The two of you laugh at the same corny jokes. He brings you pink frosted donuts on Fridays because he knows your weakness for them. You’ve gone shopping with him to help him pick out a killer suit for his new interview. In fact, you’ve even given each other dating advice or a shoulder to cry on when past dates didn’t go so well.
You may have been friends for years, or recent acquaintances from your time together at church or at work. But now the question comes up: should we dare to date? Can we go from being friends to being in a relationship?
Daring to date someone that you’ve previously had a platonic relationship with is a tricky thing. There are some risks involved once you attempt to be more than friends, but it might just be that the Proverb was right: “There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
Here are three areas to evaluate in deciding if you should dare to date each other.
Does Your Friendship Contain Any Chemistry?
It isn’t necessary to feel overwhelming, instant attraction for someone in order to eventually fall in love with them. Sometimes, chemistry grows as the friendship grows, and suddenly there is a hint of the possibility of romance. It might just be that when he smiles, you now notice his eye crinkles. Or when she laughs, you suddenly hear the musical undertones.
If you’re now noticing this friend with a newfound appreciation and a bit of a flutter in your heart, it could be that your friendship is more than platonic. The question is, is this happening for him or her as well? It’s time to converse about this in a way that is subtle and gracious.
Has Emotional Intimacy Developed Between You Two?
Do you find yourself wanting to share more and more of yourself with this friend? It may not even be a conscious decision to open up more, but more of an ease that grows as you two text and talk openly about your lives. Feelings can ignite on one side or between the two of you.
Many friendships between men and women get complicated in this area. The challenge is discerning whether this emotional intimacy is reflective of a romantic connection that both of you are feeling. Often, one person can feel like this emotional connection means something lasting is happening, but the other person can simply just be a very extroverted and open person when it comes to sharing their feelings. So, don’t rush to conclusions yet. It may be time to have a conversation about what feelings are being felt and what direction you both would like the friendship to go in. It also should include a type of “out” if one of you isn’t feeling the desire to become more than friends. And yes, that can be awkward. But it’s far more painful to spend months or years hoping that the other is secretly feeling more, and then later find out that you two were always going to be “just friends.”
How Would The Transition From Friendship To Dating Work?
True friendship involves honesty and a candidness where the two people can tell each other the truth of where they’re at, even if it includes fear, hesitation or vulnerability. Be sure to talk about what changes you should expect if you decide to start dating.
The conversation doesn’t have to be excruciatingly awkward. It can begin with laughter as well as a willingness to be real about your feelings. Discuss whether you’ll begin to go out on actual dates, and if you’ll share the status change of your relationship with others. “Speaking the truth in love,” as the Bible says, is the best way to approach this delicate topic.
Whatever direction your friendship goes, understand that it’s not an insult that someone can enjoy your company but not wish to partner with you romantically. Give each other grace to stay “just friends” if that’s how it turns out. But if the two of you are ready to start dating, prayerfully step forward. Your miracle of “a friend who will stick closer than a brother” all the days of your life might just be a step beyond the friendship you have now.
You may also be interested in Dating With Accountability: How To Honor The Responsibility In Romance