Thursday, February 7, 2008

Are you good enough to become a friend?

A friend can be an important part of your life, but not the totality of your life as it was when you were a kid, so don’t try to take over your friend’s life or let your friend take over yours. (Just because your best pal hates your hair-do, thinks your career is in the dumps, or isn’t as fiscally adventurous doesn’t mean you need to change hairdressers, go looking for another line of work, or choose a different investment counselor.)

If you’re old enough to date, you’re old enough to be self-reliant, and the same characteristics that make a good friend make a good potential date. Not to mention, our friends sustain us while dates often come and go. Don’t be discouraged; just understand that making friends is important whether or not your dating works immediately. Who couldn’t use the practice in building and maintaining relationships? Friends grab our heads as well as our hearts, and most of us have heads that are a lot harder to fool than our hearts.

Friendships employ less chemistry and much more sense. Good friendships are also based on give and take, without preordained roles of what one should do. You might expect your date to pay for your meal, but you certainly wouldn’t expect a friend to; similarly, you would never expect a friend to read your mind, even though you may expect your date to (“If you loved me, you’d know”). A good friendship is based on reality, not fantasy; equality, not dominance; and rationality, not romance. The healthier both participants are, the better — and healthier —the friendship will be.

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