Thursday, November 7, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #29: Friendship

It's always been very interesting to me that when people get together as a couple, they say that they are "more than friends". Or when people say that they love that they and their mate are friends but they wish they had more. To be a friend is a blessing. To have a close friendship with your mate is a gift. Why do people get together with someone, say they are, "More than friends", and then treat that person as if they are not a friend at all? Why does "more than friends" usually translate eventually into "my mortal enemy" or "my horrible ex"?
The reason, I believe, is that they were never truly friends in the first place. Friendship in a marriage or other "romantic union" is absolutely essential in order to have a happy, loving, close relationship. When you say that you are more than friends, doesn't it make sense to treat each other like the best of friends?

Is to know, like, trust, be comrades, be allies during struggle friendship? If that is true, what is different when two people become lovers? My argument is that nothing is different, or nothing should be different. However, the reason that couples have difficulty being friends is because of the expectations and demands they put on each other. They don't extend the same acceptance of the other person. They try to change them to fit into how they think a lover, husband, boyfriend should be. They don't extend the same forgiveness. They feel that the other person should behave in certain ways if they love them. They don't extend the same affection and warm kindness. They believe that they have a right to demand and expect the other person to behave a certain way to meet their "needs". It's highly unlikely that you would do these things to a friend. If you would, then you probably have struggled throughout your life to keep your friends. 
A friend takes time to know you better. The two of you talk, listen, share and play together. You know each other's preferences and each other's quirks, beliefs, opinions, body language etc. Friends like each other as they are. They enjoy each other's company, they laugh and have fun. Friends trust one another, they know that they have each other's best interest at heart. Friends are on each other's teams. They are allies.

Are you and your partner friends? If not, it's vitally important that you become good friends. How can you become better friends with your partner right now? 
* You can get to know each other better. Ask questions, take time to listen and share.
* You can enjoy him more. Find something to do together that is enjoyable. Laughter is uplifting and bonding. Play.
* Trust that all is well. Relax and be present. 
* Be on his team. How can you be more of his ally?

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