Why You and Your Partner Should Never Stop Nurturing Your Friendship
Ever seen those Black People Meet commercials? You know, the ones where seemingly happy couples are asked by their family and friends how they met? Embarrassed by the origins of their relationship, they tell lavish stories of stumbling upon each other while traveling in foreign countries or participating in exhilarating extra curricular activities. Then finally, after another couple proudly announces that they met online, they come clean.
Amused by these commercials, if you were to ask me or my husband how we met, either one of us are liable to start the story of our romance with, “well, one evening we were both strolling through Paris.” All in good humor, we tell these outlandish stories, only to later acknowledge that we in fact connected thanks to good ole’ social media.
While our genesis is not romance filled, our friendship has been nothing short of remarkable. What originally set out to be a social media love connection actually gave air to a life-long friendship. From the first phone conversation, we knew we had stumbled upon one of those rare soul attractions you hear about in the movies or read about in novels.
While we connected instantly, that excitement to build the friendship was equally intense. In our first conversation we both professed to hate the phone only to later have to eat our words. We spend countless hours and days avoiding work and life just to stay connected to one another. Living 5 hours away from each other kept the creativity flowing.
We found every possible excuse to stay on the phone. We were like love sick teenagers.
*GROSS, I KNOW**
Our inability to be in each other’s physical presence daily landed us precisely where we were destined to be: Married with Children.
Our connection superseded any relationship I have ever been in. Life is crazy for us at the moment. We have multiple businesses, two teens, a newborn, a crazy demanding schedule and multiple other obligations. In moments that life becomes so overwhelming we resort to the very thing that keeps our marriage alive, our friendship.
I truly married my best friend. I believe this is the key to a long lasting love.
You Always Fight Fair
When you establish a friendship before you enter into a relationship, you argue with your significant other differently. Similar to your best friends, you are especially selective about what you say and how you say it.
Over time, I have come to know that my husband can be an over analyzer. In addition to his critical nature, he tends to be incredibly expressive about his emotions. Being in a marriage with a person who openly vocalizes his issues has taught me that I am not as open as I once believed. Because I know that he is prone to ruminate over my words, I’ve learned to be very careful about how I express myself, especially in moments of frustration.
On the contrary, my emotions have to be pried out. A suddenly rigid exterior, pursed lips, and cold silence are the surest indicators I have gone off course emotionally. My husband has an anger sensor. The moment my energy shifts his radar is alerted. Instant of avoiding me, he abruptly enters my space and pushes me to talk. As much as I hate this tactic in the moment, I truly appreciate his persistence. He knows I will shut down for days if I am allowed to. His kindness coerces me out of my hole every time
Our friendship pauses potential arguments before they begin. Caring deeply for one another’s feelings prevents us from speaking harshly to one another, even in moments where heat can be high. Instead, we talk to each other like friends, are quick to resolve our issues, and even quicker to forgive. The goal is always to move to a shared goal as a couple, never to be divided.
You Think Twice Before You Act
Relationships get difficult. Over time, tension builds and tolerance gets low. It becomes extremely challenging to see past your partner’s flaws and things that were once annoying are now completely disturbing to your peace. People cheat in relationships, they lie, and their own personal gratification becomes the primary focus.
Love alone will never be powerful enough to keep a relationship. I trust that my husband will never disrespect our home, cheat or abuse our marriage. This is not because I don’t believe that our relationship will be tested. I am not naive in thinking he will be void of temptation. It’s not because our marriage will always be perfect. I believe this to be true because at the end of the day, we are friends. It is that love that I believe will carry us through the years.
You Strive to Elevate As A Collective
We all want what’s best for our friends and we will do whatever it takes to see them happy. This same principle applies when you are dating your best friend. Devoted to the things that bring them joy, you intentionally go out of your way to minimize their interaction with things that deplete their happiness. When you form a relationship with your best friend, you constantly strive to push them to the next level. It’s all about helping your partner transcend.
You Protect One Another At All Cost
When you are in love with your best friend, you encase your relationship in an invisible force field to protect it against external factors. When we are in a relationship, we are open to hearing other people’s opinions about our lover. When it comes to our lovers, we anxiously await the approval of our friends and family. However, our best friends go without scrutiny.
We introduce them as our best friend, and reject any conversation that paints them in a negative light. The same is true when you are dating your best friend. Instead of waiting for the outside to validate your relationship, you refuse to allow the thoughts of others to penetrate the faith you have in your partner.
You’re Not Surviving Soley On Sex
Relationships built solely on sex will eventually fold. When we rush into intimate acts with people who we have not established an authentic friendship with, we place ourselves in complicated situations. Sex cannot hold a relationship together. If you do not connect with your partner on a deeper level, when faced with obstacles in the relationship, there is little substance that can be absorbed to assist in healing within that relationship.
You Understand and Accept One Another
When you spend time building a friendship before a relationship, you diminish some of the awkwardness that comes with dating. You understand each other’s quirks. You know each other’s flaws and shortcomings and accept them for who they are. When you have spent the time necessary to build a relationship, you know what makes your partner laugh, you know what triggers their frustration, and you know how to calm them when stressed.