Yes I know you’ve heard it before and yes it sounds like the ultimate cliche, but as many times as you've heard it, have you actually put it into practice? Let me tell you for free, that friendship first ish works!
Now I am no guru, but I would like to think that I have had just enough experience to know a thing or two about humans and the ways in which they interact, so just hear me out for a minute or two.
Do you believe in the narrative that boys and girls or men and women can’t just be friends? I do!
Now, hold up...wait a minute...let me tell you why, let me break it down real real quick for all the people ready to start talking to the screen as you are reading this...talking about ‘I got plenty of male/female friends’. I am sure you do but I am also sure that it would prove quite difficult to sit there and tell me that there has never been any non platonic feelings from either party. Of course, you can’t because you can only really speak for yourself and not the other party.
At any one point in time in that friendship one or both parties would of more than likely thought about how great a relationship would be with the other person and all the reasons why it could work and the one painstakingly obvious reason why they think it wouldn’t work - ‘BECAUSE WE ARE JUST FRIENDS’ not knowing that that’s the missing piece to the puzzle for it to more than likely work.
The point I am making here is that more often than not, the relationships that stand the test of time are the ones with a strong ass foundation consisting of a friendship first or the ones where both parties are so damn stubborn that neither of them want to be the one to give in first! I think I definitely speak for our older generation when I talk about outrageous levels of tolerance mixed with stubbornness mixed with not giving a F what the other person does as long as ultimately they don’t have to leave the house they bought together!
I know many of you will be thinking that the idea of friendship being the golden ticket to a solid relationship is in its entirety very simplistic. It is simplistic, but it is also functional and even more so when you know how to be a friend to yourself first.
Many people enter into relationships in the hope that they will feel complete; they are seeking something they have not yet been able to find for themselves. Often it is thought that by having a significant other life will be complete and automatic happiness will be gained, when in actual fact seeking happiness through others only further complicates matters and blurs your boundaries.
The amount of times I have heard people say to each other ‘it’s easy for you to say, you’ve got a man’ or ‘it must be nice to have someone to share your life with’. Well, let me tell you it definitely is nice if you have done the groundwork on yourself first and if you're then willing to continue working day in day out throughout the duration of your relationship. The work doesn’t ever stop and you need to be dedicated to being in tune to yourself and your partner.
Now, let’s not get carried away as this is very simply food for thought, not the 2021 ultimate edition to securing a long standing relationship. We all know that there are many other factors that come into play when it comes to matters of the heart. Emotions alone will have you constantly clinging to the edge of sanity. However, what I will say is this; if you have friendship then you for sure have back up, you have something to fall back on when the road gets rough and you need a saving grace to remind you of your ‘why’. Remembering that your partner is someone that you chose, because of qualities that you admire will help you to understand the dynamics of the phases associated with relationships.
Better yet, if you are in a position where what you say and do has an impact then please use that power because our young people need it. We have to teach the next generation the value of real friendship and how it shapes the relationship they can have or not have with someone. Nowadays, far too often our young people are basing their relationships with each other off of a social media fantasy and sadly they are growing up with no idea on how to build an authentic connection with someone based on just being themselves. They fail to understand that once you love yourself others will too. As the saying goes ‘real recognise real’ and you will always be enough when you know just how much power there is in knowing your worth.
Some key takeaways:
1. Be comfortable enough with who you are!
2. Be clear on what it is you are looking for from a relationship, is it realistic?
3. Invest in friendships and convert them into relationships ( not all of them and definitely not all at the same time - unless you're highly skilled in the organisational department that could prove to be a little hard to juggle!
4. Give energy to those who match you mentally and emotionally!
Over and out!