Friends & Dating?

One thing I am afraid of and always have been is, being friends with someone then dating them. I think that there is a boundary there but I also believe that you need to be friends first before you can date someone. Friends will always be there for you when you need them the most and provide the best comfort that anyone could provide. I think what scares me the most is being friends with someone and then dating them and something goes wrong and your friendship goes down the drain even a friendship that was 20 years long. I have oppositions on both sides of viewing it. I don’t really have a preference either on whether I should be friends with someone first or date them first and become friends. I have seen relationships start out as friends and end horribly in the relationship and then I’ve also seen friendships last longer than the relationship.