Why Relationships Don’t Work Without Friendship . . . First

Before love and romance? Before the ring? Before the first kiss?

We as humans have a hard time separating romantic feelings and physical intimacy from reality. We have a hard time thinking clearly when we are entangled in romantic relationships. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Numerous women say that they love the feeling of being completely out of control. I think that guys could say the same thing. That’s why we are often so quick to get swept up in passionate romances. We want to be carried along.

That’s fine. But you can’t start making commitments when you’re in a passionate romance. That’s like signing an important medical document or a mortgage on your house when you’re drunk. Terrible idea.

Unless of course you know exactly what you are getting into. That’s where friendship comes into play. You keep yourself from emotionally or physically falling for someone until you develop a solid friendship with them. This is not for their protection but yours. You don’t want to end up married expecting a child with a completely incompatible woman.

Of course, there are a few of us who are very good at separating emotional feelings from reality and can often mix the two. This takes a lot of practice and is like tight roping the Grand Canyon. You better be sure you are in control before you try.

The problem I run into that seems to be fairly universal is this: guys get bored and girls start nagging.

Guys get bored if the girl isn’t romantic. I’ve heard too many guys say that they see no point in being friends with females if they don’t see marriage with them in the future. Fair enough. You may not have close female friends besides your wife afterward. However, learning to enjoy female friendship may be necessary for you to EVER have a good marriage in the first place.

Girls want the ring. They want you to commit. They want a promise. Or they date someone else. Few girls are able to keep from nagging or pressuring a guy to move to the next level. Or from being jealous of his other female friends.

Guys struggle with jealousy too. They think “If I don’t wife her up someone else will”. It’s this mentality that you only get one shot at love so you better take it while you can.

Friendship presents from a totally different perspective. Most marriages I observe in the southern Baptist Christian bubble are devoid of true friendship. Normal friends don’t get jealous when you talk to other friends. Normal friends don’t spend more time canoodling than talking. Normal friends don’t spend hours and hours, day after day, for a year planning for a 1 hour event on one day of their life stressing themselves out and everyone else too.

Today’s challenge: make a friend with the opposite sex. See who they are without dates, flowers, and romance. You can always awaken the romance later.


Author: Jesse Leake

Personal questions or comments? Need advice? Email me

Check me out on Twitter @jesse_leake


20 thoughts on “Why Relationships Don’t Work Without Friendship . . . First

  1. I really agree with this blog article. I spent a year dating long distance and getting to know my now (husband) before we really became serious. The great part about that was lots of emails, phone calls, letters, creative video etc. in other words lots of conversations…..

  2. You have a lot of interesting ideas. You make a valid point that romantic relationships without a base of friendship is somewhat risky. And yes, it is true, that if a guy isn’t committing to a relationship, whether in word or deed, a girl might move on. Thanks for your post and challenge to guys to step up and be friends! There really is nothing to lose.

  3. Hmmm…interesting! I don’t know if I believe it to be true though. I think good relationships can START from all kinds of places – including the sexual. But, I do agree that nothing can really grow into a loving, long-term relationship without the mutual respect, affection and shared sense of togetherness that comes from friendship. But your read my blog…so you knew I would say that!

    1. Interesting that you say that. Since I have written the article I have change my view somewhat. I do think good relationships can start from sexual relationships. In fact any good romance will have that aspect to it. It has to otherwise it is just a friendship. And while no good relationship is based only on sex, that is a huge part of what makes a good relationship so good. I think the key point is that you have to have a good friendship to make a good lasting relationship. Otherwise it will either be miserable or just won’t last.

  4. I agree that a good relationship should begin with a good friendship, but I cannot agree that “You can always awaken the romance later.” I’ve heard too many men complain about being “friend-zoned” with no way to change it.

    This is an interesting blog. Thanks for visiting mine.

    1. That is actually a good point that I would like to explore more later. I don’t think most guys put girls into the friend zone. At least girls that they frequently hang out with. However I do think that many girls will put a guy in the friend zone. Especially guys that treat them very well. There is a lot that goes into it and it is not always a simple straightforward answer. But it is rare that I hear a girl complain about a guy putting her in the friend zone

  5. This is truer than true. I am a rare female that can detach while still love, not get jealous (mostly!) and encourage my man to be friends with whomever he wants and even ask if he saw any hot girls while he was out on Saturday night with his boys. Love IS friendship and you have to have fun and you have to laugh and you have to trust your partner like family. Because thats what we become after all is said and done. We have to want to hang out with each other most of all.

    1. That is rare. I know girls who are not even in a relationship to get jealous. I think that is to your credit. And I think that that is a character trait that you have developed. I don’t think we naturally are able to detached from jealousy. But I do think it is healthy. Now let’s see if we can help other men and women do the same thing. Thanks for the comments.

  6. The problem also is when there is only friendship and no romance in a relationship and from what I see, some men actually manage to separate those two things. They are in relationships but have affairs with other women not even feeling guilty. Not sure if I’d call it a relationship though…!

    1. I think the key is honesty. Men would not have to have an affair if they were honest about the fact that they wanted multiple women. There are plenty of women who want the freedom to do what they want. But if you say you are committed to someone you should be committed. And yes many people can easily separate romance in friendship in a relationship. I know women who can do that too.

      1. Honesty is not something you come across these days. There are so many versions of what it means to people that we tend to play around it. But then again as many relationships, as many different stories so I guess we can’t really generalise.

  7. It does make it easier though when you break up. Sad, but true. You don’t miss someone that you were not friends with first, because there was so little foundations. I just had a fun night with my ex-husband. He was one of the few who I knew first. I guess thinking of it, I had a friendship first with my college gf too and we are cool. I’m back to seeking out good, fun times before getting caught up in the elixir of passion and the dopamine hits currently. This post is good.

      1. In this case, I don’t think that I’m motivated to work to ever really get along again. I just don’t want to run into her and find her texts and voice recordings really odd. I have friends already.

  8. I absolutely love this post! My husband & I met when we were teenagers. We gradually became friends & started “dating.” Somewhere along the line we “fell in love” but what really happened was we became best friends who also happened to have “romantic” feelings for each other. To be honest the only men I’ve ever been truly attracted to (as in more than just “Oh, he’s hot/cute/sexy”) are guys who were already my friends. I’m not saying I’ve been attracted to every male friend I’ve ever had; definitely not. But the point is that true attraction occurs when there is already “chemistry” & familiarity between two people. And the only way that can exist is with friendship. My husband & I have always advocated that romantic relationships are really just “friendships on steroids.” In other words friendships with sex & lust as the icing on the cake. It’s really not half as complicated as people make it out to be. Interestingly enough we both grew up in a conservative Baptist culture as well & we agree that most of the marriages we observed in that culture were devoid of true friendship. Hence the bored husband & the nagging wife.

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