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How to be Really Good Friends with Someone You Like?

Shalu Bhatti
In a world where most people come off as phonies, it's refreshingly rare to actually like someone in the true sense of the word. This piece discusses how to be really good friends with someone you like, to see if this liking can bring true friendship (or more) your way.
"Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which, in my book, is a good definition for friendship."
― Marilyn Monroe
'Friendship' is one term that has become synonymous with acquaintanceship these days, don't you think? We tend to call everybody we know, a 'friend', irrespective of the fact that they actually qualify as a 'true friend' in our lives or not.
While most of you may beg to differ, we believe that the most crucial fact that decides who will be a friend in our lives, and who will not, is that likeness, a sort of attraction that makes that person somewhat worthy of taking the effort to build a genuine friendship with.
And the effort that compels us to know more deeply about him/her, not for any lustful reasons, but for reasons that spell genuineness all the way through!
There is no mathematical calculation as to who we may start liking. At times it takes ages for us to develop a liking towards someone, while, on the other hand, there are times when all it takes is a look, and you instantly recognize that this person is invariably someone who would add an all new meaning to your life.
The next section gives you tips on how to go about being friends with someone you like, but don't really know that well.

Ways to be Close Friends with the Guy/Girl You Genuinely Like

We repeat, it ain't necessary to know someone in-and-out to like them. Most people will interpret it as infatuation, but we beg to differ; that can't be the case all the time.
At times, it also happens that you end up feeling an attraction (non-sexual) towards people of the same gender, and yes, this can very well happen to straight people! Some people call it a karmic connection that instigates that pull towards an unknown person. You see them and you feel like removing this 'stranger tag' right away.
However, things become quite complicated considering the plight of the world in which we live today. You can't just ask anyone to be friends instantaneously because that will either make you a possible playboy or a psycho stalker. The next tips will help you take things slowly and naturally.

Initiate Some Small Talks

Why we want you to initiate a conversation is because you never know if the other person is too shy to do the same. Perhaps you see those smiles coming on from the other end, perhaps the eye contact leaves quite a positive impression. However, friendship needs talking. Period.
How would you go about it? For instance, if you see him/her with a pet most of the time, perhaps in the same park where you go for your jog, then why not walk up to the pet and cuddle it? Ask for the pet's name first and then move on to introducing yourself―a gesture that will soon be reciprocated.
The point is, that no matter in which situation you are, make the best of it, to come up with how you're gonna start talking to this person. Another example for the same would be this. Say you see this person coming in this local coffee shop with a friend, and this has been happening for quite some time. Most likely, he/she will have a fixed table.
Try sitting on that table one day, before this person arrives. And as soon as you see the disappointment in his/her face of not seeing the table vacant, acknowledge his/her presence and get up from the table, telling this person that you sat there because no other tables were vacant at the time.
Your politeness and thoughtfulness will be reciprocated for sure. Introduce yourself, say some nice things about the place, their food, the music? Take things forward from that point on.

Build on the Commonalities

Building on common grounds always helps define the intensity of a budding relationship. To move on from basic small talks, to actually have some interesting meaningful conversations, you need to ask some questions.
"What do you do? What are your hobbies? You seem as if you're really into pets/coffee/music?" Don't be a cop interrogating a suspect. Smile, loosen up, relax yourself. Talk about your likes and interest, but do more of listening and remembering than talking about yourself.
Also, don't be disheartened if you two share nothing in common. Many times, it becomes all the more interesting when there are many differences! Yes, we mean it. Imagine if he/she is into adventure sports, something you've always wanted to try but never did.
Or, if you being a writer helps him/her connect with literature and intellect, something he/she doesn't get to discuss with anyone else! If tackled with open-mindedness, differences may also bring people together. Exchange numbers and plan on meeting again, perhaps on the next weekend?

Introduce Him/Her to Your Common Friends

Like we said, if you two have met each other in a public place, there are chances that both of you would be accompanied by friends. If that is the case, introduce him/her to your friends.
Otherwise, as you start building this newly-found friendship on some great conversations and meetings, plan out a day where you invite him/her on a hangout with your close friends. You can also invite his/her close friends to make him/her feel more comfortable.
However, do this at a point when you feel that this person has become comfortable with you. Make sure you include these words, "Only if you're okay with it."

Make Some Adventurous Plans Together

We're sure that by this point of time, you two would have figured out if you guys actually click with each other, or it's just become one of those stretchy relationships. What we're trying to say is that, if your liking is still intact, and somewhat reciprocated, then make sure you add to these moments to make the friendship all the more stronger.
What can you do? Well, if both of you happen to be big foodies, then invite him/her to this awesome place having a great food challenge.
Or, if nature's photography is what he/she likes, take him/her to the suburbs or the countryside, or at any particular spot where this passion of theirs can be lived to the fullest. After all, friendship is all about caring for the other person, right?

Be Available for Him/Her as Much as Possible

The one thing that defines true friendship is the unconditional presence of it. You needn't talk or meet everyday, but the occasional "What's up" is enough to feel that you have a friend who's there. Invariably, it is these small sweet nothings that make you realize who will be there at the time of need and who wouldn't.
Build on this aspect, and be as emotionally and/or physically available as possible for this person. Don't make it look like your life revolves around him/her, but never let a call or a message go unanswered, or acknowledged.
The only exception to this rule is if you sense that you're being taken for granted. Remember, it is not true friendship when you're treated as nothing more than a backup. If you feel that your availability is really needed and valued by this person, only then should this rule be applied.

Be a Source of Positivity in His/Her Life

With so much of negativity around, where friends backstab, partners cheat, acquaintances try to bring you down, and family members seem too busy to be around, you be a source of positivity to this person.
Help him/her see things from your positive point of view. If he/she tends to focus on the thorns of the rose, tell him/her how they are important to protect the beauty of the rose. Rose being symbolic of life in this example.
Likewise, if he/she has certain fears, insecurities, or preconceived notions about life, make sure that you help him/her focus on the reasons why he/she is so likable, why life is so beautiful, and why you became friends with this person in the first place. Positivity has an attraction stronger than any other attraction in the world, and it stays forever.

Make Sure You're Not Forcing Your Friendship on Him/Her

Having discussed all the aforementioned points, always remember that in all these steps, you mustn't come off as someone who is trying to force his/her friendship on the other person, while the other person isn't so much interested.
Always pay attention to the body language of this prospect. If it is evident from his/her behavior that this person is equally into being friends with you, great. If that fails to be the case, then ensure that you take a back seat, and let the other person set course of what lies ahead.
For most people, the thought process behind being friends with the one they like is to finally form a romantic relationship with them. It's quite a bummer when you find out that this guy/girl already has a girlfriend/boyfriend.
However, we think that friendship is far beyond the whole point of them being single or committed. After all, there are many in a relationship who still need the company of a true, genuine friend with whom they can share their inner thoughts, especially the ups and downs of their relationships.
And you never know if your genuineness with this person, makes him/her realize that perhaps he/she is with the wrong person at the end of it all! No, we're not trying to lift your spirits high. All we're trying to say is that real friendship has its way of rewarding you in surprising ways. The main thing is to keep it real. All the best.