Can “Friends Before Dating” Really Work?

What would be the difference between your boyfriend and your friend?

Imagine you meet someone that you’re not attracted to. Then later, as some times goes by, suddenly, you begin to notice all these fantastic qualities about them that you didn’t know existed, and boom! You’re in love! Is that a 90s sitcom plot or what?!

I love this idea. Many experts advise that couples should be friends first. Then the relationship is based on personal compatibility, not just sexual chemistry.

Jealousy and possessiveness occur in all relationships- including friendships. I’ve been envious of new friends that supplant old friendships. I also have friends who don’t share their different friend circles, for fear of social miscegenation. Also, everyone has had or been a “bad friend” at some point in their lives, right?

I’ve found that the only real distinction between friend and boyfriend is the attraction factor. A boyfriend is actually a friend that you’d like to get kinky with as soon as possible.

When I meet someone, I can size him up in about 30 seconds and decide whether or not we will ever see each other naked.

If I’m attracted to a guy, then I really can’t befriend him. I’ll be “friendly,” but a real friendship requires some level of honesty and ease. I know some people are capable of masking their true feelings, but that’s just not in my nature. It just sounds like your waiting for the inevitable letdown, you know?

    Successful romantic relationships have three phases:

  • 1. Attraction
  • 2. Bonding in friendship
  • 3. Commitment

This list makes more sense. Attraction must always be present and must always come prior to any romantic connection. It doesn’t have to be physical, but I think there needs to be something about that person that turns you on.

Attraction is also the feeling of being in sync with someone. With friends, you get along great and have lovely conversations, but finding someone you have a unique connection with–whether you share the same humor, frequent the same Swarm locales or both love “True Blood”– is what gets chemistry beakers boiling.

Attraction is that magic ingredient that makes your heart race when you get a text message from your sweetheart or what fills your stomach with butterflies whenever you see him at your doorway.

Attraction is also what is missing when you feel weird and regretful after you’ve just hooked up with someone who’s just a friend.

I think a related question, and one that I have been thinking about for my entire life, is whether or not guys and girls can truly be “friends” at all.

Short answer?

Yes.

It’s important to treat all your friendships with respect. Be honest. Be kind. And promise to be platonic from now on.

If you stick to that philosophy, then you can and definitely should be friends.

Jula Gordano

Jula is the resident beauty gadget specialist at TLSR, and is a native New Yorker.

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