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Dating A Friend (11 Important Rules)

by Sonya Schwartz

Is dating a friend ever a good idea? Good friends are hard to come by. They are even harder to keep. There could be a chance that your relationship might end? Then what will happen to the friendship? After all, don’t half of all marriages end in divorce? So, is dating a friend ever worth the risk of losing that relationship?

As with all relationship dilemmas, there are pros and cons to dating friends. For a start, most people begin as friends. Then as this friendship progresses they become more intimate. The friendship moves into a romantic relationship.For the majority of us, this is an organic process. 

But I think what we are talking about here is a little different. We are talking about good mates that have perhaps known each other for a long time. This type of friendship is similar to the one in the film When Harry Met Sally.

Throughout the film, they are discussing this very topic. Can a man and woman ever be ‘just friends’? Of course, if you have seen the film you will know the ending. However, Harry and Sally begin not liking one another very much.Then their friendship grows. 

Eventually, they start to fall in love, but Harry feels awkward about the sudden change in relationship dynamics. And here is the problem. One person is happy with being just friends and the other wants something more.

I’ve experienced this myself and it is not pleasant.

I have a best mate who just happens to be male. We have known each other for over 30 years. He was an ex-boyfriend of my best girlfriend. When they split up we become best friends. Over time we were housemates, he lodged with my family and my brother during certain periods. He became like a family.

Then something really weird happened. I noticed he would watch me when I wasn’t looking. He started acting nervously around me. He would blush and become shy. It was odd.

I realized he had become attracted to me. I felt sick. I would feel like I was committing incest every time I saw him. Eventually, I had to cut off contact because my skin would crawl when he was around me. It was an awful period of time because I had lost one of my best mates and I had done nothing.

We’ve since talked about what happened and he has explained that he was in a low place at the time. We were getting on so well that he got his wires crossed. It was a misunderstanding.

Having said that, I’m not saying that dating with friends is a bad idea. I am merely sharing my experience. I had known my mate for a very long time. I saw him as a family member. It felt very weird to imagine him as a romantic partner.

That’s not to say that romantic feelings or good relationships can’t grow from friendship. After all, in order to love someone we have to like them first. But how do we know whether to change an ordinary friendship into a romantic relationship?

How do we make sure we are making the right decision?

Here Are 11 Things To Consider When Dating A Friend

1. Will you be devastated if you lose the friendship?

Will you be devastated if you lose the friendship?

While it might be really tempting to begin a romantic relationship, consider how you will feel if it doesn’t work out. How will you feel if you never see this person ever again?

Are they a regular fixture in your life? Do you see them every day? How much will you miss them if they disappear? Are they a part of your social circle? Will it be awkward from now on? These are all things to consider.

2. Look for signs that your friend is attracted to you

We tend to know if someone is attracted to us. There are obvious signs, like flirting or regular touching. You want to make sure the relationship is going to work so try flirting back or being suggestive.

Before you start dating a friend test the waters by sending a saucy text or give your mate a kiss when you are out together. 

3. They might not be willing to date you

Just as I was horrified at my male friend for thinking that we could get together, your friend may be having the same reaction. If so, it is important not to take it personally.

We can’t help how we feel. They can’t help but not be attracted to you, just as you can’t help being attracted to them. However, it is what happens next that is important. Suggest some time out, then have a frank discussion about your relationship and move on.

4. Mutual friends might suggest it

Dating as friends might not even be your idea. Often it is our mates that can see what is before our very eyes. You might be spending a lot of time with a friend. So you may get hints from your mates that you should be moving from friendship to something more serious.

5. You may not get butterflies

When we date someone we don’t know that well, everything is new and exciting. We learn things about our partner, we go on dates, and we do things as a couple for the first time.

When you are already mates this novelty is gone. This exciting period, when we first get to know someone, is called the honeymoon phase. It cements us to one another. It releases certain hormones that attract and connect us. Without it, a relationship might struggle to get off the ground.

6. The relationship might change for the worse

The relationship might change for the worse

It doesn’t stand to reason that just because you are good friends you will make a good couple. Your mate might be really horrible as a partner. Guys can become possessive of girls. Women get jealous of their boyfriends.

You might see a totally different side of your friend when they become your partner. This is a side you never saw when you were just friends. Relationships between mates don’t always work out. 

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7. You are already comfortable with this person

It’s true that you may not get butterflies with this person but for some, that is a good thing. Good mates are comfortable with each other. They already know about this person. What makes them tick, what makes them happy or sad? Therefore you have a natural ease with this person.

8. You might have different expectations

Just because you are good mates doesn’t mean you have clear expectations of what the other person wants from a relationship. Your friend might be hoping for a casual fling whereas you are looking for a serious commitment.

If you want to start dating a friend why not discuss what both of you want from the relationship? I would suggest that if there is a wide difference of opinion, just you stay as mutual friends.

9. Your family and friends already know this person

Sometimes it can be a real stressor introducing a new person to your family and friends. Will they approve? Will your partner like your family? Will everyone get along? If you are already mates you don’t have to worry about future relationships.

10. You might feel weird to start with

It can be a little awkward to start with. Going from good friends to your first kiss in a romantic relationship may feel weird. I would suggest that if it is very strange perhaps it is not meant to be.

While initially you might be giggly and laugh, you should soon take it seriously. If this doesn’t happen fairly quickly don’t force it. Be thankful that you found out sooner rather than later.

11. Be honest about why you want to date your friend

Be honest about why you want to date your friend

When my best friend finally opened up about his feelings for me he admitted that he didn’t really fall in love with me. It was a much simpler reason. We had been spending a lot of time together and there was no one else in the picture.

I’m not being rude about my friend when I say he can be a little lazy. He already knew me very well, we had a comfortable, easy rapport, and we had a great laugh together, so it must have felt like an easy option for him. 

No awkward first dates or getting to know someone new. The only trouble was I never ever fancied him or found him attractive in that way.

FAQs

Is dating a friend a good idea?

Being friends before your date is always a good idea. After all, you can’t really date someone you don’t like. But I believe there is a tipping point in friendship. Once we have gone over this point the friendship becomes platonic and not passionate. Friends dating is not a good idea.

Can a friendship turn into love?

Yes and this is where people get confused between a dating friend and friends who start dating. We should be friends before dating someone. Otherwise, a relationship is based purely on lust and sex and that won’t last long.

Why you shouldn't date your friend?

Dating a friend is complicated. There are reasons why you shouldn’t. If the relationship doesn’t work out you have potentially lost that friendship forever. You might have different expectations from your friend, or the relationship may change once you become romantically involved.

What does a friend date mean?

A “friend date” is going on a date with a person you want to be friends with. Say you meet someone you get chatting to at your yoga class over a few weeks. You hit it off and exchange numbers. You call and arrange to meet for coffee. That is a friend date.

Is it worth risking a friendship for a relationship?

It all depends on the individual friendship. You will have to make a decision. I would suggest, however, that the longer you have had the friendship the warier I would be of risking it for a relationship.

In Summary

Have you ever dated a friend? Did you end up regretting it or did it work out for you? Why not let me know and share your thoughts with my readers?  

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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