Let's Talk About Friendship And Dating

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Is it ok to ever date a friend? Should I be in a relationship? We answer the most asked questions about friendship and dating.

Friends are one of the most important groups of people we have in life. Whether you share everything or just enough when it comes to your romantic life with them, it can become tricky to know where to draw the line.

Here are the most common questions when it comes to friendship and dating answered by us:

Should I give my friends dating advice?

Yes - if you know they want it. We’ve all seen a time where our friends make questionable dating/relationship decisions and while you may feel like it’s your place to step in and have a word with them, think carefully before you do. There could be a reason why they made that decision. However if you know they made the choice based on an insecurity of theirs, it is a good time to raise the issue with them - but offer a solution. You don’t want to make them even more vulnerable to judgement especially from someone who is meant to be close with them.

Being a voice of reason is admirable - but know your limits. Pushing them to re-evaluate their choices could ruin your friendship and might hinder them opening about their dating life to you in the future. Find a balance in being supportive and truthful and guide them appropriately with an objective view if you can. Don’t hold their past actions against them unless you see them repeating them, in which case your advice could become valuable.

If your friend is single and you want to help them out, why not actively help them with advice e.g. help them pick good pictures, fashion advice (if they’re open to it) or even help pick matches for them on Wingman.

Can friends become more than friends?

Absolutely. Some of the best relationships start out with friendship before romantic feelings enter the picture. Having someone who knows you, the true you, is something we all look for in a relationship. The advantage of starting out as friends is that there is no pressure to become something more. If at some stage in your friendship you see each other in a new light, this is the time  where you need to evaluate what’s important to you. E.g Will you be ok with risking your friendship as it is by revealing how you really feel about them? Once it’s out there, it can be hard to go back to how your friendship once was. 

If you feel you both are on the same page but want to be sure, ask a mutual friend for advice. They can confirm for you before you take that important step. Unrequited love can also harm a friendship if one person wants more when the other just wants to be platonic. Learn to accept how the other feels and if you can’t resolve your feelings for them, it might be time to end the friendship if it hurts you. 

Is it ever ok to date a friend’s ex?

Maybe. We have friends and then we have acquaintances. It’s important to distinguish one from the other. Friends can be considered people that you talk to regularly, share emotional thoughts with and where loyalty can be created. Acquaintances are people you’ve met but your bond isn’t strong enough to be called a friendship. If you are acquaintances and you’ve developed feelings for someone they’ve dated in the past, it is worth assessing what the consequences could be. Dating a friend’s ex is usually a no-go area but there can be exceptions. E.g they genuinely tell you that it’s ok and while it didn’t work out between them, they think you both would be a great match. In situations like this, it’s better to be upfront about how you’re feeling and if you genuinely think you have strong feelings for their ex, then be honest.

How do I avoid becoming the third wheel?

When you’re single and all your friends are coupled up, it can feel lonely when you hang out with them, even if it was their idea to invite you. Take this as an opportunity for them to help you out. Ask if you can bring a friend next time you hang out or if they would be willing to set you up. Trust us when we say friends are always willing to help out the single one in the group. Remember it’s ok to decline an invite if you feel like you’ll be uncomfortable. Don’t rush into a relationship just because you’re surrounded by them, choose what’s right for you.

How do I be honest with my friends about my dating life?

Look, we all know some friends can be quite judgemental when it comes to our dating lives. As a result, we feel like we can’t be completely honest with them. Learn to recognise when your friends get defensive with you e.g. have you been talking to someone new but haven’t met them yet? Your friends could be worried you’ll end up getting hurt. Group settings can also come with pressure, we often don’t like being completely honest if all eyes are on us. Choose one or two friends to open up to and let them help you navigate what decision to take.

Why are my friends in relationships but I can’t seem to be in one myself?

Everyone has their time. It may feel like everyone else around you has their life in order and seem to be happy in a relationship but not everything is what it seems. Don’t be in a relationship just for the sake of it. We often settle for relationships that don’t necessarily feel right because the pressure to not be single could be too much. Instead of seeing it as time wasted, see it as time earned, to learn about who you are and what makes you happy. We neglect our own feelings over the disappointment of being single but what if we used the time to find out what we really want instead of basing it on what we see around us. The best relationship is the one you have with yourself...but when you’re finally ready, your friends can help you find your next one.

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