Some of the best relationships start out as friendships and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to get the ball rolling.
Psychologist Sarah Rozenthuler gives us some tips on how to turn that friendship into a relationship this Valentine’s Day.
Assess Your Feelings
Having a friendship is a great basis for a relationship as you already know each other to some extent. However, do check for the amount of sexual chemistry between you. If this is on the low end, you may feel that you've missed out on something important as time passes. Ask yourself: Do I find this person physically attractive? How would it be to wake up with them? Is there a "spark" between us? Reflect on your answers to these questions and be honest with yourself about how you really feel.
Test the Waters
Tune into how comfortable you feel sharing more intimate things with this person. Are you willing to make yourself vulnerable with them? Can you talk about your feelings? Do you feel safe to open up and talk about what really matters without fear of rejection or looking stupid? If you answer yes to all these questions, it's a good sign that you could cross the threshold from being friends to being partners.
Talk together about what kind of relationship you want. For example, do you want to be exclusive with each other sexually right from the start? Explore any differences you have as fully as possible. It's better to enter a relationship with the boundaries clearly defined so that you don't end up in a mess later on. If you can't agree on what you both want, turn away from a relationship and keep the friendship intact.
Discuss how you each like to spend your time. How compatible are you? If one of you likes lots of solitude and the other enjoys going to parties, talk though how this would work in your relationship. Opposites attract but then we need to find ways of managing our differences. It's helpful to have a clear fix on areas of incompatibility (which are inevitable) at the outset.
Acknowledge the other people that are important in each other's lives. For example, if one of you have children and the other doesn't, how much time will you spend together just as a couple? A relationship needs time at the start as you deepen your intimacy. Make sure that you're both willing to invest the time and energy this will take.
For more from Sarah, visit her website sarahrozenthuler.com