Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
We don’t really and prefer to count our good fortune at unmarked moments throughout the year.
To spend more years together than apart is an incredible privilege and one I never, ever take for granted. Valentine’s Day, while I am not bah humbug and do enjoy to send the funny card or spoil him, is really just the beginning.
I believe a successful relationship needs focus and attention all throughout the year and by now; most of us have worked this out. Not all relationships can last forever, for a whole host of reasons, but one thing I do believe is a solid basis of friendship is integral for most relationships to prosper.
Isn’t Valentines Day a celebration of not only love but also of friendship?
Sometimes it is difficult to feel where friendship morphs into love and vice versa. Friendship is the basis of any great love story and without a deep friendship; it is harder to go the distance. If we endeavour to deepen and maintain our friendship, it can sustain us in the tougher moments. There are no perfect relationships, most suffer good and bad years but the more profound the friendship and the deeper the respect the more chance of surviving the challenges.
Friendship has helped us navigate many difficult moments and I have watched the same amongst my peers. There are certain qualities that make friendship golden and they apply whether it’s a family, friends or partners.
What makes for an enduring friendship?
It sounds like such an obvious conclusion but it’s not. It’s harder to be comfortable in ourselves and it is even harder to show others our true selves. Feeling confident enough to relax and be us is a sure way to measure a true friendship. Standing on ceremony or pretending to be who we are not is suggestive of a flawed relationship or at the very least one still in the discovery stage. Obviously, our “true colours” cannot be divulged at once but that is a choice we make not one we are compelled to follow. If walking on eggshells or feeling as if we are putting our “foot in it” constantly is the status quo, then we need to re-think.
Many friendships can have a hidden agenda. There can be emotional abuse without even being aware. Small elements can make us uncomfortable with our relationships; it might be a lack of communication or a feeling of diminished self-worth. When someone really listens to us and we hear him or her, our friendship is consolidated. Similarly, with self-worth, some friendships make us feel so well within ourselves and give us emotional strength. That’s true friendship.
Compassion, empathy, sympathy and patience are all qualities we wish for in our friendships. If we cannot relate to our partners or find the patience and sympathy they might need, it is difficult to retain the binds. Sometimes it is more than we can tolerate – I get that – but I try and remember my time will come. It’s trite but “do unto others and all that” is not a bad piece of advice.
For a relationship to thrive it requires a commitment. Of time – friendship cannot survive without an investment of time but equally too much time and an over-compensation can be the death knell. Balance, like in all things, is the key.
Commitment is about loyalty – being loyal to a partnership is everything.
“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than friendship” – Thomas Aquinas.
Valentine’s Day is as good as any to celebrate. xv