How to Start Dating a Friend (While Avoiding Any Awkwardness)

couple on the street

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American novelist Thomas Wolf was onto something when he said, "you can't go home again," meaning if you try to come back to a place from your past, it will never be the same. In our opinion, the same goes for mixing romance and friendship. It seems as though the moment that you and your friend introduce romantic or sex into your relationship, the friendship is effectively ruined. That said, hooking up with a friend doesn't mean you'll never be able to be friends again; it may just take a while.

If you and your friend have romantic feelings for each other, don't be afraid to venture into uncharted territory because if it's the right match, taking the risk will be worth it, right? After all, we've all heard the phrase, "You've got to risk it to get the biscuit," and the "biscuit," in this case, is love and happiness with someone you already know and trust.

The great thing about dating a friend is that you already have this built-in sense of safety that lets you explore the relationship more freely. Plus, even if it doesn't work out, you'll never have to worry about them ghosting you. If you're looking to make the leap from friendship to romantic partners, here are five key steps you can follow to make the transition a little easier.

01 of 05

Be Upfront

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While you may try to flirt with your friend subtly to see if they may be interested in pursuing a romantic relationship, too, we recommend putting the games on the back-burner. It's best to be forthcoming with your feelings (even though being vulnerable isn't easy). We can't always expect people to pick up on subtle hints that we're interested in them, so it's best to just take control of the situation and be honest. 

02 of 05

Ask Yourself a Few Key Questions

Unlike dating someone you have no prior relationship with, dating a friend can be tricky—especially if it doesn't end up working out. Before you make a move or tell them how you're feeling, ask yourself why your feelings have changed. Is it because you suddenly find them sexually attractive? Is it because they're seeing someone else and you're jealous? Making sure you're pursuing them for the right reason will help guide you through this process.

03 of 05

Start Slow

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It will take some time to ease into the little things that may seem a bit uncomfortable at first. For instance, kissing may feel weird and unfamiliar the first few times you do it, so try not to rush into anything else until these little things feel more comfortable. 

Don't put pressure on your friend. Start with sharing that you have feelings and then see how they respond. Understand that this might come as a surprise to them, and they might not feel the same way. Or maybe they'll just need some time to process it. 

04 of 05

Keep Mutual Friends at Bay

As with any new relationship, you'll probably want to talk to your friends about how it's going, which makes sense because they already know your partner the same way they know you. However, when it comes to arguments, try to discuss with people who aren't so personally invested in the relationship. Mutual friends will obviously be pulling for the two of you, so their advice will be biased.

05 of 05

Develop a Realistic View

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Just because you're coming into this relationship already knowing your partner, that doesn't mean that it's going to be easy all the time. Good partnerships require work, so try not to go into dating a friend thinking you'll be able to put minimal effort in or that there won't be any snags along the way.

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