As social animals, we humans tend to make bonds!
Bonds in forms of friendships and relationships. Where most important are the ones that are with friends and that one special one whom we share a larger part of our life with, the romantic relationship.
At times, given the scarcity of time and running schedules, we tend to lose on the bonds. It becomes difficult to prioritise among friendships and close relationships. People who invest time in friendships are said to be happier people, and people who enjoy healthy and fulfilling romantic relationships are also the ones who gain perspectives in life and success thereof.
Now, the question remains, where do we need to concentrate more?
Which is more important? What do we need more in life? Friendships or a romantic relationship?
To attain clarity, let’s try and take a closer look at what these two different kinds of bonds render to our lives.
“A true friend is the best possession.” – Said Benjamin Franklin
What friendships provide to make life better far outweigh anything that can be found in material possessions. As a result, they ought to be pursued with far greater fervour than most of us commit to them.
Let’s consider the ways friends make life better. Authentic friends I am talking about here (my personal experiences have a lot to do with this)…
1) Friends encourage us. Friends believe in us. As a result, they offer both the words and the support we need to become better people in all aspects of life.
2) Friends challenge us. Friends recognize deficiencies in our life. They challenge us to embrace and succeed in making these healthy, life-giving changes.
3) Friends motivate us. In every regard, it is highly motivating to know that someone loves you, believes in you, and is cheering for you.
4) Friends listen to us. Friends open their ears and hearts to our words. A listening ear communicates value, trust, and openness. A listening ear and provides the opportunity for our thoughts to disentangle themselves.
5) Friends celebrate with us. Absolute joy is never realized until it has been shared with friends and family, that’s why we immediately call our friends when something good happens. Friends celebrate with us in victory and make our joys complete.
6) Friends grieve with us. Life is full of ups and downs. Friends make the high points higher and the low points bearable. I have done it so many times- calling a friend when I felt distressed and cried in front of them. It helped, and how!
7) Friends support our contributions. Friends recognize the value we contribute to the world and the beauty we offer to it. They look forward to our contributions and promote them to others too. They hold our hands in it.
8) Friends help us to remain honest. Friends know us best. They know our strengths… and they recognize our weaknesses. Because of their intimate knowledge of who we are, they keep us honest with each other and with our own selves.
9) Friends add joy to our lives. According to a study from the Harvard Medical School, the more friends a person had, the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. There is likely some correlation between being joyful and having friends… but clearly the inverse is also true.
10) Friends improve our mental and physical health. Studies also indicate that authentic friendships actually result in better health. These relationships make healthy habits easier to adopt and the body and mind are more likely to heal themselves.
11) Friendships teach us how to trust. Trust always precedes influence. Sometimes trust can be earned quickly, but other times it can take years of living life together. Friendships lived with utmost integrity bring the trust to our lives and help us to believe in them.
Of course, those of you who already have good friends understand these realities.
On this note, I urge you to take some time today to be reminded of their importance in your life. Adjust your life accordingly. Extend gratitude where needed or change your priorities as necessary to further invest yourself into them.
Now coming to romantic relationships:
Usually, romantic relationships are said to gratify three major needs of human existence.
- Firstly, the need for being loved, touched, cuddled, and approved
- Second, the need for sharing, for absolute companionship
- And third and sometimes the most important one, the fulfilment of sexual desires
These are all universal needs; everybody shares them, even the animals.
One thing I must talk about here is, getting into a romantic relationship owing to societal pressures, or just to fit into the norms, should never be the criteria to define your need or priorities of having a romantic relationship. Get into one, or invest your emotions into one, only when YOU feel the NEED. Do not just shift your focus towards romance and intimacy just because the entire world is doing that and all the people around you are getting married!
Romantic relationships do bring a lot of fulfilment and happiness to us, and they bring us closer to the completeness of being a human. Hence are very much needed.
Anyway, I’d say that a need for a romantic relationship is a totally human and individual thing.
Now, there are a number of people who will read this post and desperately desire the level of intimacy and longing mentioned above. You may have sought these friendships and relationships for years and yet, for one reason or another, they have eluded you. Or you had them at one time, but they have since disappeared from your life. Be there, and never lose hope.
To conclude, as you can derive from the merriments they bring, FRIENDSHIPS and ROAMTIC RELATIONSHIPS are equally needed for a wholesome life, and to strike a balance between both is the key!
Compartmentalizing your time and efforts sensibly, is the secret to everything you need for life.
The path to discovering authentic friendships and relationships is always the same. It will require risk, trust, ingenuity and honesty. It will require sacrifice and intentional investment. It will require you to give and give and give some more and it will require you to become the very friend you desperately desire for self and to be the genuine lover that you seek.
But in the end, it will be worth every ounce of energy you commit to your FRIENDSHIPS and ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS.
I take the liberty of adding a line here, that if at all you get to experience the supreme friendship and fulfilling romance in one single person, you are the luckiest indeed.
I wish you all rewarding friendships and relationships in life, in all their entirety.
Keep living 🙂