5 things you should consider before dating a friend

Transitioning from a platonic relationship to a romantic one isn’t always seamless.

Romantic relationships borne from friendships can be exciting. You’re already close with this person, with countless conversations, memories, and inside jokes behind you.

They know your quirks, and you know theirs. You may have even met each other’s family and other friends, which takes a lot of the stress out of announcing a new relationship.

But transitioning from a platonic relationship to a romantic one isn’t always seamless.

Believe it or not, there’s a lot to consider before you make the (mutual, and explicit) decision to date a friend. Here are the big ones.

Make sure you’re on the same page

Does your friend feel the same way about you as you feel about them? Unless you’ve discussed this in clear terms before, it can be difficult to determine whether your friend likes you or if they’re simply acting the way a good friend should.

Of course, if your feelings are strong, you should probably communicate with them regardless of whether you think your friend likes you back—honesty is crucial to any healthy friendship.

Check that you’re both ready for a new relationship

Are both of you in a healthy place to date? Liking someone isn’t sufficient cause to enter into a romantic relationship with them. If one of you just got out of a bad relationship, plans on moving out of state for a job soon, or is otherwise unable to approach the relationship healthily, it may be best to remain friends or wait for a better time.

Navigate the shift together

How will your relationship change? It can be awkward to make the transition from friends to partners, especially when it comes to physical affection. How does the other person feel about things like PDA? Will you hang out more frequently? Less? If you’re going to do this, you’ll want to do it right; having a chat with your friend-turned-date mate could help to alleviate some of the difficulty that comes with navigating new relationship territory.

Success in a friendship doesn’t equal success in a romantic

“You guys are so adorable together,” your mutual friends tease. “You should date!” While you and your best bud may get along super well and look cute side by side, you aren’t necessarily guaranteed smooth sailing in a romantic relationship. Romantic relationships involve a lot of things that friendships don’t: physical intimacy, commitment, communication, and often exclusivity, to name a few. And if you two aren’t compatible in those ways, the romance might not be as cozy as the friendship.

Close friendships can be just as deep and fulfilling as romantic relationships

The phrase “more than friends” is a farce. A romantic relationship is not always a rung up on the ladder of human relationships; rather, you should work on building friendships and romantic relationships that are equally compassionate, fun, and fulfilling. There’s nothing wrong with staying friends with someone you’re close with. You can cherish them all the same.

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