Creating a life He loves and you enjoy includes creating an awesome relationship. This week’s article, the penultimate in my summer series on relationships looks at the best foundation for building any relationship, friendship. It’s also a reprint from our (Reggie and my) A Stitch in Time newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading today’s article whether reading for the first time or second!
“I would like us to get to know each other, become friends first, with a view towards marriage.” When Reggie approached me to share his interest, he used these words. In one fell swoop, he immediately let me know his intentions—short-term (to get to know each other as friends) and long-term (marriage).
I must say that I immediately liked Reggie’s style. I had already decided to begin my next relationship as friends and it was nice to know that Reggie felt the same way. In fact, it served as one of the many confirmations when I was discerning God’s leading on the future of our relationship. We were like-minded in several areas.
I wanted a marriage where I could talk to my husband about anything. The only previous relationships where I had the luxury of feeling comfortable talking about anything began as friends. Reggie understood that friendship did not exist day one. Reggie wanted to get to know me and “become” friends, and friendship, like any good relationship, had to be developed.
We were to share only what we are comfortable sharing.
The best way to get to know someone is by asking questions. So, I asked Reggie if it would be okay if every time we talked each of us brought a new question to ask the other. Reggie asked what if he did not want to answer my question. I said that was okay. An honest answer could be, “I am not ready to answer that yet.” We were to share only what we are comfortable sharing.
I wanted our friendship to be a safe place for both of us—safe enough to even not share if we did not want to. However, I knew I would note anything he was not comfortable sharing.
Those things that Reggie was not willing to share would impact any decision I made to move forward. I made it clear that Reggie’s not responding to a question might hinder me from moving forward into courtship, engagement and/or marriage.
Ironically, it was I (Dawn) who occasionally felt uneasy answering Reggie’s questions. Reggie answered every one of my questions openly and honestly at the time I asked. In doing so, Reggie created a safe place for me to later answer his questions.
So, with that understanding, we got to know each other and became friends. Reggie became my best friend. I married my best friend. That is my wish for you—a relationship that begins as friends.
Summer Series on Relationships:
- Part One – Preparing for a relationship by spending time alone with God.
- Part Two – Some tips from my late husband Reginald Sanders on how to spend time alone with God.
- Part Three – Who should take initiative in a relationship and when.
- Part Four – Protecting your significant other’s tender spots and vulnerabilities.
- Part Five – Getting your priorities in order.
- Part Six – Healing past pain.
- Part Seven – Overcoming trust issues.
- Part Eight – Overcoming fear.
- Part Nine – Valuing women.
- Part Ten – Honesty in a relationship.
- Part Eleven – The cause of your discomfort.
- Part Twelve – Your beliefs.
- Part Thirteen – Believe quickly.
- Part Fourteen – At the heart of good relationships is friendship.
- Part Fifteen – Real, genuine brothers and sisters-in-Christ.
- How do you go about getting to know people?
- How do you feel about relationships that begin as friends?
- Acknowledge both positive and negative emotions.