How To Start Dating a Friend
Watch any movie and it makes the subject of how to date a friend look pretty easy. All you do is establish a friendship with a hot member of the opposite sex, become trusting best friends while you discuss sex and relationships with other people who don’t stack up, then the two of you finally get together after you seemingly have shown no inclination to date and little or no attraction before the two of you suddenly fall. That’s how to date a friend Hollywood style.
Real life doesn’t quite happen that way. If a guy becomes friends with an attractive girl, while the two of them can be sincere about being “just friends”, there is usual some amount of unspoken mutual attraction and sexual tension between the two of you. There may even be insecurities and jealousies that pop up when the other friend is dating someone else, even if those feelings don’t bubble to the surface in an obvious way. So when you start dating a friend, there’s usually been a bit of a history and a lot of courtship going on.
Turning a Friendship into a Romance
That’s a good thing, of course, as long as there isn’t too much baggage that comes along with that. Being comfortable with one another and truly enjoy one anothers’ companionship is a great starting point for a romantic relationship, if the two of you are mutually attracted to one another.
That’s where the problem with transitioning from a friendship to a hot romance is so difficult; when one friend is attracted and wants to date the other, that doesn’t mean the other friend necessarily feels the same way. There has to be a reason the two of you haven’t gotten together before, so making the first move on a friend has the danger of creating a real crisis in the friendship. Many good friendships have ended when one friend has professed an unrequited love for the other.
With that in mind, here are some tips for turning your opposite sex friend into a lover. I’m writing this mainly for guys wanting to date their girl friend, but that doesn’t mean this advice isn’t good for a woman wanting to date her guy friend, too.
Get One-on-One Time Together
Make time for a lunch, coffee or movie night for just the two of you. If you have been “just friends”, it’s real possible he or she just never has looked at you in that way. If the two of you go out in a group of friends together, then normally friendly teasing can be taken for flirtation.
Getting this person in “alone time” together allows you a better idea of how they feel about you. Is this person still flirting with you? Is this person asking you about who you are dating? Does this friend act noticeably different or distant? If the flirting and the questions about your dating status continue, that’s a sign this person is into you. If they seem to back off or don’t seem as intimate as before, that’s a sign that there’s probably nothing there besides a friendship.
Let Her Know Gently
If you read that he or she might be interested, then let her know you are interested. Do this gently and casually. Don’t make this a dramatic, heartfelt scene like in the movies. You want honesty, but not pressure on this person. The more casual you make this idea of dating seem, the more honest her answer will be. If you’re a friend and she wants to let you down, then she’s likely to do it easy, which can cause lingering confusion.
Just bring up the subject of dating and see where that goes. If she’s interested, she’ll let you know. If not, drop it and take it casually. There’s no reason to ruin a good friendship because of some wild hair.
No matter what you do, don’t bring up the word “love”. If you tell her you’re “in love”, that is going to make things incredibly awkward and perhaps irretrievable if she’s not interested. Just ask for a date and go from there, even if you are in love with this woman.
Give Them Time
Sometimes, even an equivocal answer might not be the disaster you think it is. If he or she has never seen you that way, they might have never wrapped their brain around the concept. That’s usually not the case, but if you’re an attractive guy and she enjoys your company, let her imagination do the rest. Give time and see where it goes. Don’t pressure this person, because that will not win her heart.
Give Her an Out
Don’t imply your friendship is conditional on a date. While you shouldn’t give her an easy way out or pretend that dating doesn’t matter to you, let her know that you still want to be friends either way. Tell her you would like to see if starting a romance out of a friendship would work and tell her you’re attracted to her, but don’t put additional pressure on her. Believe me, there’s going to be plenty of pressure there already.
Go Out and Give It a Try
Make plans for a casual date. No matter how it works out, know that this new dimension to your relationship will make the two of you self-conscious for a while. Do things to remind this guy or girl that you’re still the same people you were before and that sense of fun and camaraderie is still there. Keep the date casual and fun, but with a hint of romance. Let her come to see you in a new light gradually.
Don’t go to the French restaurant and bring out the violin player on your first date. That’s going to seem too bizarre or just downright silly. Find a place the two of you can have private time and talk to one another, or find an activity the two of you can have fun at on your first date. The two of you are going to feel weird enough as it is, so there’s no need to get weirder.
Remember, you’re dating a friend who knows you already. If you start putting on an act to impress her or seduce her, she’s going to see right through you.
Remember, too, that she already like you for who you are. She’s on this date with you because she knows you and enjoys your company, so don’t try to be something you’re not. Stick to the plan, which is to enhance your strong friendship with love and romance.