Monday, February 8, 2010

Love, Intimacy, and Friendship

I have often heard it said that the best romantic relationships are made up of friends who realize at some point that they are attracted to each other and become lovers. It sounds lovely. And reasonable.

But I just can’t fathom it.

The other night, after waking from a nightmare and wishing my boyfriend hadn’t broken up with me so I’d have someone to cry on, I started thinking about my friends and the likelihood that we would ever eventually find ourselves suddenly having chemistry. We'd just be sitting around playing board games and joking with each other and suddenly the air would feel different, our eyes would soften, and... it was a stretch. I mean, when you meet someone, there's pretty much an automatic categorization of the person... would I, or would I not, sleep with this person. Granted, there are people you meet who you may find tremendously attractive, but once you realize their partner feels the same way, initial attraction slides into camaraderie. (At least, for practical folks like me who don't like to painfully pine for unavailable people.) In sum, you either you do or you don't.

I was ready to wash the whole thought pattern as some ridiculous romantic fantasy created by Hollywood, when I remembered my ex’s friends. They were friends all through college, dating other people but never each other when suddenly one day they found themselves to be in love. And just like the movies all said it would be, they are fantastic together. Consummate partners in everything from social obligations to sharing responsibilities for their new baby. The baby. The thing that couples bring into their lives often to save a relationship, not understanding that you can’t have one unless you’re utterly stable because as much as it draws you together, it can separate you if not working like a synchronized swimming team. They did this, and with utter sympathy for the other’s duties. That’s a partnership.

I do wish for that, but I just can’t understand how it happens. How can you not immediately know if you find someone sexually attractive? Is it be possible a friend of mine and I will suddenly realize there’s an intersection in our hearts that we just hadn’t noticed before. How marvelous it would be to fall in love with someone I already love. And trust. And have seen at their worst and love them still. And they'd love me despite all the persnickety details that make new love less shiny. How lucky I would be.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Dani, I am so glad to see you wrote on your blog. p.s. why am I such a blog stalker? The point is, well you make a good point in this blog post. I have often thought such things. I'm a subscriber to the believe that one shouldn't skip steps. This is something that baffles the other party. because I am always insisting that we cannot miss steps. I compare my relationships to buildings. And if the foundation is the root and the root is friendship and the friendship is strong then maybe if our collective building crashes, or cracks we will always have the foundation to build off of. I realize, sometimes that this is a flawed throught process. I know you don't believe in God. But, what I thought I believed in is kind of like saying "There's only one path to God! and that's it!" Maybe relationships are like the saying... "There are as many paths to God as there are people".

    I want to tell you as many positive truthful things as I can say right now. I am guilty of falling in love with my best friend. One day I noticed just how much he meant to me. But even that didn't really work out. I want to say just because you're friends with someone doesn't guarantee the best kind of love. In the end I think the lowest common dinominator is being with someone that can make you laugh and someone you are really really comfortable with. For me I can't always tell right off the bat how to chategorize a person. But, I know what you're saying. I've so done it before! :)
    If you have forgotent, I want to remind you- you have a beautiful heart, don't wall it up waiting for the souffle or the egg to come along. And if you need a shoulder, know that there are shoulders available even from over here, to hold you. You can and should take total advantage of them :) In a good way. Anyway, now that I've left you an extremely long comment... and failed at not being creepy and you know that I follow your blog. Goodnight.
    Love, A.