Home  >  My Life  >  Relationships

First Date with a Friend: How to Go from Friends to Something More

You’re just friends… or are you? If you’ve expressed mutual interest, you might be nervous about going on a first date with a friend. Here are some tips.

First Date with a Friend

Dating is nerve-racking. It is confusing. You never quite know where the other person’s head is at. Sometimes you don’t even know where yours is. But, that is all doubled when you are going on a first date with a friend.

Taking friendship into the relationship zone is beneficial in so many ways, but the initial transition can be weird and awkward. But thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

[Read: How to flirt with a friend – 18 ways to tease without being weird]

Going on a first date with a friend

It is exciting to turn a friendship into something more. And it is even more exciting to go on a first date with a friend to see if you have chemistry!

But, with all that excitement comes quite an adjustment. After being friends with someone, transferring into a new territory can feel complicated or even wrong.

Remember on Friends when Ross and Rachel finally got together? She couldn’t stop laughing when they kissed. This is the adjustment we’re talking about.

You are used to hanging out with this person on a platonic level. Going from that to flirting, compliments, and even holding hands or kissing can feel really strange and awkward at first.

To avoid that awkwardness, planning a first date with a friend that fits your vibe, with a touch of romance, is vital. You don’t want to go from friends to a candlelit dinner with flowers and violin music playing, but you also don’t want to do what you normally do together.

Create a balance of romance and friendship. That is what the basis of any healthy new relationship is. It will also help you slowly ease into the more romantic side of things. You want to stay comfortable. But you can’t develop the friendship into something more without some changes.

If you want to ask a friend out or even get them thinking of you as something more than a friend, make sure you follow these 20 steps to get your friend to like you more and fall in love with you even before you ask them out. It’s the safest way to avoid any kind of rejection!

How to go on a first date with a friend and have a great one

If you are planning a first date with a friend, you probably get that balancing your platonic friendship and this newfound romance is important for keeping things feeling comfortable. How do you do it?

Well, here are some great ideas for a first date with a friend…

1. Share your motives

The thing that makes relationships built out of friendships so strong is communication. This is someone you are already compatible with in one way, so keep it that way.

Be direct about what you want out of this. And be sure to get on the same page. [Read: The signs you’re dating your best friend and didn’t know it]

2. Prepare for any outcome

You both may go into the first date with excitement and feelings, but not every first date is all roses and candles. The date could go south. You could realize you aren’t so great as more than friends.

That is totally fine, but try to accept that. Sure, you may still have some feelings or disappointments, but talk about if you want to try to stay friends after. [Read: The signs on a first date that reveal a total lack of chemistry]

3. Talk about what sparked your interest

This is a great way to start the first date with a friend. Instead of just making the sharp turn into the relationship zone, introduce one another to what changed things.

Tell your friend when you first started to develop feelings and vice versa. This will give you both a glimpse into your attraction so you can hold onto that moving forward. [Read: 26 signs a friend likes you romantically even if they’re hiding it]

4. Get close

As friends, you may be used to hanging out in groups or just on a platonic level altogether. Now that you are on a date, get closer. Now, you want these moments to come naturally, but don’t hold back because of nerves.

You are friends. This person knows you so they will sense that. You don’t have to go right into a kiss but sit closer, maybe hold hands or brush up against each other. These small touches are intimate. They are an introduction to what could be to come. [Read: How to seduce a friend subtly and find out if they’re into you as well]

5. Use your history to your benefit

One of the worst things about a first date is the unknown. You go into it with little to no prior knowledge. When you go on a first date with a friend, you aren’t going in blind.

You get to talk about old times, inside jokes, and anything else you already know about the other person. But you don’t need to go through the basics of a traditional first date *siblings, job, school, etc*. You already have the basics down so you can get deeper more quickly. [Read: How to behave on a first date – 28 tips to impress anyone in the first few minutes]

6. Learn more about each other

Just as you already know a lot about this friend, there is always more to learn. And the chances are that as friends, certain topics may have been off-limits.

Now that you are on a date, open up more about what you’re looking for in the long run, your fears and dreams, and anything else. [Read: Subconscious signs of attraction between two people]

7. Do something you’ve never done

As friends, you probably have your go-to plans like movies, mini-golf, or parties with friends. But, since this is your first date with a friend, try something new. Branch out from the norm for that tinge of excitement about it being a date and not just a regular hangout.

Try a new restaurant, explore a hiking trail, even take a mini road trip. You can do things you maybe wouldn’t do on a first date with a stranger because you are already comfortable with this person.

8. Don’t drink too much

The nerves that come with changing the dynamics of your relationship can bring on the desire to lower those nerves with alcohol. Of course, it is totally fine to have a drink or two, just don’t overdo it.

This friend may have seen you drunk several times. However, this is still the first date! You want to make a good impression as a potential partner, not just any old pal. [Read: How to flirt your way back from the friend zone to the sexual zone]

9. Laugh

Humor is what makes a date fun and easy. Humor is probably something you already share as friends. So make sure not to take yourselves too seriously.

When making the transition from friends to more than that, you may be more serious thinking that is romantic. But remember, laughter is what will connect you on all levels. [Read: The best first date conversation – 23 tips to impress anyone in minutes]

10. Enjoy the moment

It can be easy to let the past sway you during your first date with a friend. You know a lot about their dating history and a side of them you wouldn’t have seen if you just met. Enjoy the moment without those thoughts.

Also, don’t look too far ahead. It can be easy for a relationship to take off quickly when you already have the basics out of the way due to your friendship. This relationship still needs nurturing and effort before it is the commitment you are hoping for. [Read: The talking stage and how to progress to the next stage when dating a friend]

11. Kiss

You don’t necessarily have to kiss on a first date with a friend, but it can be the night’s defining moment. Not only does the kiss ensure that the date was, in fact, a date, but it also gives you a vibe of what your physical chemistry will be like. [Read: 15 secrets to make your first kiss really memorable and magical]

From friends to lovers after a date with a friend

It may be an obvious thing to say, but being just friends with someone is very different than being in a romantic relationship.

You might think it’s what you want, but there are a lot of things that are going to change. Are you prepared for them?

Here are some things you should expect when you are going through the transition from friends to lovers when you’re on a first date with a friend.

1. Your “best friend” status could change

When you go from friends to dating, you probably think that nothing will change. You were best friends before, so why would that status change just because you’re in a relationship?

It seems like everything should just flow naturally and should work out perfectly, right? [Read: Having sex on the first date – Should you give into the urge?]

Well, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. For example, who do you usually run to when you are having problems with your significant other? Your best friend! But what will happen when your former best friend is now your significant other? You can’t complain about them… to them.

That’s not to say that you won’t still remain “best friends” or close friends at the very least. But we all need friends to talk to when we have problems in a romantic relationship. Just be prepared for the fact that you may no longer be able to do that unless your communication is exceptionally good.

2. What about sex?

When you’re friends with someone, you might have somewhat of a clue about what kind of sex drive they have. But do you really know for sure? No, you don’t! Maybe they are a big talker, and they told you that they were horny all the time. [Read: Where to go on a first date – 22 best and worst dating spots ever]

What happens if that doesn’t turn out to be true? What if their version of “horny all the time” is very different than yours?

Maybe one of you will want to do it more than the other. Being compatible as friends doesn’t always mean you’re going to be compatible as lovers.

And even if your sex drives match, what if you don’t think they are good in bed? Or maybe they don’t think you are? Then what? That’s definitely a problem that can be solved. But it can be tricky. It’s not like you just met this person and can easily dump them because they don’t turn you on enough. [Read: Having sex with friends – 20 pros and cons of sleeping with them]

3. Are you really attracted to them… or do you just think you are?

Many times, we think we’re attracted to our friends, but maybe we just think we are. There are many people who are friends with someone, and in the beginning, they don’t find them attractive at all.

But as time goes on and you get to know someone better, then slowly you might think you find them physically attractive.

Are you really? It could be that you are just emotionally attached to them. When you feel a deep bond with someone, sometimes you mistake it for romantic feelings. So just keep your eye on the fact that this could be a possibility. [Read: How to stop being attracted to a friend and just feel normal again]

4. Are you compatible with values and morals?

If your first date with a friend actually leads to a long-term relationship *as many times it does*, do you share the same values and morals to go the distance?

It’s one thing to hang out with friends that don’t share the same worldview as you. But it’s another if you’re thinking of making this person your life partner.

Do you have similar political beliefs? Religious beliefs? What about the future? Do you want to get married and have kids? Do they? [Read: First date nerves – how to be yourself when your heart’s pounding]

These are all very important questions to ask after your first date with a friend. You don’t have to do it right away, but it is good to keep it all in mind so you can figure out whether they are a good candidate for a long-term partner.

We don’t usually have to assess these things when we become friends with someone, so you probably have never thought about it before with this person. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility instantly]

5. How will you handle conflict?

As friends, you might not have had many fights – if any at all. But when you’re in a romantic relationship, the chances are that you will probably have conflict come up.

Being in a relationship with someone gives you so many more things to be upset about and/or have significant differences. When that happens, how do you think you will handle the conflict? [Read: How was your first date really? Why honesty with yourself matters]

Maybe you are a conflict avoider, but you find out that they have a more competitive style. How are the two of you going to negotiate those differences when the time comes? Again, it’s nothing that has to be solved immediately, but it will eventually come up for discussion.

6. What if it doesn’t work out?

One of the risks you take when you go from friends to lovers or even go on a first date with a friend is this… what will you do if it doesn’t work out? Will the two of you be able to go back and be friends again? Or will it ruin everything you had before?

Many former lovers have a difficult time being friends with each other. The reason for this is that there could be just a lot of hurt feelings that were never resolved. Or there could be jealousy that is lurking from the past relationship. [Read: How to stay friends with someone you love without losing your mind]

You just need to have the mindset that there is a possibility that the romance between the two of you may not work out. So, you need to have a Plan B in place just in case that happens.

[Read: How to stay friends after a kiss and decide the best way forward together]

Going on a first date with a friend does not have to bring on unwanted nerves or awkwardness. If you know how to handle it, it can be the best date you’ve ever had. Just remember these tips and rules, and always think ahead to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...