Psychologist Chris Hart gives his take on how to navigate getting out of the friend zone with your male friend [Courtesy]

Hi Chris,

There is this man I know who is a really good friend. We have known each other for ages, and he is always there when I need someone. But then the oddest thing happened the other day. I think that my feelings towards him had been growing for a while, but so gradually that I had hardly noticed. But on that day, our usual friendly goodbye hug suddenly felt like something much more tender.

And so the thought got into my mind that maybe he could be a lot more than a friend. But can you turn a friend into a lover? Or might there always be something missing from our relationship that will wreck things further down the line?

Friend to Lover?

Hi, Friend to Lover!

Lots of women find themselves crushing on their male friends, but only a few start a romance with them. It is sexual chemistry that makes the difference. So that sudden feeling of tenderness is a good sign.

But you must also make sure he is attracted to you too before you make a move. However good you are as friends, becoming intimate opens up a whole new chapter. And sex can get complicated between people who are just friends.

So does he always seem to want to be near you? Somehow he is always near your desk, or where you go for lunch?

Does he rarely talk about his love life, but is always asking about yours? Does he tease you? Flirt a little? Help when you need something fixing? Listen to your problems? Maybe he seems just a little bit nervous around you sometimes? All good signs. 

But if he is always calm and relaxed, and not hanging around you, then leave things as they are. You might well get him to go out together if you push hard enough. Maybe even get intimate. But you will never really be happy together as a couple.

One last check before you make your move. Get close to him and check out his smell. If it is just this side of irresistible then it is time to make a move.

Casually mention that you have split up with your boyfriend. Or whatever is appropriate to let him know you are available. Do not get drawn into talking about the details, just be light and a little vague.

Smile whenever you see him, and always look him in the eye, with a little twinkle in yours, because otherwise, he might never realise you are romantically interested in him. In other words, send the message that you think he is sexy and that you are available, without being too obvious about it. And give him plenty of opportunities to say something.

Hopefully, he will, and then you can relax. Because friend-to-lover relationships tend to last. You already know you are compatible, and that you can trust each other in every way. And that is the most wonderful feeling in the world.

All the best,

Chris