I’ve always heard people say that being friends first is the key to any great relationship. But I’ve come to realize that sleeping with your existing friends may not be the best course to take.
Friendship can be such a tricky kind of relationship. Friends are more than just people you go out and have good times with. Your friends are people that you turn to when you’re in need of advice, when you make bad choices and need to clean it up, when you’re sad, when you’re upset and feel like bashing your ex and above all – these are people who you trust. They know your good AND your bad side. They’ve seen you through your ups, and remember your downs too. And those are just friends in general.
Now, friendships between men and women, those tend to pack a whole new suitcase full of complications. When I was younger, a good guy friend told me that a guy is only friends with a girl for one reason, and he’ll wait as long as he needs to get what he wants. I didn’t believe him, I mean we were friends at the time and nothing had ever happened between us or even come up in conversation. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when he did finally make a move a few months later, and a pretty bold one at that. Even then, I didn’t believe it. I kept thinking that people are friends because they enjoy each other’s company, regardless of their sex. It just had to be true.
For years, I maintained that belief. I incessantly argued for its validity, no matter what anyone else had to say or what their personal experiences were. I was right. I was right because I was younger, because I felt untainted by the world and because I considered their insights to be quite cynical to be honest.
You see, having grown up around boys, I had my fair share of male friends, and those friendships were strictly platonic. I had one friendship in particular that I always used as an example of two people that could be friends without any hint of sexual tension. That is, until my first longtime relationship ended, for good, and suddenly that friendship changed.
All of a sudden, in the midst of my heartbreak, my friend wanted to be more than just my friend. To say that this revelation threw me would be an understatement. But looking back, I feel pretty naïve to not have seen that coming, but I guess I was still pretty green at that point in my life…and pretty stubborn too.
So after a lot of time, and painfully drawn out conversations about the possibility of taking our friendship to the next level, we did. I thought who better to help me heal this broken heart than a close friend? Right?
The thing is, when you take an existing friendship that’s been in your life for over a decade, to that elusive “next level,” you taint it. You only have two places to go from there, you either get serious or you get awkward. And when you’re not sure of your feelings or if they exist or if it was just a part of your healing process, you complicate the situation and make it awkward enough for both of you.
Word of advice, if you’re going to take that step, think it through. Really think it through.