Let’s Talk Romance: Friendship & Dating

“Love is friendship set to music.” ~E. Joseph Cossmann, author & entrepreneur

I’ve often heard it said that you should marry your best friend.

That’s not how it happened for me.

Yes, I loved my husband Rob when we married … but we became best friends as the weeks, months and years passed. We’ve done life together through thick and through thin and Rob knows me better than anyone else in the entire world.

Best friends? Absolutely. We love each and we like each other.

In the book Lists to Live By, compiled by Alice Gray, Steve Stephens and John Van Diest (Multnomah 1999), there’s a list titled “How to Build a Friendship with Someone You’re Dating”:

  1. Keep physical contact to a minimum. (Got that. You can get sidetracked pretty quickly with the physical stuff — even the constant need to resist temptation. And let’s admit it: There’s always’ temptation.)
  2. Explore new interests and hobbies.
  3. Do activities that are fun. (As opposed to being bored together…)
  4. Be yourself — don’t put on an act just to get the other person to like you. (Easier said then done. There’s always a bit of posturing.)
  5. Ask open-ended questions. (In other words, don’t just talk about yourself.)
  6. Listen to the other person’s heart, not just to the words.
  7. Talk with a godly older couple and discover how they built their friendship.
  8. Read a good book together, and discuss how its content can help you foster your relationship. (Suggestion: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.)
  9. Seek to understand the other person’s viewpoint.

Here’s why I like the list: It made me stop and realize relationships — friendships or falling-in-love relationships — don’t just happen. They take time. And effort. And intention.

In Your Words: What do you think of the “Marry your best friend” maxim? And would you add anything to the list to help someone build a friendship with someone they’re dating?

Don’t forget: Go here to take part my Beach Bag Giveaway! Leave a comment sharing a Best, Worst and/or Funniest Romantic Moment Contest for a chance to win:

  • a beach bag with a beach towel,
  • a copy of Wish You Were Here (which USAToday.comcalled a “ fun novel (which) has “beach read” written all over it.”)
  • a $50 Visa gift card (for you to enjoy a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant with your sweetheart.)

Contest ends June 16th!


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12 Comments

  1. June 14, 2012, 6:08 am   /  Reply

    Great quote, & what a wise outstanding list. Your nurturing framework points could shelter and bless any couple–as I’m sure they have your daughters and son so far. Thanks and hats off.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 14, 2012, 9:41 am   /  Reply

      I’ve learned the value of friendship and romance through the years, Dee, that’s for sure.

  2. June 14, 2012, 7:15 am   /  Reply

    I always told the students I did abstinence classes with that the person they married should be their best friend. And that they would have to invest time in a relationship for it to work. I used to have them list the qualities they wanted in their soul mate. And in almost every class one of the first things brought up was faith–they wanted them to be a Christian. Which warmed my heart.
    Sometimes I’ll have to tell you what else they wanted…had mostly to do with great bods.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 14, 2012, 9:41 am   /  Reply

      Oh wow … and LOL.
      At least they were honest.
      😉

    • Patti Mallett
      June 14, 2012, 3:55 pm   /  Reply

      Pat – this is a sign they trusted you and that you aren’t an uptight church lady. (I did laugh.) :<)

  3. Jeanne
    June 14, 2012, 7:56 am   /  Reply

    What a super list. So many good points, Beth.
    As for marrying your best friend–it makes sense. My husband and I met and were married in thirteen months. We laid the groundwork to become each others’ best friend before marriage through being transparent with each other and talking with each other. I have close girl friends, but I can honestly say my husband is my best friend–he knows me better than anyone else besides God. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      June 14, 2012, 9:42 am   /  Reply

      Sometimes you marry your best friend … and sometimes your become each others’ best friends.
      It’s all about relationship.
      Transparency is key — and it’s not easy.

  4. June 14, 2012, 8:38 am   /  Reply

    I married my best friend and I am so glad! Because life has so many unexpected moments, it’s important to share them with someone you not only love, but shares mutual understanding as well.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 14, 2012, 9:42 am   /  Reply

      Well said, Michelle.

  5. June 14, 2012, 10:13 am   /  Reply

    Mike and I were good friends before we ever started dating, so we had a great foundation before that we could build on. And I truly believe that God allowed the physical attraction to blossom at the right time. Best of both worlds. 🙂

    I love that quote, by the way! Especially since me and Mike are both musicians. 😉

    • Beth Vogt
      June 14, 2012, 10:24 am   /  Reply

      🙂
      I love the quote too, Lindsay. It’s always fun to find just the right quote for the day.

  6. June 14, 2012, 11:57 am   /  Reply

    Wonderful, simple, and easy to process list, Beth. Sometimes the “to-do” lists feel impossible because each thing is hinged on the success of something else, but this list can be taken apart and worked on one item at a time (and sometimes, that’s all we can do – one thing at a time!).

    I think I would add one more thing that has been PARAMOUNT to the success of our marriage over the rocky road of 24 years – Don’t leave the door open to let anyone out… or anyone in. If it didn’t sound slightly off, I’d say “Think of your spouse as your brother or sister.” But my point is that family is forever. You may not like your brother or sister at a given moment or season or decade, but you can’t change the fact that you’re related. Too few couples go into their marriages and intentionally lock the door behind them. Does that make sense?

    Thanks for your voice – great stuff!

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