a relationship is to communicate your interest. If your friend is not aware of your feelings, find a way to let him know. You might consider directly asking him out on a date, indirectly suggesting a date activity, having a conversation about your feelings or just going for a spontaneous kiss, suggests social and personality psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in the Psychology Today article "Escape the Friend Zone: From Friend to Girlfriend or Boyfriend." Don't worry about ruining the friendship, because your desire for more has already altered the dynamic.

2 Be Scarce

If your romantic overtures are rebuffed, take a step back. Sometimes platonic friends get lost in what is known as the "friend zone." Perhaps your friend is comfortable just hanging out and being pals. In this case, she is already getting everything that she wants from the relationship. Try making yourself scarce for a few weeks to see if she misses you, suggests Nicholson. People value that which is scarce -- so being less available could increase your value in her eyes.

3 Create Competition

If you still aren't having luck, consider creating a bit of romantic competition, advises Nicholson. Go on dates with other people. Your interest in other romantic prospects might spark an your friend's interest in you -- and create an urgency that wasn't there before. If not, it is possible that your friend sees you as only friend material and a relationship is not possible. At the very least, you will have opened up your social network and made some new potential romantic connections.

4 Invest in You

If you find there is an imbalance in the friendship and you are giving more than you are receiving, stop. People are attracted to those in whom they invest, reports behavioral scientist and dating expert Christie Hartman in the article "Staying out of the Friend Zone." Do less for your friend and expect him to do more for you, says Hartman. He will place more value on the friendship if he feels more invested and may view you in a different, and possibly romantic, light.

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.