Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Life is an Oprah Episode - Friend and Lovers

Can friends become lovers?  Can a man and a woman really be just friends?  There has been much written about this and the hypothesis is that  the boundaries between friendship and romance is a fine line.  One thought is that to cross that line would undoubtedly ruin the friendship.  I do not necessarily agree with this.

If someone is good friends with the opposite sex and says to become involved romantically, sexually, would ruin the friendship, what comes to mind, for me, is what they are saying is that there is no attraction for them.  Of course, the dynamics of the friendship would change, just as the dynamics of any relationship would change once there is a physical or romantic connection.  Being friends with someone involves intimacy --  not the physical kind, but, intimacy in sharing feelings and vulnerabilities. If they are friends first, often this intimacy already exists, making the relationship deeper and more meaningful.   Not every friendship involves a romantic attraction, but, some do.  I believe it is there from the beginning.  You meet someone and there is a connection; a spark.  You become friends, but, there is always sexual tension; maybe some flirting.  But, the friendship stays intact and can stay that way for many years.  I don't think people really are friends with someone for a long time, and then suddenly wake up one day and realize that the love they share is the romantic variety.  Yes, ending up with your best friend is great, but, I think the "spark" or connection was always there. I enjoy several friendships with the opposite sex that are very deep and endearing.  These relationships are platonic.  And, I have had some friendships that turned into something else.

One of my closest friends is Steve Cameron.  Steve is a sportswriter, journalist, and published author.
(find his books @: Amazon.com - .he has written about 13 sports books and a novel I am a small partner in).
We met as a blind date set up by a mutual friend, Paul Splittorff, a pitcher with the KC Royals.  We went out a few times and while no romance took off ,we settled into a friendship.  Regardless of the physical distance between us, we manage to maintain a strong bond of friendship, not unlike the kind I share with my women friends.  I trust and love him.  We would do anything for each other, and there is never a question of where we stand with each other.  He is, as I put it, one the the "real people", and it helps that we share many of the same political and social views.  He has an amazing wit and intellect, but, I am also inspired by his willingness to remain open and vulnerable in relationships.  Steve is a romantic, even though he may not see him self that way.  We'll be friends forever.

I've also been friends with someone where we did cross the line.  When we met I know there was an instant, immediate, connection for us both.  We worked for the same company and had a professional relationship.  It grew to friendship via lunch and a sometime dinner, but, there was always that sexual tension.  We attended a few sporting events together, but, never went beyond that.  I had left NY and relocated to another city, when, a business trip brought me back to NY.   My friend and I had planned a dinner and  as one thing led to another,  we went from friends to lovers.  Because there had been so much tension already built up, it was quite explosive.  The relationship lasted many years and when it ended, for a while, so did the friendship.  There was a shift is our relationship, but the friendship did not end because we became romantically involved, the friendship ended because it was a painful breakup and time was needed to heal from it.  We are still friends; it's different and I am less afraid of being honest about my feelings than I was in the beginning.

Going from friends to lovers and back to friends does not have to be a disaster.  What kills the relationship -- the friendship -- is being hurt by lies, cheating or dishonesty.  Whenever a breakup occurs,  if there has been honesty,  if friendship existed in the beginning, it will survive the split, and in many cases, the friendship will become stronger.

The point is that there really is no rule to follow, except to follow your heart.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing a very personal, traumatic event. Certainly nobody would think less of you, there is nothing to be ashamed of! Only in talking about it can you truly heal. I wish you didn't have to experience that but you did and you are dealing with it, God bless you for that. Keep talking, I am enjoying all your blogs, Mary.

    Thanks again, Michaele Meade