How To Date A Friend? Must-Follow Tips That Will Work Wonders

Friendship | | , Content Strategist & Blogger
Updated On: May 31, 2022
how to date a friend

Dating a friend seems to be an interesting proposition, thanks to your already existing 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. But how to date a friend?

The friends to dating transition can be awkward at times. But if you look at the friends before dating statistics then 40% people say they were friends before they became romantically involved according to a study done by University of Texas.

Then what’s stopping you from dating a friend? Is it the fear of being friendzoned 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. Starting a relationship with your best friend is the best bet actually.

Is It A Good Idea To Date A Friend?

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 how you approach it.

But the real challenge is to date a long-time best friend and express your true feelings to them. Because sometimes the friends to dating transition can be a bit awkward. Going from back-punching buddies to romantic lovers can take some time.

The good thing is your friend knows the real you. Knows all your secrets and your misadventures, know your insecurities and strong points, so you do not have to make the extra effort to impress them.

But dating a best friend can turn out to be a bad idea because your friend might know too much about you and use it later detrimentally in your relationship arguments that could spell doom for your relationship.

Having your best friend for your partner could mean that they know all about your negative points, your quirks and your eccentricities. This could mean two things. They could understand you better for this or they could use it against you.

Depending on that you decide if dating a friend you have known for years is a good or bad idea.

How To Date 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.

There are stages of dating a friend when the friendship becomes a little more thick, then you get jealous of their other romantic interests, then you realise you have fallen for your friend and then you get intimate.

Then finally, you start looking at a future together. But how to date a friend you have known for years? How do you go through the stages of dating a friend? Let’s tell you.

1. 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.

Because once you make the move, chances are the relationship will turn sour if they don’t want to get romantically involved with you. So first make sure that your feelings are not one-sided then only take the plunge.

2. 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’? You can also go out with a guy or a girl for a date and when you tell your pal about it see how they react.

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.

Related Reading: How To Date A Girl Out Of Your League

3. Observe their body language

The world knows when the friends to dating transition has happened except for 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. The body language signs are vital.

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.

4. Drop hints on your idea of an ‘ideal partner’

How to date a friend? Let us tell you a trick. 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.

5. 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.

When you are getting into the dating zone with a friend your relationship will go through stages. But the honesty will be always there that has been a part of your relationship. Be honest and tell them about your feelings.

Related Reading: What Do Guys Think Of Their Female Friends?

6. 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.

When you are on a date with your best friend you will get a glimpse into their romantic side, something you had no clue about as their buddy. This is a good stepping stone to a new relationship. Also, a date will tell you where you stand romantically if you at all start dating your friend seriously.

7. 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. You have common interests and you have been talking about books and movies so far. But since you have the comfort level you can talk about your fantasies and long-term relationship goals. It’s going to be exciting to discover each other anew.

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.

Advantages 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
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Disadvantages of dating a best pal

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.

How To Date A Friend? 5 Useful Tips!

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.

1. Be yourself on a date

Don’t worry about how to act on a first date with a friend. Banish nervousness and dating anxiety 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.

2. Let the friendship grow

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.

3. Discuss the pros and cons

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.

How to date a friend you have known for years? Initiate a conversation about the state of your relationship, the potential risks involved, and their expectations from you as a date.

Related Reading: Does A Friends With Benefits Relationship Actually Work?

4. Discuss the future

Discuss the timelines he/she needs to analyse their feasibility as a couple. Consider the consequences, and then act accordingly.

When you become a couple you look at your future differently. Discuss that and find out if your couple goals are the same.

5. How to get intimate with a friend?

How to act on a first date with a friend? 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.


1. Is dating a friend a good idea?

There’s nothing wrong with it. Many people get into a romantic relationship from a friendship and have successful and strong relationships.

2. How do you go from friends to lovers?

You usually move in stages from friends to lovers and then there are ways you tell your friend you love them. It’s initially the realisation that you have fallen for your pal and then you move forward.

3. Can a guy and a girl be best friends without falling in love?

A girl can have a guy best friend but sometimes they might end up falling in love and sometimes they might just stay great friends.

4. How to date a friend without ruining the friendship?

If you have to propose a friend then first find out if they have feelings for you. If they reject the proposal you could be ruining the friendship. If they say “yes” the transition from friends to lovers could take some time, could be a bit awkward even, but it’s important to hold on to the beautiful friendship that is the pillar of your romantic relationship.

5. How long should you be friends before dating?

There is no hard and fast rule for that but people usually end up dating a friend they have known for years or have been kindergarten buddies. Usually after having one or two relationships people realise their real love was right next to them but they never realised that. That’s when two friends get romantically connected.

6. Do relationships with best friends work?

Yes very much. Some of the most strong and healthy relationships started with friendship.

7. How to tell mutual friends you are dating?

They had been hanging out with you all the time but suddenly they vanish together even when you are there as a gang at a pub or a party. Or they meet more often as a couple to catch a movie or coffee. That’s a tell-tale sign mutual friends are dating.

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