5 things to know before dating your best friend
Dating your best friend can turn your most significant friendship into something really special. Yes, there are pitfalls – high expectations and the fear of ruining what you have among them – but if you go into it with your eyes open, who’s to say it won’t work out?
5 tips for dating your best friend:
1. Your best friend is closer to being your partner than everyone else
Dating needn’t be difficult – especially when online dating gives a shot at finding fellow singles with whom you might have a deeper connection. But if you’re stuck in an dating rut and searching for love in your immediate surroundings, it’s really only natural that your eyes will rest first on the person you’re closest to. Let’s face it, meeting singles in day-to-day life is otherwise pretty hard.
If there’s even a remote possibility that you could be dating your best friend – that you could love them and they could love you in a deeper way – surely it’s worth exploring? When you’re single, your best friend is already the closest thing you have to a significant other.
Be warned though: Courtship is a special time for every couple – it’s when you make many of the memories that’ll last the entire life of your romance. Take too many shortcuts and you’ll miss out on this vital stage of the relationship; simply, take the time to go on proper dates and learn to love each other in this brand new light!
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night.
– When Harry Met Sally
2. Your best friend is already very invested in your relationship
The best people won’t mess you around – if you’re lucky enough to be dating someone who shares your values then they’re unlikely to leave you in the lurch. Sadly though, casual dates and bad matches just won’t be invested in pursuing a future relationship. That’s not even the worst of it. We’ve all been there – you go on a few dates, and things seem to be going really well, but then suddenly you never hear from the person you’re seeing again…
At least this won’t be the case if you begin dating your best friend. In the age of disposable dating, where suitors need only swipe right on their smartphone to dismiss you completely, your best friend is in it for the long-haul.
Be warned though: Dating your best friend is always a risk – but it’s a risk for both you. The number one reason for friends deciding not to date is that they don’t want to ruin their friendship, which is certainly understandable. But if you do take that leap of faith, who knows? Great risk can come with great reward!
3. Your best friend knows how to make you happy
Sure, any partner could make you happy by showing up with flowers or taking you out for a nice meal, but it can take a while for someone to learn what truly makes you smile. ‘Best friend’ status is no easy-won thing – of all the people who can make you laugh, or cheer you up when you’re blue, this person is the best!
You both probably already do all of the things that make you happy anyway – whether it’s going out for drinks, or catching a movie, or just chilling at home, you’re already accustomed to having fun together. It’s just that, up to this point, you haven’t been calling them ‘dates’.
Be warned though: You also know how to push each other’s buttons in an argument. They say there’s a thin line between love and hate, and dating your best friend will teach you how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of it! Even when you’re not deliberately trying to annoy each other, friends (like siblings) can’t resist getting under each other’s skin from time to time. It certainly doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t have a long and fruitful relationship.
Elaine: All right, let’s go, I’ll give you half an hour.
Jerry: You’re serious?
Elaine: Jerry, we have to have sex to save the friendship.
Jerry: Sex to SAVE the friendship. Well if we have to, we have to.
4. Your best friend knows all about your past relationships
It can be scary sometimes heading into a new relationship knowing that you’re carrying a lot of emotional baggage with you. Letting your guard down when you’ve been hurt before is hardest, and trusting that your new partner will be understanding enough to ‘just get it’ doesn’t always work out.
Not so when you’re dating your best friend. Luckily, they’re already well aware of any emotional baggage, and can take steps to ensure they don’t make the same mistakes your ex-partners might have. Whether it’s making you feel more secure in the relationship by not eyeing up strangers, or nagging you less, or treating you more on dates, your best friend has access to a ton of neat tricks that will make them the partner you actually deserve!
Be warned though: While your friend may always have been there to console you after a messy break-up, they might not have been there for all of the bad times with your ex-partner. Forgive them if they don’t know every last detail of how it went wrong last time – they’re your friend (and new partner) not super-human, and no-one will remember as well as you do! Be encouraged that your best friend helped you through those times at all, and that you’re both in a much better place now.
5. Your best friend loves you just the way you are
One of the biggest advantages to dating a friend is that they already know your bad habits – and you know theirs! From chronic untidiness to biting nails to leaving the toilet seat up, the kind of petty deal-breakers that might scupper a burgeoning relationship you’ve already accepted (or gotten used to tolerating!) in your best friend.
They’ve seen you at your best, and they’ve seen you at your worst. They’ve celebrated with you, and they’ve consoled you. They’ve laughed with you, and cried with you too. If, after all of that, they still want to be not only your best friend but your partner too, you could be onto something really special…
Be warned though: People change, relationships evolve, and even when you’ve been friends for years and years, it doesn’t mean you’re immune from any of the difficulties that arise from this. That said, it’s this very type of evolution that allows you to start dating your best friend in the first place! Celebrate it together – it may just have made your best friend your soul mate.
Unfortunately, dating your best friend isn’t an option for everyone. Looking to make meaningful new connections? Thousands of new singles join EliteSingles each month – sign up here and see who you can meet!