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Do you remember Mario’s track “Just A Friend”? It came out 13 years ago. (Wow, time flies. Check out the video and remember Mario as a youngin’.)

Anyway, the song is about the plight of a guy who wants to be more than friends with a girl who has in fact put him in the friend zone. The friend zone is always an interesting characterization. To my ears, being friend zoned always sounds like someone likes you, but doesn’t like you “like that,” or is not sexually attracted to you.

MUST READ: Blurred Lines: Should You Really Stay Friends With Your Ex?

Can a person get out of the friend zone? Well, of course. Sometimes it takes a person a while to see that the person who has been the close friend is actually “the one.”

But trying to get out of the friend zone or opening the doors for someone who you’ve put in the friend zone takes honesty, tact, and the willingness to take a chance. After all, if a guy has been a friend for a while, dating him is going to be a different experience. And more importantly, there is always the downside of such a risk – the possibility that your relationship will suck, end badly and consequently, your previous friendship will be in trouble, if not completely over.

So, what are the pros and cons of dating your best guy friend? You’re dating  someone who already knows you really well!

Which if you really think about it, the hardest part of dating is trying to get to know someone, them trying to get to know you, and seeing if the two of you are “right” for each other. In an ideal world, people would be forthcoming about who they are and what they want, but if you’ve been through the dating struggle or are in it currently, you know that is not always the case. But dating a friend eliminates this process. The person already knows (and probably loves) you for who you are – flaws and all.

The cons of dating your best guy friend – apart from the relationship possibly ending in complete disaster and thus, ruining a friendship and maybe even utterly changing the dynamics of an entire friend group – have to be taken into consideration.

Getting to know someone intimately in a romantic way can reveal things that you didn’t know (or didn’t want to know) about who that person is. But interestingly too, you know how the hardest part of dating is getting to know someone? In some ways, that is also the best part, and you lose a little bit of that if you decide to date a friend.

Sure, it’s not the end of the world, but there are some hardline romantics who may have a problem with this. Whether we want to admit it or not, many of us want serendipity when it comes to falling in love. And while that happens, there’s no way of guaranteeing that your knight in shining armor will save you from a broken heel in the middle of the street or lock eyes with you at the deli counter while getting lunch.

In the end, good friends are really hard to find. And if you’re going to potentially risk a friendship for something more, don’t be attached to whatever outcome that happens. You could end up hating each other, you could end up being married for the rest of your lives. Who knows? But make sure that it’s worth the risk. And if you think the risk is in fact worth it, take solace from the fact that many successful relationships and marriages always say, “Be with your best friend.”

And sure, that might be a stranger you met at a bar, online or through friends, who eventually becomes your best friend. Or maybe you’re best friends already and he’s looking at you and wondering why you say he’s just a friend.

READ MORE:

Does Dating Suck? Maybe It’s Time To Move

He’s Not That Into You: The Tell-Tale Signs That Prove He’s Not Interested

All The Feels: 12 Gut-Wrenching & Terrifying Stages Of Falling In Love

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