- 4 years ago
I don’t know if this is a silly question, but it’s on my mind a lot, so here goes…
If you were best friends (or very close) with your significant other for a many years before beginning a relationship, does it affect the pace/timeline of the relationship, especially leading to marriage?
My boyfriend and I have been friends for seven years, best friends for three years or so (we each have longer friendships from childhood that also fill a best friend role, but day-in and day-out we are each other’s support and companionship), and we began our romantic relationship about a year and a half ago.
I’d say that early dating progressed slowly in comparison to other relationships. There was an intense feeling of attraction, but we were both really cautious about losing this precious friendship if we weren’t romantically compatible. When he first asked me out, which I had been wishing for desperately, I actually asked him to think a while about it, spend some time with other women, and to be sure that he wanted to date me because I’m spectacular and not just because I’m familiar. “If you break my heart, I will hate your guts, and then who will be there to help me through that hate?!” After a slow start, the love came strong and fast. The intimacy, trust, and respect of our friendship was the best compliment to the passion and devotion of our relationship.
We have talked about a future together, and have been on the same page about the various aspects as they come up. He asked me to move in with him, and I have agreed to when the time is right given our respective leases, finances, jobs, academics, travel, families, and other factors — sometime by the end of the year.
I would not be ready to live together after a year and a half if I hadn’t known him so well and for so long beforehand. I view moving in as a step towards marriage, and I expect that an engagement would soon follow. I didn’t want him to feel like I was putting this out there as an ultimatum, so we’ve communicated a lot about the reality that we’d be planning a marriage or I’d be moving out in our consideration of whether this is the right plan and the right time for us.
I was just wondering if other bees have had a similar experience of a prior friendship sort of fast-tracking the progress of a relationship after a point. I had this self-awareness that I would not be making these commitments to someone after such a short time. However, there’s very little that I’ve had to learn about him since we started dating; I know his secrets, his quirks, his passions, his flaws, his relationship with others in his life, his living habits, his hopes and dreams… we’ve seen each other at our best and worst.
Sometimes it feels like, if I weren’t ready to say ‘yes’ now, there’s little reason to think I ever would be. Is this naïve, or have those extra years together given me the clarity to know? Any thoughts, stories, whatever are appreciated!