The age old question is whether or not men and women can be just friends, but what happens when a friendship actually turns into a relationship? During my junior year of high school, I found myself unexpectedly caught up in a friendship-turned-relationship. I had no intentions of turning the friendship into a romantic relationship, and, in fact, I was probably the very last person to even realize that we liked each other. It sounds cliched, but it just happened.
With big brown eyes and a laugh that I wanted to hear on repeat, he was quirky, thoughtful and considerate. As cheesy as it sounds, he was the kind of guy that I never thought I’d meet but always dreamed of being with. We balanced each other out—he, being spontaneous and I, being a planner. We were truly the best of friends and he was just what I needed at that time in my life. It was simple: one day we were friends and the next day we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Although our “official” label changed, the core of what our relationship was based on changed very little, aside from the fact that it strengthened steadily over time. When you meet such a genuinely good person, why let the fear of what you could lose hold you back from all of the potential experiences that you could gain?
So, here I am, a year out from the two and half year relationship that brought me so much happiness, making a case for why your boyfriend should also be your best friend. I’m not saying that you should be one of those girls that ditches everyone else and only spends time with him, but I do think that there’s a lot to be said for having a relationship that’s built on a strong foundation of friendship.
One perk being with a friend turned boyfriend is that there’s no awkward getting to know each other period. This usually means you’ve spent a good amount of time together, both in groups and alone, and therefore are already relatively comfortable and can be yourselves without the pressure of trying to impress. You can feel comfortable with embracing the “sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on” look a lot sooner than usually acceptable in relationships. Of course there are more things to get to know about each other on a romantic level, but you can skip the formalities and get right to being your silliest selves together and sharing long-standing inside jokes.
As long as you’re not “that couple” that decides to have a love fest in the midst of a group situation, having your BF double as one of your BFFs can definitely work in favor of your social life. If you have mutual friends, it’s awesome to be able to hang out and really focus your attention on them without feeling like you have to stick to his side, introduce him to everyone, and diffuse any awkward encounters or conversations.
Another great part of having a solid friendship is that your relationship is so much more than just what you’re doing in the bedroom. It might sound funny, but knowing that there’s more to your relationship than what happens behind closed doors provides dimension and excitement that may not otherwise exist. Even if you don’t start out as friends, be it a blind set up or a chance meeting, building a friendship simultaneously builds your trust in each other. There’s something so freeing about being able to let your walls come down without the fear and about feeling safe enough to be vulnerable.
When you’re friends with someone, you usually have a pretty good idea of the type of person that they are. You’ve seen them in many different social settings and situations and know what to expect, to a certain degree. When you have this basic background knowledge about who a person is, it’s much easier to talk freely and honestly, and everyone knows that clear, consistent communication is the key to any healthy relationship! In addition, having a comfortable “safe base” can actually make you feel empowered to take more risks, as a couple and individually. Knowing that you have the unwavering support of one of your closet friends, who also happens to be someone you love a lot, gives you the freedom and encouragement to seek opportunities and act on your inspirations.
There’s something so comforting about feeling that you’re already part of each other’s worlds, yet knowing that there’s room for growth. Don’t be scared to let the line between “just friends” blur into something more, because if you find yourself in love with your best friend, chances are you’ll find yourself pretty happy.