Online dating: Is dating a friend a good idea?
A good friend should have many of the qualities you look for in a potential partner. They should be loyal, understanding and share the same interests as you – all great grounds for a successful relationship. But while friends dating might sound like the perfect answer, we all know it can be fraught with problems. So, how do you know if it’s worth the risk?
Consider the consequences
Are you prepared to lose your friendship over this relationship? The bonus of friends dating is that you are already comfortable with each other so will bypass the customary awkward stage that most couples endure. You also know you both care for each other.
But, do you really think it will last? Consider your motives – are your feelings merely physical or are they more deep-rooted? It’s not worth risking a friendship over something that won’t last.
Look for hints
Read the signs to see if the feeling is mutual. If they are dropping hints verbally or physically then dating your friend will be a natural progression. But if they keep referring to you as ‘like a sibling to them’ or talking about other people they are attracted to, you should hold back. They clearly don’t share your feelings.
Think about the future
Both of you should have the same expectations. If one of you thinks the relationship will be more serious than the other, problems will arise. Casual dating is probably not worth the risk. It’s for a couple to gauge whether they have a connection and find out whether they share interests and ideals. As friends, you already know all this, so if you want a relationship you need to be sure the reasons are right.
Take the progression seriously
Make a conscious effort with your new partner and treat them like a girlfriend or boyfriend, not just a friend. Plan a proper date and make it clear the relationship has changed. If not, it’ll be hard to think of each other as anything other than friends.
What happens if it doesn’t work out?
If you’ve taken the plunge and things don’t go as planned, it’s very unlikely that your relationship will go back to what it was before. However, that might not be a bad thing. You may feel comforted by the fact that you tried and are better off as friends. The best way to avoid post-breakup awkwardness is to be totally honest with each other about the implications of the relationship not working before you get involved.
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