Whether or not you’re dating and relationship experiences have left you feeling pessimistic with your future prospects the temptation of dating a person with whom you already share a great deal in common can be very tempting. While some couples enjoy a lasting romance, others find that the transition succeeds only in destroying the friendship forever which is often a high price to pay.
Before deciding upon whether or not you should take steps toward changing the nature of your friendship it may be helpful to review some of the most common pros and cons of such a decision and to keep in mind that however casual you hope to keep the changes taking place the result is often that one or both friends end up getting hurt.
Pros of Dating a Friend:
• Feeling Comfortable: Unlike beginning a new relationship, good friendships are often the result of years spent together sharing common interests and an array of memories. This feeling of comfort ability can create a warm and lasting romance which is built upon trust and history.
• Knowing Where You Stand: When beginning a romantic relationship from a friendship there is often a great deal less insecurity felt by either person. Though perhaps no relationship is without its’ moments of doubt you may find a great deal less in this situation.
• The Little Things: Someone who knows you well will probably know all about the little things that make you the unique person that you are. In a new relationship these things takes time to become familiar with and having someone who already understands you can be very appealing.
• Partial Success: If your friendship has lasted than one thing is clear: you and your friend get along well. If this is true it seems natural to some people that taking the relationship to the next level would also be a success. In some cases this is correct and the relationship is wildly exciting physically, because that part is new, while still maintaining the comfort and familiarity of the long friendship.
• Proof in the History: A person who understands your likes and dislikes; your family ups and downs and those times in life that have been a little extreme, for good or bad is comforting. Knowing that this person stuck with you during life’s extremes allows for a prediction of more of the same in a romantic relationship which is something that many people find attractive.
Cons of Dating a Friend:
• Missing The Mystery: A romantic relationship that begins with friendship often skips the fun and flirty stage when the two people are new to each other. In some cases this stage of development being absent can make the physical side of the relationship particularly difficult however much the couple wants it to work.
• Absence of a Friend: Even during the most exciting transitional periods between the friendship and the romantic the absence of that trusted confidant can be sorely felt. Because the new love interest is the very same person as the trusted friend there are times when you may feel that parts of your friendship did not survive the transition. If at any time during this change you should happen to need a friend to listen, or advise, you may find that the person you want to talk to is no longer there.
• No Fresh Start: Many people feel that through their experiences in dating they learn a great deal about what they want both from a partner and themselves. If a friend that has seen you through other relationships knows a great deal about your history with past partners this may prove to be a source of tension at some point. Because most new relationships begin with a stranger you are usually allowed to make any improvements to your own life before you enter into it. When dating a friend the past is not so easily forgotten and for those who hope to leave the past behind them, for whatever reason; this may prove too difficult to overcome.
• Breaking Up x Two: The most commonly felt concern for most friends who find that a romantic transition might be on the horizon is that if the relationship ends badly, they will lose their friend as well. This is a very real concern because most couples experience a very difficult time attempting to return the relationship back into a platonic one. The risks for such an alteration to your relationship are very high if the friend is a close one and should be well considered before making any moves in a different direction.
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The changes that take place in friendship when romance becomes a part of it can be exciting and overwhelming. If you value your friendship it is important to take the time to think through these important changes before taking any action. In some cases the feelings that develop for a friend cannot be prevented by simply wishing that they had not; in those cases be sure to give yourself enough time to feel comfortable with whatever steps you choose to take. Remember that however wonderful an adventure turning the platonic into the romantic may seem; the risks are high and should be handled with the respect that your friendship deserves.
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