So, you want to date your best friend? That might sound like a great idea to you. But what about them? Here are some pros and cons to consider.
Whether or not we make it a priority, we all go through life trying to find “The One.” For some, the search is harder: going on date after date without making a real connection or suffering through a string of unsuccessful relationships. But what if you date your best friend?
If When Harry Met Sally from the late 80s taught us anything, it is that sometimes “The One” is right in front of you. It’s not always about finding someone who is just your type or the person who is the most physically attractive.
Sometimes, “The One” is simply finding someone whom you have a true and honest connection with, and someone who loves you just as you are, warts and all. And that someone might just be your best friend, the person who has been there all along.
Could your best friend be “The One”?
Whether or not you have already thought of them in a romantic way, it is worth considering whether there is more to your relationship than you originally thought. Here are 17 signs that your best friend might just be “The One.”
1. Other friends point it out on a regular basis
Those closest to you regularly ask when you two are getting together, and you’re constantly having to convince them that you are just good friends.
They have clearly sensed the chemistry between you and your best friend, even if you haven’t realized it yourselves yet.
2. You’re more than a little touchy-feely
Let’s face it, you’re more physical with your best friend than any average pair of BFFs. Your hugs linger, you find yourself playing with your hair when you talk to them, and you regularly break the touch barrier.
On top of that, you often find yourselves bantering or teasing each other in a flirtatious manner.
3. You always agree on important issues
You’ve confided in *and vented to* each other about various different concerns, as best friends do. If you find yourselves agreeing on these issues – especially the dating-related ones – then you are probably a good match!
4. Your day seems incomplete if you haven’t checked in with each other
They are the first person you want to talk to about anything, and you both insist on keeping in constant contact when you are apart.
5. Silences are never awkward
Sure, it’s fun to go out and do things, but you’re more than happy to do nothing together. In fact, you can even sit in silence without it being awkward. You’re just happy in each other’s company.
6. Your interest in each other’s lives goes beyond a personal level
You’re invested in the lives of their other friends and their family as well. You know when their sister has exams, or when their mom has an important doctor’s appointment, and you care about the outcome.
7. It’s all smiles and laughter
Whenever you are with them, you are happy and at ease, and everything you do together is fun. They can make you laugh and smile, even when you are feeling at your lowest.
8. You’re practically telepathically connected
You finish each other’s sentences, and you know exactly what the other person is thinking or feeling. What’s more, you couldn’t take on life without them supporting you – a little piece of you would be missing.
9. You share their enthusiasm and disappointment for their successes and failures as if they were your own.
No feigned happiness or commiseration here. When they’re nervous about their upcoming job interview or exam, you have just as many butterflies in your stomach as they do.
10. You accept them, warts and all
They can be as candid, as comfortable, and as crazy as they like around you, and you still adore them. You know their failures and regrets, and you’re more than happy to accept them regardless.
11. They are your number one topic of conversation
You can’t stop talking about them to your other friends, even when you try not to. You even boast about their achievements and share their amusing anecdotes with as much enthusiasm as you do your own.
12. There is no need to impress
You don’t feel the need to impress them or act in a certain way. You can simply be yourself: no makeup, no fancy clothes, and no perfectly styled hair. You feel more comfortable around them than with anyone else.
13. They know you from the inside out
They know your worst habits, your guiltiest pleasures, and your deepest, darkest secrets. They don’t judge you for them, and they’re just as comfortable sharing their own little secrets with you.
14. You’re prepared to sacrifice your own wants and needs for theirs
You’re willing to do things you know the other person likes, even if you’re not keen on them yourself. You sat by them whilst they embarked on a six-hour marathon of their favorite TV show, and they’d do the same for you.
15. Their family accepts you as one of their own
You already get on with their family, and they would be thrilled if you were dating – they probably wonder why you aren’t already! You’re on a first-name basis with their parents, their mother invites you to Sunday lunch, and you’re expected to attend big family gatherings.
16. Your secrets are safe
You’d trust them with your most precious possessions and your deepest darkest secrets, and they have proven to you that they would guard them with their life.
In return, they trust you with theirs, and even the most tempting of bribes wouldn’t force you to reveal them.
17. Appearance isn’t a number one priority
They don’t mind if you’re wearing your most embarrassing pajama pants and a tatty old t-shirt, but they also point out when they think you look nice. They notice when you have made a special effort with your appearance.
You also would be fine with seeing them in an unkempt state – but you wouldn’t hesitate to compliment them when they’re all gussied up, either.
But should you date your best friend?
It may not have been obvious from the start, but your best friend could just be the man or woman of your dreams. Once you get past the initial awkwardness of transitioning from friends to more-than-friends, everything should be smooth sailing, right? Not really.
If you have decided that romance might just be on the cards for you and your best friend, it is important to proceed with care. There is a lot to consider. If you play your cards right, you might have yourself a future life partner.
If not, you might have to find yourself a whole new group of friends. Take a moment to consider the pros and cons of taking your relationship to the next level.
The pros of dating your best friend
Dating someone you’ve only been best friends with until now may not be an easy task, but the following pros may just make taking the risk worth it.
1. You’ve already laid the groundwork
A strong emotional bond forms the foundation of any successful relationship. Having been best friends, you will have already laid that foundation, and you’ll have loyalty and respect firmly in place. Therefore, your relationship has a much greater chance of going the distance.
2. You can be prepared for the road ahead
Maybe they want to get married and have three kids by the time they are thirty. Or maybe they are eager to get four job promotions before they consider settling down.
If you’re hoping to go the distance with your best friend, you’ll already know if your future aspirations align, which will allow you to prepare for the possible path ahead.
3. No nasty shocks
There’s nothing more awkward – or in some cases, upsetting – than discussing your partner’s dating history. But you’ve most likely had that discussion with your best friend without the implications of being in a relationship.
In fact, you may have even met some of their exes! Perhaps they’ve cheated in the past or have had various relationship issues. You’re likely to know most of this already, so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.
4. You can bypass the awkward stuff
The first few months of any relationship contain equal measures of excitement and, let’s face it, awkwardness. You’ve got to work out their likes and dislikes, and there are friends and family to meet, which is always a daunting prospect.
The good news about dating your best friend is that the awkwardness has already been dealt with, and you can simply enjoy the excitement of taking your relationship to the next level.
5. You’ve been through it all together
Not only will you already have a solid emotional bond, but you most likely have a shared history.
Maybe you graduated from university together, or have made them endure many family gatherings by your side. Having already shared important moments in each other’s lives, your connection will be stronger, and even more likely to last.
6. No awkward silences guaranteed
There’s nothing worse than starting a relationship with someone you like, only to find out that you don’t have anything to talk about, as you have next to nothing in common.
The plus side of dating your friend is that you will almost definitely have shared interests. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t be friends!
7. You’ll save yourself from pain and jealousy
A crucial advantage of acting on romantic feelings for your best friend is that it will undoubtedly save you emotional pain in the future.
Keeping your feelings to yourself can allow your best friend to slip away into someone else’s arms – while you sit alone and cry over losing your chance.
The cons of dating your best friend
Before you take the plunge and pursue a romantic relationship with your best friend, take a moment to consider the following drawbacks.
1. Are you willing to make the sacrifice?
It’s always the number one concern when anyone considers dating a friend: what if it doesn’t last? If you break up, you might have to accept that your friendship is lost forever. All you have to decide is whether sacrificing your friendship is a risk that you are willing to take.
2. The feeling might not be mutual
If you’ve developed feelings for your best friend, there is always a chance that the feeling isn’t mutual, and you have misinterpreted their behavior towards you.
If you decide to disclose your feelings, prepare yourself for the worst, and accept that things might be awkward between you for a while if things don’t go your way.
Decide in advance what your plans might be if your friend does not reciprocate: can you continue being friends with that person? Could you take it that they dating someone else?
3. It’s going to be a “go hard or go home” situation
When taking your relationship to the next level, it’s important to consider if you want a casual or long-term relationship – and whether you both agree. Truth be told, a casual relationship probably isn’t worth risking your friendship for.
4. Are you attracted by the unknown?
Although you’ll bypass the awkward getting-to-know-you stage, missing out on discovering a new person, their personality, and their interests could prove to be a little boring for you.
You have to decide how important the excitement of the first stages of a relationship is for you. Is delving into the complete unknown a key part of your enjoyment of a relationship?
5. Who will fulfill their old role?
The issue with turning your best friend into your partner is that it may leave you without a best friend. They may well have been the key person you vented to about relationship issues and the person who gave you advice. Is there someone else who can fill that role, or could you cope without that someone in your life?
6. Is there more than just your own friendship on the line?
It’s also important to consider who else will be affected if the relationship doesn’t go according to plan.
Are you part of a larger circle of friends who would feel pressured to take sides if a breakup occurred? You might risk sacrificing not only your own friendship, but the bond between a larger group of friends.
7. Are you willing to accept that sex can change everything?
We’ve all heard this, but sex really does change everything. Not everyone takes sex seriously; some can have causal intimacy with anyone. But it’s different when it’s your best friend.
You can’t take sex casually with your best friend because you are already emotionally intimate with them. So, when you add sexual/physical intimacy into the mix, it will radically change the dynamics of your relationship. That could be a good thing or a very bad thing.
8. Do you realize you could find yourself in a jealous mess?
Most people are pretty possessive of their best friends – it’s pretty normal. But what if you tell them you want to date them and they don’t feel the same way? Not only will it be awkward, but you will have to watch them date other people.
Are you going to be able to handle that jealousy? Sitting back and watching them date and have sex with other people could be like a knife through your heart. Will you be able to maintain that best friend connection despite your jealousy?
How to decide whether or not to date your best friend
Now that you know the pros and the cons of dating your best friend, how do you decide whether or not you should go for it or just remain friends? Here are some important things to consider.
1. Don’t do it out of convenience
We all know that dating apps are horrible for a lot of people. It takes effort to put yourself out there and find someone to date. So, it is tempting to just fall back on your best friend instead of finding someone new.
But is that a good reason? No, it’s not. You should only date your best friend because you think you could fall in love with them *or you already are in love*, not because it’s convenient.
2. Think about whether they’re friends with their exes
What if you date your best friend and then after a while, you find out that the two of you are not compatible with each other in a romantic relationship? Maybe one or both of you thinks that you were better as friends?
That’s a tricky situation. Would you be able to go back to being best friends if it doesn’t work out? Is your best friend still friends with any of their exes? Some people think that leaving exes in the past is the only way to go. Could you handle that?
3. Gauge your friend’s feelings about the idea of dating you
Just because you think it’s a good idea to date your best friend doesn’t mean they will feel the same way. You might think that they do, but you don’t really know for sure unless you ask them.
You don’t have to come out and ask them directly. Instead, you can ask indirect questions such as, “What do you think makes a romantic relationship successful? Do you think we are compatible like that?”
But ask in a joking way, just to be careful. That way, if they say “no”, you can just laugh it off.
How to tell your best friend that you want to date them
If you have decided that there are more advantages to dating your best friend than disadvantages, then you are probably wondering how you would even go about telling them. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
1. Accept any outcome
If you are always analyzing what could go wrong in your head, then try to stop doing that. Just accept the fact that something might go wrong and there’s not much you can do about it.
Two things will happen. Either your friend won’t feel the same way and you’ll just have to carry on as best friends – the same as you always were. Or you will get a date with your best friend! Either way, life goes on – with or without your best friend in it.
2. Decide how you want to tell them
Do you think it’s best to tell them in person or over text? It’s totally your choice, and neither way is better than the other.
If it freaks you out to tell them out face-to-face, then just do it through text. The advantage of that is they won’t be caught by surprise and can think about their answer before they respond.
But doing it in person has its advantages too. That way, you’ll be able to read the non-verbal communication and body language in their reaction, and they can read yours too.
If you can work up the courage to do it, you’ll definitely know one way or another. So, just follow your gut and do it in whatever way feels right to you.
3. Choose the right time
If you decide to text them rather than tell them in person, choose the right moment. You need to make sure it’s time when they’re free rather than at work or out and about.
Start by asking how they’re doing and gauge their emotional state. If you sense that they are stressed or tired, then hold off until their mind is clear. You want to make sure that they are alone and not distracted by anything else.
If you decide to tell them in person, you should make sure you are alone and not in a crowded place with lots of things going on around you. You want to be somewhere quiet, like at home, in a car, or in a park.
4. You can just skip to asking them out
You could skip right over the “I have feelings for you and want to date you” part and just ask them out on a date. If you lay out all your deep feelings, it could scare them away, especially if it’s totally unexpected for them.
Simply going on a date is a lot less intimidating than a confession of your love and desire for commitment.
Remember, just because you’ve been feeling this way for a while doesn’t mean they have. They might not have ever thought of you in that way until the moment you tell them.
You can say something as basic and direct as, “Would you like to go out to dinner sometime as more than friends?” This alone tells them that you like them without actually using those exact words.
Also, they can easily say no and laugh about it if they want to. Then, you can move on and stay friends without any awkwardness.
5. Don’t obsess over the exact wording
You want to make it clear that you aren’t just asking them to hang out like you usually do. Instead, you want to let them know that your intention is to date them.
If they do misunderstand, then it could get weird when they finally realize that you think you’re on a date with them – but they don’t.
However, don’t obsess over every word you use either. You don’t have to over-explain yourself or use any cheesy pickup lines. Usually, using the word “date” is effective because there is no room for misunderstanding. Just keep things simple and direct.
6. Give them space
If your best friend responds positively and agrees to go on a date with you, then give them space to think about what just happened.
Of course, you want to make sure you confirm the details of the date, but they still need to process the fact that you want to bring your friendship to a romantic level. You want them to be excited, so sometimes less is more right after you tell them.
7. Prepare yourself for rejection
Of course, you want to be optimistic, but you don’t really know whether or not you’ll get rejected. So, you really need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for them to tell you “no.”
If they do reject you, then make it clear that your friendship matters a lot to you, and that you don’t want to make them feel weird around you. Things might be strange for a while but try not to change your normal behavior after the rejection, or it’ll make things worse for both of you.
Even if you feel awkward, you need to act like you’re not. Act like it’s no big deal and life goes on. Because as the sayings go… “there’s plenty of fish in the sea,” and “everything happens for a reason.”
How to date your best friend
If your best friend has agreed to date you, then where should you go from here? How will life look different from the life you had as friends? Here are some things to know, and do.
1. Have realistic expectations
You might be overexcited about the fact that your best friend agreed to date you. But maybe they are still a little unsure. They think it sounds like a good idea, but you never know how it’s going to go. It could turn out great – or not.
So, don’t have any expectations of what it will be like. Keep an open mind and realize that things may or may not work out. Don’t get your hopes up too high in the beginning.
2. Don’t rush things
You might want to jump right into things like sex and being social media “official,” but don’t rush it. Instead, you should follow the normal pace of any other couple who just met and is trying to figure out if they are compatible with each other. Take your time and go with the flow.
3. Plan romantic dates
If you just hang out like you normally do, then it will just feel like a friendship like it always does. So, you should plan romantic dates.
Make dinner for them and light some candles. Or take them to a fancy restaurant. Make it as romantic as you possibly can.
4. Don’t be friends with benefits
There is a danger of falling into a friends-with-benefits situation. That is a place where a lot of friends end up. But you should make it very clear to them that it’s not just about sex for you. You want a real, romantic, committed relationship with them. It’s not casual for you.
5. Keep checking in
Just because the two of you are enthusiastic about dating in the beginning, doesn’t mean that one or both of you won’t get cold feet later on.
Things might start off fine, but it could get awkward at some point. So, keep checking in with them to make sure they still want to date you and that you’re still on the same page.
Are best friends better partners?
A study found that around 68% of romantic couples started out as friends. Plus, other studies have found that couples who value the friendship part of their romantic relationship over others (such as the sexual aspect) had more success in the short and long term.
Valuing friendship over sex means couples work harder to make sure the relationship remains stable, even when problems occur. In other words, in a perfect relationship, people treat each other like best friends. This is great, because you already have been best friends!
Just a word of advice on dating your best friend: it can be next to impossible to go back to the way you used to be if dating them doesn’t work out. However, knowing that you’ll be dating someone you trust wholeheartedly can certainly make it seem like a worthy endeavor – despite the risks.
When “The One” doesn’t seem to be showing up in the bars you frequent or on the dating sites you’re on, it might help to look a little closer to home. Your best friend might just be the person you should date, and the one you’re meant to have that bright, happy future with!