Let’s Just Be Friends

Have you ever had a budding relationship happening? It seemed to be heading in the right direction. You’ve communicated. You were laughing and having fun together. You were planning things together on a regular basis. You were being intimate, but just intimate enough for the rate the relationship was going. But suddenly—and I mean suddenly—the person just said: LET’S BE FRIENDS!

The first thing that goes through your mind is total embarrassment. “Really? After two months of kissing, dating, relating, and me thinking things were going forward, out of nowhere, you want this to stop. What would make you think I would want to be friends?”

Those words would go through any sane person’s mind. You would have to be Mother Theresa, with Mother Theresa’s sexual promiscuity to think it was okay. Of course, the next step is to have sex and to get more intimate. So, it would be very, very important for that person you are with to make sure you are the right person; otherwise, he or she will be dragging you down a road that would be an unfair journey. So, you see that the person who asked you to be friends actually values you, but doesn’t think you have enough chemistry or enough in common to go the distance. It’s not that bad a thing to say.

I was once dating this guy and really enjoying our time together until he told me that he thought President Obama was the Anti-Christ and that Sara Palin and Paul Ryan would have made the perfect presidential couple. I’m vomiting a little just thinking about it. Even after really liking a person, can you really even hang with a person who thinks diametrically opposed to you in something that is so important to you? I’m not so sure. I have tried that a couple times, and it just didn’t work.

I wonder how people who are reading this have actually said “I want to just be friends” and how many people have actually heard it from a partner. For me, I’ve said it and heard it a couple times.

I’d like to site an example of a person I thought was absolutely wonderful in everyway. I wouldn’t have dated him for three or four months had I not believed there was something there to work on. But when it comes down to the proper chemistry to make an intimate relationship work, there is so much more to coupling than just a resume of wonderful qualities. And this one believed so much like I did.

Sometimes it’s even the way a person smells and tastes that may turn you off. I know that there are perfumes and mouthwashes that can change those things. But, honestly, a natural smell is not something that can be smothered easily.

Then there is kissing. I can’t imagine having a partner who didn’t kiss in a way that was comfortable and magical. I have been on dates where the kisses were like some projecting reptile tongue or the lips were so tight and unshaven that I was left with a skin rash that looked as though I had a bad case of razor burn.

I remember one very wonderful date said to me, “If there is something that I can do to make you feel better about kissing or anything, just let me know. I’ll work on it.” I tried explaining what I needed. He tried. Much to both of our dismays, we were just unsuccessful at our ability to be intimate.

But friendship lasted, absolutely. I would miss a couple of these friends terribly if they every left my life. I’m glad that each of them was able to move forward without being in an intimate relationship with me. I hope that someday I can be the better guy and be able to allow friendship to blossom from a few of my more recent relationships.

The transition from relationship to friendship—intimacy to casual talk—is a hard one. This transition takes being blatantly honest and the ability to take the past and leave it behind you. You have to be able to forgive completely and not be obsessed with your own loss or your own inability to make things work when you see the other person dating again. That is what makes the process the hardest. Turning a blind eye to what you couldn’t provide for that person and not blaming it on yourself is probably the hardest task in this process.

Most therapists would suggest leaving these old relationships behind, if not forever, at least for a year or two. As a coach, I have led people to the same decision. I have just begun a friendship with my last partner from a couple years ago. It is like starting over in some ways, and in other ways it is like coming home.

But one thing that you have to be very careful of is dragging an old relationship into a new one. So, if you are planning to become good friends with an old partner, you better make sure that whomever you are planning to date in the future is cool with it.

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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