Will Dating A Friend Ruin The Friendship?

Your friend is an amazing guy and you know that any woman would be lucky to date him. You might be that woman! But, should you take things further or not? It’s always a risk to turn a friendship into a romantic relationship, even if your friendship is perfect, so make sure you consider these important things before you jump in.

  1. Do you have a good foundation? The positive thing about dating your friend is that you already have a friendship that’s built on trust, honesty, and positive energy. Make sure these things are intact as they can only enhance what you already have, helping you to have a healthy, satisfying relationship and giving you the same foundation to fall back on.
  2. Dating could cause unrealistic expectations. When you start dating someone new, you don’t know them at all so you just have to see how things progress. But, with a friend, you already have a shared history. This could cloud your idea of what to expect when dating them. For example, you might expect a fantastic spark or fairytale connection only to be disappointed.
  3. You might feel the dating path is smoother. Since you and your friend already know each other and you know you have similar interests, values, and goals, this could help you to reduce the risk of a relationship tanking – and taking your friendship with it. It might also feel like entering a relationship from friendship is a smoother path than if you were meeting and dating a stranger, which is a bonus.
  4. But, the relationship could still tank. If things don’t go the way you planned with your friend, what then? You can only hope that both you and your friend will be able to scrap the relationship and become firm friends again. But, what if you’re keen to remain friends after a breakup but they can’t see you as a friend anymore? It can make things tricky.
  5. You don’t know the person romantically. Even though the guy is an amazing friend, it doesn’t mean that he’s going to be a great boyfriend. In fact, he might display some traits as a boyfriend that are toxic. It can then be difficult to revert to a friendship knowing this other side to him. On the other hand, would you even want to?
  6. There are issues that go beyond your friendship. There are also other things to consider before taking the plunge and dating your friend: your mutual friends and social circle. If things are going to become weird with your friends or you stand to lose not only this person as your friend but your mutual friends, too, that might make you hesitate to take a friendship into the romantic realm.
  7. Suss out their previous relationships. It can be helpful to chat to your friend/boyfriend about their previous relationships and how they ended. Are they still friends with their exes? Did they ghost their exes when things didn’t go well, or were they honest about ending things? Do they believe you can’t be friends with exes, no matter what? The answers to these questions can help you see what type of boyfriend your friend would be and if a friendship after a breakup could actually be possible.
  8. That said, how can you prevent love from blooming? The thing about falling for a friend is that it can’t be denied. Sooner or later, you’re going to want to explore your feelings, as long as the other person feels the same. If you’re both scared to ruin a friendship, this could cause you to stifle your desires, which won’t make you happy – and which, in turn, could cause tension in the friendship, ending it. So, with this in mind, you might wonder what you have to lose.

Ready To Take the Plunge? How To Date a Friend Successfully

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and date your friend, there are some things you should do to reduce the risk that if you lose your boyfriend you’ll also lose your friend.

  1. Have a feelings talk. If you and your friend have crushes on each other, you have to communicate so that you can figure out what you both want and expect from dating. If you’re both on the same page, this will reduce the risk of toxicity or disappointments that can affect your friendship.
  2. Take a hint. It’s already difficult to make a relationship work when you and your partner want the same things, so don’t try to make one work if your friend/boyfriend wants something totally different from you.
  3. Thrash out the worst-case scenario. You need to talk about the worst-case scenarios with your friend, as this will help you feel more comfortable about taking your friendship to the next level. What do they want if the relationship ends? Would they want to save the friendship? Do they seem unsure about that? It’s important to explore these things before you take the leap.
  4. Take stock regularly. Make sure you regularly chat about how you feel about dating and how things are going. This will ensure you’re both on the same path. If dating your friend isn’t feeling right for you, you should communicate this to them immediately. It shows respect and will encourage a healthy friendship in future.
  5. Know that you’ll be okay. You can never fully know someone, even a boyfriend you’ve had for years. But, don’t let that stop you from following your heart. It’s also important to remember that no matter what happens, you’ll be okay – even if your dating becomes a disaster and your friend walks out on you.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.