The Pros And Cons Of Falling In Love With Your Best Friend

Updated February 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

A relationship with your best friend, someone who may have interests and complement your personality, can be a meaningful and fulfilling part of life. It can be normal to feel close to them or develop non-platonic feelings.   

Even if you and your best friend aren't initially interested in each other romantically, your feelings may change over time. While falling in love with someone you're already close with can be natural, you may fear your dynamic changing or losing your friend if a romantic relationship ends.

If you're developing a genuine romantic connection with your best friend, you may want to consider how acting on your feelings could impact your relationship. Considering the pros and cons of your options can be beneficial. "I love my best friend, will it be good to say it?"

Do you have feelings for your best friend?

Pros and cons of falling for your best friend

While starting a romantic relationship with your best friend may benefit you, there could be potential drawbacks to remain aware of. Knowing these benefits and drawbacks can save you time when deciding whether to pursue a romantic relationship.

Pro: You may have a history

One benefit of a romantic relationship between good friends can be the foundation of trust and familiarity. There might be less pressure attached to the initial stages of the romantic relationship with a friend since you may already have a sense of how to be comfortable around them. 

You may also have some knowledge regarding their previous relationship history. Having an idea of what your best guy friend or girlfriend (or any other gender) values when it comes to romance can provide insight into what a relationship with them might look like. This knowledge can be valuable in navigating the early stages of a new relationship with a lover, including developing communication strategies or understanding each other's needs.

Con: You might lose them as a friend and a partner

If you date someone you've formed a good friendship with, your dynamic may shift if the relationship ends. Even if you decide to stay “just friends,” it can be challenging for people who are dating or married to remain close when they break up. 

You may decide that you don't want to act on a feeling based on the possibility of losing this person as a friend and a romantic partner. If this is a concern you relate to, you and your best friend might decide to discuss how you'd want to proceed in the chance of a breakup. 

Getty/PeopleImages

Pro: You may feel comfortable with each other already

It can feel easy to develop certain expectations of a potential partner only to find out you're incompatible. With a close friend (whether they be the opposite sex, same-sex, or anything else), you may feel more confident that you'll get along well as romantic partners based on your existing friendship.  

Often, components of a thriving friendship—communication, an honest sensibility, respect—also exist in successful partnerships. Familiarity with your best friend may translate to comfort in a romantic relationship.

Con: You may skip an introductory phase

While some people feel more comfortable knowing what they're getting into, for others, the risk is the reward—they like some uncertainty in their lives. 

Learning about a new person can feel exciting. Couples often talk about how fun the "getting to know you" phase can be. Learning surprising things about a new partner, such as hidden talents, family history, goals, and aspirations, can help you develop more affection for one another. If you date someone with whom you are already hanging out with as close friends, you may feel stumped on questions to ask during a date.  

The truth is, If you're enticed by the mystery and excitement of dating a stranger, you might not want to date a best friend that you have a crush on. However, there could be an exciting element and joy in getting to know your best friend in a new way romantically.  

Pro: You might have mutual friends

You might already know some of your best friend's family and friends, so you could avoid the potentially awkward interactions that often occur when meeting a new partner's loved ones. You may even have a built-in social group of mutual friends you both spend time with. 

If you're considering acting on your feelings for a platonic girl or boyfriend (or any other gender), it can help to know that you already get along with the important people in their life. Knowing ahead of time how you'll fit into your best friend's social and family circles can ease some of the tension that's present early in relationships. 

Con: Dynamics might change within your friendship

If your best friend becomes your romantic partner, you might lose the ability to interact with them as you did before. For example, you may not feel comfortable talking to them about relationship “stuff” or issues any longer, as you are in a relationship with them.  

Outsourcing support, advice, and unbiased opinions regarding your relationship may be necessary. Even if you believe what you have together is “true love,” you may also lose old patterns or interaction styles you had as platonic friends.

Every situation can be different

A romantic relationship with a best friend may feel like a rewarding part of your life. However, take a moment to consider the benefits and drawbacks specific to your friendship.

If you struggle to think of some, create a pros and cons chart with the following four categories: 
  • Pros of dating my best friend
  • Cons of dating my best friend
  • Pros of staying friends
  • Cons of staying friends 

Whether best friends should act on their feelings for one another can depend on several factors, and every situation can be different. You may be thinking “she’s not ready for a relationship because she just broke up with someone” or “They probably wouldn’t like someone like me based on who they have dated before.” Knowing information about your best friend’s previous dating history can help you decide whether acting on your feelings would have a positive outcome, though even with that information, the answers are not always obvious. 

As you consider the above pros and cons, ask yourself some questions to determine whether you are going to head in the right direction if you propose a relationship. These questions might include: 

  • Do I feel that there is physical attraction from both parties or just on my end? 
  • Would my friend be interested in dating me romantically? 
  • What type of relationship do I want? 
  • Do I have any doubt regarding our viability as a couple?
  • Would I prefer a "friend with benefits" situation? Would my friend be sad or experience similar emotions if I were to suggest this?
  • What happens if we break up? Can we go back to just being best friends? 
Getty/Jordi Salas
Do you have feelings for your best friend?

Navigating your relationships with therapy

Therapy could be beneficial if you've fallen in love with a best friend and want support in navigating the relationship. You might also talk to a therapist about deciding whether to date your best friend or stay platonic. 

Many couples and individuals opt for online counseling, as it's a modern method. You can participate in sessions remotely through video, phone, or in-app messaging. A study on the efficacy of online therapy interventions for couples found that treatment can improve relationship functioning, satisfaction, and communication, in addition to helping decrease symptoms of individual mental health conditions. 

Researchers also noted that online therapy reduced barriers to treatment present with in-person couples therapy, such as financial constraints and lack of the means to approach providers. If you're ready to get started, platforms like BetterHelp for individuals and Regain for couples can allow you to connect with a licensed mental health professional from the comfort of your home. 

Takeaway

It can be natural to develop romantic feelings for a close friend and not know whether to act on them. A romantic relationship with your best friend may be healthy and fulfilling, but it could also involve specific dynamic changes. 

Support is available if you're having trouble navigating your emotions related to a friendship or romantic relationship. Consider reaching out to a therapist who can help you work through your feelings and decide what you hope to gain from the friendship moving forward.

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