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The world of dating can be rough! From a lack of compatibility to non-availability, there are many reasons why it can be difficult to find Mr. or Mrs. “Right.” At some point or another, many of us have come to the realization that one of our friends might actually be the perfect match for us. Though both friendship and romance involve interpersonal connection and intimacy, the dynamics of these two relationships are often starkly different.
Would you and your best buddy make for a happy couple, or would your differences simply lead to drama? Before asking your friend out on a date, ask yourself the following questions.
Do you think the feeling is mutual?
If it's clear that your friend has no romantic interest in you, confessing that you're interested in them will likely only put a strain on your friendship. Therefore, it is best to examine whether or not a mutual sense of attraction is present in your friendship. Are your feelings one-sided or not? Pay attention to the way you and your friend interact with one another. Do you notice that you both engage in prolonged eye contact? Are you constantly hugging? Is their body language playfully intimate? When you talk or text, do you find yourself joking around in ways that could be seen as mildly flirtatious? Pay attention to these signs and trust your gut. If you think the potential for a relationship is there, consider talking to your friend about your feelings. A relationship based on mutual respect and attraction has a good chance of succeeding.
Can you envision yourself actually dating them?
Though similar in many regards, "hanging out" and "going out" with someone are two different things. Before pursuing your friend romantically, try imagining yourself going out on a proper, romantic date with them. Does this idea seem exciting, even if the thought of it is somewhat frightening? The transition from friendship to romance is often awkward, but the thought of dating your friend shouldn't feel uncomfortable or wrong. If you can only envision the two of you hanging out as pals rather than having a romantic dinner together, you might be better off keeping your friendship purely platonic.
Do you see eye-to-eye on important issues?
Friendships come in many forms. Most of us have friends who we enjoy spending time with but wouldn't want to be married to. Your friend who always fills you in on the latest gossip and takes you out to wild parties might be fun to hang out with but a pain to live with. The flexibility of most friendships allow us to accept meaningful differences between us and our friends. The spending habits or political beliefs of our friends ultimately have little impact on our day-to-day lives. When considering a friend as a potential romantic partner, however, personal habits, values, and priorities ultimately become much more important. If, for instance, your friend is a frivolous spender and you prefer living on a tight budget, you might run into problems if your relationship becomes more serious. Stark differences in morals and life goals may also cause conflict in the future. Are you and your friend on the same page regarding your most deeply-held beliefs? If so, a future romance will be much more likely to stand the test of time.
Can you accept that things might never be the same again?
Beginning a romance with a close friend is guaranteed to permanently change the nature of your relationship. Though fear shouldn't hold you back from pursuing your friend, ask yourself whether or not you're really willing to accept the changes that would come with dating your pal. Whether or not things work out between you two in the future, things will never be the same again. Your emotional connection is guaranteed to become more complex, and a sexual relationship will change your bond altogether. If things don't work out between you two, can you accept potentially losing your friend or dealing with a different sort of friendship after the break-up? If you believe you and your friend have serious relationship potential, ask them out! If, however, your friendship is too precious a thing to risk, consider whether or not it would be better to seek out another romantic partner.
Do you communicate well with one another?
Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Are you and your friend able to talk to one another openly and honestly? Being able to discuss your feelings, the nature of your relationship, personal frustrations, and future goals are all crucial to building a strong and healthy relationship. If you're attempting to transform your friendship into a more serious relationship, communication will play a particularly important role in the success or failure of your romance. Can you be honest about your wants and needs? Can you both comfortably discuss how committed you are to the relationship and how you're feeling about each other? Though many of us find it difficult to openly discuss our feelings, doing so is crucial to building healthy, lasting relationships. If you and your friend aren't able to communicate on a deeper level, pursuing a romantic relationship may not be the right thing to do.
Deciding whether or not to date a friend is rarely easy. Before confessing your feelings, take the time to reflect on the nature of your relationship, thoroughly weighing the benefits and potential consequences of transforming your friendly bond into a romantic one. If you think it’s worth the risk, then take the dive! You just might discover that your soulmate has been by your side all along.
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