Is Dating Your Best Friend A Good Idea?

Updated March 15, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Throughout our lives, we meet all kinds of people: close friends, acquaintances, and people who fall somewhere in between. Best friends are hard to come by – but if you find one, they can become one of most important people in your life. Given this level of closeness, it’s not uncommon to develop romantic feelings for a best friend. In some ways, it’s a dream scenario: straight out of your favorite rom-com or romance novel. Of course, real life – and real romance – are a bit messier than the movies. 

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Thinking About Dating Your Best Friend?

If you’re wondering whether dating your best friend is a good idea, the decision to divulge your feelings is ultimately up to you. While dating your BFF can be an incredible experience, you may want to consider the following questions, risks, and benefits before making a move.

Is Dating Your Best Friend A Good Idea? 

The transition from friendship to flirtation, and finally to romance can be a tricky one to navigate. If you’re nervous about initiating something more with your best friend, take some time to ask yourself these five questions before making your next move.

1. Are You Looking For The Same Things?

If you’ve known your best friend for a while, you probably know more about them than most people. You may have discussed your career or educational goals, your hopes for a future family, and even mental health challenges, political orientations, and other personal topics.

With all of this information in the open, you may have a better understanding of what your best friend is looking for in life, compared to someone you’ve just met for coffee or drinks off a dating app. While this can be incredibly useful, it’s also worth considering whether your own goals, values, and hopes align with your friend’s vision for the future. Wanting different things and managing separate life goals is possible, but may require even more communication and compromise down the line. 

2. Are You Prepared For Friendship To Change?

Inevitably, progressing from friendship to romance will change the nature of your relationship. You may need to establish new ground rules for communication and physical intimacy, and generally allow time for this new relationship to develop. While you already know your best friend deeply, a romantic relationship will require getting to know them in new and exciting ways.

As you “repeat” the process of getting to know your best friend in a romantic light, certain aspects of your prior friendship may shift or even disappear over time. Typically, dating someone comes with more vulnerability and openness, which may make your connection less casual than before. But reassuringly, if you’re dating your best friend, you can initiate this deeper relationship knowing that your friend already likes and accepts you as a person.

3. Are You Trying To Date Them Out Of Convenience? 

It may feel like your best friend is always around: ready to take a spontaneous trip, dive into a deep talk, or just hang out at a moment’s notice. The convenience factor is real – but is it enough to pursue a romance with your best friend? 

Most relationship and dating experts advise against it. Right now, it may feel easy and natural to spend your free time with your best friend, but misaligned values, goals, or interests could become inconvenient in the future. Healthy relationships may feel “easy,” but they’re not always convenient. Even if you begin as best friends, they still require work!

4. Are You Ready To Talk About Your Expectations?

You may have certain expectations of your best friend that help the relationship run smoothly. Maybe you commit to a weekly “coffee chat,” check in over the phone every Sunday or simply expect them to show up when you’re sick, knowing you’ll return the favor when they’re feeling down.

In a friendship, some of these expectations may be more casual, or even unspoken. In a romantic relationship, you may need to state your expectations more intentionally, and address other topics like family issues, mental health challenges, and physical intimacy that may be less relevant in your current friendship.

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In any relationship, establishing realistic and healthy expectations is crucial. As you contemplate romance with your best friend, ask yourself: are you prepared to discuss the expectations for this relationship, and potentially invest more time and energy into a romantic connection? A healthy, trusting relationship takes at least two people, with expectations that are fair and clearly agreed upon.

5. Are You Prepared For Less Desirable Outcomes? 

In a perfect world, your best friend will become an incredible partner. With a bit of time and adapted expectations, it’s easy to envision a storybook romance: one rooted in a common history, values, and trust.

While it’s tempting to dream about the best-case scenario, it’s also important to consider alternate outcomes. Your best friend may not be interested in pursuing anything romantic; or you may try to date, only to find that you’re less compatible than you thought. These and other outcomes are possible, but they shouldn’t deter you from being honest about your feelings. 

It’s important to go slow, carefully consider your feelings, and express them to your friend while giving them space to say “yes,” “no,” or simply “I need some time!” Even romances born out of friendship require time, space, and patience to develop.

What Are The Benefits Of Dating My Best Friend?

Is it worth putting your friendship on the line in pursuit of something more? The answer is up to you, depending on the current status of your friendship and goals for the future. 

Expressing romantic interest in your best friend can be a scary decision. But if the feelings are mutual, some of the main benefits of dating your best friend include:

1. An Established Connection

You already know this person as a friend and confidante. Most likely, you have a deep understanding of each other’s needs, sense of humor, and life goals. You may also have certain interests and hobbies that deepen your relationship, and you’ve already made it through the early stages of getting to know each other. 

2. A Feeling Of Comfort

The first few dates with someone can be exciting, but the process of dating can also be nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and even scary. If you end up dating your best friend, you get to skip past some of the awkwardness of dating and pursue a romantic relationship with someone you already know and trust.

3. Common Values, Beliefs, And Goals

Your best friend may be someone whose beliefs, values, and aspirations complement your own. That said, a good friend may also challenge your assumptions and gently encourage you to consider alternate perspectives. Ideally, you’ll learn and grow with your romantic partner – and if they’re your best friend, you may have already done some of this work.

4. A Shared Social Network

Most likely, your best friend already knows your friends, acquaintances, and loved ones. There may be no need to introduce them to the parents: in many cases, your best friend is already well acquainted with other important people in your life.

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Thinking About Dating Your Best Friend?

A Therapist Can Help You Answer These Tough Questions

If you’re on the fence about beginning a romance with your BFF, a licensed therapist can help you consider these risks, benefits, and questions and ultimately make the healthiest decision for you. Some people prefer in-person therapy to work through these concerns, but a growing number of people are using online therapy to invest in their mental health while balancing work, family, and other obligations.

Digital platforms like BetterHelp make it easy to connect with a board-certified therapist. Within 48 hours of finishing a brief questionnaire, you’ll be matched with a licensed mental health professional, based on your mental health history as well as goals for the future. All BetterHelp therapists have at least three years of professional experience, and many specialize in working with couples, married partners, and people who are dating or simply interested in exploring their love lives.

Based on current research, online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy for a variety of mental health concerns. One 2021 study found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, couple therapists experienced a positive shift from traditional to online therapy, based on survey responses from 58 therapists. Most therapists were able to deal with couples’ conflicts just as effectively over teletherapy. Additionally, many therapists found that online therapy was more comfortable and convenient for couples, as they could seek mental health care from the comfort of their homes.


Your best friend may be one of the most important people in your life. With some careful reflection and mutual interest, there’s also the potential for something more. 

If you’re wondering how to date your best friend, the decision is up to you – but a therapist can guide you through these questions, validate your emotions, and help you make a healthy choice. 

Fortunately, you already have the foundations of a strong friendship. Ask yourself these five questions, take your time, and contemplate the risks and benefits of this decision before making the next step. 

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