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Thought About Dating a Friend? Take a Chance on Love

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” -Willa Cather

If you missed the 1989 romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally, see it–not because itranks 23rd on The American Film Institute's top 100 funniest movies in cinema–but because it may spark a new idea on who (hint: it’s someone you know) might be your next great date or even–mate

If you are in search of a new love interest or perhaps a life partner, yet weary of the online dating scene, why not date a friend? Something real has already attracted you to each other. And a genuine friendship serves as a wonderful foundation for a love connection.

No way–you say. True–many of us hesitate to date a friend. Really though, what’s the worst that could happen? Some say they can’t risk losing a good friend or worse yet –disrupting an entire social circle. Sure, it’s possible that may happen if you decide to date and later break up. Yet, doesn’t the chance to find your partner or soulmate outweigh the risk? University of Manitoba in Canada shares research affirming that friends-first initiation is a prevalent and preferred method of romantic relationship initiation and is often overlooked by science.

The ‘Friends-to-Lovers Pathway’ to romance hasn’t been studied a lot. We are learning that our fears about why it won’t work are often unfounded.

Our expectations and beliefs about romantic love are often tied to a media inspired dating scene complete with elegant dining, wine and roses as one person pursues another. Is that the only way to date? No. In reality, dating a friend can give you a head start to a healthy love relationship–you likely already know alot about each other including some of your likes and dislikes. If you think you might like to date your friend, plan an exploratory conversation in a relaxed setting.

Here are four things to consider.

    1. Are you of a complementary sexual orientation and both available?
    2.  Proceed slowly: you might casually ask your friend, “how do you feel about dating a friend?” Their answer will lead you to your next step.
    3. Communicate. Communicate. It’s critical to have open and honest communication before you move from friends to lovers. This can save you both unnecessary heartache later. Say what you are feeling and don’t hold back. Now is the time to speak up.
    4. Do your goals align? Do you both want the same thing from this relationship going forward.

If you decide to take a chance on love and date a friend, may your decision prove fruitful. Perhaps your soulmate is closer than you realize.