Dating your friend seems like the perfect scenario in theory. Two people who have gotten along so well and enjoy each other’s company. But can two friends ever be more, well, more than just friends? And could it ever possibly end up well? The answer to those questions is both yes and no; it just depends on making sure you know what you’re getting into. 

Before progressing from friendship to relationship, you'll want to assess the level of friendship you and your newest flame have with the rest of your friend group. While a relationship is mostly about the two people involved in it, you cannot forget about the remainder of your squad when it comes time to dating a good friend. You'll need to recognize that your group dynamic will most certainly change. That shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your feelings because your friends are most likely going to be the most supportive people of the relationship. Just try to maintain your individual and group relationships with the rest of your crew. 

I’ve only been in one relationship in my life so far, and it was with my best friend who I have known since seventh grade. He and I started dating in the beginning of our junior year of high school, and we lasted for a little over a year. While I was filled with the excitement of being in a relationship for the first time, I was conscious to not let our romance distract us from the rest of our loyal friends. Just because we were able to find love within our friend group, it didn’t mean everyone else had. For us, it meant making sure date nights didn’t interfere with weekly movie nights. We didn't want tensions to rise or feelings to get hurt. 

Whatever your situation is, do not forget about what is possibly the most important friendship—the one you have had with your S.O. Like every relationship, there is the possibility of breaking up, and whether it is amicable or messy, breaking up with someone who you were friends with before doesn’t automatically mean that you can go right back to friendship you had.

When me and my ex broke up, I remember him asking me: “can we at least still be friends?” I assured him that of course we could. While I thought that it was all going to be okay, it wasn’t. Seeing me was hard for him—even when we were hanging out with all of our friends like before. He often would leave and tell one of our friends that he felt hurt being around me. While I was partly confused and hurt, as I had thought we agreed to being friends, I realized that I was naive thinking things could just go back to being the same. The history of our relationship will always be there. While there was so much history of us being platonic friends, our friendship was never going to be the same.

Now, I’m not saying that every relationship with a friend has to play out like ours did. There are countless stories of friends who have gotten together for the long–run. There is also the possibility of being able to be friends again, and while I haven’t really been able to do that yet, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s just important to realize that before jumping into anything with the friend you’ve developed feelings for, make sure you ask yourself: Am I willing to possibly sacrifice this friendship for something more? Or is this friendship something I wouldn’t trade for the world?