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Friendships that turn into romantic relationships are quite common. Some people say that it’s easy to fall in love with a friend because you don’t need to go through the awkward dating stages. Since you know the person already, you don’t have to go to “getting-to-know-you” dates. You feel very comfortable with the other person even during the early stages of your relationship.

On the other hand, some people just fall in love easily. Or at least, they “think” they are in love. Nowadays, it is quite easy to start a relationship with another person even if you do not know him or her well. Modern technology makes it so much easier to meet and communicate with almost anyone, and it often leads to “instant relationships”.

Before you decide to have a romantic relationship with another person, consider developing a bond of friendship first. Both you and your partner can benefit from and enjoy this friendship.

Benefits of taking it slow and forming a friendship first:

1. You can get to know him or her really well.

Unlike other relationships that just start only after a few dates, when you are friends first before you become lovers, you’ll learn a lot about him or her. Your partner can show you their real personality because they won’t feel that there’s a need to pretend to be someone they are not. They become comfortable enough to show you their “true colors”. You’ll see how they act in front of other people and how they behave when they are alone with you. Some relationships fail because one discovers his or her partner’s bad behavior only when they start living together or only after getting married. They don’t see the red flags as soon as they enter into the relationship. When you are friends first, you can decide whether to have a romantic relationship with him or her or just remain friends.

When it comes to meeting your partner’s family, it’s a bonus if you have already been introduced as a friend before. There will be fewer awkward moments or you can avoid them altogether. Besides, your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s family might accept you easily and love you even more since they already know you.

If you are friends, you’d know what makes him or her happy. You would know what makes them smile. You would also know what ticks them off and what can ruin their mood. And of course, you’d know what to do.

Moreover, you can be sure that it’s not just superficial attraction or infatuation that draws you to him or her, because you already know a lot about the other person, including their negative side. You’ve already seen their “real self” even before you get out of the friend zone.

2. You can be yourself.

Remember when you just met this person who made your heart race? You probably didn’t know what to do or how to act in front of him or her. You were probably conscious of your actions, and you also worried that you’d make a lot of mistakes.

You can avoid these moments if you are friends first before you become lovers. We tend to show our “true self” to our friends – to the people who we know will accept us and understand us no matter what. You don’t need to worry about saying the wrong words or being clumsy. You know your “friend” will laugh at your jokes. Your friend knows that you secretly love pineapple pizza and that you hate mustard.

 You know that your friend will not walk out on you once you start talking about your hopes and dreams, and about getting married and having children. In fact, he or she will probably share their own dreams and plans for the future. Your friend also knows your weird habits and will either ignore or just tolerate them. Your friend can also tell whether you are in a good mood or in a bad mood.

It will also make you feel much better to be in a relationship with someone who knows you well and lets you be yourself. 

3. Friendship will get you through bad times.

Some couples just simply break up after an argument. They don’t exert some efforts to try to save their relationship. It is easy for them to do that because their relationship doesn’t have a solid foundation in the first place.

Since relationships are not perfect, you are bound to experience some difficulties and misunderstandings. If you are friends with your partner, your friendship will become an anchor most especially during the hardest periods of your relationship. A lot of friendships don’t end after a mere argument; most of the time, friends makeup after a misunderstanding and become closer than ever. This can also happen if your romantic relationship has an excellent foundation.

Real friends don’t hurt their friends. Well, at least, they try not to hurt their friends. If your relationship is built on friendship, it is likely that your partner will do their best not to hurt you or cause you any pain.

Also, remember that real friends will stay with you during good times and bad times. Wouldn’t you love to have a romantic partner who will do the same?

4. You can have a long-lasting relationship.

Some friendships last for a lifetime. And we often wish that our romantic relationships would also last forever. It is more likely to happen if you have a strong friendship with your partner.

Strong friendships are built with the help of open and honest communication, respect, and trust – these same factors make romantic relationships last. You can have a deeper relationship by communicating with each other regularly, just like what friends do. The respect, trust, and love that you have for each other as friends will strengthen your connection.

So, take it slow…

Sometimes, it is much better to take it slow. Even if you are very much attracted to the other person, don’t just jump into a relationship. Get to know the person well. Accept and respect them. Keep your communication lines open and make time for each other. Taking it slow can save you from a massive heartbreak. You and your partner can enjoy the benefits of forming a friendship first before a romantic relationship.

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