Moving from friend’s zone to lovers zone can be dicey. The risk of it turning out badly like the case of Tunde and Wande is present. He was so in love with a friend of his, Wande, who unfortunately was unaware of his feelings towards her.
Wande went on to date other men and there were times, Tunde had to sit through Wande going on about how amazing some of these men were and ache through the times, the men treated “his Wande” less than a queen. Either way, he was in pain anyway. However, telling her his feeling was not an easy task, as his attempt to prepare the ground with “Wande, you know I love you” had always met with, “Tunde, I know jare, else, I wouldn’t be talking about all these things to you.”
That was how Tunde and Wande spent their lives until Tunde let it one day, while Wande ranted about the man, she was currently dating. His softly spoken, “You know you wouldn’t have to go through all of these dramas, if you dated me?” had stopped her rant and she told him, how she thought, he was her friend and didn’t know, he was after her like other guys. She was hurt, that he would proposition her like that.
Their friendship ended that day. They became strangers, who merely said hi to each other. Tunde was so mad with himself. He desperately wished, he hadn’t said what he did, if only, he would still be able to count Wande as his friend.
Another way, it could turn out is the case of Joke, who fell in love with her friend, Mark. Joke knew she didn’t stand a chance, not with the kind of ladies that Mark always dated. She had resigned herself to fate and was consciously opening herself up to other men, when it happened.
Mark invited her out and literally left her with her mouth open, at the elaborate efforts he put into his request to ask her, if they could date. Even if, he hadn’t put in so many efforts, she would have answered in the affirmative. Mark and Joke today have been married for seven years with two children and they are still very much in love. And that day still makes for a great story telling session with their kids.
The third scenario is to tell your friend how you feel, and if the response is negative but because the friendship is important to both parties, they make sure the moment of weakness doesn’t affect their relationship.
However, if you get the green light, to make that transition from friend zone to lovers’ zone seamless, here are a few tips you should have at the back of your mind.
- Pace yourself, don’t rush
That whole sliding into friends-with-benefits zone before so much thought is really given to the matter of a romantic relationship is a totally bad idea, especially, if you’re interested in exploring a meaningful relationship with your friend.
This attitude can sometimes preclude you from getting what you want.
The introduction of sex before establishing an emotional connection makes it hard to go back, because a degree of vulnerability has been exposed and that can’t be reversed, and often becomes a burden.
Before, it becomes a burden, take it slow, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.
- “Hanging out” automatically becomes date night
As best friends, you get pretty used to being able to just “hang out”. You can watch movies and go out and have a great time. In a relationship, it’s a little different. You can still hang out and watch movies and have a great time, but now, you can hold hands and kiss and have a great time all the same.
It’s new, but it’s so wonderfully charged it makes everything crystal clear. When your hand touches his (even though it has done that exact thing thousands of times before), you feel tingles from your fingertips directly to your heart. You have moments that you just can’t help but smile because everything about this is just wonderful.
- Know what you want
Reflect carefully on what you’re looking for out of the relationship before diving into one. Are you looking to explore the possibilities without any pressure? Are you looking for something serious and committed? Do you just want to be friends with benefits? Be clear on your vision before taking the next step with a friend
If it works out, great, if it doesn’t, you’ll know you tried and put yourself out there and were authentic. There’s no shame in asking for what you want.
- Don’t behave as though your friend turned lover doesn’t have a past
While you shouldn’t judge your friend for his or her past relationship patterns, or assume that the same will hold true for you when you get together, it’s wise to take an honest look at his or her romantic history.
It can even hold important clues to the joys and challenges you might experience as a couple. Is he or she a player? A serial monogamist who hates to be alone? A workaholic, for whom relationship ranks second after career?
While you shouldn’t assume, as it is certainly possible that he or she could be a very different partner with you, than they were with their ex(es). Either way, go into this with both eyes open.
- Keep your expectations realistic
No partner, even a close friend, is perfect. It can be arduous and painful to learn the art of being in a healthy relationship, and it takes a lot of practice.
Wherever you end up leaving any relationship is exactly where you’ll start in the next one, friend or not. So watch the baggage, you bring to the relationship.
But, love is worth it; especially the love that’s born of friendship, because you’ll always have the friendship dynamic to fall back on when you’re fighting or not seeing eye to eye as a couple.
Know that it won’t be easy, but going from friends to partners can be one of the most rewarding relationship paths out there.
To this fact, there are so many testimonies, whose friendship first of all keeps them grounded more than passion in their relationship.
So, you’re on to a great thing if, you can build on your friendship.
Stay in love!
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.