From friends to boyfriends, what does science say?

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Robert Maurer
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From friends to boyfriends, what does science say?

Sometimes love is born when you least expect it and with the closest person: that friend you see every day. Did it happen to you too?

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: December 27, 2022

Love finds us in many ways. Sometimes immediately, at first glance, at the first conversation, in that flirtation in which mutual charm and passion unite from the very first minute. According to one study, however, it's common to go from friends to boyfriends; to be exact, it happens to 68% of couples.



In other words, the most common thing is that love arises little by little, on that day by day when complicity, support, laughter and complicity lead, sooner or later, to a deeper emotional bond. Many people will feel identified.

Research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science indicates that in many cases you are not immediately attracted to the person who will later become your partner.

However, with the passage of time, no one appears more perfect and fascinating in our eyes. Almost without knowing how, that figure it becomes essential in our life and we can no longer do without it.

The love that appears between friends becomes evident after a year or two, according to a recent study.

This is how love is born: in 68% from friends to boyfriends

The lead author of the research cited is Danu Anthony Stinson of the University of Victoria in Canada. Although we are in the era of Tinder and all those applications that allow you to find a partner or an adventure, he falls in love slowly and day by day.


This by no means means that relationships that arise from friendship are better than those that arise from near-instant attraction. However, the path to union makes them perhaps much more interesting.


Starting a relationship after years of friendship allows you to start the relationship with greater security, knowledge and complicity.

On the other hand, the study highlights that an average of 22 months pass from the moment you know each other and become friends until love appears. Almost two years in which the magic of trust, the chemistry of attraction, the alliance of intimacy, admiration and that hidden desire that emerges slowly, but clearly, gradually rises.

From friends to boyfriends, from platonic love to the consolidation of the couple

Movies and television often show us fabulous stories that start with love at first sight. A crush gives rise to various adventures that end in an idyllic union.

If the films were to be based on what happens to two thirds of the population in relational matters it would be too long. In the transition from friendship to love, several stages are overcome

It should also be noted that this experience occurs in both heterosexual people and the LGBTQ + community. Friendship usually begins and after months platonic love appears.

We begin to fantasize about that work colleague or classmate, with that friend with whom we get along so well and who is our daily support.

It should be made clear that sexual desire is not always present in Platonic love. There is emotional and intellectual attraction, added to an idealization. Physical attraction and desire finally emerge, in that phase which, on average, precedes the consolidation or otherwise of the couple.


Genuine, nurturing friendship is often accompanied by an intellectual attraction similar to sapiosexuality. People in tune with countless details and aspects that, little by little, lead to a relationship.


Couples who started out as friends, the preferred option

Dr Danu Anthony Stinson tells us that many of the people interviewed for the research work have claimed to prefer to start a relationship from a friendship.


Somehow, we almost take it for granted that nothing is as decisive in an emotional bond as that complicity of one who, before being a lover, knows how to be a life partner.

Those who started out as friends have this advantage, they know they will have someone to rely on, a figure with whom they have already shared many experiences. However, we insist, this does not mean that these bonds are more fulfilling and happy than those that start with mutual attraction and rapid relationship building.


Everyone finds love in their own way and there are no better or worse ways. Because the most decisive aspect is what happens next, just when the sentimental bond begins. This phase is new for everyone and requires multiple efforts and delicate psycho-emotional skills.

However, we can never eliminate the friendship variable from that equation which is love. Without it, only passion and desire remain, fleeting dimensions that, although intense, do not always last and do not fuel commitment.

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