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Balancing Friendship With Courtship


From Friends To Lovers….Where Do We Go From Here?

I would have to argue the reason why most relationships fail is because they are not based on a solid friendship.  You can tell this immediately by the break up whether it is amicable or a hostile one.  Let’s think about it.  Your best friends are people that know you very well and only have your best interests at heart.  They support you in your endeavors and are not afraid to challenge you when they know you are wrong.  That’s a true friendship.  If the relationship starts with a good friendship and the partners have to break up, then they will end it as friends too.

On the other hand, some people become so obsessed with the friendship until there becomes no boundaries or no transition in place to actually being in a real relationship leading to marriage.  I’ve heard people argue they don’t like titles as in girlfriend or boyfriend but when there is no definition to the relationship other than “friends” after having dated for some time, where do you draw the line?  We can say that we’re okay with our “friend” seeing other people on the surface, but when that friend suddenly starts getting serious with someone else, we tend to have a problem.  And we wonder why we’re all so confused?

Let’s go back to when we were kids.  If you had strong parents, then you had to start off as friends.  You had no other choice.  Your parents were your first line of defense and if you grew up in a tightknit community the way I did, your neighbors and teachers were your second line of defense.  You had to meet his or her family or else you weren’t going out on a date.  Now although, your hormones were high as a young teenager, you made the best of the situation knowing that going past a friendship or “going steady” as we called it, was simply out of the question. 

Back in those days, there was a natural line of progression from friendship to commitment.  You could not shortcut the process and as a result, those were probably some of the best relationships that you could have had because there were boundaries and structure in place to ensure a great transition for courtship and eventually marriage.  We’re missing that natural line of progression.  There really is none.  People nowadays meet with the expectation of sex and marriage right away and then wonder why they can’t find a spouse?

So what am I advocating?  Well, I’m advocating two things.  First, start with the friendship.  There is nothing like having a great friend with whom you really cherish and can’t wait to see every day.  They light up your world and it feels like heaven when you’re with them.  On any of your deepest, darkest days in that relationship, it will be so much easier to still cherish, respect and even forgive them than someone whom you have not built a solid friendship.
Secondly, if you do have a friend in which you would like more from that relationship, don’t be too quick to accept the status quo.  If you want more out of it, you have to evaluate the progress of that friendship (whether it’s going somewhere or not), look at your timetable for marriage, and decide whether it’s really worth the wait.  Interestingly enough, most people need an incentive to initiate action so if you decide the friendship isn’t going anywhere and decide to date other people, I can almost guarantee you your friend will “step up to the plate”.  And if not, at least you’ll know where you stand.

In summary, there is nothing like dating someone who is a true friend.  You get the best of all worlds.  You get a loving partner that you can trust with your life.  But be careful, if your friend isn’t looking for more in that relationship and you are, you will need to re-evaluate your stance in that relationship and take a different course of action to satisfy your needs and desires.  There is a delicate balance between being friends and lovers which makes the courtship in today’s dating world so complex.  But if we take our time and develop a solid friendship allowing that friendship to progress into a great courtship, we will be well on our way to success.

Good Luck!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at
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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.


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