Often when a new relationship goes bad, I am asked “what are the qualities of a good relationship?” This was the case with Julie who dated a recently divorced man and enjoyed heaven-moving intimacy with him shortly after they met. When he stopped calling, she asked the above question. Here’s how our discussion went:
“Ok Julie let’s begin by defining the term ‘relationship.’ You mentioned the term over and over again in describing the interaction between you and Rick. Julie, what do you mean by ‘relationship’ with Rick?
“well, we had a connection. We communicated easily and enjoyed each others’ company and were developing something very special between us. So I would say a relationship is a special bond between two people who care for each other.”
Yes, Julie that’s right. A relationship is a special bond between two people who genuinely care for each other. But how is that foundation for caring built? And upon what is it built?”
I continued, “Two elements are closely tied together to form a relationship: friendship and time. Let’s look at friendship first–it’s the foundation of a relationship. And let’s explore what is a friendship lover and why does this equate to a good relationship. There are five primary reasons:
- Friendship is a history of two people who connect in ways that share common interests,
- Foster intimate communication, complement growth and development, and encourage support.
- Friendship is built upon trust and loyalty with someone you know will be there for you in good times and in bad times.
- A Friendship lover is someone who understands your ups and downs .
- Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses and still cares.
Your friendship lover is your alter ego, a confidant, a person who’s been there over the long haul.
“With this definition in mind, Julie, in what ways would you say that you and Rick share a history as ‘friends’?”
Julie flinched and looked away embarrassed.
“Julie, you don’t even know Rick, not in a way that even remotely resembles a deep friendship.”
That’s not entirely true,” Julie said defensively. “There was something between us, something very special and very strong. It was the beginning of a relationship.”
“Sorry . . . wrong “R” Julie. I don’t mean to be cruel, but what you and Rick had was not a relationship–it was a rendezvous.”
Julie felt the blood rushing to her face. She stood, tossed her hair in a defiant gesture, and started to pace.
“That’s your interpretation. I was there. I could feel it. I know there was something special between us.”
“Like what?” asked Dr. Braun.
Julie turned, narrowing her eyes as she tensed, waiting to hear something she didn’t want to hear.
“What you had was a very powerful sexual attraction,” said Dr. Braun. “Red-hot –which you both insatiably indulged in. Period. End of story.
Julie quickly looked away.
This was a brief excerpt from the book: How to Date to Marry. The lesson from this story is to develop a stable friendship first. Make sure he’s your friendship lover before getting sexually involved. It will go a long way in safeguarding your heart and emotions.
In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss how time is your best ally in dating and relationship building.