Life Lesson….Be friends first before falling in love

old couple holding hands“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship    that makes unhappy marriages.”                           ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

One of the biggest decisions you will ever make in life is choosing the person you want to marry. No one teaches you how to choose your partner. You don’t have a class in school giving you some instruction on Dating | Love | Marriage 101. It mainly comes down to what you’ve experienced as a child growing up seeing the relationships between your parents, parents of close friends and grandparents.

When you are young your mind is filled with this romantic notion that “love will conquer all” or that “prince charming will make your happy ending come true”. I’m here to tell you “GET THAT OUT” of your head! Your happiness depends on you, not someone else. And WHO you chose to marry will always be a part of your life. So don’t take this lightly.

My Grandmother was married 8 times! Yes – back in the day when divorce really was unacceptable. Based on my mothers experience with her mom, my mother said she would never get divorced so she made sure to choose wisely when she picked my dad to marry. They now have celebrated their 57th year of marriage.

Here’s what I know to be true about Dating | Love | Marriage 101.

DATE  different types of people when you are young. The only way for you to know what type of person you like, what values align with yours, and what must haves you want in a mate is by dating. Now I don’t mean sleep with every person that you have dinner or a movie with! So please don’t go there. This isn’t about who gives you the most pleasure because that won’t last in a day-to-day marriage. Dating is the process of finding out what you like in a partner.

LOVE changes over time. There are several different stages of love. I won’t go into all of them, but attraction is the first phase when you meet someone. There is a chemical reaction and this is a must have in choosing a mate. You have to be physically attracted to them for love to last a long period of time.

FRIENDSHIP FIRST – Listen to me now because this is KEY!

“You must be friends first before you take it to the physical level”.  I believe Steve Harvey put in his book – make your partner wait 90 days before sleeping with them. You want to know why? Because during this time you are getting to see the other person without the mask of them trying to impress you. You are seeing if you like them just as a person, a friend you can talk to, share with, and listening to their stories of life about them. You are seeing if they have anger issues, crazy ex’s, how they see life, what their “soul” is deep down, but most of all you are communicating as friends without the complications sex adds and or clouds your judgement.

There have been 2 loves in my life. BOTH began with long friendships before ever taking to the next level. The last one I was friends with three years before he told me how he felt about me. Sure there was always an attraction between us all those years, but I never thought he felt it. (I knew I did) But I loved him first as my best friend. One that I could talk to about anything. Then adding the physical made it the “bonus” or the “icing on the cake”. It made for true intimacy on a deep level based on trust and friendship.

Be friends first. Don’t rush. The other person needs to get to know you for you. If they don’t hang around to get to know you, then they aren’t worth it. The person who wants to know you will be there  – they will make the time to hang out and talk with you even if it’s just to watch a DVD or hang out studying at SB. Let them get to know you and you get to know them.

Love and Friendship!

Deanna

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