It's common wisdom that once one is in the "friend" zone it's hard to get out. But can you start a romance as friends?
Let's see, in many ways the Europeans do that and have always done that. In fact they don't really date - they all hang out and if the mood strikes they pair off. And there are lots of married couples over in Europe.
We Americans are too concerned with labels and intent. Perhaps if we relaxed things wouldn't be so loaded. For instance, if you start as friends you won't worry about who asks who to an event. You just do it. In some ways it takes the pressure off so you can get to know each other in a more relaxed manner. And who is to say that if the mood strikes you don't make a move or inquire about the possibility of romance?