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Kelly: We were good ol’ fashion friends from the fall of 2010 to the fall of 2011. Then we were friends with benefits until I moved to Seattle, and then back to just friends until October of 2013.Ashley: We met in a college class and slowly became friends.Also, if your friend doesn’t share those feelings, don’t be angry with them. I would have liked it to be more then, but it wasn’t, so we became friends. Brice: I always harbored a greater appreciation and respect for Maggie than “just a friend.”Maggie: The best year of my life. The company had just gone through some big milestones and I was totally fried. The moment we saw each other – we hadn’t seen each other in a while – it was on. Of being alive.’ It was real life, better than I could have imagined.(So far.)Brice: We could say we’ve been together for a year, but we could also say we’ve not been apart for eight or nine or 10 in many ways. Pretty much out of the blue, he said, ‘Look, I need to get out of town. It just made total sense, and was a complete surprise at the same time.Ashley: No matter where I am or what I’m doing, if I’m with Kel, we can turn it into a good time.We don’t just like each other, we also like A LOT of the same stuff.Ashley: We hooked up for a semester in college, then spent about two years being mostly just friends again while he did an internship in NY (I was still based in Indiana) then moved to Seattle.After a year in Seattle he came back to Indiana to visit, and we decided to try and date for real. Ashley: We talked so much about every decision and all of our feelings so that even when it felt weird, it quickly went back to not feeling weird.
Having personally experienced both the positives and the negatives of dating a friend, I’ll say this: there are few things more precious than a friendship that becomes more than a friendship, but there are also few things more painful than losing a romantic relationship and a friendship simultaneously. To commemorate the end of Friendship Month at Man Repeller, I interviewed five couples who braved the stakes and went from “friends” to “more than friends.” Below, their thoughts on what that leap was like.Ashley: The second time around, after he’d lived in Seattle, he just showed up on my doorstep and kissed me. Also, it really doesn’t say much for platonic friendship if you can only be friends with people you aren’t attracted to.Kelly: The person I want to hang out with most is right next to me when I wake up.Ashley: We met in a seminar that was set up like a production company, and I was his boss. About a year later, after ending a terrible relationship and getting fired from my job, I went to a party at his house.He asked if anybody wanted to go four-wheeling, and I said I did. Kelly: She didn’t really know it was supposed to be a date. Ashley: I’m bisexual, and if this were true, I wouldn’t have any friends. And I have been attracted to most of them at some point or another, just not in a way that I could or wanted to sustain. Kelly: I think that viewing relationships as an inevitable thing that happens between two people who are attracted to each other takes away from the emotional vulnerability, and work, that goes into building strong commitments.
We dated different people, made other friends, had our own adventures, grew up. That being said, yes, some people (read: men) can’t not try and sleep with their attractive female “friends,” I’m just not that guy.