The Importance of Friendship in a Relationship
There is a common saying that “it is better to marry your best friend” and another that “the devil that you have known for a hundred years is better than the angel you just met”, are these sayings true? What does this mean? What if my best friend is not the kind of person that I would love to spend the rest of my life with? What if my best friend and I are of the same sex? All these are what we would be looking into in this post.
Many people get attracted to their partner due to different reasons. For some, the attraction came from the way they heard their partner talk; for others, the first attraction came from the mode of dressing or an act of kindness from their partners. Whatever the case maybe, something has to spark that first attraction for you to like that person. You would agree with me that it would be hard for you to like someone whose personality you cannot even cope with or whose values are entirely different from yours. This is to say that no matter who you would like to be in a relationship with, you would like them to be a person that you can relate very well with.
Research has shown that most of the couples that have a happy marriage were friends before they got married. For a relationship to be a good one, you and your partner have to connect on more than one level. This is where friendship comes into play. There is a need to be able to play, plan, read, pray, execute goals with your partner comfortably, this will help to strengthen the relationship and help you bond well with your partner. But how do you bond with someone you don’t even know? Let me start by saying that the person you want to start a relationship with is not necessarily supposed to have been your friend. But, no matter how you met, never skip the friendship stage.
Tasha just met Ken at the mall and both of them exchanged phone numbers because they had a short time to talk at the mall while they were shopping and they got along so well. They also found out that they agreed on some things like soccer being a really nice game. Later the next day, Ken called Tasha and they both went out for an ice-cream. They had the time to talk more and get to know other things about each other. It was an evening of absolute cruise and thrill as the both of them had lots of fun talking about different things. In the midst of all the fun, Ken decided to ask Tasha a sweet and sincere question, so he said,
“hey, I find out that we get along so well, and I feel like I have known you for years, (chuckles). Tash, the funniest thing is that we both even love soccer, really, I am so glad I met you at the mall yesterday."
Tasha said, “yes… it has been all fun moments with you.”
Then Ken said, “I would be really glad if we can take this friendship to another level.”
Tasha: "ok…?" (looking a bit shy and confused with a smile on her face)
Ken: "Tasha, I know we haven’t even spent up to 24 hours together but we’ve known so much about each other, so I decided to ask you, will you please be my girlfriend?"
Tasha, now all red and blushing said: "yes! yes! yes! I will love to."
Hell no! that was not Tasha’s reply. Tasha said:
“ Ken, the truth remains, I have never felt so connected with a guy, I mean, I also feel like I have known you for a long time, and the fact that we agree on so many things? Wow... but ken, I cannot be your girlfriend, at least, not now. This is because I would really love us to get to know each other even better, so to be fair, let me ask, can we be friends?”
The point is that Tasha was able to put her emotions aside and let herself think. She definitely knew that at some point in the relationship, things might go wrong. So, no matter how bad you might want the relationship, never ever skip the stage of friendship (should I increase the volume?). The friendship stage is essential so that both individuals will get to know the basic things about each other. Things like this include their values, their drive, hobbies, life purpose, family background, personal discipline, work ethics and so on. This might look like a long and endless list of stressful things to do but they are the things that will help you know if you are compatible. Mind you, it is not possible to know all about that person at the stage of friendship.
It is also easy to feel like we can get to know these things while we are dating but the truth is if you remain friends for a reasonable time and watch each other closely, you will be able to discover new things about the other person even without asking them. By just paying attention and observing each other while being friends, you will know if your values and life’s purpose align and you will be able to decide the persons true personality to an extent. It is not possible to hide your true personality for a long time in a friendship and this is because true friends tend to be free with each other. If you are very observant, you will notice some red flags and green flags. In cases where you have discovered that the bad attributes are way more than the good attributes, you will be able to save yourself from having to break up any relationship because you never started one.
Big point: it is not about marrying your best friend, but more about not skipping the stage of friendship in your relationship. It is also not about settling for the devil you’ve known in years but being patient and observant enough to know if the new angel is not another devil in disguise.