I've always been a romantic from the time I was a little girl. I bought it all, thinking that I'd be rescued from my unhappy situation, that somehow I'd meet the love of my dreams, and live happily ever after. As part of my fantasy, I was hooked on the idea of falling in love even though I don't know that I had any idea of what love actually was.
For years I harbored my romantic dream. My life's journey took me through many cities and some wonderful relationships. I have to admit, I have been pretty darn lucky! But it wasn't until I was ready to give up entirely that I finally got it. My fantasy had finally popped and I was face to face with my own unhappiness and was now a single mother. I decided I was officially done with romance, done with relationships, done with love.
It seems that I have an ironic agreement with God. I always think I know what's best. I try and try and try then invariably fail. After that I give up totally, put my life in God's hands and (ironically) God then provides it.
And here is the secret I wish I'd learned when I was 13: be friends first.
I know it sounds super simple and I suppose it is but simple can be true and simple can be real and simple can lead you everywhere you want to go.
So, what do I mean when I say be friends first? Here is what I mean -
Hot and heavy is short lived.
When we get real with ourselves we know it's true. Sex is great but that intense physical attraction isn't sustainable in the long run.
Sharing interests is. Having fun together is. Enjoying one another's company is.
Not long ago I was talking to a friend of mine who is always looking for love and is chronically disappointed. This was my advice to him. Be friends first. Because even if your sex life is INCREDIBLE, it isn't happening 24 hours a day (be honest) BUT you are in an emotional relationship with someone 24 hours a day. And it makes a HUGE difference when that person is your confidante, best friend, most fun playmate AND lover.
Don't believe me? Look around. Who do you know that's in a romantic relationship and is happy, fulfilled, growing? My guess is it's couples who really value one another, genuinely care about each other and relish spending time together.
So, the next time you find yourself looking for Mr. (or Mrs. Right), think about being his or her friend first. Take it slowly. Get to know one another and allow that love to grow naturally. You might just be amazed.