I was recently out on the town beyond reasonable hours with a few drinks coursing through me, and a group of friends in tow. I found myself stumbling down the cobblestone streets and chatting with a friend of mine about our recent dating traumas. Now for the sake of short stories, I have known this friend for about 3 years. Strictly friends, I long ago placed him in the friend-zone to continue on my journey of horrible dating decisions. I value this person very much, and besides, he is completely opposite for what I am attracted to. However, it suddenly occurred to me that I had been looking for love everywhere besides the most obvious place; within my broad circle of friends (okay, so that’s probably the alcohol talking me into a serious case of the feels). I began to contemplate this for far longer than I regularly would if not assisted by the likes of Jose Cuervo, and came up with 5 reasons why you should consider dating your friend (or at least put them in the running):
1. You’re already friends
You’ve been friends for how long now? If you can hang out just the two of you without the heavy intervention of alcohol or debating, you are ready for them to see you in your Sunday sweats. If you can call them up for some serious perspective or would consider introducing to your single friends, why not consider them for yourself first? You’re single, they’re single, you have a lot of interests in common. Perfect start!
2. You can be yourself
You can eliminate that awkward dating phase! You have shown them your sweet beat boxing skills and you know about their secret talent; armpit farts. You can be yourselves without the fear of the first date faux pas. They have seen you after a few too many and may have even helped you get into bed (we’ve all been there) or they know how you hate being called “cute”. This is a person you can forget inhibitions with and a definite PLUS in the dating direction.
3. You know each other’s expectations
You have had conversations with this person about your at the time fling or previous partners. You compare dating notes and awkward stories from Tinder. Or laugh about how you were deemed matches on the same dating site you’re both on (hint hint). The lines of communications are clearer about what it is that you are expecting in a relationship short or long term. You feel confident that you are both on the same page. Time to edge out of the friend-zone. You may think they “ aren’t your type” but life is a real jokester like that.
4. You don’t have to guess their motives or intentions
Maybe you’ve hooked up before, maybe you haven’t. If one overly drunken and heavily flirtatious evening turns into waking up with a pounding headache and they have already taken the liberty to prepare the coffee, you should consider marrying this person. The fact that your friendship doesn’t skip a beat and you can hang out like it didn’t even happen, is GREAT. If you haven’t yet taken the car for a test drive, you at least have seen their dating history profile at a glance and can confirm that although like yourself they make bad decisions and have terrible taste at times (you saw their last ex and, puh-lease). You can at least put the “what are they looking for from me” to rest. You have established a friendship already, this is the foundation and good start to any lasting relationship. There’s no doubt in their motives as you have already had the expectations briefing (see #3 for a recap). The need to play games drastically decreases.
5. Your friends already approve
No doubt you will have mutual friends that will either say things like “I can’t believe it” or “I knew it!” and everything in between. You can skip introducing your friends to your new boo and setting your partner up for the friendsterrogation. They already know your friend turned lover. They will most definitely approve (perhaps after they get over the shock). This greatly decreases pressure both on your and your new partner as you aren’t having to play lawyer (honey, you don’t have to answer that). I’m not saying to run out and date your closest friend. In some cases, it doesn’t always work out, and that’s something you will have to take into consideration before making the jump from friends to more than friends. But if you find that you have searched under every rock of all 7 kingdoms, and no gold and treasure has been found; perhaps try closing the net on your search and you may be surprised what you seek isn’t always hidden. Sometimes it really is closer than you think.