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Sex + Relationships

Establishing the FRIENDSHIP before the RELATIONSHIP

Meeting someone new can be a thrilling experience. New stories, new experiences, new energy! It can almost feel like a fresh start. But as time goes on, what happens when you want “In a Relationship” status but it feels like “Just Friends” will never end? Two words come to mind: FRIEND ZONE! Yes, people can be friend zoned just as easily as any teen vampire-love triangle movie may suggest….I’m looking at you Jacob Black.

But, being friends doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As cliché as it seems, establishing a friendship at the beginning can make all the more difference when the relationship part starts to form. By being there for someone as a friend, it opens up thoughts and conversations the two of you may not have as a couple. It also can help build trust between the two of you easier than as romanticals (…I know that’s not a real word, humor me).

If you’re anything like me, starting out as friends can seem stressful. You don’t know what is likely to happen, if anything. You want them to declare their undying love for you while in a hot tub on a school ski trip (last movie reference, I SWEAR). But, by being there as a friend first, you can assure them that they will always have someone in their corner. You can find out their likes and dislikes and know them better than anyone ever has.

While going into any new relationship head-first and heart open can be amazing, it can also sometimes end up a complete disaster. Not really knowing the person you’re “in like” with can cause serious issues down the road, so learning about who they are first can help decide if it is worth your time and sanity to stick around or leave without too many feelings getting hurt.

BUT, do not feel like you have to wait around for anyone! If it is evident that nothing is going to progress by a certain point, decide if you want to keep them in your life or tell them to pack their things and go. You deserve better! Long story short, take your time and build up to the excitement! Who knows, you might get to say one day that you’re actually dating your best friend. They say the best relationships start from friendships, so why not take that chance? And worse comes to worse, you get a good friend out of the deal…or a funny story to tell your girlfriends in the future!

Tatianna Eaves is a senior at Auburn University studying Media Studies with a minor in Theatre. An Auburn native, Tatianna enjoys college football, photography and obscure Netflix movies. She aspires to be a screenwriter and producer, if she can just make it through college. Instagram: @tatianna_e24
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