What I’ve Learned From Dating One of My Best Friends

The word “friend” is defined as “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.” Sounds straightforward, right? Or maybe you’re asking, what does “affection” or “bond” mean? Point is, friendships can be complicated. 

One of the most complicated types of friendships comes where you find yourself developing feelings for someone you once thought was a platonic friend. You might’ve seen this plot in television shows where there is a dramatic realization that you are in love with your best friend and suddenly the ~~~stars have aligned~~~ But in reality, this moment of recognition can be a scary and confusing feeling. It then becomes even scarier if you decide to pursue a romantic relationship. As someone who recently went through this, there are a lot of challenges or differences from a normal relationship I wasn’t expecting. I learned a lot from pursuing this relationship despite a lot of apprehensions and so far, it’s been pretty darn great.

  1. 1. There might not be a honeymoon phase

    As a given, when you enter into a relationship with one of your best friends you likely know most details about them already. You know their mannerisms, their favorite food, or maybe even their romantic past. You might have already seen them at their worst or know all of their secrets. But at the end of the day, this doesn’t matter. I think it actually makes the beginning of a relationship a lot easier. I didn’t have to get used to our individual differences. For example, he already was used to my anxious tendencies and tick, which helped get past the initial nerves and discomfort that can come with a new relationship. Remember, at the base of every good relationship is an even better friendship.

  2. 2. Saying “I love you” might not be a crazy, life-changing event

    For me, I already told my boyfriend I loved him while we were friends because I truly did love him as a friend. Our relationship has taught me a lot about love and the different types of love you will find in life. I’ve gotten to understand him in a completely different setting and on a much deeper level as my boyfriend. Just when I thought I knew everything about him, I would discover new facets to his personality. I decided to say I loved him during our relationship when I felt a distinct feeling from the previous love I felt for him. It is a deeper and intimate type of love. It’s not really something I can describe but if this happens to you, you will know.

  3. 3. Having the same friends can get complicated

    For me, I met my boyfriend through my roommates who went on to become my best friends. My friends, boyfriend and I had a tight-knit friend group during my freshman year. When I realized I felt something different towards the end of the year, my first thought was our friend group and how us being together could affect the dynamic. I took this concern seriously and quite honestly, it gave me a lot of anxiety in the first months of our relationship. It didn’t help that we looked up to him as a big brother so it was like their sister dating their brother (which is pretty much incest). My boyfriend and I talked a lot about how to navigate our relationships in the friend group. I made sure I found time in my schedule to balance seeing my friends apart from him to give me time with just my girlfriends. When my boyfriend and I hung out with our friends together, we make a conscious effort to focus on our friendships with everyone instead of our relationship. And obviously, no PDA cause that just makes everyone (including me) feel weird hehe.

While terrified from the beginning, it became one of the best decisions I made for myself. There have been challenges and extra work at times but I am so thankful he came into my life. If you’re considering a relationship with your best friend, I believe it is one of the best ways to start a relationship. But maybe I’m a little biased ;)