How To Successfully Go From Just Friends To Dating

Some of the best romantic relationships start out as platonic friendships. You and a friend might find yourself developing feelings for each other as time goes on and there’s a good chance that the two of you will want to take things to the next level. It can be scary to pursue change when you’re so comfortable with how things have been but if you both truly want to give it a shot, you owe it to yourselves. Here are some tips on how you can make that transition smoothly.

  1. Have an understanding from the jump. The two of you really care about each other and if you’ve been friends for some time, it might be scary to think about risking that friendship with a relationship. The fact is that when you turn a platonic relationship into a romantic one, you’re risking your friendship to an extent. You can swear up and down that no matter what happens, the two of you will always stay friends but the truth is that you have no way of knowing how either of you will feel if that happens. Make sure that both of you have a conversation about the possibility of everything and have an agreement about what this means for your friendship.
  2. Change up your hangouts. It can be difficult to feel like things have changed if you stick to your usual routines so, shake it up a bit! Get dressed up and go for a fancy dinner or go dancing. Just because you’ve known each other for a while doesn’t mean that you can’t have those romantic, special first dates. Have fun with it and you’ll start to look at each other in a whole different way.
  3. Build new traditions. If within your friendship you have traditions or rituals like pizza night every Friday or watching football on Sunday, keep the things you love but add in new, more romantic, traditions. Start going for walks together in the evenings or have brunch together on the weekends. This will help you maintain the comfort of your friendship while still adding in more of the couple aspect so that you have the best of both worlds.
  4. Go on double and group dates. It’s great to get out just the two of you but definitely make plans to go out with other couple friends and do things with other people who are dating. Not only will this help the two of you feel like you’re in a relationship more but it will also let your friends know that you’ve moved to the next level. This will allow people to start seeing you differently as well and when the people in your life refer to you as a couple, it’ll make the transition easier and it’ll be so fun to be around other people who are in love or falling in love as you’re seeing where this relationship can take the two of you.
  5. Be open emotionally. Oftentimes, friends don’t share all of their feelings, emotions, and the things they’re going through with each other because they might not feel comfortable or worry that they’d be overstepping boundaries. When you’re in a romantic relationship though, it’s important to be able to share your emotions and struggles with your partner because they can be your support system throughout everything that you go through. If emotions aren’t something you discussed much in your platonic relationship, make sure that you let yourselves get comfortable with it because it will bring you closer.
  6. Start using pet names. Terms of endearment are such a simple thing that might seem trivial but they really make a huge difference in how you view a person and how that person views you. You might be used to calling each other things like ‘babe’ and ‘honey’ because your relationship has been platonic for so long but once you start using them and get comfortable with them, you will feel things in your relationship begin to shift into the more romantic aspect and things will feel different and more like a relationship than a friendship.
  7. Ignore any outside influences. Transitioning from friends to lovers might not be something that everyone in your life approves of but frankly, it’s no one’s business but the two of you. You are the ones who get decide what you want your relationship to be and if people want to put their two cents in, just do your best to tune them out and kindly explain that you don’t need their opinions. This is your life, not theirs. Do what makes you happy.
  8. Anticipate the future without mapping it out. One of the sweetest parts of a romantic relationship is looking forward to all of the wonderful things that the future could hold. Planning out the future in detail can put unnecessary pressure on the relationship, however, it’s important to imagine where you might be a year from now, two years, five years, a decade, etc. Can you envision how this new partner fits into your life and what the two of you have to look forward to together? If so, that’s a good sign. Getting excited about these things will make the transition from friends to more than friends seem more exciting and less scary.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.