Have you ever wondered why love is so complicated? There are several reasons for this. We get attracted to our potential partners through physical attraction and other values that we see in them. However, beauty is not the only element necessary for winning the attention of a potential romantic partner. We often think love is complicated because the partners we love don’t feel the same way. In other cases, we cannot figure out which type of love we feel towards them. Therefore, it is vital to develop an emotional connection by building friendship as a strong foundation before getting into a romantic relationship.
Friendship is essential in building a lasting and romantic relationship. By forming a friendship with our potential life partners, we get the opportunity to learn about their worldviews, personality traits, and other issues that we would not identify without observing them closely. Being friends means we can share in our hardships and our happiness, and in the process, we can see how they react to different changes or events in their lives. That way, we could make the right decisions on whether to take them as our life partners or not.
You would be at risk of experiencing several challenges if you decided to jump into a romantic relationship before developing a solid foundation and a connection with your identified partner. For instance, it is human to have unrealistic expectations from our partners. Therefore, forming a friendship with them before dating them is crucial for determining whether they will meet our expectations. Besides, according to research done by John Gottman, an author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, a relationship expert, and a professor at the University of Washington, being friends with the person we wish to date sets the stage for happy marriages. Also, he posits that a deep friendship is an essential predictor of physical and emotional satisfaction.
Prejudging your mate through romantic emotions and attraction before building an emotional connection could lead to the relationship’s failure. Research has shown that developing friendships allows romantic partners to attain deep intimacy, mutual commitment, and warmth due to the emotional experience. Consequently, having an emotional experience helps us determine if the person we are attracted to could be the right or wrong lover. In other words, friendship is a good way to predict whether our future relationship with the person will work or not. The emotional intelligence that builds up when we commit to knowing each other deeply before agreeing on a romantic relationship ensures there are no conflicting needs and wants. Also, the friendship duration helps ensure our love life remains fresh with no bickering or boredom.
Friendship first or love at first sight? We usually experience euphoric bliss at first and enjoy a feeling that keeps us wrapped up with our partners for the first few months of a relationship, if not weeks. Nonetheless, we later realize that the early blush of love could have tinted our views with time. The just-fell-in-love attraction emotions transform into surging feelings that would be challenging to develop more profound affection and attachment if not checked and understood. At first encounter, psychologists suggest that we usually experience high levels of dopamine hormones. The hormone fades with time, and the feelings of love could begin to wither. However, research also shows that friendship and emotional connections between us create the release of an oxytocin hormone that helps the fading feelings settle for a warmer attachment. In a nutshell, a lasting friendship reduces the charged excitement, and as a result, we can now enjoy a more romantically and sexually charged relationship from the prolonged platonic love!