How important is it to be friends with potential significant others? You’ve heard a million people say that “I married their best friend.” Then you’ve heard others say, “We would have been better off if we had remained friends.” So what’s the difference in the two relationship dynamics? Let examine what possibly went right in Relationship #1 and what went wrong in Relationship #2. Notice, I say what possibly happened in the two relationships because it would take a longitudinal, qualitative research study to “discover” possibly (again) what is really going on. I’ll begin with what possibly is going wrong with friends who become lovers but it doesn’t work out. Let’s call this group, “friends turned lovers turned non-friends.”
As usual, I have to ask a few questions so hang on. I’ll begin with the "should have stayed friends group so that we may end part 2 of our discussion on a happy note. Suggestion, for you "Look for your specific experiences in the questions."
Friends turned lovers turned non-friends
Questions to consider when the crossover to lovers doesn’t work:
1. Were you authentically friends or was it that one of you always want more but pretended to be a confidante hoping for an opening?
2. Did you share things as friends that would be questioned once you became more?
a. Was the trust compromised due to prior information?
3. Did you learn things about your friend that you didn’t know or like once you became turned-lovers?
4. Did the friendship talks stop once you became lovers?
a. What did you enjoy with your friend that changed once your friendship transitioned to lovers?
5. What level of friendship did you have at first?
What I’m suggesting with this line of questions is that your relationship with your friend may not have been the type of relationship that could have transitioned and sustained a more intimate connection. In other words, you were not the type of friends that could become lovers. Perhaps only one of you wanted more and because the other one didn’t know what it could be, he or she took a chance and it didn’t work out. Or, unfortunately, the second person (sort of) took advantage of the first for his or her own sexual pleasure. Sex has a tendency to open one’s eyes.
So, if you have a friend that you are attracted to know that it’s a possibility that if you try to advance the relationship to a more intimate, perhaps sexual one that you can prepare yourself by asking the questions above. If you don’t want to change losing your friend then measure your options carefully.
There are many other factors that could influence your end, such as how open-minded and/or mature you are. Open-minded implies that you can have an intimate, sexual relationship and go back to being friends if it doesn’t work out. Maturity suggests that you each have the ability to reason the ramifications of the split without a dramatic ex-factor war. You know the type—can’t go the places where the other one might be; must unfriend from all social media; are concerned about private pics or information may show up online, etc. In these cases, both parties must have a certain level of maturity.
Continue now to “Why Can’t We be Friends,” Part 2.