Last week I talked about staying friends after a break up, but what about the reverse? What about dating your friend?
I feel that the idea of dating a friend is stigmatized. People are afraid of “ruining their friendship.” If this were true, however, why is the classic line of a couple in love: “I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend?”
Dating one of your friends is a scary thought. It’s not covered in your average Taylor Swift song or favorite rom-com. In the songs and movies you see someone crushing on their friend from afar, but sometimes never see how it plays out. It’s either an unrequited love or an implied happily ever. It is not as simple as that, however.
Call me crazy, but I think dating a friend is a good idea! The truth of the matter is, if you want to date him or her, he or she probably was never really just a “friend” in your mind anyway. You have probably had that attraction since day one and have repressed it ever since. Denying your own feelings is more harmful than expressing them.
It could be nerve-wracking trying to tell your “friend” how you really feel, but it will most certainly work out to your advantage in the long run. One of three things will happen: 1) Your friend will politely turn you down; 2) Your friend will reciprocate your feelings; 3) Your friend will at first shut you down out of fear, but come to his or her senses soon enough.
If your friend says he or she does not feel the same way, you should not feel like you ruined anything. You didn’t. You saved yourself. You made your life a whole lot easier since you probably originally settled for being just a friend in the beginning so you could hang around and enjoy your crush’s company.
Any relationship you pursue has the potential for failure. That is no reason to put up an electric fence around your heart. How can you find happiness in love if you have never experienced pain? If you want to avoid getting hurt, expect a life of monotony and numbness.
Dating a friend is a good thing. You have a good foundation on the trust between the two of you. Your mutual friends might be apprehensive about it, but they might be entirely supportive. Use your friends to get a feel of how the other person feels about you. If you are the mutual friend in the situation reading this, and you know that one party doesn’t feel the same way, warn the other party. Let them go through the process of talking it out, but warn them so things do not come as a surprise.
Now, in college, is the time to experiment with these sorts of relationships and put your heart on the line. Hell, if you’re a girl in love with your best friend who is also a girl, go for it. At the very least your friend will be able to help you sort out those feelings.
You can’t help whom you fall in love with, but you can help what you do about it. So go ahead and do something. Be honest. If you are honest, everything always works out just the way it should. You are lucky to be in love with your best friend.