From Our Readers
Updated July 27, 2015 8:58 am

I get it. You’ve always had a little bit of a crush on that friend of your, right? Maybe this is like a Nicholas Sparks thing where you’ve always been meant for one another but were too busy rewatching the same three shows on Netflix to ever notice. (That was a Nicholas Sparks book, right?) Anyway, maybe you’re really meant for each other. No one understands you like he does, and you’re already way past the tedious work of getting to know each other. Like Lizzie and Gordo or Chandler and Monica, this is for real.

Unless, of course, it isn’t. Sometimes it’s worth taking the leap to see if you and a friend are romantically compatible. If it turns out great, there’s nothing better. But sometimes, you’re better off leaving that part of your relationship unexplored. Here are some signs that you might be better off as just friends.

You’re not actually attracted to them

This one might seem obvious, but it can be a lot more complicated than it seems. True, platonic love often feels a lot like romantic love. You would do anything for him. You want him to be happy. You’ve probably wanted those things for past boyfriends. And your mom. See the issue there?

A lot of the time, we tend to like the idea of a relationship rather more than we like the relationship itself. Dating someone you already know and trust may be scary in some ways, but in a lot of ways, it feels safe and familiar. As human beings, we tend to crave safe and familiar, and that’s perfectly normal. The problem is, sometimes that craving to feel safe is not the same thing as wanting to be in a romantic relationship with someone. Do you really, honestly have that spark? If so, totally go for it. If not, maybe hang back a bit.

The things you like about them as a friend aren’t things you would like about them as a partner

.It was funny when he would tell you about how he called into work two days in a row to finish his new video game when you were friends, but when you’re dating, it might be less charming. Romantic relationships have different expectations than friendships. The fact is, a lot of the things that might’ve worked out just fine when you were friends might not carry over as seamlessly into your new relationship as you originally thought. So if there are qualities about that person that you would rather not be a part of a romantic relationship, think about that.

You don’t like the way that he treated his ex-girlfriends

Remember when he would spend all of game night typing furiously on his phone, huffy and irritated with his now-ex, and you would try and fail to explain to him that calling her names and invalidating her feelings probably wasn’t helping? Or worse, when he came to you for advice after he and a girl had been dating for 3 months, and she caught him cheating on her?

If you’ve ever felt bad for any of his ex-girlfriends for the way that he treated them, it’s probably not a good idea to put yourself in that situation. Every relationship is different, and everyone makes mistakes, but if you see red flags? Better to put on the brakes and keep things platonic.

Noelle Goffnett talks about burritos the way some people talk about their children. She also has a healthy love for public radio, hockey season, and feminist discourse. You can find an excess of information about her cats on Twitter @NoelleEliza.

[Image via FOX]