What that I think singles get frustrated with, are goals and purpose for a relationship. If two people are attracted to one another and they do not have the same goals or purpose they can be left feeling as if the male/female relationship process is all ‘a game’ and they become quite cynical.
I think when ‘friend A’ is looking for that lasting relationship, they are afraid of spooking ‘friend B’ by telling them that is what they want when they fall in love and they pretend that marriage is a thought far and away. But in doing so, they lie to themselves and to friend B.
Friend A thinks that after friend B gets to know them, that friend B will want to be married once they are in love. But, friend B may just want casual sex – and this is where friend B is the liar. Friend B means well, but pretends (to friend A AND to themself) that they want a relationship – a monogamous relationship where they can feel close and have someone to love, but they really have no intentions of marriage. They may say they would marry when the time is right, while they have no intention whatsoever on marrying friend A at all.
Friend A needs to be upfront and make it known that they want marriage. Friend B needs to make it known that they do not. Two friend A’s may explore a relationship and if they see that even if their goals are the same, the love isn’t there – it is okay, because they were honest upfront and set their boundaries in place. If two friend B’s get together, at least they can know what not to expect.
Many heartbreaks would be spared if we could all be upfront with each other and dating would feel less like ‘game playing’. Now, when two people both want marriage, that doesn’t mean that the two who get together are meant to be married. Your goal for marriage may be the same but as time allows, you will see what works and what does not.
It is a costly mistake to admit that you want to be married and then just accept that the person you have an attraction for is “the one” if you haven’t given the time to know for sure. No one can really know that right away. Believe me, I have thought I knew immediately. That first rush feels so perfect and good, but if we keep our heads about us and our boundaries are in place, we will eventually know for sure. And, because I am a Christian, I even felt God had answered prayer and had put someone in my path. Yes… He did put them in my path – but it turned out that the gentleman was not who I would spend the rest of my life with – and that’s okay.
What about sex? Well, if we had had a sexual relationship, it would have been more hurtful in breaking it off when we knew it wasn’t the right thing for us. The warning signs do come and if we set our boundaries at the beginning, we will stay focused and be able to enjoy a relationship taking the good from it and not accepting what we shouldn’t. If the relationship is stagnant and doesn’t move in the direction you both are wanting, I believe it is best to put on the brakes.
There may be those who will disagree with me, but I think if a person is not thinking of finding out if someone is a ‘potential someone’ – they shouldn’t be dating. Dating is experiencing a relationship that has potential for a future with someone. If you are dating for any other reason, you are probably ‘using someone’ and disrespecting them or yourself.
That is why it is important for a relationship to start off as friends and not get tangled with sexual encounters. Sex becomes too emotional and if you find a relationship with someone is not heading in the same direction you both desire, then it can leave you feeling empty. I am no saint, I have learned this from doing it all wrong. I have learned from being married and divorced. I have learned from trying to have only ‘casual relationships’ – yet they involved intimacy.
Over the years, I have found that in order to keep my self-respect and also have the same respect from others, sex is not something a new relationship needs to dive into. It is just too personal to share that part of your body and your soul, with mere casual relationships.
So, in being a friend A type, I have decided not to fool myself in saying that I ‘may never marry again’ or tell someone “I can’t even think about that right now” because I do think about it. No, I am not ready to walk down the aisle with someone next week, but I see myself married and growing old with someone for my future. I am protective of my goals and I will not waste my time (or friend B’s) in casual dating.
I have accepted dinner out on occasion or to meet for coffee with people that I only consider friends, but I do not put effort or emotions into a relationship if the person is not a ‘friend A’ type person. And if they are – I still take my time before I would get serious. Trust me, there will be those self-seekers who will snow you in the beginning in order to have what they want. If you stay true to yourself and draw the boundaries – you will see those self-seekers eventually let their guard down and show their true colors, but that is harder to do if you have given emotionally, physically or have invested too much in the relationship before you should.
If I don’t think a person is a ‘potential someone’ that I would want to get to know and allow love to happen – why would I waste either of our time? I am not in it for casual dating or to ‘just hang out’. In fact, I think ‘hanging out’ is all friend B’s are looking for – and to relieve their own loneliness.
If friend B wants to give me a call, meet for an occasional coffee, dinner or even a fun hike – I call friend B ‘just a friend’. And …I don’t kiss my friends. I don’t feel romantic notions for my friends. I will be friends with most people and I enjoy them – but I also set my clear boundaries and I think if we would all learn to take off our ‘mask’ and say what we want – even if what we want isn’t ‘right now’… then we could stop the game playing.
For those friend B’s who just don’t see themselves ever being married and they really are content being alone, but they ‘are lonely’ – I understand wanting a special someone in their lives – but I still disagree in using another person for that reason. If we could be that casual in a relationship – wouldn’t marriage be the same? If we respect the sanctity of marriage and we value the commitment we make and expect our mate to do the same, then how can one say that it is okay to give what you would in a love relationship, casually to ‘a friend’? You can’t.
I don’t think of myself as a prude and I certainly have made my mistakes of the flesh, but I regard marriage as “all or nothing”. If I am blessed with having a husband again, I will not take that commitment casually or think it is something to throw away if it doesn’t work out.
That is what the dating a potential someone is for. To see if it will work out. I won’t make a commitment to someone if it isn’t a lasting one. I will not be divorced again. That is why I regard and value what I give to those who may seem interested in me and I always see ‘how long’ I hold their interest. If they are self-seeking and do not care about my needs or my future as well as their own – they pretty much will leave my life because I do not give more than I should. I have stopped giving everything I have to give, to any man if they have not given back and we have taken time to make sure we are growing in a love relationship.
It is important for someone to make an effort for me. One of the biggest turn offs for me is when a man squabbles over the price of coffee or an ice cream or parking when they take you out. As if that will break their bank account. I have spent just as much or more on men and they have accepted my gifts, but if they don’t think twice about buying their sports cars, or their ‘boy toys’ or whatever is important to them and they complain about making little efforts in the ‘getting to know me’ time – that shows that they will not make an effort for me on really important matters. And, that is a requirement for me because that is exactly what I do for them. I make an effort and I give in many ways.
Males who are ‘just friends’ will not see me making those efforts if I don’t feel there is potential for a love relationship. If they tell me, “I am not at a place to commit…” well, heck -who is when they first meet someone? But is it your goal? Do you want that for your future? If you don’t, then don’t expect anything more from friend A than they plan to give to ‘just a friend’. Accept and respect those boundaries and make some for yourselves.
Honesty. Honesty brings trust. Trusting brings the commitment for those friend A’s who want that lasting love. Time… time may seem it is running out for those who are on their second time around or more. We middle agers may feel that we better find someone before we get old and lose our attractive features, but if you plan to have that last relationship – make sure it is right.
Stop wasting your time with people who do not want a relationship. Find that out up front. Then you both can explore a friendship that could be a possible love relationship. Not everyone may agree with me on the intimacy issues, but I have tried it both ways. I feel more balanced and stronger when I have not given part of myself to someone who isn’t my future.
Whether it is financial, emotional …or physical, if you have your boundaries in place you will respect yourself and gain the confidence you need to make good decisions.
Honesty. Trust. And Time.