“Let’s be friends!” We’ve all heard it before.
Think back, do you remember hearing these words over and over and not knowing what to do and feeling frustrated, mad, and going through a hard time accepting it?
They wanted to be your friend, but for some reason, you twisted and turned it and did everything you could to try to convince them that being friends was not what you wanted. You wanted a relationship. Take heart as it may not be another case of unrequited love.
Developing friendship before the relationship is eventually a good thing for both of you.
We are often caught between the reality, and what we want
After trying to convince them, you may have finally decided it was time to give up and walk away. Yet it took you a long time to let go.
Many people have been through this. Many people want to be with someone who doesn’t want a relationship and only wants to be friends or just be friends before dating.
So is keeping a friendship before relationship good or bad? Let’s find out.
What it means to be friends before dating
Friendship is the first thing you need and very important when it comes to developing a relationship. Being friends gives you the opportunity to get to know the person for who they are and gives you the opportunity to learn things about them that you would not have learned otherwise.
When you jump into a relationship without being friends first, all types of issues and challenges may occur. You begin to expect more from the person and sometimes set unrealistic expectations.
By putting friendship before a relationship, you can easily decide whether they are the perfect one to date or not as there will be no pretense and more open space to talk about things that matter.
Friends first, then lovers
Why put so much pressure on someone because of your own expectations and desires? When you develop a genuine friendship, there are no expectations. You both can be your true selves. You can learn everything you want to know about each other. You don’t have to worry about pretending to be someone you’re not.
Your prospective partner can relax in knowing that they can be themselves, and not worry about if you’re going to ask about a relationship.
Developing a bond of friendship before a relationship may be better than just letting attraction get the better of you and discovering later that you can’t even be good friends.
You can date other people
When it comes to a friendship, there are no strings attached and you are free to date and see other people if you like. You’re not tied or obligated to them. You don’t owe them any explanations for the decisions you make.
If your prospective partner asks you to just be friends with them, take it in your stride, and give them just that. Give him friendship without expecting it to blossom into a relationship. You may find that being friends is for the best and that you don’t want to be in a relationship with them.
It’s better to find out during the friendship phase that you don’t want a relationship, instead of finding out later, when you have connected emotionally with them. Being friends before lovers also ensures that the initial infatuation wears off.
You are able to see the other person for who they are and also present your real self to them, which is an excellent foundation for a long-term relationship. In any case, friendship in such a relationship is also important to keep the cogs turning.
Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray did it (Lost In Translation), Uma Thurman and John Travolta did it (Pulp Fiction) and best of all Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney did it classic style (My Best Friend’s Wedding).
Well, they all placed friendship before relationship and their platonic bond worked out just fine. And it can happen just that way in real life too. Only if building a friendship before a relationship is a priority for you.
Building a friendship before dating
Being friends before dating is never a bad idea as it means that there is nothing superficial about the relationship. In fact, the chances of having a successful relationship also go up if you are a friend first.
But before forming a friendship before a serious relationship, you may have genuine confusion and questions like ‘how to be friends first before dating’ or ‘how long should you be friends before dating.’
Well, it all depends on what your initial chemistry is like and how it develops as you get to know each other. For some, the transition from friends to lovers happens within months while others may take years.
So, the next time they ask you to just be friends, consider saying okay, and remember that this is an opportunity for you to get to know them without being emotionally tied. It’s not the end of the world to put friendship before the relationship.
Though it’s not what you want or expect, there’s nothing wrong with being their friend and accepting that this is what they want. Many times, being friends is the best option.
Here are 12 reasons why accepting let’s be friends, is the best thing that could happen to you, because-
1. You get to know their real self and not who they pretend to be
2. You can be yourself
3. You don’t have to be accountable
4. You can date and get to know other people if you want
5. You can decide if being friends is better than being in a relationship with them
6. You don’t have to be under pressure to be yourself or be someone else
7. You don’t have to convince them to like you
8. You don’t have to convince them that you are the “One”
9.You don’t have to talk about entering a relationship with them
10. You don’t have to answer their calls or texts every time if you really can’t or don’t want to
11. You don’t have to obliged to communicate with them every day
12. You don’t have to convince them that you’re a good person
The bottom line
Putting friendship before a relationship gives you the opportunity to be free, free to be who you are, and free to choose to be in a relationship with him or not.
Read More: Happiness is Being Married to Your Best Friend
Hopefully, after reading this, you will realize that “Let’s Be Friends” is not such a bad statement, after all.
More by Dr. LaWanda N. Evans