Developing feelings for a friend can be awkward and confusing, especially if the two of you are best friends. Friendships that last don’t come easy, and making that move out of the friend-zone can have its complications, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before taking the leap. Here are some things to consider when thinking about going from BFF to SO.
1. If it ends, you may lose a valuable friendship
This is one of the obvious risks of dating a good friend. If all goes well, the two of you can continue the friendship while also pursuing a romantic relationship together. However, if the relationship goes south, you may be down a partner and friend — double whammy. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it is worth the risk. As Ashley Drayton from Georgia State University put it, “Losing a friend if the relationship doesn’t work is my personal fear, however, if the connection is mutual and you both feel like taking that step…the relationship could be amazing and could even turn into marriage.”
2. He or she knows everything about you
If the person you are developing feelings for is a close friend, they most likely know everything about you. While this can be a total pro, it can easily become a con as feelings grow stronger. If he or she knows about all of your past relationships, it can become a topic of jealousy. Relationships should not be about the past, but when dating a close friend, the past can often cause complications moving forward. If you do decide to take the leap, make sure you are focused on a new future together, not the past. Chelsea Hudlow, a University of Central Florida student, says, “By knowing each other well we’re able to support each other better and anticipate each other’s needs, but knowing everything can reduce privacy.”
3. It can become weird for your mutual friends
It’s always kind of weird when two people within a friend group start dating. In a way, it can definitely throw off the dynamic. However, if you’re convinced that one of your friends is the right person for you, it can sometimes be worth the risk. Even though it may be weird for them at first, they will quickly get used to it, and it may even encourage others to take the leap from BFF to SO as well.
4. It won’t be the same as before, and never will be again
Before deciding to date a friend, you have to accept the fact that the friendship will not be the same as it was and probably never will be again. When you involve yourself romantically with someone, a different type of friendship will evolve. It’s up to you to decide which you would prefer.
5. You’ll have to replace that friend with someone else you can vent to
You can’t vent to your SO about them, so you’ll have to find a new best friend. And as we all know, making best friends in college can be difficult; it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to new people. However, it’s extremely important to have someone to go to when you’re in need of advice.
When contemplating whether or not to act on feelings for a friend, you must keep all the risks in mind. Although there are surely a lot of pros to dating a friend, there are also many cons. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if that particular friend is worth losing, because you can never predict how relationships will be. That being said, many successful relationships do blossom from friendships. Just look at Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher!