Sometimes, having a crush on a friend is out of your control. You probably already spend a lot of time with them and like who they are as a person, so forming a crush is natural. Some people claim being friends first before becoming romantically involved is the best way to go about a relationship.

But, is dating a friend always a good idea? Do you run the risk of ruining both a friendship and a relationship if it doesn’t work out?

Studies show that your attraction towards someone tends to grow the better you know get to know them. So even if you’re not initially attracted to a friend, the attraction could pop up out of nowhere the more time you spend around him/her. That’s why so many people fall for their friends.

The Risks of Dating a Friend

However, dating a friend can be risky. Not only do you have to figure out if they feel the same way towards you, someone has to make the first move. And even if you get past that part and decide your mutual feelings for each other, dating a friend can either go really great or bad. You run the risk of things not working out, which can often lead to an end to both your relationship and friendship.

You also run the risk of causing tension in your friend group, if you and your partner have the same friends. If the relationship does work out- none of those things are issues. But before entering into a relationship with a friend, it’s essential to ask yourself: are you willing to risk losing your friend if things don’t work out?

See also: Recovering your friendship if you drift apart

In some cases, the relationship might end, but the friendship doesn’t. Depending on the people and their friendship status, the outcome doesn’t have to be all that bad if the relationship ends. The situation is different for every person, but it’s a risk you have to be willing to take.

It’s no secret that dating a friend is an exciting, but a scary, idea. Chances are you’re already comfortable with that person, so you get to skip over all the awkward “getting to know you” stages of a relationship. A good relationship is like dating your best friend, so when you’re already friends, it’s like you have the groundwork already set out for you. However, there are a lot of risks involved with it. Whether or not you want to take the risk- the decision is entirely up to you.