Friendship is everything. In all situations.
Consider it. Your relationships with family always function more effectively if you relate to each other as friends first. Romantic partnerships thrive when the two people involved think of themselves as best friends. For many of us, like myself, our friendships are the core of our emotional health, stability, and happiness. They often survive the ebb and flow of life when other relationships don’t. I know that my interactions with my buddies over the years have brought me more joy and security than any of the boyfriends I’ve had. No drama, clear communication, enjoyment without pressure – just a few of the reasons I have come to prefer my platonic relationships to romantic ones.
Friendship is the key, no matter what the extent of your relation to each other otherwise. I would argue that even in a professional situation, a good rapport and some friendly interaction goes a long way towards creating a happy work environment. I don’t think I always valued my friendships as greatly as I do now, though they have long been a cornerstone of my life. I often felt that I gave more than I got, and I think that I often forced relationships that the other party wasn’t very interested in. Conversely, I also stuck around with some toxic people long after I should’ve walked away.
I’ve been told a few times that I should be friends with someone before I date them, and I couldn’t agree more. I just haven’t been lucky enough to be in a situation yet where that’s worked out. In the meantime, I have to say that I’m very happy with the friendships I’ve been strengthening lately. I decided over the past year that I am going to devote my best time and energy to healthy, communicative relationships with the wonderful people in my life. Why wait around for some guy to sweep me off my feet romantically? I have so much love to give right now, and friends all around who are so deserving of it.
I’m still in awe of the transformation that occurred in my life as soon as I opened myself up to receiving more platonic love and support. I was so busy pushing it away this whole time, acting like I didn’t need anyone, that I didn’t realize how many people around me are so willing and able to have my back. I’ve never felt this much kindness before in my life. I always thought most of my friendships were one-sided, but now I realize that I didn’t believe I was worthy of receiving anything, so I rejected any attempts at generosity.
My friends are 100% of the reason that I’ve felt able to move into a more aligned life for myself, little by little. Many of them are directly supporting me and helping me as I transition. Those who aren’t specifically doing something to facilitate my journey still do so simply by being there for me whenever I need them in other ways. I’m humbled and touched by their sweetness. It’s amazing, and I’m incredibly grateful.
So what if you begin by prioritizing the aspect of friendship in every relationship that you have? What if you stop worrying so much about the “dynamic” of the situation and focus on developing love, compassion, intimacy and communication with the other person? When you take out any preconceived notion of how the two of you should be relating based on the type of relationship you have and instead treat everyone like you would a best friend, it may just alter things for the better.
I encourage you to start looking at everyone from this perspective and notice if anything shifts. Friends, family, partners, work colleagues, everyone. What if you strive to treat them all equally, as you would very close friends, and actively work on developing those relationships? I believe it will enrich your life and deepen the friendships that you already have.
I hope you find this exercise as rewarding and fulfilling as I have. You are supported. You are loved. You are worthy of receiving. You can let yourself be vulnerable and you can ask for help. It’s okay.