• Etinosa J Ogbevoen

Reasons why you should start dating your friends

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

I'm an active dater and have been for the past 2 years which ultimately makes me a master when it comes to dating. Just kidding. But I have learned a few things about dating in the last 2 years that I think are really important to keep in mind. Let me make something very clear before you think I'm talking about romantically dating. I'm going to give you some reasons that you should put a pause on dating romantically and focus more on friend dating.

I would define friend dating as making plans with people that you actually enjoy talking to, hanging out with and building a friendship with. I'm sure you're thinking... so a friend. You are absolutely correct. You need to start dating your friends. I truly believe that we underestimate the power of friendships. If you are more interested in dating romantically, friend dating can also help you in that department.

This is my story. I'm someone who keeps my friend circle pretty small and I don't think it's by choice because I'm a pretty social person I just have high standards for who I consider a friend and not everyone makes the cut. The friends that I do have are people that I have had the privilege to know on a deeper level and we have been able to connect on things that allow both parties to feel safe when vulnerable. They accept me for who I am and I accept them for who they are. There is a level of honesty that is reciprocated. The investment into the friendship is there knowing that even if we don't talk all the time we will always be there for each other when needed. I take my friendships very seriously and in order to keep them alive I like to date my friends.

How to date a friend

Step 1: Find Friends

This is a lot easier said than done if you are in a new city and don't know too many people. Making friends as an adult can be hard and frustrating. You have to put yourself out there. You won't make friends if you are in the house all day. Think about things you like to do. For example, I really enjoy curated events that have some type of purpose. You'll find me at openings for new stores, or food festivals, or launches for black owned businesses. I purposely put myself in spaces with people I think I'd like. Then once you are in the space (this is where it gets nerve wrecking) you have to try and connect with people. Either that's by complimenting someone for something or being nosy in a conversation or as you're waiting in line for a drink striking up a conversation. Yes it will be awkward.

Step 2: Show Up

Once you've made some potential friends, you have to put your best foot forward. If you talked about meeting up or going someone at another time or they invited you out somewhere, PLEASE show up. No one wants to feel like they wasted their time inviting you out for you just to say no. I understand life happens and you really might not be able to make it, but if you can I suggest you try you best to make it out. It shows that you're interested in that person and appreciate the fact they took the time to invite you out and hopefully introduce you to their friends, who have friends who could be your friends.

Step 3: Keep In Touch

We are all adults and we have very important lives to live. Hanging out every weekend might not be feasible but that doesn't mean the friendship is over. Reach out to people and check in with them. If you have something going on, invite them. The worst they could say is no. Social Media is a powerful tool and I think it helps us keep in touch. You can respond to people Instagram stories. I'm telling you people can be really nice on social media. It's another way to engage without physically being together. You can see what their up to, show interest in something they are doing and even ask if there is something similar happening at another time. We all want to know that people care so show your new friends that you care by reaching out.

Step 4: Friend Date

I have been in Kansas City for 3 years and it's easy for me to say that I don't have any friends when in reality I have friends but we are all just grinding. Take time to schedule something, either a lunch, a happy hour, an event, whatever it doesn't matter. Enjoy their company and just catch up. The best thing about friend dates is that there is no pressure to stay for hours and hours. Or talk till the sun comes up the next day. It gives you a chance to learn how to have conversations and to get to know about someone. It's a skill to be a good friend and to date your friend. I have learned how to be more honest and vulnerable with my friends which makes it easier to be open with my romantic partner. I have been able to articulate my frustrations with friends in a way that makes sense in a calm manner. Basically everything that I do with my friend translates to my romantic partner.

Do not take your friends for granted. We are getting to a point in our lives where people are getting married and having babies, getting dogs, pursuing higher degrees or just building and grinding. At all stages of our lives it's important to not forget about your friends and make sure that you connect with them even if it's for an hour during your lunch break. Date your friends and make them feel loved.

Make sure you follow me on instagram to see the fun friend dates I go on! @enhancetheindividual