Times have changed. No longer are people expected to only have friends of the same sex. Nowadays one is just as likely to be great friends with the opposite sex. However, this new freedom can result in complications. While one can easily find themselves enjoying these friendships, it is also easy to develop deep feelings for these friends. So where does the complication come in?
Think about it for a moment. There are many cases in which the people involved are already a part of a couple. Therefore, these friendships can add to any current problems the couple may be experiencing. If jealousy is an issue such a friendship is almost certain to make matters worse.
But for a moment let’s assume that neither of you is involved in a relationship. What happens if your ‘friend’ or you want more than a casual friendship? What are the concerns and issues that should be considered?
One of the most basic things people will say to this is that if they are true friends that alone will provide a solid foundation for a relationship. And no truer words have been spoken. But that statement should be qualified with the mentioning of the type of friendship they have and what it is based on.
Let me explain. If a couple has developed a friendship through their place of work there could be some dire consequences of a real relationship. For example, imagine having to work together when you are having relationship issues. Or even worse perhaps could be the ending of this relationship and still having to work with that person. Obviously, you would see him or her move on with their life. What would come of your friendship and your working relationship?
Can such relationships turn into lifelong partnerships? Certainly. But the truth is that true friend is hard to come by. If you have found a real friend you may be risking what you have now if you decide to turn that friendship into something else.
Of course, all partners should be friends. In fact, most lasting couples say that their partner is their best friend. But sadly, there are more relationships that do not last than there is that turn into lifelong relationships.
With all that in mind, how do you determine if you should act on the feelings and desires of turning a friendship into a relationship? To begin, you need to move forward very slowly. Rather than asking your friend for a date, you might ask him or her to have a drink with you. This can be done casually and you can gauge the reaction you get. At this point, you are probably unsure if your friend has similar feelings for you. Having a drink or cup of coffee can help disclose hidden emotions. It gives you an opportunity to talk and explore different subjects.
If things go well you can easily begin making regular arrangements to spend more and more time together, thus allowing the relationship to develop on its own. And if it seems that it is going nowhere you can back off and easily go back to the friendship as it has always been. Although you may have to deal with some emotional issues this strategy will allow you to keep your good friend and to allow him or her the freedom to have relationships with others, as you give your blessings and encouragement.
Alex Wise is the publisher and founder of the Loveawake online dating site, which launched in July 2009 and has been providing original free dating services and relationship advice, tips, articles, reviews, and videos to readers ever since. Follow him on the company site or on Facebook and Twitter