The notion of marriage being about romance, about fulfillment of our emotional needs, having anything to do with a soul connection, that’s an amazingly recent development.  It’s really blossomed in the past 150 years, but prior to that, it was a rare notion that was indulged in poetry and fiction, not because it was common or a goal or even attainable, but because it was not those things.  Until recently only the very rich or politically connected could make such a choice and for the most part they didn’t because marriage was used as a tool for politics, for mergers, for advancement, and for the increase of wealth.  Just look at the history of European royalty if you want a taste of what marriage was actually like.  Hence the troubadours and love poetry and the taking of discrete lovers.

At this point our notion of romance and relationship, partnership and marriage has become so narrow focused that everyone is looking for that perfect #1, their soul mate, their twin soul.  No other connection will do.  Meanwhile, we see all other relationships as less than on the scale.  Children are similar but different, sometimes equivalent to our intimate relationships but sometimes in opposition to them.  Then there is the family of origin and the good/bad/ugly of that.  And then there are friends.  While we need them and we don’t fare well in life without them, we also seem them as changeable, less than, easily found and easily disposed of.  There are always more, right?  We have come to value the mythical one over those who know and love us best.  What’s even worse is if we have a healthy friendship, one that has the necessary components to be a romance, we see the friendship, not for what it is, but as a runway to achieve a “real” relationship.  We attempt to take it to the next level.  This may work, it may not, but the entire conception points to the fact that we have been taught to devalue the most valuable thing another person can offer us, themselves.

Having a friend, a true friend, is a priceless thing.  It’s not a staging ground for something else, it’s a valuable thing in and of itself.  Without friends we are unable to be balanced ourselves.  Without friends we can be unable to see ourselves clearly, ask for what we truly need, or be heard.  Having friends doesn’t mean we’re incapable of intimate relationships it’s proof that we can.  Being friends with someone can be far more intimate that a marriage or partnership because with a friend there is less sexual tension, less pressure to be perfect, less triggers around living logistics, less personal dynamics around roles and responsibilities.  We can truly be ourselves and so can they, hopefully.

So don’t try to force a friendship into being something else than what it is.  If its going to move our of the “Friendzone” it will.  But that’s not the point nor the goal.  Friends are amazing in and of themselves and friendships are a blessing that shouldn’t be overlooked or undervalued.  Especially if you need a couch to stay on after the breakup…