Dating a friend seems easy. It’s someone you know and are comfortable with, right? It’s nice being able to be your true self around a new partner, right off the bat. There’s no awkward introduction to your friend groups, or family members, and no concerns about anyone not getting along. A seemingly smooth and tempting transition.
So what are the problems with dating a friend?
Well, I can tell you from my own personal experience and also experiences of friends who have made the same decision.
The getting-to-know-each-other phase doesn’t exist. I remember being out with my boyfriend, who of course had first been a friend.
One night, as he was casually chatting up a stranger while we were out, I heard him asking her all these questions he had never asked me. Granted, he was only being friendly, but I felt jealous, as if I was watching a first date unfold. He had asked this stranger where she attended college, where she worked, where she grew up and so forth. Why hadn’t we ever had this intimate conversation? Then it dawned on me that he already knew all of this stuff about me.
And this was just the first thing that I learned during my friendship turned relationship. Here’s the rest:
1. You miss out on the honeymoon phase.
When you meet someone new and become infatuated, you get the butterflies, both excited and nervous.
These early flutters just aren’t the same with someone you know. Sure, you’re still exploring a new side of a relationship and getting to know each other on a deeper level, but trust me, the butterflies are not as intense and seem to fade rather quickly.
2. How do you get to know someone you already know?
As I mentioned earlier, the getting-to-know-each-other phase just doesn’t exist. There’s plenty to talk about, but isn’t the fun of dating learning about the other person? What you have in common and what you don’t? Friends have history and usually know, at least, the basics about one another. It lacks the element of surprise in delving deeper into each other’s interests.
3. Getting romantic can be awkward.
Transitioning from friends who hung out, to a couple going on dates, can be awkward. You actually feel more vulnerable because this is someone you know, and someone you’ve never done this with before.
It can be hard to break into romance when you’ve only seen each other as buddies before this. Have you ever seen Friends? Well, it didn’t work out for Rachel and Joey for this exact reason.
4. They know your past.
This can be problematic. It’s certainly okay for a partner to know your dating history, but at least you can pick and choose what you share.
Friends know it all, and sometimes more often than not, have actually met your past lovers. I know personally that ignorance can be a bliss, and I would rather not know everything about my partner’s ex if it can be helped.
5. And the worst part of it all, breaking up.
Okay. This is where the relationship gets sticky. If a breakup ensues, there are levels of problems that will unfold.
The first: you’re stuck seeing this person. If they’re within your friend group, they’re most likely going to be around. When you’re trying to move on from someone, or get over someone, seeing them does NOT help.
You have the option of avoiding your ex by not hanging around, but that would mean avoiding your friends until the smoke clears, and let’s face it, the best people to be around during a break up are friends.
When it’s time to move on, if both of you date other people and start bringing them around, it can be uncomfortable and create unwanted tension.
You also jeopardize your friendship all together. Not all relationships end in friendships and that is a risk you take when you decide to you date one of your friends.