Sometimes friendships turn into romantic relationships – and bonding as pals before becoming a couple can come with many perks.
INSIDER spoke to relationship expert and advice columnist April Masini to find out some of the best things about being friends before dating someone.
As friends, you’ll have gotten to know each other in a different way, which can help you both form a unique perspective “When you’ve been friends and then decide to date, you’ve had the opportunity to know each other in a completely different way than you would if you met on [a dating app] or at a party and had a first date the next time you met,” Masini told INSIDER. “This will give you a different perspective on that person.”
You’ll already be familiar with their life and many of their quirks
Masini said there is sometimes less of a risk involved when you become friends with someone before you date them. She said this is the case because you already know a lot about this person before committing to them including what their life is like on a daily basis, their job, their family, and their interests.
“You don’t have to invest in a relationship with someone you’re meeting as a date and wonder if they really [sic] are who they say they are,” she told INSIDER. ” … You know what this person’s life is like.”
You get to avoid some of the awkwardness that can come with introducing your partner to your other loved ones for the first time
“You don’t have to introduce them to friends and family in those awkward, stressful meetups. That’s because your friend who you’ve started dating is already someone who’s known to your social circle and you to theirs,” Masini said.
If you have children, they may be a bit less stressed if you begin dating someone they’re already familiar with
If one or both of you have children, chances are the kids have already met and may even know each other pretty well. This can possibly make the situation a lot less tense and stressful for everyone involved, Masini told INSIDER.
“Meeting each others’ children is one of the biggest deals when dating a single parent. But if you’re friends first, your kids probably know each other and this is less of a drama for them,” she added.
You’ve potentially already been through difficult times together
One upside to being friends before dating is that you probably already feel like you can be yourself around that person under a variety of different circumstances, including difficult ones.
“When you start dating someone, you may wonder what they’ll think when they see you with food poisoning, without your game face and fancy dating clothes on or after an emotional crying jag over a fight with your mother or best friend,” Masini said. “All that is obsolete with a friend. They’ve already been there, done that – and they still like you.”
You can skip some of the sometimes awkward stages of getting to know each other
Getting to know someone can be a fun and informative process – but if you’re already pals you can speed up the process, skip some of the typical first-date questions, and potentially begin to learn more about each other on a deeper level.
“This is because you have this knowledge of them, you don’t have to spend the typical three, six, or 12 months getting to know them [sic] before committing,” said Masini.
You’ve already had time to build up trust, which is a big foundation for any healthy relationship
By being friends first, the two of you have had ample time to get to know one another and form a trusting relationship, explained Masini. Plus, by starting with a strong friendship, the two of you are likely already comfortable with one another and can rely on each other.