I Can’t Date Anyone I Wouldn’t Be Friends With & Neither Should You

There are plenty of people out there who will tell you to never date your friends, but I’m here to contradict them. In fact, I won’t even date someone who isn’t already a friend and I don’t think anyone else should either. Here’s why I feel this way.

I need to know what I’m getting myself into.

I need to do some serious research on a guy before I decide to date him, which is impossible if we start things off in a flirty way. If you haven’t noticed, guys tend to be all roses and open doors when you first start dating them and then devolve into their real selves just as you start to get comfortable. Things need to start out totally platonic in order for him to reveal his true colors.

He needs to know who I really am before he decides to date me.

Dating goes both ways. As much as I need to know the guy is worth my time, I need him to know why he’s lucky to have me too. When we start dating, he needs to admire me and already know why I’m one of a kind. I’m not willing to give myself over to someone who isn’t totally obsessed with the part of me that is the most valuable and the most personal.

I don’t want to date a guy who just likes the way I look.

Some people like to start a relationship at first sight and discover the depth of a person over time, but that’s just not for me. I don’t want to date anyone who was attracted to my looks first without knowing all the other things I have to offer.  I want people to find me physically attractive, of course, but I know that my intelligence and depth of feeling are special, and any guy I date is going to have prove he wants that part of me just as much as my looks.

I need my boyfriend to be a friend and a lover.

Mind-blowing sex isn’t enough for me. I’ve had relationships with guys who are absolute dynamite in the bedroom and kind of mediocre everywhere else. It may have been fun for a while, but even the sex got boring over time. It’s the friendship that really keeps me coming back. I need a deep connection with someone that goes beyond physical intimacy.

Friendship is harder to find.

I have fewer genuine friends than I do exes, and I have a lot of friends. Given how rare a true platonic connection is and how common sexual attraction is, it’s really not that surprising. Finding someone to have sex with on a regular basis is so easy you don’t even have to leave your house to do it anymore (thank you, Tinder). I need the rarest of all breeds—a guy who’s a friend first and a boyfriend second.

If I get my heart broken, I want it to happen with someone who I know loves me.

Call me paranoid, call me prepared, but I always imagine what a breakup would be like with every guy I ever date. I’ve been with quite a few guys over the years, and what I’ve learned is that guys who you’re actually friends with don’t stomp on your heart and guys who are just romantic partners almost always do unless you get there first.

Friendship is more reliable than love.

Anyone who’s been in a long term relationship can tell you that love is not a sustainable emotion 100% of the time. It’s like a cat, drifting in and out whenever it pleases, not caring whether or not you want it there. Friendship is like a dog. It’s always there–solid, attentive, loyal. In other words, if you and your partner get in an argument, love probably isn’t going to save your relationship, but friendship will.

We have to have chemistry already.

When I start dating a guy, I want the spark to be a fire already. People don’t seem to understand that meeting someone cool for the first time isn’t the most exciting moment of the relationship. True excitement is when you’ve known someone for a while and are completely on their wavelength and then discover that there might be a little something more between you. There is seriously nothing that compares to crossing the friendship boundary when the time is right.

My friends will always come before my romantic partners.

Friendship is the most important kind of relationship you’ll ever have, so why not combine it with partnership? Of course it’s necessary to still have friends apart from your significant other in order to keep a balanced life, but having a boyfriend who you relate to on a friendship level is the best of both worlds. Not only will he be on the same page as far as humor and inside jokes go, but he’ll also know and be obsessed with all sides of you, not just the ones you reveal to romantic partners.

Friends make the best boyfriends.

If you’ve never dated your best friend, do yourself a favor and give it a try. There’s a certain kind of tenderness and love that you get from someone who’s loved you as a friend before they loved you as a partner. Think of it as a blended orgasm: it’s two for the price of one, and once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never want to settle for less.

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