Dating a friend is widely recognized to be a pursuit fraught with potential complications. I learned this lesson the hard way when I started dating a friend in high school. Not only were we good friends, but our families were also extremely close and had been for years. When we broke up nine months later, all the usual post-breakup awkwardness and bitterness were multiplied tenfold by the fact that we were forced to hang out whenever our families got together, which was often. On the flip side, when we rekindled the flame after college, our friendship and the friendship between our families became one of the best parts about our more-than-friendship.
How can we transition from being friends to dating?
We had a shared history, our siblings adored each other and we even went on a few t-family vacations. The stakes are uniquely high.
We started dating in the fall of Then we were friends with benefits until I moved to Seattle, and then back to just friends until October of Ashley: We met in a college class and slowly became friends. He made me laugh a lot, but I was very suspicious of him. And he was a white boy with a slight country accent who drove a pick-up truck. Ashley: We hooked up for a semester in college, then spent about two years being mostly just friends again while he did an internship in NY I was still based in Indiana then How to transition from best friends to dating to Seattle.
After a year in Seattle he came back to Indiana to visit, and we decided to try and date for real. That was about three and a half years ago. Ashley: We talked so much about every decision and all of our feelings so that even when it felt weird, it quickly went back to not feeling weird. But it quickly felt natural and right after all that talking and sharing.
Kelly: I believe we handled the evolution of our relationship very consciously. At each new point, we always had a conversation to find out where we were and how we felt. I think that viewing relationships as an inevitable thing that happens between two people who are attracted to each other takes away from the emotional vulnerability, and work, that goes into building strong commitments.
Ashley: We met in a seminar that was set up like a production company, and I was his boss. We had a good time together as buds. About a year later, after ending a terrible relationship and getting fired from my job, I went to a party at his house. He asked if anybody wanted to go four-wheeling, and I said I did. That ended up being our first date. Then he asked if I was seeing anybody.
I think all of my friends are hot. And I have been attracted to most of them at some point or another, just not in a way that I could or wanted to sustain. Kelly: I think that viewing relationships as an inevitable thing that happens between two people who are attracted to each other takes away from the emotional vulnerability, and work, that goes into building strong commitments.
Kelly: The person I want to hang out with most is right next to me when I wake up. And we introduce each other to new things all the time. Kelly: Well, you spend as much time together as you possibly can, eventually you get irritated for pretty much no reason.
How to go from just friends to dating, according to an expert
Kelly: Talk to your friend, see how they feel, and go from there. Be prepared for it not to go your way and that being just friends with this person is probably a whole lot better than not knowing them anymore. Ashley: Take your time with the feeling, and prepare yourself to be extremely vulnerable. Maggie: Almost a decade. He was always the standard against which I measured other men, and we dated a bit when we were younger. I was always very proud to call him a friend.
Maggie: Brice had moved to LA. The company had just gone through some big milestones and I was totally fried. Are you coming? We both needed an adventure. It felt like being on drugs.
Everything was The Best. Of being alive. It just made total sense, and was a complete surprise at the same time. A decade of dating in NYC can teach you a lot about yourself. Maggie: We met at our first job. We both went to work for J. We sought each other out, dated, then became friends. We were friends for a long time. We dated different people, made other friends, had our own adventures, grew up. That adage is sweeping and reductive. I respect friendship more than a fleeting escapade. Maggie: I believe in it to the extent that when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
Also, that Mallomars are the greatest cookie of all time. The relationships I admire most are ones in which both people are freakishly into each other, and the way they communicate — their humor, their empathy — is mirrored equally. Brice: Fundamentally, I believe a partner — be they husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend — is first and foremost a friend.
I think the best thing about falling in love with a friend is that you both go into it with complete acceptance — and appreciation and admiration — for each other. Those things have to be earned, built over time. We were lucky to start with that base. Brice: Do something about it. Maggie: Book a flight to New Orleans. Nick: I really credit social media with allowing us to even have a friendship.
Dom: We reconnected in person on the weekend of Fourth of July in Nick was visiting Orlando to help a friend move into her college dorm. I was going into my junior year at the same university, and Nick reached out to me and asked if I wanted to hang out. Things moved quickly after we met up.
Building and nurturing a relationship that survives all the hiccups is not as easy as movies lead us to believe. Dom: The transition was both natural and inevitable-feeling. From the very beginning, we realized how much we had in common, and how similar our life plans were. I knew there was something special between us. Nick: Ironically, the weirdest thing about dating each other was discovering how much we actually had in common.
We are both obsessed with the show Girlfriends from the early s and can quote it endlessly. We also both prefer to watch movies with subtitles, which is so odd and we both hesitated before admitting it to each other.
As I mentioned, we started dating in July ofand Nick moved to Kentucky for college that August. We will be better than good.
We will be great. For six years, the closest we lived was a four-hour bus ride between D. The weeks and months we spent apart felt like centuries, and the short weekends and long holidays we spent together felt like minutes, but every time we got to see each other, I was reminded of why I would wait a lifetime to spend just a moment with Nick.
It forced us to appreciate the little thing calls, texts etc. It requires purposeful, consistent attention in addition to care, patience, understanding, willingness to grow and compromise. The initial attraction is just the tip of the iceberg. Nick: I agree. Dom and I could have stayed friends forever, but the timing to take it beyond that was right for us. Dom: Knowing I have the space and security to be imperfectly me.
7 things to know before you start dating a friend
When I am with Nick, I know that I can make mistakes. The relationship Nick and I have built is strong enough to withstand those pressures and allows us to be ourselves, unapologetically. To me, the seamlessness of this process so far is further proof that I am marrying the right guy. Dom: Sharing the bathroom and the mirror. Nick: Ditto. We really need a bigger bathroom. A relationship? A friends-with-benefits situation? You may not know what you want, which is okay, but you should still communicate that to this person and find out what they want.
Be open and honest, and communicate as much as possible.
Nick: Tell them! Hans: An intense six months.