Friends And Lovers…

Did you know that your best pal can reveal what kind of person you’ll click with romantically? Learn all about it here.

By Mackenzie Dawson

ost of us tend to think of friends and lovers as two very different camps. But the worlds of romance and friendship aren’t as far apart as you might think. Often, your choice of best friend says a lot about what you’re really looking for in a mate. So next time you’re thinking about what you want from a romantic partner, think about your BFF—and think about the qualities he or she has. You’re friends for a reason. Whether your pal is the life of the party or the big sibling you never had, chances are this person has a special quality that reflects what you need from a mate.

“If you have a good relationship with your best friend, it’s a good indicator that you
“I see a lot of marriages based on one partner being the ‘life of the party.’”
can be that intimate with another person,” says Lauren Zander, a relationship expert at the Handel Group, a private and corporate coaching firm. “It shows that you can be that close, that loving—and that you can care that much about another person. If you can do that in a friendship, you can do it in a relationship.”

Take a look at these types — they’re bound to look familiar! — and see what Zander has to say about them.

1. The Life of the Party
Who the friend is: Also known as the Good Time Girl/Guy, this best friend is like a thousand-watt light bulb. Simply put, this person makes everything fun—whether you’re at work, at a New Year’s bash or waiting at a bus station. This BFF has an energy and appetite for fun anytime, anyplace, and you love ’em for it.

What kind of romance works for you: “This can be a tricky dynamic, dating someone this full of energy” says Zander. “It can offer so much, but you want to make sure that your partner is still interested in you when the spotlight is off him.” In other words, the Life of the Party can be a great deal of fun and add a lot of adventure to your life—as long as your sweetie isn’t just looking for an eager audience. “I see a lot of marriages that are founded on this, but you want to make sure both of you has a solid identity, and that it’s not all about the more dominant person.”

2. The Polar Opposite
Who the friend is: If you only had a nickel for every time someone asked, “How can you two be friends?” You’re the first to admit it—this pal has virtually nothing in common with you, but for whatever reason, the two of you get on with each other like a house on fire. It’s a classic case of opposites attracting, each one of you allowing the other to experiment with a totally different lifestyle and viewpoint.

What kind of romance works for you: You don’t want to go through life with a twin or the classic concept of a soul mate. Instead, you want to broaden your horizons and have a partner who challenges you, says Zander. You’re able to look outside yourself — and beyond people who are identical to you — when seeking companionship. It’s the ultimate yin-yang setup, with both of you bringing something different to the table.

3. The Twin
Who the friend is: The two of you are so alike, you finish each other’s sentences. If you had this kind of pal in high school, people would joke about you
“With an adventurous date, chime in and suggest activities you’d like to do.”
two being joined at the hip. This is the person who savors all kinds of weird inside jokes with you, who appreciates the same obscure bands as you do, and orders the same complicated Starbucks drink as you do! There’s a comfort in just how “two peas in a pod”-like you can be.

What kind of romance works for you: “This kind of relationship dynamic shows you have great self-esteem,” says Zander. “Clearly, you enjoy yourself—because you’re spending a lot of time with someone who’s much like you.” This can translate into a very successful romantic relationship—as long as you’re both willing to look outside your ‘twin’ dynamic and avoid being too insular.

4. The Mentor
Who the friend is: This friend is like a big brother or sister. This one’s always been there for you, giving encouragement, support, or just cheering you on from the sidelines (sometimes literally!). This pal may help guide your career, introduce you to new hobbies—the key is this person is always helping you feel as if your life is evolving and progressing.

What kind of romance works for you: “All relationships are about balance,” says Zander. “And this one can bring a lot to the ‘mentee’ while leaving the mentor feeling like he doesn’t have anyone to turn to for guidance or growth.” This rapport can be a special one – it’s great to have someone who supports and encourages you. Just make sure it goes both ways, and that you’re lending an open ear — and heart — to them when your honey needs attention.

5. The Explorer
Who the friend is: This one’s an adventurer, always up for trying something new—whether it’s reading Proust or going on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Peru. Much like the Life of the Party, this friend will never leave you bored; and you’ll wind up learning a lot about yourself through this pal. This person will embolden you to push your boundaries…you’re a braver person leading a richer life, thanks to this relationship.

What kind of romance works for you: If you’re drawn to explorer-type partners, you can gain so much from your relationships, according to Zander. You’ll grow as a person, as long as you’re staying true to yourself at the same time. You don’t want to feel as if you have to challenge yourself, even when uncomfortable, just to keep up with your partner and maintain his or her interest. Also, chime in and suggest things that you like to do — and if your sweetie is up for it, you’ve got yourself a great dynamic. There’s no limit on adventure — no matter whose idea it is.

Want to take your love life to the next level—or help a single pal do just that? Come on and try Match My Friends, new from—it’s a whole new way to date that’s fun, exciting, and so effective.

Mackenzie Dawson is the deputy features editor at the New York Post. She has written articles on trends and relationships for Cosmopolitan, Gotham, Parenting, and Marie Claire.
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