I’ve had my share of good and bad partnerships.
As I look back, I can actually pinpoint what made the good ones flourish and the bad ones fail. The ones that I consider healthy and successful all had one thing in common:
A well-built friendship.
From my own experience, I realized that the secret to having a successful relationship is having a successful friendship. Although it is one secret on the surface, if we dig deeper we learn that there’s much more to it.
I have found that the level of friendship we have with our lover determines the level of relationship we will share.
My last relationship was destructive—we constantly lied to each other and there was a sense of distance. After some scrutiny, I realized that we were never really friends. We were so busy trying to build a relationship, but the foundation was fragile. It was missing the most important piece.
So, why is friendship pivotal between partners and what are the benefits that stem from it?
Friends are honest with each other. Couples who don’t have a good friendship may feel like they have to lie about things because they fear their partner’s reaction to the truth. But lovers who are friends won’t have this fear. They can come clean about almost anything, because they trust that their partner will appreciate honesty, even if it hurts.
2. The Ability to Share.
Good friends share everything. They talk about their past, their dreams and fears, likes and dislikes. Lovers who aren’t friends may feel like there’s a wall between them, causing them to become distant. By building a strong friendship, we can also cultivate a lifestyle to share common interests and activities.
3. Having fun.
Good friends have fun, go crazy and party together. A relationship that isn’t built on solid friendship can miss out on the good memories you create with friends. By breaking the ice with our lover, we create more space to have fun.
Communication between friends is extensive—it’s not just about them or the relationship, it’s about everything. I learned the hard way that communication can make or break a relationship. In order to create a successful relationship, we need to feel comfortable with our partners. We need to view them as our best friends.
Even when bad things happen, friends work hard to stay by each other’s side. Being helpful, kind and supportive in times of need creates successful relationships with our partners as well. I have found that we are less prone to hurt our partners when we view them as both lover and friend.
How can we cultivate friendship in a relationship?
We need to start by viewing our lover as a friend. When I face negative experiences in relationships, I usually ask myself if my reaction is stemming from the lover in me or the friend in me.
Are we being honest? Are we sharing ourselves? Are we having fun and communicating?
From my own experience, I have found that building a solid friendship with our partners helps to open closed doors and bring light to even the darkest of places.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Dmitry Ratushny/Unsplash