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Friendship to Dating: Good Idea? Oh, Yeah!
Every one of my dating relationships has begun as a friendship. Yes, you have to be careful not to mess up the friendship, but it can be done. Also, if you break up, that does not mean the friendship is doomed along with it. I can tell you from experience that you can still be best friends, even after a long dating relationship that failed. I am beginning a new relationship with a best friend now, and it's fantastic!
As an example of one of the many benefits of dating this way, you get to skip the awkward getting-to-know-each-other stage. You also know you aren't going to end up with a horrible date where you spend the entire time thinking of ways to escape. In many ways, you're risking less than you would with anyone else.
My number one piece of advice: be careful, but don't be stupid about it. If he/she seems to feel the same way you do, take a chance! Don't confess your undying love, but let them know you're interested. If your friendship is fairly close already, then you can keep your friendship even if they don't return your feelings. He/she doesn't want to ruin the friendship any more than you do, and as long as you keep it simple, they won't have to be afraid of continuing it.
Basically, it comes down to this. A relationship is meaningless without friendship, so what better way to start? If you already know you work together as friends, imagine what you could be missing as a couple. I wouldn't have missed out on any of these relationships for the world. How many of you can actually say you've been happy with every date you've had?
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