When It Isn't Just Friendship: Signs A Woman Is Attracted To Another Woman

Updated May 21, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
“Interpreting signs of attraction can be complicated and complex. If you are suspecting some attraction from a friend, and are comfortable doing so, being honest can be one of the best ways to clear things up. If you need support in this process, a licensed professional can help you navigate.” - Ryan Smith, LPC, NCC

In an age of increasing acceptance of many different types and expressions of sexuality, there is still some amount of concern and confusion regarding attraction, friendship, and when and how the line becomes blurred. Reaching out to someone else romantically carries with it the potential for rejection, hurt, or confusion, but same-sex couples might feel additional confusion and concerns regarding how they will be perceived or treated. Exactly what are the clear-cut signs that a woman is attracted to another woman? In this article, we’ll be exploring that question. 

Are you attracted to one of your friends?

The basics of attraction

Attraction is a three-pronged experience involving someone’s physical, emotional, and mental functions. You can be attracted to someone in one of these arenas and not in the others, and many long-standing relationships involve all three of the arenas being stimulated and captivated.

Physical attraction is the attraction most likely to go uninfluenced by any other system. Although it can develop on the heels of mental or emotional attraction, physical attraction is usually instantaneous, powerful, and persistent. Physical attraction often provokes sweating, a racing heart, and may not feel entirely unlike anxiety or confusion.

Mental attraction is the attraction to someone’s mind. Most commonly, people refer to intelligence or wit as sources of mental attraction but might also indicate general speech patterns and communication styles as windows into mental attraction, as well. A large part of someone’s personality can be encompassed by mental attraction.

Emotional attraction may also be labeled as spiritual attraction, and usually refers to the essence of a person, or the “kind of person” they are. Kindness, benevolence, confidence, and traits such as these often fall under the purview of emotional attraction, and it is these traits that typically hold steadfast when the other means of attraction have fallen away.

Female speech: Verbal indications of attraction

One of the most striking verbal indications of attraction is simple attention. If someone keeps in regular communication, strives to speak on a regular basis, and tries to get to know you as much as possible, they may be demonstrating their attraction to you. Regular communication can be one of the first indications that a relationship is in its early stages, as constant communication comes from an overwhelming desire for “more, more, more” of someone.

Plenty of women are forthright in their communication, too. Some women might regularly indicate their interest in you with simple comments, such as “I like you.” This could certainly mean that they like your friendship and value your company, but could also be a clear indicator that they have an interest in you and are not just being friendly. Pay attention to the way this phrase is delivered (Is it casual, serious, or a mix of the two?) and the context (Are you alone? Amongst friends?) in which it is delivered to derive a more accurate idea of how they mean it.

If a friend is interested in you, they might also seem to discuss their sexuality with you on a regular basis. Rather than it being occasionally mentioned or accepted as a part of who they are, you might find that they seem to talk about it more than you would consider standard when you are around. This could be done as a means of demonstrating to you that they are interested in you in a way that extends past friendship.

Female body language: Signs of attraction

Body language can be an important indicator where the attraction is concerned. Just as you might expect yourself to lean into a potential partner, make excuses to touch, or make excuses to be close, you can expect another woman who is attracted to you to do the same. Rapt attention, a gentle touch, and leaning in closer can all be signs of strong physical attraction.

Don’t ignore a woman’s eyes when you are searching for a window into attraction. Women are more likely to look deeply into the eyes of someone they are attracted to and are also more likely to keep their gaze focused on someone they are attracted to. If you see a woman regularly looking you over, paying close attention to you, or looking directly into your eyes, you might be in luck; eye contact and attraction are closely tied.

Female emotional patterns: Friendship and attraction

Getty / Maskot

This can be the most difficult aspect of attraction; because many women prefer women as their confidants and closest friends, it can be easy to misread friendship and emotional attraction. Feeling safe, free, and connected can happen in a friendship just as often and easily as in a romantic relationship, so emotional attraction can be more difficult to determine.

That being said, most couples agree that a strong, powerful friendship is the most important factor in determining whether or not a relationship can last and should be considered when looking for a partner. If your relationship feels like a close, incredible friendship, that alone could be an indication that they feel a romantic interest, too; many of the strongest and most stable relationships come from friendship.

When trying to determine whether a woman is attracted to you, you may be able to tell by their actions. A woman who is interested in you and has more on their mind than friendship will likely remember things about you that others (or you yourself) might consider forgettable. Your female friend might remember the favorite flower that you mentioned offhand the first time you met and bring you a lone flower one day. They might remember the day your cat died the year before and send you a text to let you know they are thinking of you. They might even remember that your fondest memory is gardening with your parents as a child and get you a tiny plant with a giant grin and tongue-in-cheek comment. All of these could indicate that you are on their mind, and that they are going out of their way to connect with you.

Additional factors to consider

Although there has been undeniable progress made toward equal rights regarding same-sex couples and there is, arguably, more inclusion now than at any other point in the past century, there are still many people who cling to outdated, erroneous concepts of attraction, love, and partnership. For this reason, the symptoms of attraction might differ from person to person, region to region, and setting to setting. For instance, someone who is at a bar designed for inclusivity might give themselves the freedom to be more forward in their approach than someone who is at a typical bar with mutual friends. Someone in a known safe space may behave differently from someone in a new or unknown situation. When trying to identify attraction, the setting and air of the room can matter a great deal.

One of the clearest ways to know if someone is attracted to you is to communicate. Although doing so opens you up for rejection, it can be a far more direct, simple pathway to understanding, connection, and the possibility of moving forward. These types of conversations do not have to bear intense emotional weight, and they do not have to be awkward. You can also ask, using language as honest and open as, “I feel like there might be something here. Are you attracted to me?” While you might worry a “no” is humiliating, dragging out worry, confusion, or fear for months could be far more detrimental.

Many women do not feel safe or comfortable being open about their romantic relationships, and behaviors might differ from one place to another. If you are unsure or uncomfortable about changes in the behavior of your love interest, this, too, can be addressed and discussed. While it might seem more romantic or traditional to give attraction and romance a great deal of mystery, communication can help paint a clearer picture of the situation.

Romantic attraction can be a finicky, strange thing, and it can shift and ebb in its expression and over the course of one’s life. There isn’t single way that any person, regardless of gender, age, preference, or expression demonstrates interest, as the level of interest, the type of interest, and the goal of interest all vary from person to person and relationship to relationship. Paying close attention to the verbal, emotional, and physical cues being offered to you, as well as the things that are clearly communicated to you, can be a productive way to find out what someone’s intentions are.

Ilona Titova/EyeEm
Are you attracted to one of your friends?

Online counseling with Regain

If you are struggling to connect with others, and you seem to consistently misunderstand the intentions, experiences, and wants of other people, it is possible to make improvements in these areas. Being able to interpret and understand the behaviors of others can help you honor their boundaries and make wise decisions. Therapists, such as those found on Regain, can help you develop the skills needed to accurately and carefully “read the room,” and determine who genuinely seems to be interested in you, and who is offering friendly, engaging, or otherwise kind communication and interactions. Regain is online counseling platform that lets you connect with your counselor through video chats, phone calls, or in-app messaging. You can send a message to your counselor anytime you’re feeling unsure about a situation, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

The efficacy of online counseling 

Online counseling has been shown to be an effective resource for individuals experiencing a wide range of issues. One study explored the efficacy of online cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) for LGBTQ+ youth. Researchers have determined that ICBT can successfully treat conditions like anxiety and depression, which are more common among the LGBTQ+ population. CBT is a framework used in therapy that encourages people to choose helpful thoughts over negative, unhelpful ones.


Many friendships start and end with two people who never experience any kind of attraction toward one another. However, some friendships develop into something more. Every woman expresses their interest in different ways, and it may be difficult to pick up on the signals someone is trying to send. What matters most is that boundaries are respected, and each party feels comfortable. Those struggling with feelings of attraction or rejection could benefit from online counseling. Happy, healthy relationships and friendships are possible with open communication, trust, and reciprocity—all of which can be learned or improved upon in counseling. 

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