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In a July meta-analysis of seven studies published in Social, Psychological, and Personality Scienceresearchers examined from 1, college students and older adults and found that 66 percent of people are platonic friends with their ificant other prior to falling in love and starting a romantic relationship. So does this mean any dreams you may have of a meet-cute romance a type of first interaction that the advent of dating apps has already largely shifted are dead? And do you instead need to start looking through your current texts to find your soul mate? Well, no—not quite.

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Christie has been writing for MyDomaine for almost two years. She was an assistant editor for the site for over a year before starting as a contributing freelance writer.

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She's currently an e-commerce lifestyle writer for Meredith Corporation. It's no secret that falling in love is easy. In fact, some argue it's the simplest part of a relationship. Commitmentcompatibility, and trust are what tend to be more difficult to manage, especially if the person you've fallen for happens to already be a close friend.

Research shows most romantic couples started as friends (not to ruin your meet-cute dreams, or anything)

The happily ever after party? That happens mostly in rom-coms," says relationship expert Dr. Darcy Sterlinga therapist and the former dating and relationship trends expert at Tinder. Meet the Expert.

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Darcy Sterling is a d clinical social worker and the host of E! It's not impossible to transition from just friends to dating; however, Sterling recommends you do your due diligence before professing any feelings and risking the special friendship you already have.

If you've already done some serious soul-searching and decide it's worth it to pursue a romantic relationship with a friend, Dr. Sterling points out that communication will be the key to overcoming the potentially awkward transition period.

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Curious to learn exactly how Dr. Sterling would approach getting out of the friend zone? Ahead, she explains how you'll know the relationship is worth chasing and how to move on once you've put your feelings out there—for better or worse. Think long and hard about the decision to put yourself out there something you've likely already spent a good amount of time doing. To help make your daydreams a bit more productive, Dr.

Darcy poses a few enlightening questions to determine if the risk is worth the reward or potential heartbreak.

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First, there are the basic, logistical questions to consider: Are you both single? Are you both looking for the same kind of relationship?

Why dating a friend could be the secret to true love

According to Dr. Sterling, if the answer to either of these questions is "no," it's probably not worth the risk. You're likely going to harm the friendship you already have by attempting to change the game under these circumstances. Sterling suggests asking yourself a few deeper questions if you are both single, of a complementary sexual orientation, and looking for the same kind of relationship seriousopen, or otherwise. Think to yourself: How likely are they to have feelings for me?

What's the cost of keeping my feelings to myself? Can we truly continue being friends if they don't feel the same way?

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When it comes to getting an idea of whether or not your friend may also be interested in taking things to the next level, there are a few indicators you can look for. Sterling says. We touch.

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We compliment each other," she continues. Keep an eye out for s of flirting like a light touch on the arm, holding eye contact, or leaning in during the conversation.

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Once you've decided that professing your feelings is the right move for you, it's time to find the perfect way to do so. Sterling suggests finding a lighthearted way to start the conversation, like playing 20 questions.

Ashley kelsch on being friends first before dating

When making the transition from friends to dating, being open and honest is paramount. Sterling, "but transitioning from a best friendship to a romantic relationship is a minefield.

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That means clarifying what type of relationship you're going to have. Is this a friends-with-benefits situation, or are you looking for a long-term relationship?

Is it really necessary to be friends before dating?

It's important to answer these questions from the beginning so you can both move forward mindfully. As with most things worth fighting for, there's always the possibility of getting hurt. Sterling recommends using a bit of humor to address the situation and move forward if your feelings aren't reciprocated. She suggests saying something along the lines of this: "As prepared as I thought I was for this possibility, I didn't work out a script for what to say at this point, so would you help me recover from this awkwardness?

It won't always be possible to salvage the friendship after confessing your feelings, so be very sure about your decision to do so. If you just want a quick fling, it may not be worth it.

Once tensions lighten, you can explain that you're committed to the friendship and open to hearing how they feel about what you've told them. Clarify that you want to make sure the friendship isn't damaged and then you can begin to move on. Your Privacy Rights. To change or withdraw your consent choices for Brides. At any time, you can update your settings through the "EU Privacy" link at the bottom of any .

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These choices will be aled globally to our partners and will not affect browsing data. We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification. I Accept Show Purposes. Brides's Editorial Guidelines. Meet the Expert Dr. Relationships are hard enough to maintain when people are compatible. Transitioning from a best friendship to a romantic relationship is a minefield.

How to go from just friends to dating, according to an expert

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