Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg, what’s common between them? All these couples were best friends before they dated and got married.
Transitioning from the friend zone into the relationship zone is fun but it could prove to be not as easy at times. Dating your best friend, as fairy-tale as it might sound, can turn into a giant nightmare if you aren’t careful. If your best friend is in love with you and you feel like reciprocating the feelings, you should certainly take some considerations in the account.
According to a study1 shared by CNN, among adults in a romantic relationship, the vast majority (83 percent) considered their partner to be their best friend and only 44% college students indicated that their best friend was also their romantic partner.
Starting a relationship with your best friend
When you start dating your best friend, the dynamics of your friendship change. He is still your best friend, but you will now be romancing this person and this is kind of scary. The initial days of dating your childhood friend or best friend are a bit confusing and awkward. You want to hold hands, hug and kiss but feel shy and awkward like high school kids thinking whether it’s too early or inappropriate. The idea of holding hands with a person, who you once must have treated as a sibling in your childhood, feels weird in itself. All kinds of thoughts come into your mind after you accept the proposal and you feel scared thinking whether starting a relationship with your best friend was a bad idea as this could hamper your friendship and will change literally everything. Dating your best friend can bring a roller coaster of thoughts and emotions. Here are 10 useful tips for dating your best friend.
Related reading: 10 Signs You Are Moving From Friends to Lovers
10 useful tips for dating your best friend
When friendship is turning into romance here are a few things you can keep in mind.
1. Don’t rush things
In the beginning of the relationship, you are still figuring out your feelings and figuring your way around the relationship. You’ve said yes, but you need to accustom yourself with the “boy” factor replacing the “best” in friend. The first step is to establish an emotional connection between you both, which you never shared when you were best friends.
This will make your foundation strong and will help in the transition. Thus, it is important to build a connection as only feelings and chemistry aren’t enough to keep the relationship going. If you want it to stick, you need to be patient and understand each other at an emotional level. Rushing in love is never a good idea!
2. Manage your expectations
When you are dating your best girlfriend/friend, you expect more from them than a regular relationship. You expect them to know you from inside out and thus don’t expect them to hurt you. You need to understand that nobody is perfect, not even your best friend. Even your best friend, now boyfriend, is bound to make mistakes and there will be times when all will be not roses. Fights, hurting, misunderstandings and lots of drama come as a part of the package in every relationship, even one with your best friend. You need to treat this relationship like a normal one and set your expectations accordingly. After all, he’s/she’s human too.
Related reading: 11 Dating Tips For Beginners
3. Be honest
The best thing about being in a relationship with your best girlfriend is that you can be open about your feelings. This person knows the real you and you don’t need to hide yourself from him/her. Be honest about your feelings with your partner. No matter how bad it is, you will always get a hug from the other end. This is one of the perks of dating your best friend.
Related reading: Why I prefer friendship over romance with my partner
4. Know the stakes
Always remember the fact that you are dating your best friend. Any screw up can cost you your best friend and you know how painful it is not having a best friend. If you screw up, you’ll be losing both your best friend and your boyfriend. Always keep this in mind. Remember how important this relationship is to you and make the most of it. Sleeping with your best friend can have its own set of pros and cons.
5. Listen to yourself
Never pressurize yourself in the relationship. At times, people try to be hard on themselves to make their best friend now boyfriend happy because they don’t want to lose them. They start being hard on themselves. I had a friend who was still transitioning from best friends into the boyfriend stage, and when her boyfriend kissed her she freaked out. She wasn’t comfortable but didn’t tell her boyfriend.
Eventually she couldn’t take it anymore and broke up with him. She still wishes that she had listened to herself and told her boyfriend that she wasn’t comfortable. Things would have been way different.
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6. Plan romantic dates
Movie nights are great but it’s now time to go a step forward. You both are no more friends. You two need to start doing things that normal couples do. Create some spark between the two of you. Plan a candle light dinner or a romantic terrace date. It may be a cliché but isn’t the idea of dating your best friend too? These romantic dates will help bring you both closer. And these romantic times are not related to sex.
7. Don’t end up being friends with benefits
Many a times, best friends get this rush of feelings and end up as sex buddies. The guilt tricks them into thinking that it’s love and before you know it, you both are committed. Commitment isn’t a product of guilt or chemistry. It’s a result of love and being sure that the person is the one you want to be committed to. If you aren’t sure, put a red flag right there or else you both will end up as friends with benefits hiding behind a relationship with no love.
Related reading: I’m in a friends with benefits relationship and I love it
8. Bask in the glory of love
You both might be knowing each other since eternity but your feelings for each other are new. Sink in the love and the rush you feel for each other and acknowledge it. Tell yourself that this is normal and it’s all going to be great. Once you make yourself normal with your feelings will you be able to make this transition faster.
9. Keep in mind their past
Being a best friend, it is your responsibility to heal your partner from the scars of their past. You must have been the first one to know what went wrong in the previous relationship and how bad it broke your partner. Avoid making mistakes that their ex made. This will only remind them of their bitter past. Keep it as a checklist of all the wrongs that you can right. It will help heal your partner and lead to a healthy relationship between you both.
10. Keep checking on your best friend
Now that you are the best friend cum boyfriend/girlfriend, you need to take more care of your best friend than usual. Keep checking on your partner and make them feel cared. Show them that they are special and this relationship means something to you. Show the extra care and extra love that a boyfriend/girlfriend would show. It will make them feel special and feel that the relationship decision was the right one.
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Pros Of Dating Your Best Friend
Dating your best friend could be your Chick Flick come true.
- You can be yourself and explore your hidden desires without caring about being judged by your partner
- Your partner already knows the real you and no matter how weird you get, he/she will still adore you
- There aren’t any surprises because you already know the worst parts of your partner
- Conversations will be never ending because you both will always have something to talk about and the best part – no jealousy
- You know your best friend in and out and trust him/her with yourself. Nothing can break that kind of a bond
Related reading: Fishing Dating-The New Dating Trend
Cons Of Dating Your Best Friend
As exciting it is to date your best friend, every relationship has its cons.
- Your best friend knows you too well and often he/she might just bring up the skeletons in your closet when you both fight
- There is nowhere to hide when it comes to dating your best friend and this at times will also not give you space for yourself
- You won’t have anyone else to talk to when things turn rough in your relationship because your one confidant may now be the cause of it. You won’t be able to discuss your relationship with your best friend anymore
- Not having a surprise element in your relationship could also be a bad thing. No surprises may also lead to boring
- And the worst part, you could lose your best friend forever. God forbid, if you both break up, you will not only lose your boyfriend, your best friend would also be gone at one go
Still thinking of dating your best friend? Remember the stakes.
Related reading: Exclusive Dating: It Isn’t Surely About A Committed Relationship