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7 Ways to Go from Friendship to Relationship

7 Ways to Go from Friendship to Relationship

How to escape from the friend zone.

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We explored “9 Reasons to Date Your Best Friend” and a whopping 80% of our readers said they'd be willing to give it a try. So how do you go from friendship to relationship?

Would you date your best friend?

If you really are friends then whatever happens, you two can communicate and weather the storm. Love is a delicate thing and building any loving relationship takes time. It can take even longer with friends, as expectations are higher and fear of losing a friend is great. Although there isn’t one “right” way to make the transition, here are 7 tips to go from friend to “in a relationship.”

1. Take initiative. A client of mine told me that she was planning to set her guy friend up with a girlfriend of hers. She told me this guy was great! I inquired why she wasn’t dating him. She had a few reasons, none of which I found valid. I helped script the following message which she sent to him: “I have a crazy question for you. I know that I was going to set you up with Katy but I was wondering if you would like to grab a coffee with me at some point. I feel like we have a lot in common. If not, no worries and I’ll for sure set you up with Katy. Let me know your thoughts. All the best.”

What was his reply? “I don’t think that’s a crazy question at all. I’d love to grab a coffee with you. What’s your schedule like?”

2. Show you care. Going from friendship to relationship requires you to work on showing you care even more than a friend. Do one thing weekly that shows you care more than just a friend. You can write a handwritten note or card, or buy a small present that shows you were thinking of them. One of the best ways to show you care is by asking, “What can I do for you to help you feel appreciated and loved?” It’s definitely a hard question to get out of your mouth, but asking it may bring surprising answers and a closer bond, especially if the person being asked can feel you are genuine and sincere.

3. Reassure your partner that you want this relationship. Since you started out as friends your level of trust and open communication should be more developed. You probably already have the foundation for speaking openly and honestly with each other, but since you are in a relationship now, both parties are likely to be vulnerable and afraid of being hurt or losing a friend. I recommend reassuring your partner once a week for the first three months that you want this relationship. Tell them that you are glad you took the next step and are now dating. Being open about your emotions will relieve any worry and also help you to create an emotional bond on a deeper level.

4. Share your hopes and dreams. You likely know a lot about your friend’s past and also about who they are now. However, you might not know this person’s hopes and dreams in terms of getting married, having a family and building a life together with someone. Speaking about your potential future together will hopefully strengthen your bond. Additionally, it will clear up any misconceptions you have. Sometimes we think we know someone better than we actually do.

5. Meet the family. It’s possible that during your friendship you met each other’s family. If that’s the case, you need to be reintroduced as a couple. Family who may have only thought of you as a friend need to know that your status has changed. If you haven’t yet met the family, a month or two into the relationship is a good time to meet them. Having family on board with your relationship will deepen the bond and make the friend status disappear.

6. Stick together. Have you ever seen those couples who are so cute? They are usually in close proximity to each other at social events and gatherings and they seem to enjoy each other’s company. Some say that couples who play together stay together. Strive to be like those couples. Partner up with your new date and stay side by side. At a social event, stay in the same conversation rather than leaving your partner to talk to someone else. Take interest in your connection to your date. Staying side by side won’t smother the relationship, it will actually take your dating relationship up a notch and distance you from just being friends.

7. Be patient. Just because you’re good friends doesn’t mean you’ll be good at dating. Give your new relationship time to blossom. Make sure your expectations aren’t too high. Let your relationship grow slowly. We live in an age where everything moves so fast that we expect instantaneous gratification or we get bored. Relationships and trust develop slowly. We need to have patience to let a relationship grow at its own pace. Some friendships will develop into a relationship at a tortoise’s pace. Let your anxiety go, be patient and remember: Slow and steady wins the race.

If you’ve taken the risk of moving your friendship to the next level, give your relationship a chance to make it. With your dedication, love and patience, you just may get yourself a partner for life.

July 18, 2015

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 12

(8) Anonymous, October 5, 2017 2:09 PM

Looking for help

I am in my mid fifties and have always been very shy and was married for 30 years to my 1st and only girlfriend. Now that I am trying to date after 30 years I am having real hard time with it. For example, I have new lady friend I would like to move to a relationship with. But, before and during a conversation with her I get so anxious my mind usually goes blank so I have extremely hard time coming up with what to say to start a converation and how to carry on the conversation. Both in person and through email. She has said at the end of email conversations a couple times that she feels I am a wonderful handsome gentleman. But, when I respond to her with your very kind hearted beautiful lady. She ends the conversation. I don't what to read in to that. Any help woud be greatly appreciated.

(7) Anonymous, July 18, 2016 11:34 PM

From friendship to relationship

It sounds so easy to go from friendship to a relationship, but the truth is that it is rather challenging. I have very limited dating experience and the few guys that I have really liked and wanted to pursue a relationship with; it hasn't bothered me to initiate conversation and try to establish it. However; there is the challenge........it is that I do believe that in our society it is still more acceptable for the man to make the first move than that woman. This is truly a shame because there are so many missed opportunities out there. It takes alot for me to work up the nerve, but I've done it......only to have the other individual not be interested......in large part because it is so different from the norm for the woman to initiate conversations or etc. Men seem to want to be the pursuer, but don't take hints very well so what is a woman to do that is interested?

Shiri20, February 7, 2017 3:54 PM

It's not missed opportunities. It's missed rejection. If he doesn't ask you out, it's because he doesn't want to. Try to make peace with that and move on.

(6) keynce, September 25, 2015 4:55 AM

it happens

well it one in a million

(5) Anonymous, July 27, 2015 9:45 AM

Girl asks guy never works

A girl can initiate by dropping a hanky. Then it's in the guy's court to either pick up or ignore the hanky. Girl initiating by asking is sure to repel. (I'm curious to know how often asking a "crazy" question has worked for the author - I've never seen it.) Offering to set him up is a great way to drop a hanky - this lets him know that she thinks he is a good catch. It may also signal that she is not interested in him. But that could trigger him to try to make her interested (of course it may be harder for him to take action if they are already friends).

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