Relationships

Relationship advice: How to turn a friendship into a romance

By: Yuki Hayashi

Author: Canadian Living

Relationships

Relationship advice: How to turn a friendship into a romance

By: Yuki Hayashi
Can your best bud become your main squeeze? Sometimes the chemistry that was nonexistent at the beginning of a friendship kicks into high gear as time goes on. Affection may grow on its own. Or one of you may have a sudden epiphany – like when your potential paramour falls in love with someone else, is about to be married or breaks up with his existing partner.

Here are some possible scenarios, and some tactics and risks to consider when trying to turn a friend into something more.

Scenario: "OMG: he's about to get married… and not to me!"
Just in time for his wedding, you realize he's not just an awesome friend…he's meant to be your husband, not hers.

Considerations
• Maybe you just want him because now you won't be able to have him – ever.
• Maybe this isn't about you wanting him per se – it's about wanting your great friendship to remain the same.

What to do
Sit down and talk… well, well, well before his wedding date. Preferably before he even sets a wedding date.

Risk factor: HIGH
Seriously: He dreams of happily-ever-after with this woman. If he rejects your declaration of love, your friendship may be ruined forever. (Ditto if he leaves you for her and then you both realize later that – oops! – it wasn't meant to be after all.)

Scenario: Neither of you has had much luck with love lately. Maybe the two of you could make a go of romance: After all, you have so much in common.

Considerations
• On paper, this sounds logical. But if the chemistry isn't there, you're missing one of the key aspects of romance.

What to do
See if romantic feelings develop if you start treating him more as a date. Start socializing in a more date-like context: movies, meals out, walks. Dress as you would for a date and wear makeup. See if he notices. Just as important, see if you notice any new feelings. Do you feel attracted to him?

Risk factor: LOW
If you start treating him as a date but find there really is no chemistry, you can simply revert to your old buddy-buddy habits.

Page 1 of 2 - Suddenly realize your friend is hot? Find out what to do on page 2.


Scenario: One of you is about to move far away and now you realize you'll miss him like crazy.

Considerations
• Will you miss him, or does he represent things like home, familiarity and your familiar social life?

What to do
• Wait for a visit, then see if time apart has caused passions to flare.
• Don't have "The Talk" before "The Move": It's not fair of you to ask him (or yourself) to pass up a great opportunity just because you think you might make a great couple.

Risk factor: LOW TO MODERATE
Time apart will clarify your feelings. A visit is the perfect opportunity for romance, and if it's meant to happen it will. If not – but you still think he's The One – have The Talk. If it doesn't go so well, you can always attribute your ardour to missing his company, laugh it off, and get your friendship relatively back to normal.

Scenario: "What?! When did he get so hot?!"
You never really noticed your friend in that way. But for whatever reason – you spent time apart, he lost weight, or perhaps you finally have the correct contact lens prescription – you suddenly realize he's handsome.

Considerations
• Who knows, maybe he's thinking the same thing about you.

What to do
Compliment him on his yumminess. But walk a fine line. "Dude! You finally got abs!" sounds jocular and chummy. "Looking good! You know, I never realized what great shape you're in," strikes a flirtier note.

Flirt and move your get-togethers to date nights like Fridays or weekends, and see if it segues into actual dating.

Risk factor: MODERATE
Your attractiveness may become more obvious to him if you act less fraternal and more flirtatious. But read his responses: He may be delighted, or your new attentions could embarrass him. If the latter is the case, cut your losses and cool it.

Scenario: One – or both of you – is/are newly single. And you're noticing a frisson that wasn't there before.

Considerations
• There's a difference between "boyfriend and girlfriend" and "friends with benefits." Clarify what you're both seeking before things get too serious.

What to do

Looks like things are right on track!

Risk factor: LOW

Let's face it: it's already occurred to you both, so go for it and enjoy!

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Relationship advice: How to turn a friendship into a romance

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