Any relationship you have in your life is a lot like gardening. Whatever you water will grow and that which you ignore will wilt and die. There are a lot of similarities in friend dating and romantic dating – and some undeniable differences, too.
You should treat the two alike in the sense that both involve people who have a deep emotional and complex connection to you. Be wary and gentle with another’s heart and their time. If you start engaging in a friendship and can feel out that it’s a mismatch for your lifestyle, do the right thing and bow out. No one wants to be strung along in any regard. You aren’t doing anyone favors.
While compatibility is key, do not overlook polarity. There is a reason that opposites attract, and the same is true in the friend zone as it is romantically. Yes, meshing two different lifestyles can prove to be full of obstacles, but it will also help you expand as a human. Allowing yourself to venture outside of your comfort zone will create a more dynamic friendship.
Boundaries are essential. This should be a golden rule in any relationship. Sometimes, we find someone who gels with us so perfectly that you’re joined at the hip. Just because you and your new bestie get a long so well does not mean you should ignore your need to fly solo. Take time for yourself, even if you’re excited by your new friend in life. Everyone will be better because of it.
Communication is key, but that’s not news for anyone. This might be the one department where we need to put a fork in the road in how they are handled. There is a reason we have friendships AND romantic relationships. They meet different needs, not just the physical ones. Delegating which relationship is best to help you tackle life’s challenges is an important call to make. It’s more of a Venn diagram of communication.
Friend dating and romantic dating are more similar than you think. Dating anyone means giving a real relationship a trial run. You have to be honest and open to putting yourself out there to be discovered. You need to be gracious with your time but also remain independent. Both should foster a certain kind of growth within you while providing you a safe haven to express yourself.
(Featured image via thisisglamorous.com)