I’m friendly with a lot of people, and it’s mostly fun. Sometimes, when I get worn out on Tinder (two seconds into swiping), I think “why not just date someone I already know?” Surely I could scour my social networks for one person who wanted to go on a date with me (don’t argue with me on this, please, I beg you). There are a few things to keep in mind before dating someone you’re friendly with, and I made a list of them for you.
While I love the idea of going on a date with someone I’m already friendly with, I know it comes with a few extra things to think about. Dating someone you’ve never met before also has its challenges, to be fair. But do keep in mind that you already know the other person, so you already know some facts and info about them that you’ll have to be mindful of as you date them. You’re friendly with them for a reason, which is that you like them as a person, so don’t be afraid to get involved with someone you’re friendly with (if that’s what you want).
1. YOU MIGHT RUN INTO THEM A LOT
Maybe they’re in your circle of friends. Maybe you see them regularly at work or the gym or your favorite bar. You’ve become friendly with them because you’ve met them at least a few times before, so you could run into them again. If you’re afraid of seeing someone you’re dating (or have dated) in the real world, keep this in mind before dating someone you’re friendly with.
2. YOU ALREADY KNOW FACTS ABOUT THEM
When you date someone who you’re already friendly with, there’s a lot about them you already know. You might know where they’re from, what they do, and — possibly — who they’ve dated before. This is all totally fine and normal, but it does mean that the first date isn’t a get-to-know-you as much as a let’s-make-conversation, so you’ll have to keep that in mind when dating someone you’re friendly with.
3. YOU COULD LOSE A FRIEND
Breakups happen, and if the person you’re interested in dating is a friend, you do run the risk of that friendship ending. Of course, many couples break up and remain friends (and there’s no guarantee you’ll break up), but adding another layer to the friendship (a romantic layer, like the middle of a red velvet cake) does mean the underlying friendship could be at risk later on.
4. THEY MIGHT TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS
They might be friends with a lot of your friends, which is how you got to know them in the first place. This doesn’t mean they’ll tell your friends anything bad about you, but they might casually slip to your friends that the two of you are seeing each other. If you’re on the private side and like to wait a bit before sharing things with your friends (and the mutual friends you have might not be your closest friends), this is something to keep in mind.
5. YOU HAVE TO SHIFT HOW YOU SEE EACH OTHER
You’ve seen each other in a friendly way before. Maybe you’ve had a little crush (hence why you’re now starting to date), but it hasn’t yet become romantic. The two of you will have to shift your perceptions to see each other as potential romantic or sexual partners (which is totally doable, it’s just something to think about beforehand).
6. YOU COULD LEARN YOU DON’T LIKE THEM
I’ve had guys I’ve seen around and exchanged a few sentences with every now and then, and I would have told you I had crushes on them. Sometimes, a small interaction is all it takes. But sometimes you have a longer interaction and realize they’re not actually someone you want to date. Try to consider this if you’re going to start dating a person you’re already friendly with — it’s OK for your feelings to change, but it might be easier if you’re ready for it.
7. THEY MAY HAVE IDEAS ABOUT WHO YOU ARE
When you go on a first date, you might want to feel like you have a clean slate. If you’re already friendly with the other person, they could have a preconceived idea about who you are, such as assuming you’re very serious when they just haven’t seen your silly side yet, and this can change the date. As long as the two of you are open to getting to know each other in an honest sense, this won’t be an issue, but it’s something to think about beforehand.
8. THEY MAY ALREADY HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Is your Instagram or Twitter private? Mine isn’t, but many times, I’ve wished it were. I don’t love going on a first date with someone who’s seen my “content” (dog pics, poop occasionally included) ahead of time, but it happens. If you’re friendly with someone, you might be following each other on all social media platforms, private or not. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just more information that they know about you that may or may not represent the real you, so keep it in mind before the date.
9. YOUR FRIENDS COULD HAVE AN OPINION ON IT
My friends sometimes have an opinion on who I date based strictly on a few Tinder screenshots, so if I go out with someone they already know, they’re pretty ready to chime in. This can be really helpful because if they like the person, they’ll be extra supportive, but you should try to be ready for other outcomes too.
Dating someone you’re friendly with can be a really fun experience. You’re friendly because you like each other’s vibe and maybe you have some hobbies in common that cause you to run into each other. As long as you can put aside preconceived ideas about who the other person is and accept them for who they are, you can have a great experience. So don’t be afraid put down the apps and go have a blast with someone you already know!
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