Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ask yourself these question before making friends

Adult friendship is based on caring about someone because of, rather than in spite of, their warts, and the best way to have a friend is to be a friend. You don’t have to be perfect to have a friend or be a friend. Just be flexible and loving and honest. If you’re getting the idea that friendship is a great potential basis for romance — bravo! — you’re right. The only tricky part is chemistry.

Take out your dating notebook and answer yes or no to the following questions to find out whether you’re ready to be and have a friendship with another adult. Keeping a notebook lets you see what you’re doing, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. Haven’t started one yet? Not to worry. You can buy a spiral notebook or a three-ring binder and start one now. Make this exercise one of your entries.
  • Expectations:
    • Am I able to separate who I am and what I want from who my friend is?
    • Do I accept that my friend is not just like me?
  • Tolerance:
    • Am I as tolerant of my friend as I would like him/her to be tolerant of me?
    • Do I apply the same standards to myself that I expect of my friend (in other words, do I have the same set of rules for myself and my friend)?
  • Availability:
    • Am I willing to put myself out for my friend (that is, the relationship isn’t all about convenience)?
    • Do I have the time and energy to invest in being and having a friend?
  • Honesty:
    • Am I willing to be my true self?
    • Am I willing to say what I feel?
  • Openness:
    • Am I willing to be vulnerable and intimate and share my feelings?
  • Dependency:
    • Am I able to stand on my own?
  • Empathy:
    • Am I able to look at a conflict from someone else’s point of view?
  • Perspective:
    • Do I like something about my friend other than the fact that he/she likes me?
    • Can I be a bit unselfish and less self-centered?
You can see from this list why friendship is such a good basis for dating and just about any other kind of relationship. If you answered yes to most or all of the questions, you’re great friend material. If you aren’t capable of friendship, you might think about working on that before you take up dating. Friendship isn’t easy. It is important, and it doesn’t even have sex to heat things up. Friendship is truly a uniquely human and undeniably valuable exercise in being our most basic and terrific and honest and self-reliant selves. Time spent making friends is always time well spent. When you do launch your dating self, you’ll have your friend to commiserate or share the joy.

No comments: