Relationship Crossroads: Should We Just Be Friends?

Friends thinking, “Should we just be friends?”
Have you tried asking, “Should we just be friends?” If you do, be mindful of the changes that may come with turning friendship into love.

Have you ever been at a pivotal moment where you decide to take your friendship and make it something more?

It’s a story that’s all so familiar. Two childhood friends grow up, realizing they feel something for each other. And they went from friends to something much more.

If only it were that simple. Instead, you could be faced with a dilemma, wondering if it’s worth risking a friendship for a romantic relationship.

But did you know that according to a new study, 68% of romantic relationships start from friendship?

According to an article published in Psychology Today, a romantic relationship that starts as a friendship is more common than those that start between strangers or acquaintances.

To understand why friend-to-lover relationships are preferred, scientists asked research participants to rate the qualities of their friend-first romance. The participants overwhelmingly rated the friends-to-lovers pathway as the best way to initiate romance. It also suggested that it’s even better than meeting through mutual friends, school or college, and work.

But the line between friendship and love can be blurry. When should you decide to romantically pursue a friend? When do you say to yourself, “Should we just be friends instead?” Is the friendship worth risking for a possible romance? Are you ready to lose the friendship if the romance doesn’t work out?

In this article, we aim to provide a better understanding of friend-to-lover relationships. We also hope to help you decide whether you should pursue a romantic relationship with your friend or you’re better off as friends.

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Common Changes to Expect When Your Friend Becomes Your Lover

Imagine finding a best friend and lover in one person. Isn’t that nice? But are you ready for the changes that come with it? If not, here are common changes you may experience when friends become lovers:

1. Your interactions will become more intimate.

You will now have a higher level of intimacy, including physical and emotional. You’ll likely share more personal information with each other. And you’ll start to see each other in a new light. You’ll get to know each other in a whole new way, and you’ll be able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings.

2. You will become more exclusive.

If you were previously open to dating other people, it would be different now. You’ll likely become more exclusive once you start dating your friend. You’ll be seeing each other romantically. Thus, you both need to be on the same page about your expectations.

Friends trying to imagine finding a best friend and lover in one person.
Imagine finding a best friend and lover in one person; it would be amazing.
3. Your relationship will become more complex.

When you’re friends, you have a certain level of distance and objectivity. However, when you’re lovers, you’re much more emotionally invested in each other. And this can make your relationship more complex. So you have to learn how to navigate your feelings for each other in a healthy way.

4. Your friendship may change.

They say best friends make the best lovers. But take note that your friendship may change once you start dating. This doesn’t mean that your friendship will end, but it may become different. You may need to set some boundaries in order to protect your relationship.

5. You may have to deal with jealousy or insecurity.

It’s natural to feel jealous sometime when you’re in a relationship. But it may be a different kind of jealousy when you’re in a friends-to-lovers relationship. Here, you’ve already built a strong foundation of trust and friendship. It can be more difficult to deal with jealousy, as you may feel like you’re losing something special.

A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone. A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone.

How to Know If You’re Better Off as Friends

So you don’t feel the romantic spark. Now you’re contemplating if you still want to pursue a relationship with your friend. Stories of friendship turning into love do not turn out to be successful all the time.

Check out the following signs to determine if you’re better off as friends:

1. You don’t see eye to eye on important values.

This could be about politics, religion, culture, tradition, or childrearing. While these can be overcome, it may still be difficult to form a strong bond when there are fundamental differences in your values.

2. You have more differences than common interests.

It’s a problem if each of you wants different things. Even as friends, you could not agree on simple things and tend to argue about anything. It’s a problem when both of you are vying for control in the relationship. So, it’s better to stay friends, as it may not be the relationship that you want.

3. You don’t see yourself getting physically intimate with them.

Initially, this may not seem like a big deal. However, if you continue to feel uncomfortable about getting physically intimate with them, then there may be an underlying issue. It could be an indication that you may be better off as friends.

4. You are not comfortable being vulnerable around them.

So you’re not comfortable showing your vulnerability to this person. Maybe because you know how they tend to react when someone shows their vulnerability to them. This may be a sign that you’re not yet ready to pursue a romantic relationship with them.

5. You’re not excited about the future with them.

You don’t see them when you plan for your future. It’s important to be with someone who makes you feel excited about the future. If you’re not feeling that way, you may start to learn how to tell someone you’re better off as friends.

A couple transitioning from best friends to lovers.
Transitioning from best friends to lovers may be easier when you’re on the same page.

Platonic Love vs. Romantic Love

We all love our friends, but when those feelings become difficult to define, is it still platonic love or something more?

Platonic is generally the kind of relationship between friends. It does not necessarily involve sexual attraction, intimacy, and commitment. However, it can still be a deep and meaningful relationship. Platonic partners may share many of the same interests and values. They may also feel deep trust and respect for each other.

Platonic love is often less intense than romantic love. But it can still be just as important. Platonic partners can provide each other with companionship, support, and understanding. They can also help each other grow and learn. So it’s not impossible to turn the relationship from best friends to lovers.

Romantic love, on the other hand, involves intense feelings of passion, intimacy, and commitment. It’s a complex emotion often accompanied by strong emotional and physical responses. This includes butterflies in the stomach, heart palpitations, and blushing.

So how do you know when a platonic friendship is changing? You would know. You would feel it. The only question is, is it worth the risk? Remember, friendship can only turn into love when both friends are willing to take the leap. They should be willing to move beyond platonic boundaries and explore a more intimate relationship.

The best relationship is when you act as lovers and bestfriends at the same time.

Being lovers and best friends at the same time creates a synergy that makes your relationship even stronger. You can be silly and playful together, but you can also be there for each other through thick and thin. You know each other’s secrets, but you also respect each other’s boundaries. You can talk about anything, and you always have each other’s backs.

However, not all friend-to-lover relationships are successful. There are a few challenges that can arise when you start dating your friend. If you can’t communicate, set boundaries, and manage expectations, your friends-to-lovers relationship won’t last. In this case, ask yourself again, “Should we just be friends?”

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