1/28/2009

Pick up lines

Alright you all. Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. I'm sure my 15 readers are at the edges of their seats wondering what's happening at our house!

So, I'll not keep you in suspense any longer. I've been working a little on meeUp, having a birthday party for my newly 5 year old middleman, and waiting (very impatiently) for a very dear friend of mine to return home from a 2 1/2 week missions trip to Brazil. (See? Not that exciting!)

Today is a snow day for us, so for all of you who also have a snow day and are housebound (and for the luckier ones who have a sunny day and just choose to say in and read blogs!), here is a thought I've been working on for a while and am finally ready to publish.

Enjoy!

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Dating Your Friends


I have this theory. It involves the relationship between our relationships. It involves the alarming and humorous parallel between wooing a mate and wooing a friend. If you’ve ever wondered why you feel like you’re on a first date when you take your preschooler to her first play group, read on.

I’ll begin by briefly describing the phases of the common courtship.

Phase one: Whether or not you believe in love at first sight, there is no denying “chemistry at first sight”. So your eyes meet, you make awkward small talk, exchange numbers, and meet for coffee. Curiosity is peaked, and you begin your descent into the comfortable cradle of a long-term relationship.

Phase two: You are getting serious. The object of your interest consumes most corners of your mind. You decide to commit for life. Proposals and vows are giddily whispered and shouted, belongings are shuffled, and two lives merge into one.

Phase three: Oh, bliss! You’ve met your soulmate. Every day is perfection as you walk out your life beside your perfect match. They can do no wrong and upon the rare occasion it does occur, it is hastily overlooked. Life is good.

Phase four: The rose-colored glasses got left on your bedside table one morning and were never retrieved. This perfect match for you is still perfect, but you’re realizing that neither you nor he is without flaw. Since love is seasoned and ultimately becomes a choice of the mind and the heart, you begin to learn the ebb and flow of hurt, forgiveness, and renewed intimacy. Life is still good, but you are wiser.

Now, let’s examine the phases of the common friendship. And, in doing this, let me be CLEARLY clear that I’m not referring to switching to the other team, if you catch my drift!

Phase one: Friends do fall in love. Most don’t care to admit this, and maybe friends like that are an endangered species, but it does happen. And, science shows us that we women are definitely attracted (on a purely visual level) to each other AND we often pick friends based on first impressions. So . . .your eyes meet, you make awkward small talk, exchange numbers, and meet for coffee (or at the playground with toddlers in tow). Curiosity is peaked, and you begin your descent into the comfortable cradle of a long-term relationship.

Phase two: You are getting serious. The object of your interest consumes most corners of your mind and most minutes on your cell phone. You decide to commit (provided your kids get along well with her kids). Carpool arrangements and movie nights are giddily planned, belongings are shuffled, and two lives (or four or five, depending on the number of kids in the mix!) merge into one.

Phase three: Oh, bliss! You’ve met your soulmate. Every shopping trip and phone call is perfection, as you walk out your life as a wife and mom alongside your perfect match. She can do no wrong, and on the rare occasion that she lets your kids watch a movie you don’t like or forgets your birthday, it is hastily overlooked. Life is good.

Phase four: The rose-colored sunglasses got left on your dashboard one afternoon and were never retrieved. This perfect match for you is still perfect, but you’re realizing that neither you nor she is without flaw. Since sisterly love is seasoned and ultimately becomes a choice of the mind and the heart, you begin to learn the ebb and flow of hurt, forgiveness, and renewed intimacy. Life is still good, but you are wiser.

Go ahead, admit it: When you’re getting ready for a girls night out, you spend just as much time primping as you would if you were going out on a date with your man. Once you’re “married”, things relax a bit. The worn-in jeans are much more comfortable than the new, trendy ones. Oh, and surely she won’t notice if you have the same shirt on tonight that you did yesterday at the park.

And don’t forget the phone manners. When you’re “dating”, you’d never hang up without the appropriate closing sentence, “Ok, well have a good day, I’ll call you later”, right? Once you’re “married”, a hurried “ ‘K, see ya!” is plenty!

Oh, and are you in any friendships that equate a newly married couple with the husband travelling all the time? You’ve gotten to the end of Phase Three, but are never together long enough to drop all the pretenses.

Take this theory with you and hold it close. May it help you navigate the rough waters of first play-dates and the uncertainty of being new in the group on a girls night out. May it help you cherish those friends you are “married” to and may you never take the labor of love that is a true friendship for granted.

So go ahead, fall in love with your friends. Being vulnerable will only make you stronger.



2 readers took time to leave a thought:

Kate January 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

I just skimmed this...I'm going to go back and read it completely when I don't have 2 kids' diapers to change, breastfeeding to be done, and a nap for Mylo on its way. BUT, just wanted to let you know that I'm only friends with you for your good looks. :) Just kidding. I think you're wonderful and we need to spend more time together. I was thinking about you yesterday actually that we should pamper eachother and play beauty parlor soon. Although I did just get my hair done so I'm good for awhile...but I can wax your eyebrows anytime! :) By the way, I LOVE this new hairdresser I found...I'll give you her info.

elizabeth embracing life January 29, 2009 at 8:00 PM  

I have always thought friendships were much like dating because you are. If a guy (back in the day of dating) pursued me to hard I would go running the other way, even true with girlfriends. If a guy was needy, and a girl was, that too sent me running in the other direction. I make a terrible friend. Even with my dear husband when he says how much he loves me, I joke and say that I am almost caught up to him. However he does not deep down inside that adore every breath he takes, except in the morning.

Great post. I like!!! Oh, and I like you, I need you, please please 24/7 be my friend.

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