Growing up, I had a friend named Andrew. I became friends with his entire family, and to this day, I can still say that they're my best friends. Andrew and I met in the second grade. We didn't get very close until sixth grade. As our friendship developed, we learned that we were both from Staten Island and that we were born in the same hospital six days apart. Everyone made (and still makes jokes) about how we were going to marry each other because we are so alike. We were young, and we crushed on each other here and there, but we never crossed the line of being just friends.

I know that a lot of people say that a guy and a girl can't be "just friends," but Andrew and I have maintained our friendship for seven years! Here is why we were able to keep being friends: We knew that we would ruin our friendship if we were anything more.

See, here's the thing: when you become emotionally attached to someone, there's little to no chance of being just friends again. It's hard. One or both people in the situation end up hurting, and things get awkward. There needs to be time and space for healing. And then when that time finally comes, the relationship between you and that person has changed.

Lots of people say to "date your best friend," but I'm glad I didn't. I would rather have him as my best friend than risk losing him. I do, however, believe that the person you are dating should become one of your best friends. There's a difference in that.

Another reason why dating your best friend isn't necessarily the best thing to do is because once you start dating, there are all of these expectations put in place and you start to see that person differently. This doesn't always happen, but it's not hard for it to. When you keep the friendship over the relationship, it's easier to be around that person and to avoid the complications that come with a relationship.

I love that Andrew and I are just friends. We can talk together about anything, we are always laughing together, and it's easy to just hang out together. I think back to when I had a crush on him back in middle school and think of how different things would be now if we had dated then. I'm super glad that we didn't because if we had, our friendship right now might not exist.