Dating and meeting new people is very exciting – but what about falling for someone in your core group of friends? Is it worth risking the friendship? What if it doesn’t work out? And more importantly, what if it does?
I am a newlywed, and it took me and my bestie 6 years to figure out what everyone else already saw coming. Of course it’s a risk: You’re going to alter what your relationship looks like, and hurt feelings might be involves. But for me it’s worth it. Here’s why.
It’s an amazing adventure
You’ve already been friends for so many years, you know everything about them, except what it’s like to be their guy or gal! Crossing the friendship line into intimacy is terrifying and equally exciting. It means you can still go to the house party or show, but this time your bestie is also your beau.
You’ve already seen each other at your best—and worst
Having lived alongside your friends for a while, you’ve seen how they are in relationships. This is a good data point for whether or not you think the two of you are compatible. This history also bypasses the stage in which you’d normally be feeling insecure or uncomfortable being yourself with a new date. It does mean that some of that fun dating discovery process isn’t in the mix, but it’s nice to start something with someone you already know well.
But you never know what someone is like in a relationship until you’re in one
I lucked out: My bestie and I were romantically compatible from the start. But that’s not always the case. You know how just because you love your friends deeply, some of them might not make the best roommates? Dating is a little like that. Even if you’ve been close for a while, dating is a new dimension, and it can really complicate things.
You might get to skip that nervous-making “meet the parents” part
If you’re dating a friend, chances are your parents already know this person very well. They might have been to dinners and holidays with you already, or even if you live far from your parents, you may have mentioned their name at least once. It’s a nice feeling to know in advance that your family feels comfortable with your new partner.
But you have a lot more to lose
Let’s be honest. This is a big deal for your friendship – if it doesn’t work out, you can’t really reset the clock and make everything go back to the way things were. If you don’t live happily ever after, someone in the scenario will be left with hurt feelings or disappointed it didn’t play out. It’s not like a Tinder date who you could happily never cross paths with again. Odds are, you’re entangled already to some degree.
You probably already have similar interests
You know that part of planning a date where you have to think about what that person might be into—rock-climbing or a movie? Indian or Italian? If you are friends with someone, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you already have some inkling. You probably have a balance of activities each one of you like to do together, and some that you drag each other to that they can’t stand but do to appease you It’s this balance that keeps the friendship interesting. This is crucial for taking the next step into an intimate relationship because you already know there is chemistry and mutual admiration for adventure.
You don’t have to worry about introducing them to mutual friends
Introducing your significant other to your group of friends can be daunting. You are never sure if they’ll all get along, or how long it will take the new comer to feel comfortable. Your friends are so tight knit with all this history, and this person is on the outside of the inside jokes. But if the new lass or boyo is a mutual bestie to the group, “meeting the friends” one less stressor to put on the budding relationship!
But you do have to worry about new dynamics in your friend group
Having someone new introduced to your squad as your romantic interest is totally different than bringing up a new relationship with someone already in the squad. It may ruffle some feathers for a bit—but don’t worry, it usually dies down.
They know all about your old relationships
This could be considered a pro or a con….but since you’ve known your friend forever; they also know the names of the skeletons in your closet, which a new boyfriend would have to learn over time. This was actually refreshing for us, because my bestie already knew about the other’s old relationships, and what went wrong and why. Having been there for each other through the tough breakups, we appreciate our special relationship even more.
It can be a great thing to bring a relationship to the next level. For me it was totally worth it, and maybe it will be for you too.
[Image via FOX]