I don’t know about the average heterosexual male, but most of my relationships
have been products of friendship. You get close to a woman, spend time with her, and eventually things just develop into more. But how do two people make the transition from friends to dating?
First of all, but people should be on the same page. Friends can become more over time, but if one person is pushing it while the other is unsure, you can ruin both the friendship and the potential relationship. Talking about it should be foremost on your minds, and voicing concerns should be met with careful thought.
Often, when two people transition from friends to dating, they aren’t sure exactly how to act around one another. Once a friendship has been established, with rules attached, breaking those rules can be stressful at first. Even holding hands in public and kissing one another goodbye might seem difficult, if not downright strange.
Usually, however, the discomfort is felt from both sides, which means that the same concerns are often shared. Unless you communicate those concerns, however, they are likely to fester and become too large to handle. Your best bet is to admit that you’re feeling uncomfortable with the transition from friends to dating, and try to work through it together.
The extent of the discomfort will likely depend upon how long the two of you have been friends. If you’ve known each other for ten years, for example, your habits and traditions will have been well-established, and as such, harder to change. However, if you’ve only been friends for a few months, the transition from friends to dating will be easier.
Another problem is that friends who become more do not have the luxury of slowly getting to know one another. Friends who start dating are really starting well into the relationship; they already know one another, which might cause them to move too fast. There’s a lot of pressure on a couple who have known one another for years, but have just begun to develop romantic feelings. The temptation to jump directly into a serious relationship is strong.
My best advice is to behave however feels natural. If you need some time to adjust to the idea, cool things off and simply spend time with one another. Don’t push sex until the both of you are ready, because once you’ve taken that step, you can never take it back. Sex has been known to ruin friendships, and can very easily end yours.
Although you do run the risk of jeopardizing your friendship by taking it to the next level, it will only ruin your friendship if you allow it. People who sincerely like one another and enjoy each other’s company will find a way to make it work, whether or not the relationship lasts. Make a sincere and concentrated effort to remain friends, even while you are dating.
And finally, all successful relationships are based on friendship. Unless you can talk, laugh and commisserate with your partner, the relationship isn’t as good or as healthy as it could be. Even if you start to date someone right away, you should learn to become friends as well as lovers.