Are you considering going on a first date with a friend? How do you go from just friends to dating? Maybe the two of you have been close friends for a while, and you are already really big fans of each other. But no matter how well you know a person, when you’re turning your friendship into a relationship, you’re in completely new territory. Some may find making the initial transition from play date to first date a bit weird or awkward, and yet it doesn’t have to be.
Going out with a friend
It is exciting to be able to turn a friendship into something more. And yet at the same time it may seem odd. As friends, you may be used to hanging out in groups or just on a platonic level. Going from that to holding hands can feel strange at first. But it’s actually good because you can do things that you might not do on a first date with a stranger since you are already comfortable with this person.
When you think about it, any healthy long-term relationship is really a balance of romance and friendship. You’ve already got the friendship part down, so now you just have to add a little romance. Hopefully, it should be just the two of you for a first date. If your other friends are tagging along, then it’s not really a date.
Here are some ideas on what to do for a first date with a friend…
What to do on a first date with a friend
Make a good impression. Since you’re used to getting together as friends, you have to differentiate this meeting as a date. You want to be seen as a potential partner, not just any old pal. So dress nicely, brush your teeth, comb your hair, wash your car, and be courteous. Guys can bring flowers or a box of chocolates for the girl but keep it simple, nothing elaborate.
Don’t go overboard. Plan something that fits your vibe, with a touch of romance. But you don’t need to instantly jump from being friends to having a candlelit dinner with violin music playing. There will be plenty of time for that, so don’t overdo it on the first date or you will find it difficult to top that one. Besides, if you come on too strongly on the first date, it might make the other person uncomfortable.
Do something different. As friends, you have your usual go-to plans like movies, mini-golf, or parties. But since this is your first date with a friend, you don’t want to do what you normally do together or it won’t seem like a date. Branch out from the norm for that tinge of excitement about it being a date and not just a regular hangout. Try a new restaurant, visit a popular tourist spot that neither of you has been to before, attend a local film or music festival, go to a museum, botanical garden, or entertainment park. It does not need to be anything major or even last long. The key thing is to see each other in a new dynamic.
Use your history to your benefit. One of the worst things about a typical first date is the unknown. Thankfully, when going on a first date with a friend, you aren’t going in blind. You get to talk about old times, inside jokes, and anything else you already know about the other person. This gives you an advantage, since you can skip the basics and take the conversation to a deeper level.
Don’t rush things. You may be eager for the relationship to take off since you already have the basics of getting to know each other out of the way due to your friendship. However, the relationship still needs nurturing before it can become the serious commitment you are hoping for. Since you’re used to being just friends, it may take some effort to slowly ease into the more romantic side of things. You will both need time to make a mental and physical transition from “friends” to “couple.”
Learn more about each other. Even though you already know a lot about this friend, there is always more to learn. If you have known each other for a while, you should already have some idea of what your friend likes, dislikes, and does for fun. Deepen your interest in them. Do you share the same values, beliefs, passions? Focus on activities and interests that you share with an eye to demonstrating your compatibility.
Share your motives. The thing that strengthens any relationship is communication. This is someone you are already compatible with, so don’t be afraid to talk about more personal things. As friends, certain topics may have been off-limits. Now that you are on a date, open up more about what you’re looking for in the long run, your hopes and dreams, and anything else. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your feelings. Discuss what sparked your interest in going on a date. Talk about what you think of each other. Try to find out if the feeling is mutual. Be clear with each other about your expectations. And be sure you are both on the same page.
Have fun. If your friendship up until this point has been fun and witty, then expect that to continue. Make sure not to take yourselves too seriously. When making the transition from friends to more than that, you may think you need to be more serious to be romantic. However, humor is what makes a date fun and easy. Since humor is probably something you already share as friends, let laughter bring you closer.
Enjoy the moment. You’ve been getting closer and closer to this particular friend of yours, and people have been asking if you have feelings for them. Now you’re on a real date. Don’t spend your time thinking about what others are thinking. Keep your attention on your date. You’re still best friends, except you’re more now, so it’s okay to hug or hold hands, or if you’re shy perhaps even lightly touch your friend on the arm or shoulder.
Prepare for any outcome. At the end of the date, hopefully you can both say that you had a lot of fun just like you used to, yet you also feel a budding romance. On the other hand, you both may go into the first date with high hopes, but if you find there is a total lack of chemistry, you could realize you aren’t so great as more than friends. And that’s totally fine, too.
Follow up. Assuming that everything went well, leave them a special message after the date. Tell them what a great time you had, and let them know they’re secure in your affections.
Going out on a first date with a friend does not have to bring on unwanted nerves or awkwardness. If you know how to handle it, it can be the best date you’ve ever had. 🙂