Friends or Frightened? Relationship Q&A

Lover IV by Magritte (1928)

Q: Do you think it’s better to ask someone out before or after becoming friends? I can’t figure out the least awkward way to maintain a relationship. I really like this person and want to get to know them better, but I don’t want too much tension by asking them out right away. What should I do?

If you mean “become friends” because you don’t know this person very well, perhaps you want to get to know this person better before pursuing a romantic relationship. Friendship first is a great way to build a relationship; however, friendship has no strict definition. What I mean is: friendship can be flirting and building intimacy. You can be upfront about your feelings while getting to know this person outside the pressure of a rushed romantic relationship.

On the other hand, you can go into a relationship not knowing the person very well and make that journey throughout your relationship. Sometimes this works out long-term, but in my experience, not very often. It’s an option if you think you’ll get too nervous to ask them on a date later on down the road. Dating a stranger can be fun and interesting as you get each new piece of information, but if that person ends up being someone you are incompatible with, you’ll have to make that break.

Either way, relationship or friendship, it is what you make it. Both have their pros and cons, and both could work or not work. Friendship may be the way to know before making a deep investment, a relationship may be a way to avoid the nerves of waiting. Either way, jump in. Savor the experience of getting to know someone new with the excitement of having a crush. And define a friendship or relationship with this person in your own way, at the pace that feels right to you, and with the attitude of knowing that whatever you do, you get to experience something new. Enjoy!

XOXO Erica

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