We have all seen movies where two friends end up in a happy relationship together. But in real life, most of us avoid changing a relationship status from “friend” to “more than a friend” because we worry about the possible complications that may come. However, I recently started dating one of my best friends, and it’s been incredible. In fact, I have already noticed several unique benefits that come from dating a friend.
1. You skip that awkward “getting to know you” phase.
Most first dates are filled with awkward silences, uncomfortable moments, and tons of questions. It’s a necessary evil that must happen if you want to develop a relationship with anyone, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. However, when you date someone who started as your friend, you can avoid those first date moments entirely.
When my friend and I went on our first official date, we never hit an awkward pause or uncomfortable silence. Instead, we just talked the same way we usually do, with a few added compliments and giggles. While we did ask each other some questions, they weren’t the typical “getting to know you” ones — they were more profound questions that helped us connect on a whole new level. Because of this, the entire date just felt natural and comfortable.
2. You know the other person’s communication style.
Open and honest communication is an integral part of any romantic relationship, but it can be challenging to establish at first. It takes time to learn your partner’s communication style and body language, and sometimes the ways they communicate don’t make sense to you. When you date someone you already have an established relationship with, communication is usually well established before you even go on your first date.
Because my friend and I have already known each other for years, we’re well aware of how the other person communicates. For example, I know that my friend can sometimes be very passive, so I will ask questions to gauge her mood when I sense her retreating or shutting down. Likewise, she knows that I ramble when I feel anxious or excited, so she can tell me to slow down when I start spouting out words quickly. This knowledge ultimately helps us both communicate more effectively and respect each other.
3. You already trust each other.
It can sometimes take months or even years to trust a romantic partner. Without that trust, your relationship may hit rough patches or even end entirely. Similarly, trust is an important pillar of a healthy friendship, and that level of trust easily translates over into a romantic relationship if you date a friend.
For my friend and I, our pre-established trust not only made it easy for us to openly share the attraction and romantic feelings we felt towards each other, but it has since helped us feel safe in our new relationship. We know that we can tell each other anything, and we can also simply feel comfortable in the relationship as it grows. We’re not worried about the other person harming us, judging us, or taking advantage of us.
4. You’ve already seen each other at your worst.
In the early stage of most relationships, people worry about appearing less than perfect to their new partner. Nobody wants to let their significant other hear them burp or see them in sweatpants because that would “tarnish their reputation” too early. But, most of the time, friends see that part of us more often than anyone else in our lives. Ultimately, this means friends who become lovers already know how we look at our worst.
In my case, my friend has already seen me in some of the worst situations of my life, from hospitalizations to difficult parenting moments to drunken tyraids (and more). Since we started dating, I haven’t worried one bit about her seeing me as a mess because she already knows that I live in a hot mess mode most of the time. While that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to impress her on a date or two, I have also been perfectly fine with being authentically myself.
I won’t lie: I am a bit afraid of the future and what may happen to our friendship if my girlfriend and I break up. Despite that fear, though, I feel like this relationship has been the most comfortable, passionate, and exciting one I’ve ever been in… and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
If you’ve ever thought about dating a friend, I can honestly say it’s worth exploring if you ever get the chance. Dating a friend comes with so many benefits and it can be very exciting! 10 out of 10 would recommend.