But the issue this causes is that we are not building strong foundations for relationships.

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: This concept serves to teach us the importance of building a foundation for happiness that stretches beyond intimacy into friendship itself. When dating, we typically only want to show someone our best self.

Ashley: We met in a college class and slowly became friends.

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I think a big issue with relationships these days is that people (particularly men) separate the idea of a relationship from the idea of a friendship.

That being said – I have my own thoughts and opinions on the concept of men and women being able to be ‘just friends’ with each other with no tension or desire for something more. Whether or not men and women can be just friends should not separate the two concepts altogether.

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.

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.

You don’t need to choose if you are going to be friends Women have a far easier time deciding who they want to be just friends with and who they would pursue a romantic relationship with, but men tend to group all women together on the ‘potentially romantic’ side, and then just decide their order of desirability.

For this reason, I also believe men try to actually building a friendship with a woman because he doesn’t want to find himself plunging into the dreaded friend zone, and suddenly be seen more as a brother than a potential boyfriend.It goes without saying that you obviously won’t be going weeks, months, or years without seeing your significant other – but the understood, mutually felt longevity of your relationship provides you both with a secure, solid feeling that provides the comfort of knowing he or she is in it for the long haul. When you are with someone, you are not only friends with them when things are great.You stand by them when they need you for support as they do for you in return.But it quickly felt natural and right after all that talking and sharing.Kelly: I believe we handled the evolution of our relationship very consciously.It doesn’t matter when you roll over in bed with no makeup on, a fever, and swollen eyes – a will love and take care of you just the same. These questions are never concerns when it comes to spending time with a friend, because it doesn’t matter comfortable in any relationship, no matter how long we are together. This type of comfort only exists when a friendship is built, not when we spend our time trying to impress each other and not showing him or her who we really are. Let’s say, for example, you are invited on to a game show and are required to choose a teammate, but you are not allowed to pick a family member. You can work together and balance out each other’s strengths.