My boyfriend and I are best friends and lovers. Writing that sentence just made me so happy because it truly shows how deep our love is! We were friends before we decided to date, and it is still growing with each passing day. Surprisingly, the stronger our friendship, the more romance and intimacy there is.
Friendship is the foundation of a healthy romantic relationship. It can also be a really accurate indicator of whether or not a relationship can—or should—make it to the next level. When you’re friends with your romantic interest, there’s a level of objectivity that isn’t present when the friendship stage is skipped.
Here are more reasons you should strongly consider pursuing a friendship before thinking about changing the tone of the relationship to romance. You’ll thank me for it later!
1. You can get to know them without the rose-colored glasses
When your mind is clouded by feelings of lust and physical attraction, it’s hard to see a person objectively. However, when you’re pursuing friendship, most of the time, you’re able to be more logical, take things slowly and make a sound judgment.
My boyfriend and I have been long-distance from Day 1, and we pursued a friendship through a lot of communication on a daily basis. We were getting to know each other, and there wasn’t a hint of romance during that stage of our relationship. It was easier for us to make a wise decision on whether or not we should date.
Getting to know a guy as a friend and not as a romantic interest will either spare you from heartbreak or clarify and confirm that he is the right guy for you.
2. There are significantly fewer surprises with their character
What you see is what you get. If you see red flags while you are just friends, it’s easier to make the decision not to pursue a romantic relationship instead of having to do so when you’re already romantically involved with him.
As we were friends before we started dating, my boyfriend and I knew the basics of what we disliked and what our quirks were. Since we’ve started dating, I haven’t been surprised by his character or personality because I discovered that when we were just friends.
Everyone acts and speaks differently when they’re in a relationship, but for the most part, personality and character shouldn’t change drastically if you’ve got to know them as a friend.
3. It helps you to determine whether or not a first date is appropriate
The biggest benefit and reason you should consider pursuing a friendship with a guy before adding romance into the mix is that it will help you to clarify and decide if there will be a first date to begin with. Not all friendships are meant to turn romantic, and that’s okay.
Luckily for us, we decided to take it to the next level and it’s probably the best decision either of us have made, even though the distance is hard. I recall a previous relationship with a guy whom I shouldn’t have been pursued romantically because our friendship was weak and there were red flags that I didn’t take the time to consider before going out on a date.
You don’t have to learn this the hard way like I did. If the guy is attractive, it may be hard to pursue just a friendship, but being clear about it will help. Draw up a pros and cons list to help you in your decision.
4. You’ll be able to see how he behaves and treats others
The most important thing for me is a person’s character because it shows how mature he is and how he treats himself and other people. It’s vital because it can be a big predictor of how he’ll treat me, my friends and my family.
My boyfriend and I have met each other’s families and it’s been such a fruitful and rewarding experience for both of us. It was a blessing to see that he has treated my family and friends with the utmost respect and that he treats his own family and friends the same way.
When you’re pursuing a friendship, there’s really no need to impress anyone because, as serious as it is, it’s a lot more casual than if the two of you have a romantic relationship. If you see that he only treats you like a queen, tread carefully because there’s a lot to be said about anyone who is estranged from family or is hostile towards others.
5. Friendship will get you through the tough times
So, you and your guy are dating now. Congrats! If there’s one thing I can tell you about relationships, it’s this: friendship will get you through the rough times. There’s a strength that comes from having a strong friendship with your boyfriend, and it will help the two of you to overcome whatever struggles or ruts may come your way.
When my boyfriend and I disagree about something or are frustrated because we can’t see each other daily, the friendship we have, and are still building on, is what gets us through. It’s what helps us to try to empathize and understand each other instead of putting each other down or giving them the silent treatment.
Don’t underestimate the power of a solid friendship and don’t slack off when it comes to maintaining it on a daily basis because it can really help you and your boyfriend to get through the toughest of times. If it doesn’t, it goes to show that he’s not the right one for you.
You may be tempted to skip the friendship stage altogether because you want to get to the romance and intimacy, but it’s key to a long-lasting healthy romantic relationship. It’ll also help you to make healthy decisions about who you date. If you’re afraid that dating a friend will ruin the friendship, take time and seek counsel to make the wisest choice.
Are you in a relationship that started off as a friendship? What are the benefits you’ve reaped in the long run? Do you think that friendship is necessary for a solid romantic relationship? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!