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Should you date your friends?

eHarmony
A GOOD friend is loyal, supportive, understanding and shares the same interests as you. Typically, these are the exact qualities that most people look for in a romantic relationship.

This makes dating a friend seem like a no brainer but like Ross and Rachel on Friends things can get complicated. How do you know if you should start dating a friend? Read on to get insight and decide if it’s worth it.

Weigh the Consequences
Is the possibility of losing your friendship worth the possibility of finding love with this person? The advantage of entering a relationship with a friend is that you’re already comfortable around each other and you’ll bypass any awkward stage that most new couples go through. You most likely have similar interests, are in the same social circles, enjoy the same hobbies and you already know the other person cares about you.

However, can you really see yourself in a long-term relationship with this person? Consider your motives—are you merely attracted to him or her physically or even confusing your feelings as a caring friend with romantic feelings? It’s not worth risking your friendship if you aren’t completely sure of what you want out of pursuing the relationship.

Read the signs
If you’re hearing phrases such as: “You’re like a brother/sister to me” or “I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship” or if your friend is asking advice on another person he or she is attracted to, you shouldn’t even think about dating the friend because chances are your friend doesn’t share the same romantic feelings for you.

Know what you’re getting Into
Both parties need to have the same expectations. You both should be going into the new relationship hoping for serious results. It won’t work if one person is more serious about the relationship than the other and it’s probably not worth it if you’re both looking to see each other casually.

Casually dating someone is for people to see if they’re connected, share common interests and get along. As friends, you’ve already passed that test with flying colors. If you’re going to take the risk of changing how you interact interpersonally it needs to be for the right reasons.

Take the transition seriously
If you are going to date you have to treat your new partner as a girlfriend/boyfriend not just a friend. You should only date a friend if taking your relationship to the next level is a serious decision, and if you decide to do it you have to go all in—ask the person out on a real date—one where car doors are opened, flowers are purchased, the whole nine-yards. You’re going to want to make it known that this isn’t just another dinner out as friends.

What do you do if it doesn’t work out?
It you’ve decided to take the plunge and enter in a romantic relationship with a friend what do you do if it doesn’t work out? In almost all scenarios, you’ll never be able to go back to exactly how you were before you got involved romantically because your relationship will be forever changed.

Sometimes this won’t be a bad thing, perhaps you’ll feel more comfortable knowing that you tried and you’re better as friends. The key to avoiding the awkward post-breakup relationship is to have an open and honest conversation before you’re involved about the implications of the relationship not working out.


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