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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Dating Apps? I Hardly Know Her!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIT chapter.

Here’s to the Ross’ and Rachels of the world, the Pam and Jim, the Jess and Nick’s, and ultimately the banes of our existence. 

Most of us guys, “theys,” and gals are extremely happy (and a little jealous) that there are people out in the world that has had a beautiful love arc with a friend that’s turned into a blossoming relationship. The mutual pining, the worries of possibly ruining the friendship forever, living for the small moments and touches, ugh

I can speak for most people who grew up longing for that one person to sweep them off their feet and have them feeling like there’s faith in humanity once again that “FTL,” or “friends to lovers,” is an ideal trope. Right next to ‘right person at the wrong time’, of course. 

Given how magnetic this connection is, does its prevalence prove to be a success in real life as well?

Observational studies have been conducted inquiring different people about the rates of friendships turned into relationships and if it has been deemed successful in their eyes. And surprise surprise, a heaping amount of informational studies have shown the popularity of built attraction over time amongst students.

Not only does this method of love seem more long-term than other types of meetings, but it has also been proven to leave more room to level the romantic playing field. 

At the University of Texas, a study was conducted on the levels of attractiveness between couples who have known each other for both long and short periods of time. The couples that were friends or acquaintances before getting shot with Cupid’s arrow tended to be less equally attractive to each other compared to couples that met briefly before joining hands.

A staff writer for the college’s Natural Sciences department analyzed the connection between platonic attraction between students that can further lead to romance. “Lead researcher at the university Lucy Hunt and colleague Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor both studied 167 couples- 67 that were dating and 100 of which were married. The data analyzed over the course of a few weeks concluded that couples that were less likely to match in attractiveness had some semblance of a platonic bond before crossing over to the love shack.”

Just like in the timeless romcom When Harry Met Sally, Harry Burns shares that swoon-worthy speech to Sally at the New Year’s Eve party:

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. 

Cue our eyeballs being replaced with heart eyes and fantasy daydreaming for the next week. 

Overtime, Harry began to fall for Sally’s quirks that other men found to be wildly irritating which in due time allowed him to fall for her as a person. 

The contrast between the beginning of the movie when Harry called Sally’s tendency to order her dinner meal to a meticulous degree “high maintenance” to his turning her spoiled behavior into one of his favorite things about her just gives me more Friends to Lovers fuel I didn’t know I needed.

Matthew Hussey, acclaimed relationship guru and ruiner due to his brutal bluntness has said, “The purity of an initial friendship allows you to see someone’s character before it’s blurred by sexual intentions and wanting to ‘get’ something physical out of it.” 

In simpler terms, creating that bond with someone who identifies as the same sexual orientation as you may enhance not only the platonic bond between you, but that trust can layer over into romantic affection. Think of all the times you’ve just talked to one of your friends about nothing for hours and had that total sense of security and understanding from them. It’s a great feeling! 

Any pop culture-obsessed dweeb knows how intricate the climax of the film is when character A shouts in the center of the street in the midst of a rainstorm to “character B,” “I love you! I’ve loved you all these years! Let’s raise orange tabby kittens and name our children Henry and Amy!” And then the smashing of faces commences. 

Well, don’t go into detail about your desired children’s names but you can catch my drift. 

So how do you get to that point of confession without the risk of completely tarnishing a perfectly good friendship?

Dr Darcy, longtime relationship coach says there are multitudes of risks involved. “Catching feelings for your BFF happens. The happily ever after party? That happens mostly in rom-coms… We humans aren’t great at hiding our feelings,” Dr. Sterling says. “We flirt. We touch. We compliment each other,” she continues. Keep an eye out for signs of flirting like a light touch on the arm, holding eye contact, or leaning in during the conversation. If your BFF is sending any of this your way, there’s a good chance they feel the same way,” the dating expert explains. 

Taking the knowledge from that one behavioral psychology course you took your sophomore year of college and paying attention to your friend’s body language when they’re around you can certainly be an indicator of a possible romantic interest budding. 

Now, just because your friend’s feet are pointed directly at you or they hold eye contact while you’re speaking doesn’t necessarily mean that love is in the air, but noticing the signs can subtly indicate there is definitely some attraction there. So go for it! Tell that person you love that it takes them an hour and a half to order a sandwich!

*Just a note from my lawyer: If you suddenly profess your feelings to your friend because of a pop culture article you read that referenced When Harry Met Sally way too many times, Emma Oddo can not be held liable.*

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