Being friends is a unique choice to be connected and share time and experiences together. When you are friends, you bring honest perspectives and mutual encouragement to each other. You share an often unspoken commitment to accompany each other for a stretch of time. When the commitment blends with a romantic or marriage relationship, it strengthens the friendship connection between you.

A close female friend of mine recently passed after months of dealing with brain cancer. We chose to be sisters, not because we had to, but because we appreciated each other’s mind and soul. We had a shared history, shared memories, and shared friends. We enjoyed spending time with each other and finding ways separately and together to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

We watched each other go through marriages with little friendship and then find new, healthier spouses. In these new marriages, we were friends during courtship and carried friendship on as an integral part of the marriage relationship. We both felt that being friends with our spouses was an amazing and loving gift.

For me, friendship in a relationship/marriage includes these aspects and more:

  • Compassionate and supportive words and actions during difficulties
  • Knowing how to bring each other joy and laughter
  • Watching out for what is best for the other and thoughtfully providing it as needed
  • Sharing interests, activities, and goals
  • Enjoying each other’s stories
  • Being curious about each other’s lives
  • Helping each other grow into being better people
  • Demonstrating loyalty
  • Being of service to each other and together for others

It is good to spend time building friendships of all types. They add richness and well-being to our lives. It is also wise to ensure our romantic relationships include friendship. It gives them the gift of lasting connection.

Please Come Join Us! Online Wilmette Institute course for couples who are in a committed relationship/courtship and discussing marriage starts on December 30, 2015 for two+ months. It is wonderful marriage preparation. Registration is still open at this link: Additional information is available here: Faculty-Mentor Team: Susanne M. Alexander, Hoda Kemp, Wendi Momen, Raymond Switzer, and Fariba Vahdat.

Photo Credit: David Niblack