Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Dating a friend

ANN/THE DAILY STAR – You’ve recently found yourself attracted to one of your friends.

During group gatherings, you catch yourself stealing glances across the room, analysing their messages in-depth, and frequently mentioning their name in conversations.

Now, the question arises: should you address this crush? Is it wiser to keep your feelings in check or take the plunge and ask your friend out on a date?

When asked, 22-year-old Ishfar Quaderi, who proclaims to be very particular about her relationship choices, shed some light through her answer, saying, “Being someone who is constantly paranoid about what the future holds, I think if things don’t go right, you not only lose your romantic relationship but also one of your closest friends.”

Yet on the flip side, devoted bookworm Syed Nabil Ahsan, who occasionally pens down the beauty of love through his words on several platforms, had a different perspective to share, stating, “When two of my friends started dating each other, I think I was happier than surprised to see both of them find themselves intertwined in love. To me, love transcends between platonic relationships if it’s true and right.”

So, how should this entire dating a friend thing work? Before anything else, understand that falling in love with a friend is very natural.

PHOTO: ENVATO

In fact, the possibility of happiness in developing feelings for a friend is virtually everywhere around us. Pop culture is rife with instances of happy endings, from When Harry Met Sally and Friends to Always Be My Maybe and Harry Potter. With tropes such as friends-to-lovers completely taking over platforms such as BookTok (Book TikTok) and more, dating a friend seem to be more and more encouraged.

Studies show that most individuals find people to be more attractive when they gradually get familiar with them. This is because they probably have a deep familiarity with their close friend.

They have a solid foundation of similar experiences and mutual interests as well. Such people cannot see themselves as romantic partners with somebody they do not know well enough to call friends.

Speaking in regards to her own incredible romantic relationship with her best friend, undergraduate student Nusrat Parisha, explained, “I don’t think there should be any blanket rule that friends shouldn’t date each other. In my opinion, couples should be best of friends with each other first. For me, it made a lot of things easier to deal with. Most importantly, I can be my true self around my partner and have fun with them!”

This could explain why so many people these days feel like they never get to meet anyone they like on dating apps.

However, asking a friend to go on a date might be far more nerve-wracking than contacting a potential Tinder match.

Yet, dating a friend might also lead to real love, so the choice is never easy until you are brave enough to take the leap of faith.

Nevertheless, one major disadvantage of making a platonic connection romantic is that one of the friends often develops affection before the other. It is nice when such sentiments are returned, but it does not always happen that way.

“See, friends shouldn’t jump head first into dating each other until they are sure what they feel is actually genuine and not a passing moment or misreading between love and friendship,” said ACCA student Syeda Zehra, who, often to her friends, is an unofficial relationship counsellor, all thanks to her keen observation skills, which made her crack numerous cases of unrequited love.

Moreover, you and your closest friend may be ready for a change, and you may be imagining the finest possible outcome of your new relationship. But you could then discover that you just are not a good fit romantically. Such a situation was aptly explained by university student Raina Shahrin, who seemed to have had her fair share of experiences dealing with incompatible fits in the past, making her rather well-versed in the art of authentic connections. “Friendship and compatibility are two different things. Just because you both are friends does not mean he/she will be compatible as a partner. Don’t waste time breaking something as beautiful as a friendship to build on a relationship that is not fruitful,” opined Shahrin.

And what happens when you two split up? Well, the consequences will definitely not be sweet.

Through his own experience, academic prodigy Ramadan Abdullah spoke about the awkward and tense aftermath of ending his romantic relationship with a friend, saying, “Well, you’ve got to watch out when two friends date because one breakup can potentially ruin the entire friend group. Eventually, hangouts become a stress and a weird vibe takes over as people walk on eggshells around you.”

So yes, you might lose a good buddy if you split up with the friend you are dating, but worse still, your social circle might become divided if you both hang out with common people.

Relationship management is challenging at the best of times, and adding the complexities of a close connection may make things almost impossible.

While taking the leap might lead to a successful romantic relationship, it could also cause you to drift apart from your existing companion. But, ask yourself this and you might have the answer; Could your love thrive without a friendship with your partner?

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