Boy meets Girl, Boy likes Girl, Boy & Girl start dating and become a couple. Boy & Girl break up…
Boy meets Girl, they become friends, they are still friends 20 years later.
We tend to put a lot more time into getting to know our friends. Similarly, we spend more time trying to move away from dating into something more permanent in our partnerships. But friendships tend to last longer… Eros, romantic love, starts off stronger and tends to ebb and flow over time. Philia, or the love characterized in a friendship, is based on a longer lasting selfless care of another that is built stronger over time.
I believe the strongest partnership encompass all the kinds of love…romantic, friendship, and unconditional. There is no shape stronger than a triangle, no structures as large and strong as the pyramids.
There is no real partnership where you have failed to build and continue to build a friendship. The friendship may look different than the one she shares with her sistafriends and he shares with his crew, but if it is built in the image of the Flavor Flav hype man and the Issa Rae mirror b*tch … “you looking real bad, looking like a Queen”… then it is a friendship! Support, encouragement, empowerment, I got your back, you got mine type shit! It takes time, it’s not impatient, and it’s never unkind.
Friendship is the foundation upon which every lasting relationship is built … older married people become more companions than lovers, parents and children grow out of parenting and dependency roles into more reciprocal roles, and even siblings move out of competition and dueling into mutual admiration. So…choose to be friends first and foremost. Be active in getting to know who that person is and how they move. Take your time. Relationships should not mature because dating sucks, but because you have found someone genuine, and you can’t know that until you have rocked hard with that person. Friendship… even if you refuse it… will always be the head cornerstone.