There's nothing quite like feeling a spark of attraction between you and someone you just met, but lately, we've been wondering whether it's better to date a friend, or at least somebody we've known longer than just a couple of weeks, and who knows more about us than just our name and phone number. Sure, the transition from friend-to-boyfriend might feel a little weird at first, but we think that the benefits of dating one might just overrule the awkwardness.
1. He's familiar with your bad side.
Let's face it, during the first few months of dating someone new, it's easy to hold yourself together and pretend like you don't have a dark side (everybody has one). You downplay your insecurities in hope that he won't see you as clingy, and you supress the fact that you occasionally get moody, jealous, or pointlessly angry. As a friend, he will not only be aware of your personal weaknesses, but he will know how to respond to them in a way that is constructive to the relationship and to your desire to improve yourself.
On that same note, you'll be aware of his bad fashion sense, his corny jokes, and his strange fondness for period pieces before you start dating him. Heck, you might even love him all the more for the quirks you would find annoying in anybody else.
2. You're more or less aware of each other's relationship history.
Chances are, you'll feel less self-conscious about the number of guys in your past if your boyfriend already knows about them before deciding to date you. Even better, you'll probably have an inkling of an idea about why his past relationships didn't work out. That way, both of you will have a sense of each other's relationships styles and issues and will be better prepared to deal with potential conflicts.
3. You're comfortable with each other.
It takes a few weeks (if not longer) to feel completely at ease with somebody new. Should you eat ice cream from the container in front of him? Should you reveal that you're a twentysomething who still rereads Harry Potter on occasion? When dating someone who started out as a friend, you can skip the neurotic "I need to impress him" phase and go straight to wearing no makeup and nerding out together on Saturdays spent indoors.
4. It's exciting.
Dating a friend might seem less glamorous than falling in love at first sight, but what's more suspenseful than decoding a friend's flirty mixed signals for signs of romantic intentions? If the relationship goes well, you'll be swept away at how a good friend turned out to be an even better boyfriend. Trust us, you'll swear off the random guys you meet during happy hour forever!
5. There's always something to talk about.
We've all dated someone with whom we spent more time getting hot-and-heavy than in actual conversation. The moment of truth inevitably arrives during a long car ride, when you have no choice but to put on the radio because the two of you have no common interests. Aren't you ready for someone who still makes for good company even after the passion starts to plateau? Plus, just imagine the energy that you and a friend-turned-boyfriend will share after months (even years!) of pent-up romantic tension.
"Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them." — N'tima Preusser