The divine meaning of a true friendship is that it is often the first unveiling of the secret of love. It is not an end in itself, but has most of its worth in what it leads to, the priceless gift of seeing with the heart rather than with the eyes. To love one soul for its beauty and grace and truth is to open the way to appreciate all beautiful and true and gracious souls, and to recognize spiritual beauty wherever it is seen — Hugh Black
I think sometimes in our generation, we value romantic feelings over deep friendships. For example, when you ask two people of the opposite sex, who are close platonic friends, whether they’re dating, you’ll observe that one or both of them will have a repulsed (or disgusted) reaction. But if you ask the same person about whether they’re looking forward to dating their present crush (who is a stranger or acquaintance), they’ll be wildly ecstatic. What’s the problem here? A close friend who’s there for you, cares for you and prays for you, is the person that you’re responding to with disgust. But a person who hardly knows you and has barely proven himself/herself loyal to you is the person that you’re excited about, only because of the presence of romantic attraction. It’s ridiculous. If you’re not interested in dating your friend you can simply say, “I’m not interested” or “we are not dating” politely instead of adding disgust to the response.
Many of us are more willing to make a long-term commitment to someone based solely on romance than on deep friendship.
That’s why we ‘friend-zone’ our close friends of the opposite sex but leave romantic strangers in the ‘dating-zone’. We implicitly or explicitly glorify romance over friendships.
No great relationship can thrive without the important element of continual friendship. Your relationship will crumble if all you have is romance as the pillar of your relationship. That’s also one of the reasons some people abandon all their friendships when they start dating someone. We forget that romantic feelings can fade. Friendships last longer. True friendship takes time, effort, diligence, patience, prayer and compassion to develop. It isn’t cultivated on the bedrock of feelings but on the soil of mutual unconditional love and sacrifice.
Of course, you can have both romance and friendship in a relationship. That’s the ideal type of relationship to have. They’re both important. However, most people are more willing to compromise on romance than on friendship, which is a huge mistake. If the romance temporarily fades, friendship can keep it going till its cultivated again. However, if the friendship fades, romance can’t keep the relationship together. No one is saying that you shouldn’t have romance. What I’m saying is that don’t bet on romance over friendship. It won’t last. If you’re in a relationship ALWAYS seek to develop your friendship with the person you’re dating. Friendship takes deliberate effort but its what stands strong in the long-run in the midst of adversity and difficulties