“Can friends be lovers?”
Some would say “yes” because the
ultimate expression of friendship is love. To love is to befriend
and to be ‘friended’ is to be loved.
One common belief is that we are
beings capable of many appetites. Some of us love art. Some of us
love music. Some of us love to work with our hands. Some of us
love to work with our minds. And some of us like to work with our
It is as though the essence of
life is to be in love with love, itself, and all of its
A corollary belief is that if we
can love one person, then surely we can love two. If two, then
four, and if four, then why not more?
Who is to say “each to each” must
be the only rule?
And where does the line really
begin and end between close friendship and love? For is not true
friendship, an expression of the truth of friendship and love at its
Others might say that lovers can
be friends but friends cannot be lovers. The reasoning is that the
ultimate expression of love is friendship.
Between people who love one
another, friendship is the true reality. What occurs in the
relationship occurs to enhance, to challenge, to nurture and to
delight in the friend.
Exploitation for any reason is
It is frowned upon as an
unhealthy tactic designed to maneuver the other to a position of
imbalance or loss.
Whoever ‘wins’ eventually loses
in the end.
What is won is a hollow and
temporary victory. What is lost is the trust which inheres in the
friendship that emanates from mature (i.e., non-possessive) love;
the foundation of trust becomes deeply fractured.
In order to responsibly address our
original question, we must somehow or other attempt to redefine the
boundaries of friendship and of love.
Friendship may perhaps best be
defined as an interpersonal system whose purpose is to exchange
need-contingencies (strokes) with a minimum of risk. In a sense, it is
like a bank account. You get back what you put in plus a little
Love, on the other hand, is more
circumscribed because the risk and the commitment are greater.
Love may, therefore, be likened to
digging for gold. First, you must stake your claim. Then you begin to
“mine” your prospects. If after a few unsuccessful attempts nothing
happens, you are then faced with a critical choice -- to move on where
the grass looks greener or to stay put and continue working your “mine”,
all-the-while, ignoring the seduction of iron pyrite (“fool’s gold”).
The key to successful prospecting has
less to do with luck and more to do with dedication and fidelity of
purpose. This can only be accomplished by a continuing investment of
very hard work. Nothing in life comes easy. And next to waking up in
the morning and getting up out of bed, the second most difficult task
each of us face will be creating (and if need be, re-creating, day-in
and day-out,) is the challenge of making meaningful relationships
The root word in meaningful is “me”
and it is the “me” in the word meaningful which ultimately provides the
standard against which friendship or love can be assessed.
(What is good for you
May not be good for me
And what is good for me
May not be good for
But while you can deceive
And I can fool you
Both of us know what
For the ‘me’ in us is
“Can friends be lovers?”
In theory, perhaps, but in the flesh
and blood and guts world of real-life practice, what do you think?
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