Let’s Just Be Friends

~Let’s just be friends.
~I don’t feel a connection.  Let’s be friends.
~I will always love you but I don’t want a relationship with you.  Let’s be friends.

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When did friendship become the fall back option?  Why do we degrade friendship as the right relationship when a romantic relationship fails?

I believe sometimes you need to love someone from a distance, particularly when the intimate relationship has ended. There is a reason the relationship didn’t work, and that reason is still alive in the friendship. You can’t just relabel the dynamic and believe its all fixed.

Are the expectations of friends so much different than what we value in our lover? I believe the only difference between the dynamic of friends and lovers is the degree of deepening that has occurred.

Possibly the reason open relationships have appeal is because we value the same things in any and all relationships. Maybe open relationships reflect awareness that our beloved isn’t some mystical One. Maybe open relationships are the only way our society understands how to reflect the fact that loving everyone is easy. But being in a relationship that endures, elevates and deepens is not nearly as simple. It requires us to deal with the soul as well as the patterned grooves that each person develops on their path. It means committed work towards a third element – the relationship.

Please do not degrade friendship by asking me to be your friend when the deeper relationship has failed. Friendship takes the same work we didn’t do in the failed relationship.

Read this poem, and tell me the difference between friendship and intimate love. And then tell me if “let’s be friends” seems like an appropriate answer to a relationship ending.

LOVE

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

-Roy Croft

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