Note: I am cleaning up files on my laptop and found something I’d written for the blog back in December of 2008. As far as I can tell, I never posted it on the blog, and it still holds a lot of truth for me, so here you go. – Moxie
Tonight I had a conversation with a friend of mine about relationships. A mutual friend had broken up with someone because he’d gotten too serious too fast. “This is what happens when someone who’s never been in a long-term relationship gets involved with someone who has been in one,” my friend said. “The long-term person just wants to get back into that comfort zone.”
It really made me think about my own relationships and what I’d been doing, and maybe why nothing has really worked out since the end of my marriage. I had a great friendship with Mr. X and that’s the main thing I miss in not having a long term relationship: the close friendship portion. The part where you can just look at each other and know what the other person is thinking. The part where you have private jokes. Even the part where you know exactly what buttons to push so that the other person’s head explodes. I miss the good and the not-so-good parts of being friends with the one you love.
With Joe*, I was so quick to get back into that relationship groove that I completely lost sight of the fact that it takes time to build up the friendship element. You can’t forego that time period and expect the relationship to be something long lasting. I must have known, though, that deep down there wasn’t enough there for us to really be friends. We were way too different on way too many levels.
But sometimes I think it can go too far in the other direction, too. There are some friendships that are so strong that you start thinking, Hmm, maybe we should be dating. The romantic portion kicks in and while it’s nice and easy because you know the person so well, it’s also – how do I put this – dull. So then what do you do? Do you give up the romantic/sexual element, knowing full well it may sacrifice the friendship? Or do you continue with it, thinking it will eventually work out? I’ve been in that situation a few times and it never seems to work the way I want it to, or the way I think it should.
This all leads me to believe there’s a happy medium, a place where you have a good friendship yet you know when to detach. I’m good friends with one couple who seems to do this so easily, and yet I have a feeling they have struggled to get to this place with each other. Their comfort zone is palpable to all of us that know them and it gives me hope that I can create that, somehow, someday, with someone who’s really ready to get in the zone with me.