Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perfect Decision

I get the best feeling in the world when you say hi or even smile at me because I know, even if its just for a second, that I've crossed your mind. ~ Author Unknown

****Before I begin let me make the disclaimer that this has nothing to do with me. Shame that I still have to make disclaimers but it's whatever. Guarantee I'll still get inquires as to whom I'm talking about. ****

Last week I was listening to Vivian Green's sophomore album titled Vivian. The lyrics to the song Perfect Decision has been stuck in my head ever since. The thing I love about Vivian is her strong voice and powerful lyrics. As you can tell by the quoted (below) she sings about things that I'm sure we've all been through.

The skin against my skin
I'm begging to resist
I want to scream for more
I want to run out the door
The skin against my skin
The skin of my best friend
We never even kissed
So how'd we get to this?
He loves me oh so much
But he never shared his touch
As natural as it feels
I don't want it to kill
Something so flawless
That we both cherish
And as bad as I need it
We could ruin something so perfect

This is a dangerous, volatile situation. Falling for someone who is your friend is a dangerous, slippery slope. Going down that path with someone who knows certain things about you, who knows intimate details about you can seem like a good idea.

You become good friends with a person and you hang out with them all the time then gradually you realize that you are falling for them. What do you do? How do you handle these feelings for a friend? Will it ruin the friendship?

First, this is a common situation. Many, many friends become closer and closer and then start thinking about dating. It's only natural. There are hundreds of movies about this situation. These movies sometimes turn out to have fairy tale endings or not so happy endings. It's the ideal way to start a relationship, because all relationships should be based on trust, honesty and communication. These are traits that friends have built in. An ideal relationship is between best friends who love each other. Key word being ideal.

The one question that has to be asked, is what happens when the relationship doesn't pan out? What happens to the friendship that was so valued? These are questions that Vivian also asked herself.

What if we want more from each other?
What if we become only part-time lovers?
What if our drama-free friendship suffers?
What if everything we've built get lost under the covers?
Will I think it's the same the way you scream out my name
Thought it would ever come to this
Who'd thought I'd like your touch, your kiss
I don't wanna miss this opportunity, maybe we're suppose to be
Stop askin questions, and guessing and keep it going

Have you ever taken a friendship to the next level? How did it work out for you? Do you think it's a good idea to risk a friendship for moments of passion or even a relationship?


Miss Jenkins said...

I dealt with a situation somewhat like this. Unfortunately, it was more complicated. Imagine that. I will say that I learned that you should follow your instincts, not your desires. Sometimes the two are not aligned. And one is usually more right than the other.

MsEsquire77 said...

Friendship should never be sacrificed for just sex. No good can come from it and it's just regret waiting to happen.

However, I think love is always worth pursuing. The best relationships are built on friendships so it's worth the gamble.

Tiana said...

Have I ever taken a friendship to the next level? Yes. Do I think it's a good idea to risk friendship for moments of passion/relationship? Yes. Sometimes we are so caught up in 'what ifs' and 'I dont knows'. If you are ready to pursue something serious with a friend, go for it. You'll never know how it will all pan out. Recently, I encountered both of these. A GREAT platonic friend and I who enjoyed the same interests, complimented one another, and spent many hrs with another, decided to take it a bit further than friendship. However, after a while of 'messing' around, I decided we should go back to being just friends. Why? As much as I enjoyed the pleasure principle, I miss the 'friendship' aspect. This is what made me attach to him. The reason we are friends with certain people is because of our similar morals, opinions, interests, etc. How did it work out for me? Today if I needed to talk or just wanted to hang out, he would be there for me, no questions asked. Any regrets? No. I intentionally capitalized 'GREAT' earlier because I was lucky to be friends with a good guy who even after our departure still has love for me. Love is indeed a gamble. Unfortunately, we will never know how far a relationship will go if we're worried about whether or not we made the 'perfect decision'.

Ms. Sylaneous said...

Have you ever taken a friendship to the next level?
***Yeah, I've allowed it.

How did it work out for you?
***I'm single... that should pretty much answer that one LOL (but not really)

Do you think it's a good idea to risk a friendship for moments of passion or even a relationship?
***I'm going to say no solely based on my experiences. I don't know if it's just my dumb luck, but it NEVER works out for me... I start the friend- if it eventually 'goes there'... it stays there for a second and he finds what ever else elsewhere while I'm still the 'homie'. I think I've done a damn good job of pretending, but truth be told- I don't think I could ever be a TRUE friend of a friend turned lover- at least not immediately. I said that kinda tongue-n-cheek because I think friends should be happy for each other in different situation... and well, if he (the friend turned lover) is in a new relationship, I can't be 'happy' for him because well... the relationship isn't with me! Over time it will surly fade and I can be happy for him, but **shrugs** shoot me- I like hard I love harder and if/when it hurts... it hurts like hell! I think I gave up 'dating (or trying to date) the friend' when I moved to New Orleans... Just doesn't work for me... BUT- Good luck and 'happy endings' to those it works for!

Tori said...

I'm 2 wonderful years in dating my best friend of the past 4 years. I initially thought we were doing the dumbest thing ever, and I was risking losing my best friend, but I'm glad we took the risk. He still is my best friend in the world, but now he's also the man I'm in love with. Call me in another 2 years and I'll be able to answer whether or not I'd do it again.

Reecie said...

I agree with Tiana. I've done and successfully gone back to being friends. Its not for everybody but sometimes you gotta just kill the curiousity. Something great could come of it.

max said...
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max said...

I was close friends with my first love for years before we got together. Preserving our friendship was one of the big reasons why we waiting a long time before getting involved.

We didn't end up together and didn't really stay friends. We always cared for each other but our friendship never went back to what it was and that was as hard to get over as the breakup was itself.

In the end I don't regret it because he was the love of my life. But I think if I were ever to be in a similar situation I would think twice before falling in love with a friend.

On the other hand though I have taken a fast beats from a male friend with no adverse effects on our friendship.

Ms. Minx said...

Yes I have had a situation like that happen, and we're friends till this day, but I think we should never have crossed that line.
It's really a gamble. Sometimes it pays off astoundingly well, but other times you lose a lot more than you bargained for.
I'll never say I won't do it again, but I highly doubt it, considering the kinda guy friends I have right now, lol.

Cryssy said...

so funny you wrote about this me and some of my girls were just talking about this. me personally i don't put men in that space --PERIOD! i don't believe in REAL platonic male/female freindships.

So i can count on one finger the number of men that is a true friend to me -- meaning we hang, we share life stories, we have helped each other through serious things, etc...

i don't make male friends for the sake of being friends, i have a goal period.

Tunde said...

@Miss Jenkins: what if your instincts are in sync with your desires? what then?

@MsEsquire77: i've sacrificed friendship for sex before. well i wouldn't say sacrifice because we're still friends and it worked out well. we both went into it knowing exactly what was happening. i think it's more exploration than anything. *shrug*


"Sometimes we are so caught up in 'what ifs' and 'I dont knows'."

i think that's it right there. the what ifs. yeah you might regret it if it doesn't work out but what about the regret of not being brave enough to test the waters and see if there is more there?

Maya said...

Oooh good one! I was actually having a debate with a guy friend about this yesterday! I've actually in the "been there, done that" category in the friend-to-lover relationship and although it ended in a separation, he is still one of my best friends just like he was before the romantic venture. I definitely agree with Tiana. Take a risk if you have determined that it is one that you're interested in pursuing and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, hey, shit happens!

Also, one of my followup questions that I can't help but ask. So in my debate yesterday, my guy friend said that he thinks that friends can get married without pursuing a long-term official relationship first and that it will be a success because if you mesh, then you mesh. My side of the debate was that although that sounds wonderful in theory, its not realistic to assume that if a formal relationship is not attempted. What's your take?

Tunde said...

@Ms. Syleaneous: you can't attribute the fact that you're single not to pursue something with a friend. what about all those other guys you weren't friends with first?

@Tori: see and imagine if you didn't decide to take that chance. situations like this can work out. :-)

@Max: i always appreciate your perspective because you keep it 100. i think i've pretty much been in your shoes.

Ms. Minx: if you don't mind me asking, what type of friends do you have now?

Cryssy: interesting. so you're basically saying that any man that enters your space if liable to get the cakes? i believe in male/female platonic friendships. i have plenty of female friends who i would never in a million years go there with. these are friendships that are usually fostered over a period of years.

Tunde said...

As you can probably tell to my responses I've been in this situation before and I've gone both ways (pause). I've decided not to pursue things for the sake of our friendship. I have friendships with certain women that I really respect and value. I don't think it would be worth the risk. In other situations I've dove head first into (no pause). Like Max said: "...i've taken fast beats..." and it didn't affect our friendship. It would really all depend.

Tunde said...

@Maya: yes you're right. in my opinion that works out well in theory. when you are in a friendship there are various dynamics that occur than when you are in a relationship. people say things don't change when a title is put forth but that's a load of shit. there are different expectations that are to be understood once two people enter a relationship. there are a different set of boundaries. it's just not logical.

Cryssy said...

Tunde you may never go there but they may want you to. To me that is not a real platonic friendship. And yes i have males that are cool in my life but FRIENDS no... the ones that are friends are the ones where we have already gotten the sex out of the way.

But I have been told before that i have a strange definition of what a friend is... my friends and i don't have boundaries really -- anything can be done and shared. With male/female friendships that is not the case. You have to have boundaries and keep certain things away from them.

Makes sense to me...

DeltasinLagos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ms. Minx said...

LOL! It's nothing crazy, it just so happens that at this point in life, quite a few of my closest male friends are engaged or in long-term committed r/ships.
The ones that aren't are good guys at heart, but still in their "sowing royal oats/whoring/immature" phase. I don't want to be in a relationship with any of them. A couple of them MAY wanna beat, I honestly don't know, but I honestly wouldn't go there.
If I wanna beat, I have "friends" I can do that with. No harm, no foul

Tunde said...

@Cryssy: yeah you're right but it takes two to tango. if one party isn't for it, it just won't happen. especially if the dude doesn't want it to happen.

also, i think all relationships, platonic or not should have boundaries. but that's just me. i see we have two different viewpoints on friendship. which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

@Ms. Minx: that's understandable. was just curious. i figured it was something like that.

SaneN85 said...

I was friends with my ex-husband first and foremost. Our friendship never returned. I'd be wary to walk down that path again, but there's no rewards without risk.

Michia said...

I think this is a great topic!! It's sooooo common, and I think almost all human beings experience a similar situation sometime in their life. First and foremost, I believe that in order to have a good, sustainable relationship, friendship is key. The problem with soo many relationships today is that people jump into romantic relationships and the emphasis is soley on "girlfriend/boyfriend". Your mate/partner/significant other needs to be more than that, and I think in a lot of relationships (especially young relationships) that aspect is lost.

On the other hand, I find a major issue with taking a good friendship to the "next level". I think people take that leap, but only add the intimate aspect to their relationship. From there, confusion is inevitable. So many people think that great sex and great friendship equal a great relationship. That is a flawed way of thinking. Sex complicates many things; moreover,sexual compatibly with a great friend does not mean that a successful relationship will be the result. We'd all like to think that, but it's just not always the case.

I have learned from personal experience that friendship can lead into a wonderful relationship that can prove destined for marriage; however, the advice I would give to anyone in this situation is to leave sex out of it as long as possible. It can lead you down a long, unrealistic, and misguided road.

Of course, this is only my opinion, and everyone will choose to follow their own heart...or their own lust, lol :-)

N.I.A. naturally... said...

I have risked a friendship for a moment of passion. And we are still friends. Granted, we're not as close as we were, but that's because he has a gf, and I'm giving him space. But, we are still cool. I think as long as both of you are on the same page as to what you're doing, whether it be relationship or physical desire, then it should be ok. Communication is key in these situations, and honesty is the best policy.

Kyzwana said...

Hmm...very well written. I can't write from a "been there, done that" standpoint like some of these ladies because I can't say that I have been in this position in the past. I do agree w Tiana tho, in life you never know unless you try, you never know unless you ask, closed mouths don't get feed and all that other ask. Sometimes it is worth the risk and other times it is not but I would rather go through life NOT having to wonder "What if". I know to me, at least at this point in my life, it is important to start a relationship being friends before being lovers *cue Usher, Lil Jon, and Luda*. I say this bc I know whenever I get married my mate will be my best friend. I know that will be the only way he will be able to put up with me til death do us part...haha But i digress. GREAT POST.

Tunde said...

@SaneN85: see you got married to your friend so i'm guessing it wasn't ALL bad.


"I think people take that leap, but only add the intimate aspect to their relationship. From there, confusion is inevitable."

when confusion is added to the equation i think that is where resentment can rear it's ugly head and then the friendship aspect starts to fade.

"So many people think that great sex and great friendship equal a great relationship."

i for one will never never mistake those two. there are too many other dynamics that go into a relationship besides sex and friendship for me to ever do that.

@N.I.A.: you're right. communication is the key and honesty is what i think falls by the wayside. once sex is involved feelings tend to get compounded and sometimes we're not even honest with ourselves.


"it is important to start a relationship being friends before being lovers."

i feel this as well. as much as i love sex it can't be the end all or the basis for a relationship. you need a stronger foundation than that. sex should be an added bonus (a good one at that) into the relationship. i need to be able to talk about the most complex things with you as well as joke about the dumbest things.

Ms. Sylaneous said...

I'm not saying 'because I'm single I wouldn't attempt 'more' with a friend'. I'm saying that I'm single- should answer the question of did the last attempt(s) work out for me... That to say that if it did work out, I'd probably still be with him! LOL

It's just that in my past experiences that the 'established friend' doesn't work out for the 'BEST' when I've allowed it to go further. And As of right now, I don't think I will persue anything further with the 'established friend'. (By established friend, I mean a guy I've known for months to years on the just 'yeeaahh, let's go hang out in a group' kinda homie') LOL seems like I'm always the one who falls for the friend... and I ALWAYS remain 'the friend'... DANG IT..I want progression dayum it! LOL

I don't knock ANYBODY who took it there, want to take it there, will take it there... if it works for you that's EXCELLENT, but- for me, I haven't had a good run, and I'm probably not going to go that route again if I can help it...and if I can't help it- then maybe he'll be 'the one' :-)

Satya said...

I've definitely been here before. I wanted to pursue things with one of my friends before. I put it out there and we he acknowledged that he thought about it but didn't think it would pan out in the long run. It stung a little bit when he said that, but he was right. And that's one of the reasons we became such close because of his honesty. We're still really good friends to this day. I'm glad I put it out there so I never have to wonder "what if". I hate what if. You can spend endless amounts of time agonizing over what if you had done something, i think it's a waste.

Every situation is different though. Luckily my friend and I remained friends. If I fell for one of my guy friends again i'd like to say i would tell him.

Reina said...

I did have a really close friendship that morphed into a relationship. I, actually, this his being my friend for years before aided him in his pursuit of me. He knew my likes, dislikes, etc.

Unfortunately, we didn't remain together, but we are still friends to this day.

I don't think I would risk a great friendship for strictly sex, but for something deeper, definitely.

Miss Sia said...

I too have done this. At the time it was so awesome and logically made sense. I couldnt be more wrong. The things I tolerated as a friend, I couldn't as a girlfriend, lol. We just dissolved right back into friendship, which was fine by me.

Not sure that I'd go that route again, but who's to say?

Tunde said...

@Ms. Sylaneous: i understand that logic. just curious.

@Satya: man that had to be a blow to your pride. you know what that happened to me as well. i put it out there. she was like no. we went back to being just friends. then like 2 year later she came at me. after much thought, i decided to give it a go. we were together for 2 years before we broke up and we are still friends to this day. you are right about the what ifs.

@Reina: so question. because he used his friendship with you to pursue you, do you think that your friendship with him wasn't as genuine?

@Miss Sia: that's my thing. different dynamics from friend to lover. some things you let slide and some things you won't.

Nick@nite said...

I can't say that this has ever happened to me.. i've had friends that all of a sudden realized "hey, she's pretty dope" and wanted to take things to the next level..
it's just never happened.. if i wasn't attracted to you initially while you were being "my friend," then i don't know that something's just gonna "pop up" because i know you better..
it's never happened, not saying it couldn't..