Should you stay friends after dating?
When I was single and looking to meet someone, I was clear in my head that I wanted to get married. I wasn’t into dating just for the sake of it, and I would have let anyone that I was interested in or that was interested in me, know, before things got serious. But I’ve often wondered, what if you start to develop feelings for the person you’re talking with and along the line they tell you that they just want to be friends? Or that they’re not looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage? What happens when you want something more? Do you just keep the relationship going, in the hope that they will come round to what you want, or do you end it and count your losses?
Personally, I think it is important to be clear from the onset about what you want out of a potential romantic relationship. Having a conversation about where you would both like to see the relationship head to is a good idea. When you do this is completely up to you, but bear in mind that if you leave it too long you run the risk of developing feelings and strong attachments to someone only to find out that they just want to be your friend and nothing more. Making sure you’re both on the same page early on saves you from potential heartbreak in the future.
So, does that mean that if someone is only after a friendship they should be cancelled? I don’t think so. Friendship is a great part of any relationship, and the truth is that even if your relationship were to end in marriage, friendship is the perfect foundation for any marriage. Therefore, if you meet someone and develop a great friendship with them, I think it is worth maintaining that friendship, even if it doesn’t lead to marriage.
However, things can get tricky where there are emotions involved so if you don’t think you can handle being friends with them because you want more out of the relationship, then it may be wise to end things so you can focus on finding someone on the same page as you.
This is why it is really important to be clear on what you’re looking for, early on in any relationship. Don’t assume you both want the same thing, otherwise this can lead to disappointment down the road.
You may be wondering, ‘can two single members of the opposite sex be just friends, with no strings attached?’ Absolutely! I know a couple of women who don’t necessarily want to get married, but just want a man for the companionship- someone to go to the theatre with or to go on holidays with. It may seem like a foreign concept to some, but it seems to work very well for them.
In the end it just depends on what is most important to you. If you’re dating for the sole purpose of meeting someone to marry, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making that clear to the people you’re conversing with. If you’re open to just being friends, that’s completely fine too, as long as you make sure you’re protecting your heart in the process.
Deciding whether to stay friends after dating can be tricky, so be wise and discerning as you meet new people and work out the best path.