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I believe a quality and successful long-term romantic relationship is built upon a strong foundation of friendship. Without that, it doesn’t have much to stand on through the ups and downs long-term. I don’t want to date anyone who doesn’t share that belief and isn't willing to make the time/effort/energy to co-create that delicious and valuable dynamic. πŸ’–
Thoughts, feelings, shares???

BayAreaGal415 4 May 26

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38 comments

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12

I read an article recently about some scientists who tried to objectively measure what makes successful romantic couples successful. Their conclusion was it was the partners who treated each other with the most kindness.

One more reason why I'm a big proponent of kindness.

Although I totally agree on that, I always seem to make incredibly poor choices! I often end up with someone who turns out to be incredibly greedy, arrogant and unkind. But in the first few months they come across as charming, nice, interesting then everything gradually changes to the point where I cannot bear their huge sense of entitlement. I may be doing something wrong?

@AdriaBack I sort of think we all make a lot of relationship mistakes. I know I have. If I had to pick the one area where I've made the hugest mistakes, it would be in relationships.

The biggest thing I've learned is someone has to prove to me over time that they are a person I forge a healthy relationship with. And if they aren't where I need them to be at the outset, they probably aren't going to get there.

Similar to you, I've also faced the disappointment of meeting people who seemed cool at the beginning, but revealed their true selves over time.

Yes,listen,let her say her piece,then make suggestions,show compassion,tenderness,not all sharp edges.

@AdriaBack We all can have bad patterns of behavior and one of the hardest things you may ever do in your life is figuring out that undesirable part of yourself and doing something about it. These guys (gals? ) you keep ending up with probably give off some kind of vibe that you aren't even conscious of and yet some unhealthy part of you is attracted to that selfishness and entitlement. I am speaking from my own and the experience of others I've known. This includes something I am going through right now so I definitely am not putting myself forward as paragon of emotional health. I've decided to take a step back and re-learn what I thought I'd already figured out. I hope you are able to figure out what's going on and maybe be able to work on yourself. Peace.

@Stacey48 one thing I can never understand is why people can't reveal who they are from the beginning of a relationship. You are going to find out who they really are sooner or later anyway. Why waste someone else's time and ultimately your time when the outcome of being dishonest is going to lead to a breakup...

11

There are many wonderful comments here, so YAY! And I'm also blown away by the ones that seem to think that true friendship and sex are mutually exclusive as apposed to a building block from one to the other....or that taking the time to build a friendship first would take years and no romance would be involved. Ummm...Eeeek. It's not so black and whlte. It's really not that hard, but I guess it is for some people. There is such a thing as organically progressing through friendship into romance...like a touch or caress, or holding hands, or little kisses, and opening car doors, cooking a meal for someone, cuddling while watching a movie, a shoulder massage, and so on... When it's "right" and both parties feel safe and cared for, it always leads to "more". Put in the respectful, trust building effort, and reap the rewards of something genuine.

Well said

Impatience is a killer for many.

9

Friendship is pertinent for any successful relationship. Most people truly never like the individual they're withβ€”rather, it's merely lust coupled with familiarity. That's why, I'd rather have someone fall in "like" with me rather than love. The "like" lasts longer. Love can be merely a cliche; without content.

Agreed.

Yes. Exactly.

9

Precisely. Julieta and I were the best of friends before we ever considered getting married. That friendship has held us through the storms of life for a long, long time. Highly recommended.

9

Cultivating a strong friendship is never a bad idea with or without romance. Many times a romance will fizzle out, but a strong friendship will remain intact.

7

My parents talked and laughed every day. That's what I want in a relationship.

Shared recreational activities are a bonding experience for couples. I want a man who also loves hiking.

The sex-charged "honeymoon period" doesn't last. Enjoying each other's company does. Friendship and truly liking each other are a great foundation for building a loving relationship.

7

Exactly, both would need to be willing to make the effort.

Cool....

6

This is why I roll my eyes when dudes complained about being "friend-zoned."

Like dude, if you can't be a friend, you can forget about being more than a friend, too.

Lol... I see you and I hear you... but I can see why the guys are so excited...

See but friend zoned means something else entirely. It means the female isn't interested in any type of romantic relationship with you because she has already made up her mind. Wanting to be friends with a guy first, while you're still interested in him romantically, isn't friend zoning the guy.

Okay, but...

What if the woman in this situation has already made up her mind that she isn't interested in any type of romantic relationship BECAUSE she's determined that the man isn't interested in/capable of friendship, let alone a romantic relationship? πŸ˜›

I think this becomes an exercise in chasing one's tail at some point.

6

Friendship is necessary but what kind of friendship? Meaning that I can be friends with someone but to be in a relationship we'll have to be more so on the same trajectory. I have friends that are waaaaay different from me and that would never work. So while friendship is necessary, it has to be more than that. For me, anyway.

5

Goes without question. There needs to be a strong level of trust and support in a healthy relationship; how else will you make it through challenges which will definitely come up. And it only makes your connection more enjoyable, reassuring and meaningful. With the safety of being who you are with each other and to be loved for it, what could be better

5

My understanding was that a good relationship, especially a marriage, needed a good grounding in common interests/experiences to work. But friendship is good too.

4

I think you’re partially incorrect. Friendship is essential, but so is a primal sexual attraction.

4

Once you stop treating them as a friend it is the beginning of the end. The foundation of the relationship must never crack

4

My ex-wife and I were best friends (married for 20 years). Because of that bond, we probably stayed together an extra 10 years longer than we should have!

3

I agree to about 80%. It’s not that I disagree, friendship is important. However, I feel that communication (and honesty even when it hurts) between both parties is also needed. Friends lie to each other so not to hurt the friendship. If you can’t tell your partner that they are chewing too loud or you want them to spend more time talking to you instead of playing a game. Or whatever they do that ignores you.

The more one party holds back in order not to hurt the relationship, the more it builds up, the more is becomes poison. Someone once said, secrets are like weights. The more you carry, the harder it is to keep moving forward.

3

exactly right, this is why i hold out for an atheist. there is no way i can be close with a magic minded person. i want my relationship built on reality. real answers real solutions , not platitudes and nonsense. this is the only type of person i am willing to take the time , to get to know.

2

A lot of good stuff here. In a way I think you're right but there is a difference. I currently am questioning everything about relationships including monogamy (although I'm not sure I could be non-monogamous) and even though a committed monogamous relationship has a 'get along/friendship' component it's not the same as friendship. That kind of deep emotional and physical intimacy changes everything; at least for me. I think it's good to get to know someone a decent amount to see if you get along before trying that kind of intimacy but it's not the same kind of friendship afterwards. That's why after a break-up I need to create some 'distance' to get my head out of that intimate connection. I still may be able to be friends with an ex but that friendship is different than the one I had during the relationship. I actually was trying to figure this out while commenting so I hope it makes sense. Thanks for provoking me to think this through.

Agreed, it's not the same kind of friendship. If either or both is looking for a significant other and the other knows it, I think that pretty well excludes a usual friendship. Especially if it's clear either one or both is romantically interested.

2

I agree to a point. I think there also needs to be some chemistry, attraction and sexual excitement. Otherwise, it could end up being a platonic, sexless relationship, where you're great friends, but there's no romance or sexual energy. No thank you.

2

Its just an emotion. Take A chance on a bad boy and see if wild and crazy wakes up something wonderful. When's the last time you said OMG?

That's a riot Bob.
My wife told me one of the reasons she "took up with me" was she wanted a "bad boy". I've tried to live up to her expectations.
πŸ˜‰

2

Agree-if you don't share common interests and become friends better success.

1

I agree with this. I think friendship is the basis for any solid relationship. I mean...how can it not be? My ex told me one time that I was his wife...not his friend. I remember feeling crushed and basically shut out by that statement. How can you feel true companionship then? How can you learn to understand each other...to like each other? I want to genuinely like the person I'm with and need to feel a comadaradarie with them.

Absolutely. What a disgusting and disappointing thing to hear from your own spouse. Luckily, he is your ex now.

@BayAreaGal415 Thanks. And yes...I feel very lucky!

1

It also helps if you can laugh together; with each other and for each other. It important not to take ourselves too seriously.

agreed. I think laughter and tears come with real friendship of any kind.

1

I'm leery of it. This dude I knew who thought we were closer of friends than we actually were tried to convince me to take it further on the grounds that one leads to the other and it was how his parents got together so it followed the he and I should, too. I was only just learning my own sexuality and was still very isolated in an abusive parental environment which resulted in my having very few contacts with the outside world, so I had to keep hedging around the subject for years, which got really stressful. Kinda left me a little weird about people insisting on a specific course a relationship 'should' take.

1

I agree -- if you're not friends, anything else just won't last.

1

I don't think it's necessary to only have friendship in the beginning, for whatever specified time people might want. I mean sure, I guess there should be at least a little bit of time before getting sexual, but how long? I've had great relationships with people while still being sexual in the first month or so. Personalities will mesh no matter if sex is involved or not. I think people that want to wait 1 to 2 years for sex, or whatever it is, are being unrealistic and doing themselves a disservice. There are plenty of relationships that don't work out, some do it in the OP way, and some don't.

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