Just friends

What's wrong with being just friends? I talk to my girl-friends about dating and most of us are of the same mind: we would like to be friends with the person we eventually fall in love with. So to do that, I think, you have to start out as friends. But wait! they all caution. Be careful of the "friend syndrome"- the place where you start off as friends and wind up as.... just friends.

The problem is that being friends with someone lets you see them as they really are, as they truly are, as they are when they're not thinking about sucking in their stomach or trying to be cute and funny. When you're friends with someone you get to see who they are when they are comfortable, when they are at ease, when they're not trying to impress anyone but just being who they really are. When you're friends with someone you get to have a bad hair day or week or month; you get to wear make-up or not; you get to get dressed up or not; you get to let it all hang out, and not worry about being rejected.
Because our friends love us for who we are, all of us, every part of us. Our friends love our sense of humor and hate our sense of fashion and accept us no matter the outfit-of-the-day. Our friends learn about us and our past and our hopes for the future without strings, without expectations, without drama. Our friends stand by our side and don't ask us to be anything or anyone we're not. Our friends become closer as time goes on, not because the relationship should progress, but because trust deepens and so does the friendship.

A friend is someone we meet along the way and walk together in partnership- both enjoying the company, neither wanting or needing the other person to solve any problems. A friend is someone we bring into our lives, who stays with us for a week or year, but is there in the background ready to be called on, no matter the passage of time.

So what's wrong with wanting to be friends? What's wrong with wanting to see the other person without a romantic shade blocking our vision? What's wrong with wanting to be with the other person as comfortable as we are in who we are and where we are, and not worry if there will be something more as time goes on? What's wrong with being friends and seeing over time if a spark develops? And if a spark ignites after a friendship is established, maybe the flame will be brighter and stronger from the place where it springs. So here's to friends and here's to love and if the two meet along the way, then we shall be all the better for it.

After all, this is the life.