So my last blog stirred up many conversations and got me thinking further in depth on many things, shocking to a few of you, I know!
It seems we are all looking for the same basic thing, somebody who is a true friend and yet that you have amazing chemistry with also. If we had our preference, it would be somebody who fully knew us and yet loved us completely, that elusive soul mate. Very few people ever experience that type of relationship in their lifetime. It does happen, but it is so rare that most of us decide that one or the other is good enough. For anyone who has experienced it, if it is lost, it is very difficult to recover and settle for less than that again.
In our search, it is easy to find people with whom we connect, have things in common, and can become friends. Hence, our “friend bucket” is quite full! Personally, I meet people daily that I enjoy talking with, but would never consider dating. I also have others that I can talk to for hours and share my thoughts, and yet the spark is missing. In fact, some seem to fit most of the criteria on the “list” of things we look for, but the feelings just aren’t there. Why is it so hard to find both, and why can’t we fall in love with the person we know would be a great match for us. The difficult part is knowing those friends want to be that match.
I have many people ask how to get out of the friend bucket and become a dating prospect. That is really difficult. First off, it takes a lot of review as to what you really want out of the relationship. Can you be content as friends? There is risk of completely losing the relationship if things don’t work out. Second, you have to let go of your pride. If you are not trying to advance the relationship because you don’t want to risk being shot down, then you will never get the opportunity. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the rejection with grace and have enough pride to let it go, but you do have to take the risk of having your ego wounded a bit. At this point, I would ask why you want to be friends. Is friendship really important, or are you working to be a friend so that you can have the opportunity for more in the future? Is it worth the pain you feel when you see them date other people?
Unfortunately, the one who is the friend has very little power to really change the status, and the only chance may be to do something more drastic. We are all looking for chemistry as well, and you may have to decide to really work to stir up a passion, or you may have to decide to walk away. At this point, if those two things don’t work, it most likely isn’t possible to change your status with that person. It will take a lot of communication and some healing time but I do believe it is still very possible to have the friendship after those things if it is really important to you.
So in our search, when do we give up on finding that total package? That timing is very different with every person. Fact is, it is possible that we find somebody who meets the majority of our standards, and even though some of the chemistry isn’t there, if we focus on that person and work at it, we may find that it is a really great relationship anyway. For others, we really want the whole package and just can’t see settling until you have both friendship and chemistry. If you are strong enough to really know and understand what you want, and can hold out for it, then it may very well be possible to find it, but most likely you will spend a fair amount of time alone in the search, or casually dating along the way.
Occasionally, we meet somebody who has found that total package and it renews our hope. You see the connection and comfortableness in their relationship, and we all know that is exactly what we want. The hard part is when we think we have found it, but the other person doesn’t have that same feeling. So along the journey, if we are going to stay open to finding the love we want, we will break hearts, and have our hearts broken, knowing that someday the right person will be there to put the pieces back together as we do the same for them.
In the meantime, we need to be respectful and gentle of those we come in contact with so as not to cause any more pain than necessary. On the flip side, those being rejected need to understand that person is doing you a favor by not continuing to waste your time on a relationship that isn’t right, but is releasing you to continue your search, while they continue in theirs. Try to let go of the hurt pride that causes us to lash out and understand that we are all in the same boat and will be on different sides of an ending relationship along the way.
Keep your heart open, your pride low, and hopefully you will meet some great friends along the way.