Woohoo! You’re finally dating that friend of yours that you’ve always felt special about, and it couldn’t feel more perfect.
They know you better than anyone else, you already have a close bond with them and you know they like you for you. It’s like a match made in heaven. It must feel amazing to finally get all those bottled-up feelings off your chest.
But wait! It might be a little harder than you thought. And if it all goes wrong, you won’t just be losing a lover, you might end up losing a friend (which might feel way worse). Don’t sweat it though; here’s everything you need to make sure that it’s all just smooth sailing from here.
Tips you NEED to know when dating a friend
1) Acknowledge the risk
Before getting into anything, you need to understand the risks that come along with it. In this case, the biggest risk is that you might ruin your friendship and it might never be the same again. But with big risks come big rewards. Taking a chance might mean you end up in a healthy relationship with the person who knows you best in the world.
If you’re willing to take the risk, then go for it. But make sure you both have a proper talk because it will determine what the future holds for the two of you.
2) Take it slow
It might feel like you don’t need to take it slow since the two of you were already friends. It’s tempting to skip the initial stages of dating (like getting to know each other) and instead just jump right in at the deep end (like forming a physical connection). Well, that isn’t necessarily the case.
When you two were friends, it took you time to properly grow your friendship and turn it into what it is now; it’s the same thing with dating. You know your friend well – but only as a friend, not as a dating partner. It’s a new experience for both of you, so give it time instead of just ending up being friends with benefits. You’ll thank yourself later.
3) Be honest
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but only because of how important it really is. Honesty is what drives a relationship forward. Relationship counselor Margaret Paul, Ph.D. says that relationships “flourish when partners trust each other to be honest and open to resolving conflict”.
Since both of you are already friends, it shouldn’t be that hard. Always be honest, no matter what it may be about, because it helps the two of you develop mutual trust that increases the chances of you staying together long-term.
4) Talk about it with your friends
Dating your friend is a three-part equation; it consists of you, the person you’re dating, and your friendship group.
Once the two of you are on the same page, you’ll probably want to tell your friends. Ask them about how this new relationship makes them feel. They’ll likely appreciate your efforts to make sure things aren’t awkward. This will help you maintain a good balance in both your relationship and friendships.
5) Don’t let it completely change you
Look, your friend fell in love with you because of who you are. But it can be tempting to start acting differently when things go from casual to more serious.
Maybe you’re thinking about changing your clothes, interests or the activities you do together. Regardless of whether that’s due to the excitement of a new relationship or because you think you need to up your game for this next chapter, these changes could have an effect on the dynamic between you (the dynamic that has worked so well up until this point).
Are we saying you should never change your ways? No. Of course, you should be aiming to grow and develop as an individual and as a couple. Just don’t let this transition from friendship to dating completely change the way you are around each other.
You need to communicate with your partner. Even if they are your friend, you can’t just expect them to intuitively know all your wants and needs because of your history.
If you have specific preferences, if certain things make you uncomfortable or if you have something you want to get off your chest, go ahead and tell them. Clear communication between you and your partner will help you trust and connect more than ever before.
7) Keep it real
Sure, this relationship could feel different from the previous ones since it’s a bit more special. Despite this, it’s still important to stay realistic. Relationships require work and dedication, even if it’s with someone you’ve had a bond with for years.
Dating your friend can be amazing but, like all the best things in life, it doesn’t come without its challenges. With these 7 tips you’re ready to turn your friendship into a relationship like a pro. You’ve got this!