There are many advantages and disadvantages to moving your friendship into a relationship. Explore the right time to move out of the friend zone and how to figure out if you're both ready. Check out what our dating coach had to say.
How to Become More Than Just Friends
I have been friends with a girl for about 5 years now. We became close friends quickly and now we are best friends. We have a very strong and close friendship. Recently though I have had thoughts of becoming more than friends with her. I feel she is the right girl for me, and I would like to pursue these feelings but I do not want to ruin our friendship. How should I approach this matter?-- Contributed by: John
I am a BIG fan of romantic relationship that evolves out of deep friendship and yours would be no exception. That being said, there is a risk to crossing over from friendship to 'romantic couple.' For one thing, your girlfriend may not want the friendship to change. She may love you like a friend, but not have feelings that run deeper. Another potential problem with crossing over, is that should the romantic relationship end, the friendship also ends because the pain of losing the romance cannot withstand going back to how things used to be between the two of you. Finally, some couples make great friends and lousy lovers.
On the flip side, there are many benefits of moving a friendship to a romantic relationship. One advantage is that you both already know the 'good, the bad and the ugly' about each other. This level of acceptance and trust makes taking the risk worth it! Another benefit of starting a romance based on having a solid friendship is that you also have a solid foundation from which to build. So, how do you know if it's time to move from friendship to 'couple'? The ideal is that she would have taken the risk and shared with you her level of interest in doing so. I am assuming by your question that this hasn't happened yet.
A love worth experiencing is a love worth a risk. To me this means taking a leap of faith. To find out if your girlfriend is interested in taking the friendship to a new level, you're going to need to ask her. You could plan a trip for the two of you, which would give you the advantage of pointing out how well you both get along and how important she is in your life. A trip would give you the added advantage, should a romance be on the horizon, of creating an opportunity to move the friendship to intimacy.
If planning a trip is a little overwhelming, make it a day trip. The first part of the day is when the two of you can do something fun and adventurous and the evening can be a dinner that is nice and quiet. During dinner, you can recap the day's events and point out how well the two of you get along and how much you have in common. As she agrees to your points and observations, you can take the biggest risk and tell her how much you appreciate her in your life, how you have come to realize she is the right girl, and you would like to pursue these feelings. Her response will tell you everything you need to know in order to determine if the friendship is ready to move to the next level.