“I just feel like in a relationship, you gotta have that foundation as a friend…” – Diamond, formerly of Crime Mobb (on her relationship with Souldja Boy)
You never thought I’d be starting off a post with a quote from Diamond, huh? But regardless of the messenger, the message still remains – it’s all about the importance of becoming friends, not just lovers.
In truth, this can be one of the harder things to do, and the consequences if things end between you two can be devastating – you lose not only a boyfriend/girlfriend, but one of your best friends as well. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s bad.
But the benefits?? I’ve been there, too. There’s something about being friends with your partner that’s just right. It means you two can laugh at the stupidest things together, you can clown each other without worrying about hurting someone’s feelings, you can sit for hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time, and you can trust that most of the things you all do and say are going to stay between you two.
At least that’s how it’s been for me when I’ve managed to get the two in one. I mean, think about how relaxed you are with your friends. How comfortable and at home you can feel just being in their presence. How the sound of their laughter can brighten your day. Now, add that with the attraction and desire that comes with being with your lover, the intensity and chemistry of connecting with someone on levels you never thought possible, and the feeling you get when you think you’ve found the person you don’t have a problem with being vulnerable around. All those things together? That’s like perfection, no?
Plus, every couple I know that’s lasted over 20 years always says to me that if you’re going to make it, you need to be able to like your partner just as much as you love them. Loving them might keep you there, but liking them will keep you happy. And what better way to ensure you like someone than to be his/her friend?
Don’t get me wrong here, now. I’m not advocating falling for someone who is already a friend. While I’m sure that’s worked for some people, it has never ever ever (ever ever? Ever ever) worked for me. Instead, what I’m encouraging is finding your friendship within the person you’re interested in dating.
Most of us see someone we like and we immediately go into either ‘He or she can get it’ mode or ‘damn, I want him/her to have my babies‘ mode (shout out to Salt N Pepa). Either way, whether your natural reaction is to start seeing if your name fits with his last name, to start buying lingerie, or to start telling your boys how there’s this girl who’s got your attention – rarely do we ever take the time to become friends with that person first. Which makes me believe we often also miss out on getting to know that person in a very real way, in the way only a friend would come to know someone.
And I think maybe it’s something that should happen far more often. Will it be a drastic change in the way many of us date? Sure. But could most of us use a drastic change in the way we date? Yea, probably.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. My daily romantic horoscope agrees as well, or at least it did on April 20, 2012.
“You wouldn’t fall for a new car or computer without doing background research to make sure it suited your needs. Take the same approach with potential partners. Friends first while you evaluate!”
See?! Seems to me that I’m not alone in my theory. But what do you all think? Should we focus on finding the friendship in potential partners first or no? And if you think we should, how would you go about doing it?
PS: Thanks to some of my amazing readers, Choices, Voices, and Sole was nominated in 4 categories for the Black Weblog Awards. Please take a moment to head over to their page to vote for yours truly in the following categories: Best Writing in a Blog, Best Personal Blog, Best Blog Post Series (for the Shoe Stories) and Best Sex or Relationship Blog. You can vote here –> Black Weblog Awards voting page. Semi-finalist voting ends October 1, 2012.