Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friendship: the secret ingredient of true romansa

As I grow older, I am slowly unearthing a dusty gem. One that is still half-submerged, but with a sparkle that can't be denied. Perhaps people are aware of it, but it's camouflaging in hardened, opaque, concrete.
So people sense its manifestations, like rays of the sun, but cannot perceive the thing itself:
That friendship is the real romance.

It seems that we have decided to separate love and friendship, parting them with thin glass, painfully keeping ourselves alert to keep the two from mixing, as if the growing roots of the slow creep of the contamination will make both of them murky, or make the vial explode. Killing us from the inside, paralysing us, confused, bewildered, afraid to be somebody with the dirty insides, someone insincere, someone who can't keep things locked inside of wherever they belong.
Even though some very good things come from two liquids infusing. Mmmm. Always love me a cuppa.

Humans like appearing pristine. We like order, we like to know where something is, what something is, feeling like this somehow gives us a better idea of where something is going. But does it really? I think taking all of romance out of friendships risk loyalty and respect, while taking friendship out of romance gives it a really short life and a potential for a crashing or slow death.

what felt magic can becomes either undone or overdone when you try to make a story out of it. especially when you’re a story-maker. - Amanda Palmer

Romance as we've been trained to perceive it, is a show. It's never in the inside, the way we perceive it from the outside.

I'm starting to learn that real romance is in friendship, and feeling like friends in a romantic relationship doesn't make the love platonic, and that platonic friendships can be romantic. All it takes is respect, love, trust, and (optional) pixie dust.

I'm not saying that you should have sex with your friends, or that it's okay to act like everyone is your lover. There is a line between mutual love, respect, and friendly admiration and outright, no-excuses sleazyness. When two friends truly respect one another, they take everything into account, and give each other the right amount of space, and only are there for the best interest of them and their friend, in equal measures. Not just themselves. (And not just their friend. I'd like to think of it as growing together, not serving someone)

What I'm saying is that real, high-grade quality friendship, be it in a marital/relationship kind of union or a platonic partnership, is the stuff that makes us feel warm inside, that makes us smile when we think about it, and what makes us look forward to life. Isn't it very much the same thing? Remove all of the hype you get from songs, movies, books that give us a bias towards finding someone, and falling helplessly in love, and isn't it quite the same thing?

I mean sure there are differences in its nature, especially in terms of physical intimacy, children, and in most cases, co-habitation, but in the end of it all, it's in nurturing friendships that we find solid investments for relationships that last, and last happily. Whatever the nature may be.

What makes one happy in a romantic relationship isn't the roses, or the wedding, or destiny, or the idea of soulmates, or even "having someone".. Those might be the things that make us hold on, and make us happy in abstract ways, but what really makes us decidedly happy in each moment is the little things, in small moments, the peculiarities of your other that you recognize and love, like little secrets that slowly unfold when one looks at someone long enough. Their smell, curly springs of hair at their nape, the way they look at you when you amuse them, the way arguments never seem to last very long before you are left temporarily mute once again, immobilized how their eyes seem to always radiate a warm loving light even when you are fighting. Not giving each other roses everyday, not even always holding each other's hand.. Somewhere down the road, you start just living beside each other, and when you find that this is very comfortable and natural to you, and makes you feel loving and loved, when you feel like your lover is a true friend, by your side, someone to talk to, to share moments with, to build and create things with, isn't that the most romantic it can get?

I know that maybe everyone I know (those who have loved) already know this, but I honestly haven't had much experience. I've been very comfortable in the friend zone all my life and I'm that kind of girl that is "best-friend material" to guys. So this is new to me, but it's nonetheless a wonderful thing to realise and see. And very comforting to experience.

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