The Pros And Cons Of Falling In Love With Your Best Friend
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?"
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.
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.
- 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?
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.
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.
What should I do if I am in love with my best friend?
If you’ve realized you are falling in love with your best friend, there are a few steps you may want to take.
- Assess Your Feelings: Love can be a complicated emotion, and the early stages of being in love are often intense and overwhelming. It’s important to consider that having these feelings with your friend may change the nature of your relationship. Before you tell your best friend you love them, it may be helpful to take time and fully acknowledge your thoughts on the subject.
- Talk With Someone You Trust: Discussing your feelings with others can be a good way to get an outside perspective on the situation. This conversation could be had with a family member, friend, therapist, or anyone else you feel comfortable talking about sensitive subjects with.
- Decide What to Do: Once you’ve confirmed how you feel and considered your options, you’ll likely have to decide how you want to proceed. It's possible that divulging your strong feelings may lead to a romantic partnership, but it could also lead to a dissolution of your friendship. Consider the possible outcomes before acting and accept that there may be negative consequences for your relationship.
Is it okay to be in love with my best friend?
If you’ve ever wondered, “Is being in love with my best friend normal?” you aren’t alone. Friendships can sometimes be the stepping stone to a healthy long-term relationship. In many cases, there is nothing wrong with being in love with your best friend. That being said, telling your good friend that you are in love with them will likely lead to changes in your relationship. These changes could be positive, leading to a healthy long-term relationship built upon the experience you both have as friends. In other cases, telling your best friend that you love them may be met with rejection, which can be a difficult situation to deal with.
How do you know if you're in love?
Falling in love can be a unique process for each individual, so there may be no one “right” way to determine whether you are in love. There are some common signs many associate with love, including:
- “Butterflies” in one’s stomach
- Feelings of euphoria
- An inability to sleep or eat
- A yearning to spend time or be near someone
If you feel that you are in love with someone you just met, you may be experiencing what the triangular theory of love refers to as “infatuation.” In these cases, it may not be appropriate to tell someone that you are in love with them, as there isn't the passion or commitment present to constitute what we know as healthy or consummate love.
What are the disadvantages of dating your best friend?
While a romantic relationship with a friend could lead to a long and healthy partnership, it may also come with drawbacks. Here are several disadvantages that may come from dating your best friend.
- The Transition Period May Be Difficult: Because you likely already know each other quite well and are comfortable, you and your friend could have habits that may be inappropriate in a romantic partnership. Transitioning from being friends to lovers could take time, and the challenges present during this period may put a strain on your relationship.
- Dating May Have Negative Social Effects: If you and your friend have similar social groups, dating may cause tension within your circle of friends. For example, difficulties in a relationship are often discussed with close friends, but if you both have the same friends, there may be no other friends to turn to if your relationship becomes challenging. There may also be other part of the group who have a crush on that person, which could lead to jealous feelings or conflict.
- Dating May End Your Friendship: If your romantic relationship ends in a breakup, this could also mean an end to your friendship. While you may wish to return to your previous state of being friends, previous romantic entanglements typically mean there will be strings attached. These leftover emotions can complicate the situation, and one or both parties may not be able to overcome them. If you have been friends for years, this potential loss could have a significant effect on your mental and physical health.
Is it smart to date your best friend?
Whether or not it's smart to date your best friend will be different for everyone. In some cases, a friendship can be an excellent start to a romantic connection and may lead to a healthy, long-term relationship. That being said, there can also be potential consequences to seeking a romantic partnership with a friend. If you aren’t sure your friend likes you romantically, discussing your intentions with them may have a negative effect on your friendship. If you’re sure you both have romantic feelings and end up dating, it's possible you could eventually realize that you aren’t compatible. This may lead to a breakup, which could have a negative effect on your friendship or even end it entirely.
Is it a good idea to marry your best friend?
Marrying your best friend can have a number of pros and cons, depending on your unique situation. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of marrying your best friend.
- You and your best friend likely have significant past experiences with one another, which can create a solid foundation for a romantic relationship.
- Best friends will typically have common interests, which can mean more quality time spent together.
- In most cases, a person will be comfortable discussing sensitive subjects with a best friend. This can increase intimacy, which tends to be a vital component in healthy relationships.
- Romantic relationships often require a larger commitment than friendships. As such, the transition from friends to partners may be challenging.
- If you already have social groups and activities, being married may mean there is little space for individuality.
- If your marriage ends, it's possible you will not be able to return to being best friends.
Can best friends cuddle and kiss?
There are situations where it may be appropriate for best friends to cuddle and kiss, and situations where it is not. If you and your best friend both consent to engaging in physical acts and are not currently in any closed romantic relationships, then cuddling and kissing may be a healthy behavior to engage in.
If one party isn’t comfortable with being intimate or either person is in a romantic relationship where their partner isn’t okay with this sort of contact, then cuddling and kissing could be a negative and potentially harmful behavior to engage in. It is important to have a conversation with your best friend before beginning any physically intimate acts to ensure you are both on the same page and comfortable.
How do I know if my best friend loves me?
In many cases, the best way to know if a best friend has romantic feelings for you is to talk to them. While this may be a difficult subject to discuss, it can be difficult to determine someone’s feelings without having an open and honest conversation. In some cases, perceived signs of romantic love may actually be platonic, such as someone putting their arm around you at the movies or wanting to spend quality time with you. Because of the ambiguity of these situations, opening a dialogue can be the most efficient path to determine a person’s feelings.
It’s possible for best friends to fall in love with each other, and in some cases, these relationships can lead to long-term partnerships and marriages. However, it’s important to note that your friend may not reciprocate your feelings. If this is the case, telling your friend that you are in love with them could be detrimental to your friendship and may lead to feelings of rejection and hurt.
What do I do if I have a crush on my best friend?
How you should handle having a crush on your best friend will differ depending on both of your current romantic situations. If you or your friend is currently in a relationship with someone else, discussing your crush may be inappropriate. If this isn’t the case, and you believe your friend may reciprocate your feelings, discussing the subject with them may lead to a relationship.
According to one meta-analysis, many relationships begin with a friends-first initiation. Of the 1,897 university students and adults that were surveyed, two-thirds reported they preferred to be friends with someone before initiating a romantic relationship. This may indicate that being friends with a person is a common and viable path to becoming romantic partners (though this will not be true in all cases.)
How do I confess to my best friend?
If you want to confess your love for a best friend, it may be helpful to first acknowledge your feelings. While the emotions surrounding love can be powerful and overwhelming, it may not be beneficial to act rashly or immediately. Dedicating time to thinking about this “in love with best friend” situation, writing down your thoughts, and discussing the subject with loved ones can all be helpful steps to take before confessing your love.
If you’ve determined confessing is the best course of action, it can be helpful to do so in a place your friend feels comfortable. In some cases, it may be best to discuss the subject over text or a messaging service, as this could lessen the impact of a potential rejection. It could also be easier to admit your feelings remotely rather than face-to-face, as emotional subjects like love can be difficult to discuss.
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