I’ve a history of being friends with people I date. In fact, I’ve never dated someone who I was instantly attracted to. It always started as a friendship and then love came after plenty of conversation, terrible jokes, drinking buddy-dates, etc. You can also say that for me, friendship and relationship goes hand in hand and one often plays into the other.
My current relationship is no different…except that it’s the longest and deepest both of us have been in. Also, to my partner, friendship and love are cleanly cleaved apart. Friendship = a non-romantic, non-sexual relationship.
I’m certain I’m a better friend than a girlfriend. More honest, less prone to putting up with bullshit. It’s a side of me I fight hard to keep in my love affairs and it often results in me ruining ‘moments.’ My partner has accused me more than once of being unromantic. Which is a hoot, considering how much time I spend on my couch watching Romedy Now. Often without him!
The Choice Between Friendship And Relationship
I don’t get the broad divide between friendship and relationship or romance. But, once you’ve crossed over, maintaining both can get a little exasperating. I mean, I normally banter a lot with my friends when I’m with them and sometimes it can get a little brutal. Does that still work when you’re in love-love or does that come across as using hurtful words? Do you bluntly tell them when they’re being stupid or adopt gentler tones?
The trickiest of it all is time. That is where I consider friendship better than relationship. No one counts how much time you’re spending with friends. Once you’re in a ‘relationship’, there are rules about phone calls and who calls first and if you spent last night with them, should you go over tonight as well or will that mean too much.
I don’t have the answers, but after four years, I’ve just decided to go ahead and be friends with the love of my life. He can jolly well adjust because that’s what friends do. Here’s why I chose friendship in all my friendship and relationship equations.
1. Friends don’t hold onto expectations
Relationships come with far too many strings attached. Some of those strings are definitely good which is why we choose to get into a relationship in the first place. The security, the comfort and the ease we feel with that person is what makes us want a partner. To know that somebody will hold you and warm you at the end of a long day is the reason we have faith in serious relationships. But come on, give your friendships some credit too.
I have friends who will always be by my side if I ever call them when I’m in trouble. Without any expectations, they continue to be there for you through thick and thin. There is no rule of give and take. They just give without expecting any returns! Isn’t that far more beautiful?
2. Lovers are harder to forgive
When things are going wrong, our same expectations make us hold our lovers to terribly high standards. We give them our heart and make them promise us to not break it. So when they do, they are much harder to forgive. But for a friend, you always have their back. And when you have both, even crass banter sounds like Sam Smith’s love songs.
3. Your friends accept you for who you are
But your partner might want you to change certain things about you. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an anti-relationship post. Some of the things that you might change about yourself for a relationship might even be great for you, but that is not always true.
On the other hand, while friends give you necessary advice, they do not expect you to morph yourself into a person that suit their own needs. You can still continue to be who you are and your friends will love you regardless!
Related Reading: Inappropriate Friendships When Married – Here’s What You Should Know
4. There is less possessiveness in friendships
And easily much more trust. This is the real reason I have pursued a new equation of a romantic friendship with my partner. Since we don’t have the label, we do not find ourselves getting too possessive about one another. I never have to complain about having a jealous boyfriend and it truly is a blessing!
So when I don’t call him back or reply to his text five hours later because I got busy working on a project, I don’t get a frantic call from him asking me where I was all evening. He understands me, accepts giving me my space and backs away.
5. It’s much easier to lose them from your life when they are a romantic partner
Talk about relationship red flags and how that can easily make you lose your cool and dump your romantic partner. Any kind of cheating evidence, giving you lack of attention or being insecure and jealous – you might just have to walk away from them and decide to never speak to them again.
But with friends, when such problems don’t exist in the first place, the consequences don’t come charging towards you either. So you never have to worry about messy breakups or blocking your ex on all social media or any of that dirty business really.
Moreover, the comfort in a friendship is incomparable. Between friendship and relationship, I choose friendship because I can’t imagine not telling him a dirty joke soon as I’ve heard it. I refuse to be nice all the time because romance is all cuddles and singing and poetry when it rains. I’ll take muddy jeans and sulks and comparing whose arm has more hair any day. And, he seems okay with it. Which is why our romantic friendship is doing so well!
Between friendship and relationship – it is up to you to decide what gives you more happiness and contentment. Both have their merits and pros and cons. So understand your own needs and pick what is a more preferable situation for you to be in.
Don’t jump the gun and consider friendship better than relationship because relationships tend to fall apart more. It comes down to what kind of a life you want to build with that specific person and the kind of commitment you want yourselves to have.