Friday, August 22, 2008

Best Friends Becoming Lovers - Good or Bad?

Maria and Dan worked together for nearly a year before they went out on a date. Before that nervous night they’d been buddies. They’d gone to clubs, shared meals, jogged together…they were best friends until… the kiss. It had been a mutual kiss that just sort of happened.

Sound familiar? So did you start out as friends first? Lovers second? This has raised an important question among relationship study groups. Are men and women capable of having a ‘just friends’ relationship. And if so, is it the woman who keeps things platonic? In other words, is it instinct for a man and woman to hook up?

There are many things to consider in a sexual relationship, the most obvious is chemistry. If sparks are flying, you can be certain a scientific chemical process altering the brain chemistry is going on, especially when couples became lovers. But, does that discount the one thing touted as separating us from the animal kingdom – our minds?
Many people who do move to that next stage of a relationship often describe themselves as being out of control, head over heels, obsessed…and the list goes on. Again, all these emotional responses have been studied and analyzed and trimmed down to a chemical reaction, but does that mean we feel it any less? No way! This kind of attraction is often compared to any other kind of addiction. The couple can lose all logical reasoning if they become consumed with their next fix. Ah… Is that so bad?

Well, it could be if they neglect other things in their lives in a true demonstration of addiction.

I’ve discovered over the years, that the best way to get to know someone is to work with them. You’re able to see them in the worst and best situations and how they react truly reveals everything about them as a person. How they treat other people is most important to me. How are they as a fellow worker? Do they try to run over you and everyone else to get what they want? Do they take matters into their own hands and do whatever they like regardless? Or are they caring individuals who consider other people before their own desires and wants? Certainly, in the business world there are rules and guidelines to keep some behavior at bay, but again, people do react and respond to daily situations and these actions are very revealing of the real person behind the professional facade.

I was fortunate to work with my husband and become friends before we started dating. We genuinely enjoy being together. We’ve worked from home in our business for 11 years and still love being together. It has been a very fulfilling and profound relationship that grows deeper every day. Not all best friends end up with HEA, but a large majority does and those numbers far outweigh the ones who don’t.

Not all couples have the opportunity to work together though, so many of the things we discover about each other in the dating scene can be incomplete and even in some cases completely false. So what do you do to learn who that person really is? How do you break beyond that exterior best face and get to the person inside?

If you’re friends, then when do you decide to take the friendship to a sexual one? Or is it really a decision? Perhaps it’s something that just happens and you are unable to control. What do you think?

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