It’s important to be friends. Friends in a marriage or a partnership. Yes, that may seem obvious, but it’s not as obvious as you think.
As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages,” and I agree. Without a firm friendship in place there will be very little to keep the relationship afloat longterm. The friendship thing works because it’s the glue that will hold the relationship together.
Regardless of how relationships develop, it’s important we’re friends first. That way we will never wonder or want to look outside of where we are and is the reason why so many relationships fail. I’m not sure couples know how to be friends. Too many marriages fail because as soon as the romance ends, they have no idea how to function.
Being friends first helps us concentrate on getting the communication right. As friends we not only give our time freely, but we learn to value each other’s company and respect each other’s opinions and values. Friends are generous with their time, their feelings and with their ideas.
Friends want to get to know each other first on a deeper more spiritual level. Friends draw on each other’s strengths, as they learn how to whether the storms together. Friends learn and grow together, treat each other as equals, are loyal and honest and have a willingness to meet conflict head on, because they care. They’re strong enough to ride the storms.
Friends talk openly about how they think and feel. They respect each other’s views and listen intently to what the other person has to say. The person they’re with is their best friend and although they’re a little scared on making the transition, they know it feels right and are therefore willing to take the risk.
Friends don’t have to try at the relationship, because they will already know how to be firm friends. Any marriage, or partnership is a two-way street, it’s never just about the physical, although that normally takes precedent when you meet someone for the first time and the friend bit is secondary.
It’s easier to develop a relationship from being firm friends, because emotionally you’ll be ready to commit, having done the friendship thing first. You’re in the relationship for the long haul, which is often how relationships start. Relationships aren’t always about sex.