1. You sometimes forget that you’re attracted to each other because there’s so much more to your relationship. Since you spend most of your time laughing and reminiscing together and enjoying each other for reasons that have nothing to do with physical appearance, you actually forget that you’re both good looking people. You overlook each other’s hotness inadvertently. And yet, it’s never been a purely platonic connection. Maybe you haven’t thought about dating, but you don’t think of your relationship as the brother-sister type, either.
2. He’s your go-to plus one for social events. He’s often your first choice to bring as a guest to a wedding, cocktail party, or any other special occasion. Even if you’re dating someone else, there are certain events you choose to bring your best male friend to because you’re guaranteed to have a blast together. No awkward conversations, no wondering what the other person is thinking—it’s a win-win situation every time you bring your favorite partner in crime along for the ride.
3. You secretly hate everyone he dates (and he’s probably tried to sabotage a couple of your relationships). You find yourself constantly criticizing his girlfriends and comparing them to yourself. You wonder how he could date someone so tall, skinny, opinionated, annoying, obnoxious, short, selfish, etc. You keep your thoughts to yourself, or vent to other friends. And when your friends suggest that you might just be jealous, you become very defensive.
4. You rely on him for input when considering big purchases. He’ll sit on a dozen couches with you until you find the perfect balance between supportive and cushiony. He’ll research every flat screen television feature and view the display models at several different stores until he’s convinced you’ve got the best deal on the latest technology. He’ll help you test out mattresses, making repeated jokes about all the future people you’ll be sharing it with. For a few seconds, you wonder what it would be like to share that mattress with him, but quickly shelve the idea.
5. He makes you laugh like no one else can. His humor is unfiltered because he’s not trying to get you into bed. Through honest, well-intentioned joking, he also gives you insights into the mind of the average guy—what he’s thinking at every stage of the dating process, from the initial exchange of info to the first date and the first time you sleep together.
6. You’ve dated at least one of his friends, at his suggestion. It was a complete bust, mostly because you had absolutely nothing in common except for your male best friend. You spent most of the date talking about your male best friend, half hoping he’d show up. When you make the mistake of setting him up with one of your girlfriends, you half hope it won’t work out from the outset. At least one of your friends ends up dating one of his friends.
7. You find his annoying quirks remarkably charming. Maybe it’s the way he hums James Bond music while navigating crowded city streets to avoid bumping into pedestrians. Or how he likes to hold his baseball bat while pacing around his apartment, trying to resolve a frustrating situation. You realize that if one of your ex-boyfriends did these very same things, you’d find them completely childish and annoying. But in him, these habits are impossibly endearing.
8. You can always be the truest version of yourself around him. You can say and do anything around him without having to worry that your statements or actions might be misinterpreted. Spending time with him is so easy and fun because you never have to edit yourself. When the time comes to part ways, you’re always sad about it (though you might not be ready to admit it quite yet).
9. When he upsets you, it hurts—a lot. When he messes up by canceling at the last minute or forgetting your birthday, it hurts way more than if a girlfriend or family member made a similar mistake. When your male best friend breaks plans to go on a date with someone else, you’re beyond pissed. You can’t quite put your finger on what upsets you more—the flakiness, or his decision to spend time with someone he barely knows over you—but you’ll make him jump through hoops to make it up to you.
10. You love spending the entire weekend together. Your weekends involve browsing stores, testing out the massage chairs at Brookstone, and walking through art galleries you’d never enter solo. As long as you’re together, you know you’ll find endless ways to entertain yourselves. You know exactly how he takes his coffee, and what candy he binges on at the movies. You keep up with his favorite sports teams just to know what kind of mood he’ll be in.
11. He doesn’t compliment you all that often, but when he does, he really means it. He tells you when your ass looks particularly good in a pair of jeans, or when your v-neck t-shirt exposes just the right amount of cleavage. He does this offhandedly, as if in passing, but sometimes you sense that there’s something more to his compliments—that he genuinely thinks you’re beautiful. And you find yourself more flattered by these remarks than you thought possible.
12. Your nights generally end with a long conversation via phone or texting. You check in with each other constantly, discussing every intimate detail of your lives and sometimes getting a bit philosophical. For instance, you defer to him about how long you should lie in bed with someone you’ve just had sex with. You’ve also had multiple conversations about what happens after you die. When something important happens, he’s the first person you want to tell. You can’t wait to share good news with him because you know he’ll want to celebrate with you. Your good news is his good news.
13. One night you hook up “accidentally.” At this point, he’ll most likely freak out, act completely weird, and disappear temporarily. You panic, terrified that you’ve ruined your friendship—or, worse yet, that the hook-up meant absolutely nothing to him.
14. You finally realize that you kinda sorta maybe have feelings for him. Post hook-up, you figure out that you might just have real feelings for him, and you’re shocked that he doesn’t experience the same epiphany at the exact same moment. Suddenly, you want to fast-forward into an actual relationship. He feels pressured, cornered, and confused—he can’t just casually date YOU.
15. Everyone tells you that you should just be with this person, but you’re too invested in the friendship to risk losing it. You want to keep proving everyone wrong: Guys and girls can definitely be friends, even if they’re attracted to each other (and “accidentally” hook up one night)! Until you finally recognize that everyone else was right all along. He’s the Harry to your Sally and you’re head over heels in love with him.