There is a thin line between romance and friendship. But what if you want to start dating a friend? Is it a yay or a nay?

There will always be a division of public opinion when it comes to the topic of dating a friend. I know people who have it in their code to NEVER date a friend (especially in bigger peer groups). “Walang talo-talo sa tropa,” as most would say. In the same way, I also know people who actually recommend that if you’re to choose a partner, it’s best if it’s your friend.

I, personally, have experienced dating a friend once. Heads up, the ending is nothing to write home about, but I’m not writing to convince you not to date a friend. I’m actually convinced that there are a lot of good things that come about dating a friend.

I had a friend who we’ll just call Jim (hoorah, what a unique name). Now, Jim and I have known each other for more than five years, and to me, he’s a good chum. Not my best chum, but he’s a very good friend. Occasionally we’d hang out with other friends, or have a little chat. I didn’t think anything of it, just that I was comfortable talking to him because he was a good friend (how can I emphasize it more???). But then, one day he asked me a question I didn’t expect.

As a girl, perhaps the most dumbfounding question I received from a guy who’s also a friend was “Can I court you?”. And I was then put through the agony of deciding whether to give this guy a chance.

Ruined friendships

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Perhaps the one thing we fear most when deciding whether to date a friend is that we might risk ruining a perfectly good friendship. What if it doesn’t work out? Then the two of you would have to end up not talking to each other anymore. And what if it does?

But first let’s consider this: Is this person a really good friend, or is this person just fun to chill with? Have you known this person for a long time or is this someone you just met but still consider a friend? Cases can differ. But either way, we always have to consider how we feel for the person. If you just think of this person as a buddy, that can be tough. But I’m sure the answer would come faster if this is a friend you’ve had secret feelings for. Just remember that you can’t force anything. In order to avoid hurt feelings, it is best to remain honest and communicate.

Friendship as a strong foundation

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On the other hand, it’s actually also nice to have a partner that was your friend before anything. It helps eliminate unrealistic expectations because let’s face it, this person can probably even identify your fart smell and knows how much ice cream you can stuff inside your mouth when you are sad. So you can kiss your insecurities away because that person has most probably accepted you for who you are. If you’ve already been friends with a person before dating them, then you already have a solid base.

Is it going to be awkward? Definitely!

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The transition from friendship to a romantic relationship is not always a smooth road. Actually, expect a really bumpy ride. So is the road from confessions to the friend zone. If you decide to continue on and give it a go, dating stuff can take a little getting used to. But after you talk the awkwardness away, it should be just fine. In the same way, you’re gonna have to give people time to cool down after you tell them you’d be better off as friends. Also give yourself time, because the burden of someone having unreciprocated feelings for you can be hard to take out of your mind. But it’s as a friend always told me, and I live by this—if there is love, there is friendship.

Yay or Nay?

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Yay or Nay? It really depends on your values, and how you see the other person’s values. Relationships can entail more than random meetups for coffee. It’s matching your schedules and resolving differences. It’s jealousy and trust. A relationship is pain and love altogether. So if you ask me, your feelings and the circumstances really can make or break the deal.

As for me, I gave Jim a chance. He courted me for a couple of months, but then I realized that our values and motivations do not coincide, so I decided that it’s better not to push through with it. It was a lot of tears for both of us, of course, and we don’t talk anymore (like we used to do). I just wish I’d thought it through very well before deciding, then it would have spared us both the hassle, and maybe we’d still be good friends.

How about you? Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? Would you or would you not consider dating a friend? Tell us in the comments section below. You can also send us a message on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.