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Can We Date Friends Successfully?

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“When was the first time you fell in love with hip-hop?”

The dynamics of a heterosexual friendship are almost endless.

They are intriguing as they involve  this unspoken code of parameters to follow. Now if you’re a regular reader of my writing then you may know I love a good reality show. As of late I’ve been slowly phasing out of the ratchet Monday realm. I have nothing against it, they’re just no longer breaking new ground. Thanks to a female friend of my own, I was put on to a new show on Bravo called Friends To Lovers.



The new reality show chronicles a few different couples who all started out being just friends. Along the way there was an attraction that both recognized at the very least. So the show pretty much examines how these different relationships will play out. I was drawn to this show because there is a huge grey area that exists in friendships. You see, if you frequent instagram then you’ve seen posts that say things like “Your lover should be your best friend,” or “the foundation of any real relationship is a friendship.” This show highlights what has always been evident to us. There’s a risk  of messing up a seemingly good thing.

The above photo followed by the caption is from the movie “Brown Sugar.”

If you know me then you know that’s a personal favorite of mine. Throughout that movie this same exact topic is danced around. Two friends who are pretty close recognize that they like each other. They always liked each other. Instead of a move being made early on, they watched each other go through failed relationships. Eventually they begin to explore romance together. What ensued prior to this was fear. What you see ensue in Friends To Lovers is fear.

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People are preoccupied with losing the friendship.

I think we’re more preoccupied with that rather than putting our energies into courting the right way with the same person. There’s good reason for this and I can’t knock anyone’s nervousness. At the same token how do you establish a friendship in which you’d like to progress beyond? How do you let this be known without making it seem too orchestrated? I have no clue to be honest. The politically correct answer would be to say that you let things happen organically. Be patient right? Well, that may work here and there. I’m more privy to believe it doesn’t work that way often enough. But in a world where it seems everyone is trying to dodge the dreaded friend zone it would help people to know how to better express their attraction for someone. Is there a way to express this that yields more positive results?

In Friends To Lovers these people are trying to make it work.

You will see the pros and cons of exploring relationships with people you have been friends with. It’s interesting stuff to me. You all should give it a look sometime. Being vulnerable is one of the hardest things to do. Letting a friend know you like them can run the risk of you being shut down.  But for those of you who have pulled that trigger, how did it work out for you? Would you date a friend of yours? I think I could as long as I saw qualities that spoke along the lines of longevity to me. Let’s talk about it, could you go from being friends to lovers?

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These are my words and I make no apologies.

Postscript: On February 12, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. I will be participating in a panel discussion called Boy Meets Girl. Myself and two other distinguished gentlemen will be discussing dating dynamics at CloudSocial NYC. There will be time for Q&A as well as a mixer afterwards. If you’re interested definitely come give it a look. It’s $10 and the proceeds go to the BRC which houses people affected by domestic violence. Click the link for more details.

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS

Comment(13)

  1. Interesting read! I definitely think it’s possible to change the dynamic if both people are ready and willing. Great friendships could really turn out to be an amazing starting point for romantic relationships. As I have gotten a bit older, I appreciate this even more.

  2. That worked out for me and my wife. We were the great couple that “almost didn’t happen” because we had a lot of fear in losing a decade long friendship! It was a GREAT friendship, that has turned into a GREAT marriage. We have still seen our fair share of issues to work through, but I think the friendship has allowed us to be more open and honest, early on and throughout. We fail at the same things other couples have, but we know how to forgive each other’s failures and pick right back up and be great again! I think everyone should be so lucky. But like you said, we had to let it happen “organically”…it wasn’t forced or pushed early on, but once we got started, it was full steam ahead! I was more ready than her, since she’d been married before and was at her wits end with failed relationships. But in all, we made it work and I think, the friendship made that easier!

    1. This is TRUTH and the sweetest thing ever!!!!

      “We fail at the same things other couples have, but we know how to forgive each other’s failures and pick right back up and be great again!”

  3. This is tricky…

    I married and divorced someone who was my big bro type friend for 2 yrs prior to being in a relationship. I don’t think the friends to lovers route is a no go. But, as with anything, you have to go about it the right way and be willing to full stop it as soon as you realize it’s not working…before too much bad blood comes in the picture.

    Main Crux – Good friends and good lovers have different sets of requirements.

    There are things that you tolerate from a good friend that you won’t a lover. There are certain needs that you don’t require from a good friend because they are not your lover. There is a level of honesty you can have with a good friend that you won’t have with a lover…cause you don’t have a love relationship on the line. I don’t even think you consciously overlook or excuse any of these differences…you just add intimacy to the friendship, have that “this is new” bliss phase for a good while and then you start to notice the differences/missing elements, etc.

    So, my advice would be not to jump into the lovers part. Actually date your friend and explore the lover side of him that you don’t know. Own that you really do not know that side of them…and don’t make a decision until you do. Then, you guys can best determine if getting into a relationship is right.

    1. Those are all great points and great insight! We know you all blissful now though! Won’t he do it!! Lol Thanks for reading.

      1. Oh yes He will!!! LOL. …although with an infant in the house, I’d exchange the word blissful for TIRED!!!! LOL…smh.
        No problem, Pops. Keep the good posts coming. 🙂

  4. My hubby and i were best friends from age 13 until we started dating at 26. I wish everyone could experience it. Our foundation is our friendship so we don’t get caught up in being spouses, we operate from our core which is our friendship. Between sugar is my ask time favorite movie because of the parallels to our situation, it came out before we started dating, but i would have never imagined it would be us. So to answer your question it can and does work, if both parties love and nurture the friendship and our kids get to see that growing up!

  5. It can be a slippery slope. If its mutual, yes, it is very possible. I no longer have female friends that I would like also date. I have female friends and that’s all they are. I know its different for each person so whatever works for you. I think the notion is that whatever makes us great opposite-sex friends will also make us a great couple….maybe, then again…maybe not. It just depends. But first and foremost it has to be MUTUAL.

  6. Absolutely! I think that being or having a friendship is a necessary ingredient for a long term relationship; because over the life of a relationship, one can not live exclusively within the sometimes “hypersensitive” walls of romance. So, if a friendship predates the romance; even better, because it adds another layer to your connectivity. This is particularly true in this temporal period where “courting” is pretty much a lost art form, which in days of yore, allowed us to empirically identify and observe those things in our perspective mate that were imperatives for longevity.

    Successful relationships requires a bit of dexterity on the part of the parties involved in order to sustain itself. There were times where I was able to understand certain things more acutely when I put on my friendship hat than when I was wearing my passionate boyfriend or husband hat; because the perspectives are emotionally distinct.

    Having had a platonic relationship before the romance ensued enabled me to have a comfortable ringside seat where I could objectively observe her psychological profile, identify the stimuli that she responded to, as well as acquire a greater depth of understanding of her fears, aspirations and dreams. I would characterize the pre-romantic friendship experience best as having an internship that morphs into a full time career.

  7. I’ve seen this show when it first aired around Christmas. It definitely is pretty interesting. I agree with what Cyn said. You have to know and communicate boundaries and requirements with one another openly and honestly. You also have to make sure that the “friend” will actually make a great bf/gf and/or future spouse. Much like just because a person is an excellent parent, doesn’t mean they have the skills and mentality to be an excellent spouse; and vice versa.
    Personally, I’ve always wanted my future husband to be my bff and thankfully I have that. Granted we didn’t start out as “friends”. I’ve always made it a point in my relationships to fully cultivate, and nourish the friendship. I want that part to grow as strong as every other aspect of the relationship, because to me, it’s just as, if not more important than the intimacy and romance part of the relationship.
    In every long lasting relationship I’ve ever seen, no matter how the relationship starts off, at some point it becomes mostly a friendship/partnership. That friendship/partnership can supercede all of the other aspects of the relationship many times when it’s all said and done.
    Much like when your younger and your sexin like rabbits, going out, having fun, being romantic and adventurous together. And you hopefully experience growing old together, like your grandparents. Even though there may be some romance and sparks there, about 75-80% of the relationship is friendship/partnership. Especially when life gets “real.”
    I read an article a while back on the Tango website where a woman was discussed summing up her marriage in 10 texts with her husband.
    In those texts that she posted, if you didn’t know her or anything about her, you could easily sumise that they were from a close friend, or possible bf. At some point all of our relationships get to a majority friendship place. Embrace it and enjoy it. It’s all good. *smile*

  8. A close friend of mine for 6 years liked me and I was very occupied on keeping him a friend. We had hour long conversions and hung out multiple times each week. He was one of my best friends. Now I know there is no such thing as a male best friend when you’re an adult. There’s some attraction some where.

    I was focused on the wrong things when looking for a mate and I was fresh out of my first relationship that lasted for 6 months at age 21. I was late, young. And dumb. Long story short, we hung out one night and things progressed with him initiating it. So I decided to tell him that I’m interested in him more than just friends despite me friend zoning him in the past six years. Haven’t heard from that knee grow since! Guess it was payback. But I wasn’t ready for him when I was young. Guess I’m still not. Lolol.

  9. Personally, Ive never became real friends with a girl that I was always attracted to. And conversely, Ive never really ever started to develop feelings for a girl that was my “friend” that I wasnt initially attracted to when I met her. As soon as I see a girl, I know if she’s my type physically which would make her girlfriend material for me. And if she’s my type physically, Im going to angling for something way more than just platonic friendship. And if thats not an option, then I really dont want to be around her anymore.

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