‘Friendship first’ is the key to any great relationship. But can this mutual camaraderie translate into something more like ‘friends to lovers’ dynamics? Yes, dating a friend seems to be an interesting proposition, thanks to your bonding. You share weirdness, can talk over zillion of topics in the universe, enjoy each other’s company and bond over common interests. Your friendship’s energy is palpable in your circle and your bestie is your biggest cheerleader. In short, he/she fulfills the criteria of being a perfect-partner material.
Then what’s stopping you from dating a friend? Is it the fear of being friend-zoned or risking your friendship that is putting you off the radar? If there is any of such feeling restricting you from making your first move, then you must understand that many real-life couples have found their true love through friendship only. Psychologically, your long-time BFF has a better chance of establishing a successful romantic compatibility over a recent date you are crushing over. With all these prospects in your favour, dating your best friend is definitely an interesting proposition which depends on the way how you approach it.
But the real challenge is to date a long-time best friend and express your true feelings to them.
Dating a friend you have known for years
Dating your best friend could mean treading on an uncertain path. You want to shun ‘just a friend’ tag but are unsure whether he/she will reciprocate to your feelings or not. Shocking your bestie is definitely out of your agenda. At this point of time, understand that your move will be a big page-turner for this relationship. So, chart out the whole plan of action wisely and check out these helpful tips on dating a friend.
- Analyse your compatibility with them. Friendship and courtship are two different games. Compatibility and affection as friends is different, but will your chemistry work as a couple? Can you afford to lose your best friend if they say no to it? Think about it carefully before making your next move
- Play the ‘jealousy’ card. Talk about a boy/girl and pretend that you like him/her. Gauge their reaction. Do they feel uncomfortable? Or in other words ‘jealous’? If this is the case, then you may get brownie points for he/she may be interested in you, or is unaware of their fondness towards you more than a friend
- Observe their body language while you meet, alone or in a group. The world knows it except the couple when one of them/ or both are into each other. So, if you are trying to analyse whether she is also into you, then notice the way they respond to you in individual/group gatherings. Establishing eye-contact with you, even when there are others in the room, replicating your gestures or hand movements during interactions reveal his/her interest in you. While a man may giggle more and show his fondness towards her, a woman usually expresses her attraction via blushing naturally. When these non-verbal cues are in your favour, take no time further in expressing your fondness towards him/her
- Drop hints on your idea of an ‘ideal partner’. Appreciate their qualities you admire and express openly how you are eagerly looking out for such strengths in your would-be life partner. Give them a feeler that he/she can be much more than being just a friend by expressing their importance in your life. If they just appreciate your words and feel overwhelmed, then you have crossed another level to formalise dating your friend
- Express your feelings with great honesty. Don’t overwhelm them; keep it comfortable for both of you. Give them time to evaluate the possibilities. Let them see you as a probable partner
- Asking a friend out on a date, when they say yes! See each other in a different light during this one-on-one date. You might have known them for years, but this first date will be different. You know him/her inside out, use that to your advantage and plan a date as per their interests. Go for long walks, indulge in a common activity and give him/her a memorable time as a date
- What to talk to a friend you have known for years? Don’t take it as a riddle and act goofy, but take advantage of the chemistry and indulge into exclusive relationship talk. Use the power of words to establish grounds from casual to intimate conversations on your first date. This will easily help you bridge the ‘friends to lovers’ gap as well
Related reading: 18 bad social habits that can make you undateable
Pros and cons of dating your best friend
Dating your BFF brings with it a bouquet of emotions. While some experience a smooth transition from friends to lovers, there are others who are at a constant risk of losing out their best friend. So, before you think of dating your bestie, it is important to proceed with care by understanding its pros and cons.
- Conversations come naturally to you as a couple. You can talk about anything under the sun for hours and still not get bored
- You can just enjoy the quality moments without the fear of being judged. You have that camaraderie with him that can help you enjoy being your awkward self without the fear of being judged
- He/she makes you feel good about yourself. In a society highly critical of your achievements and growth, your best friend cum date elevates your mood and encourages you to pursue your dreams
- Dating your friend comes sans ‘ex-drama’ baggage. Since you already know his/her dating past and exes, so no nasty shocks or revelations will come in your way of happy and a healthy relationship
- Getting parents’ approval for marriage is easy in case they know the guy for a long time as your friend. Since they know and approve your friendship, so this is surely one of the promising advantages of being friends with a guy you are dating
- Your friendship works as the groundwork foundation for your new innings as a couple. With the deep-rooted trust, loyalty and mutual respect, the relationship has the higher success rate
Pursuing your best friend as a romantic interest has its own set of disadvantages as well. Let us have a look at cons or drawbacks of dating your best friend-
- Can you risk your time-tested friendship? Dating your best friend is a one-way ticket where you can’t just get back your friendship, if they reject your dating proposal
- Can you stay friends with them again without exhibiting jealousy to your future partners if dating doesn’t work for the two of you?
- If you are not serious about him/her or looking for a rebound after a breakup, then dating a friend is not a good idea. You are not only going to risk your long-term friendship, but hurt your bestie in the long run
- Are you ready to experience the void with the changing dynamics of friendship? If he/she agrees to be your date then you may lose a bestie in this process.
Related reading: 8 ways to make one-sided love successful
So, decide whether you are ‘friends first, partners later’ and to ease out relationship dynamics a little bit more.
5 Useful tips for dating your best friend
Many of us may need some tried and tested tips on how to act on a first date with a friend, especially if you are nervous and goofed-up during the process. Overwhelming is a bit natural if you have been pursuing him for long.
- Don’t worry about how to act on a first date with a friend. Banish nervousness and go with the flow. He/she has agreed to be your date which is your greatest achievement. Be natural as an individual and let him/her know how you can take that additional role as your potential partner in their life
- Dating is a discovery where you both will experience a new phase of your life. But don’t let go of your friendship, which is the foundation to your relationship. Instead, base your relationship as ‘friends first’ and see how this camaraderie will endure the test of time
- Till now, it was just you. Now, it’s his/her turn. Don’t ignore what he/she is looking out for in a prospective partner. Initiate a conversation about the state of your relationship, the potential risks involved, and their expectations from you as a date
- Discuss the timelines he/she needs to analyse their feasibility as a couple. Consider the consequences, and then act accordingly
- Don’t go touchy-feely with her on the first date, unless the moment is right. Give her the right time to accept this change in relationship equation. Though there is no rule-book that suggests the time when to kiss a girl, go with the gut-feeling. If she is all into you, and enjoying the time as your lady, then you may initiate the kiss
We hope such tips on dating a friend can clear the haze in your mind and reward you with a friend and a companion for life. If you too have a ‘friend turned life-partner story’, then do share it with us on Bonobology blogs and make a difference in the world of couple relationships.