Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start as Friendships from Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start as Friendships

Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start as Friendships

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Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start as Friendships

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Many people fear falling in love with a friend, but the truth is that the friend that has been there for you all along may make the perfect significant other.

*Related: The Benefits of Creating Strong Relationships

Friendship is based on values not ideals

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"Friends are attracted to each other because they share the same values in life, and this makes for enduring harmony in a relationship over time,” says Relationship Counsellor Sam Jones. “Romantic love often blinds us to the other person’s character flaws or to our differences.”

Friendships are not just based on physical attraction

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"Often the initial physical attraction we feel for a person comes to dominate as our desires take center stage,” Jones says. “Once the desire and libido falls away we can feel a little shocked at the person we find ourselves with.” Friendship relationships may develop the other way around, where deeper alliances in terms of values or connection become attractive to us,” Jones adds.

We already know the real person

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"Friendships allow us to know the real person, without that other person working so hard to manage impressions,” Jones says. “We are more likely to be basing our interest on a range of that person’s behavior, including good and bad mood days – not just what they want us to see over a short period of dating."

Friendships show you a person’s commitment

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“When you start from a friendship base, it says something about the other person’s genuine interest in you as a person and their commitment to your relationship,” Jones says. “When a friend sticks by you through a difficult situation for example, it gives you a good indication of that person’s ability to manage relationship ups and downs in the future.”

You’ve found common interests

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“Too often, we fall head first into a relationship out of loneliness or lack of self-worth, for then to find our values, interests and goals are completely incompatible,” Joanne Wilson, Neuropsychotherapist and Relationship Specialist, says. “The advantage of a solid friendship allows us to gather information on these important aspects before becoming too invested with often lasting consequences.”

Your amygdala is calmer

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“Whilst the ‘love drug’ of oxytocin is flowing from the excitement of the relationship progressing to a more intimate level, a solid and respectful friendship assists in calming the amygdala (emotion centre) in the brain which helps us to think more clearly, rationally and collaborate on wise decisions for a lasting relationship,” Wilson says.

You’ve won over or accepted their friends and family

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“A relationship guarantees the whole friends and family package deal,” Wilson says. “Even if your partner’s family aren’t physically around, they have, will or are influencing them greatly so you’ve got the heads up on what you’re getting yourself into!”

Trust is established

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“If you’re edging into a more intimate relationship, you’ve probably decided over time they’re trustworthy, dependable and of good character,” Wilson says. “Friendships give the advantage of time and space to grow and flourish together before you take the risk of vulnerability and handing over your heart.”

You’re aware of each other’s beliefs

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“Friends who become involved with one another will be pre-orientated with each other's religious beliefs, political views, their normal (or abnormal) dating habits, favorite sports team, and even each other's text-language,” Dia Hicks, relationship expert and founder and CEO of SwaggerScan, says.

You already know each other’s extremes

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“The best thing about friends becoming involved is that they get to see each other's extremes,” Hicks says. “Whether it's a bad smoking habit, weekend PS2 binges, or what ‘a little dirty’ really means when they mention the status of their apartment, usually a friend will have a bird’s eye view.”