Be Best Friends
"Love without friendship equals infatuation. People seem to have two sets of rules for relationships: one for friendship, the other for romance. We long for romance, so we try to rush past friendship and hurl ourselves into romance. Then we wonder why the romance doesn't last. Eighteen years ago I discovered that there's only one set of rules--the rules of friendship. I met a woman and said to her, 'I just want to be good friends,' and now we are married and have three kids. I fell in love with my best friend. It's the only way to go."
Tim Downs, speaker and author
Advice on the Fly
A well-known marriage counselor was late for the airport, but his client frantically asked him as he was stepping into a taxi, "How can I know if this is the woman I should marry?" The counselor said through the open window, "Ask yourself three questions: Do I want to eat breakfast with her for the rest of my life? Will she be a help or hindrance in reaching my life goals? Would I pleased if our children turned out just like her?"
Some General Advice for Relationships:
- Tell the other person up front that you value honesty and truthfulness even if the truth hurts.
- Be yourself. If you don't like something the other person likes, don't pretend you do. There is no need to criticize their preferences, but you don't need to claim to share them.
- Avoid getting involved with anyone you feel you must play a game to please or keep.
- Openness doesn't mean you have to reveal all your weaknesses and dirty laundry right away, but let the other know you are a person in process.
- Develop other relationships rather than build your whole life around the one person you are dating.
- Be careful to not expect chemistry, moonlight and roses all the time, nor try to manufacture it. It's nice, but not necessary, or even healthy, all the time.
- Avoid becoming involved with people you want or hope to change.
- Disagreements or misunderstandings are common to the best relationships. Don't let them throw you.
- Look at dating as training for future relationships, including marriage, like college is training for a career. Aim to be the right person not just find the right person.
Moving Toward Love? Consider the following.
"Is our relationship more than romance?"
"Am I willing to consistently put this person's needs above my own?"
- Does the relationship resemble a roller coaster?
- What do I look forward to when spending time together?
"Are we steadily moving toward mature love?
- Do I need to become a better listener?
- Mak a list of each other's needs.
- Learn what communicates affection to each other.
"Could I love this person for the rest of my life?"
- What percentage of you time together is non-physical?
- Is this someone I want to live with the rest of my life?
- Do I want to eat breakfast with that person for the rest of my life?
- Will that person be a help or hindrance in reaching my life goals?
- Would I pleased if our children turned out just like the person I'm in love with?
- Has my commitment to him/her steadily increased over time?