Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist

Relationships are meant to be complicated. Throughout life, as we grow and change, so do the associations we have with people in our lives. Maturity levels rise, lessons teach what previously wasn’t known and sometimes, even friends can end up being something more.

I never really thought about dating a friend and the option never really presented itself to me. But after doing some extensive research on my close friends and relatives, I realized that most of their relations began as a simple friendship.

I witnessed such an account with my friends, Catherine and Kyle, just last year. We all had been friends for quite some time and, after awhile, my friend Latham and I began to notice some peculiar behavior between our two friends.

The covert stares that they thought no one was noticing, or secret smoochies that went on behind closed doors, were all clear indications that something was going on. My entire group of friends and I found it even more hilarious that we knew they were dating before they even did.

After a couple of weeks, and after their realization that we all knew what they were up to, they casually came out with it and admitted to us that they were dating. It has managed to become an ongoing joke to this day between all of us and they’ve been happy together ever since.

This situation got me thinking about friends and the possibility of them becoming something more. Friends are the people who know you the best, who care for you when you need help and who are there for you when you need them to be.

I wondered why I never thought that this was a good idea, and why I have never tried it. Recently, I got my chance.

In the past year, I became friends with as many people as my schedule would allow; Jason was one of them. It was strange when we first met because we never were actually introduced.

We would both hang out with the same people and after several different occasions, I finally decided to introduce myself to him.

After that, we continued to be friends and I thought nothing of it. Then a friend told me they heard from a private source that Jason found me attractive. I didn’t really believe it at first and figured I would just take it as hearsay.

To my surprise, a couple days later Jason came over and we had a brief talk regarding the rumors. He informed me that the rumor wasn’t a rumor at all and left me to decide on what the best action from that point on would be.

At first, I told him that I never really thought about him in that way, and that it would probably be better to just stay friends. For some reason, the idea of dating a friend seemed strange to me, unnatural in that I’d never actually had a relationship with a friend.

As I continued to contemplate the idea of dating Jason in my head, I began to wonder if maybe this was the opportunity I had been looking for, and if my reaction might have been a bit hasty.

Finally, I decided to take the chance; if Catherine and Kyle could make a friendship into something better, then maybe I could too.

Jason and I enjoyed lunch, a couple movies and some great conversations during our dates, and it seemed that as I continued to learn more and more about him, I became more intrigued.

I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make the transition from someone I was friends with to someone I was romantically interested in. I love that the awkward first meeting was already taken care of because we already knew each other.

Despite the benefits of dating a friend, a person must also understand the possible consequences of such a relationship. How could the dynamic of your group change if you broke up?

After all, not all break ups end peacefully, and such a divide could cause an unfixable rift in the group holistically – leaving you not only without a partner, but also without the support system of friends because they surely will not want to take sides.

So make sure that if you’re going to break up with your friend-turned-partner, either make it a clean break so that you can resume being friends, or do your best to alleviate the drama.

Either way, if you’re wondering about whether it’s a good idea to date a friend, I would say, why not?
Taking a chance like this can be risky; it could end badly, but if your options are open – as well as your mind – to the many possibilities that life has to offer, you could end up being a part of something that you never expected, something better and maybe even bigger than you.

After all, you never really know how things will turn out and you could end up finding exactly what you were looking for, found in a place you never would have expected.