How Do I Know If He’s My Friend?!

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Well as I have mentioned here before, I absolutely devour any article I can find on relationships. No matter how cheesy the article, or how potentially dubious the source, it is almost as if I cannot help myself: I have to read the article, and analyse what it is saying, to see whether or not I agree with its viewpoint, or what it might add to my current understanding.
On the whole most of these articles seem to me to be so simplistic. “5 easy rules….” Seriously, a whole five rules?! I’ve got an entire blog of thoughts – and growing! I guess though that there is of course something to be said for simplicity, especially when compared to my posts, many of which (like this one!) are over a thousand words long – in fact, this post has almost 2500 words – which is why they are now being formatted into ebooks!

So I was reading one of the relationship articles recently, “5 ways to know if you’re marrying the wrong person”. Most of it was quite straightforward, but there was one of the points listed that made me pause for thought. Apparently one of the ways to know that you’re marrying the wrong person is “if they are not your friend”. I myself have written so many times about the importance of building friendship into a marriage. And yet I found myself wondering: “How do I know whether or not he is my friend?” As I write this now, it seems clear that what people mean when they say this is that there should be basic compatibility between the two of you; you should like the same things to a certain degree, you should be able to talk about things, you should genuinely care for one another.

However, this is my big challenge, as always. When you are strongly attracted to someone, and you have started dating them, then will you not emulate all of these things while you are dating, even if it is not fully sincere? Will you not talk endlessly about things, demonstrate care, concern and generosity for and to one another? Will you not go out of your way to support his interests, as he too will go out of his way to support your own? So how then would you know that there is indeed genuine friendship between the two of you? Is this something that can only reasonably come to light after you go ahead to get married, when you discover to your mutual disappointment that actually, you don’t particularly like one another as much as you should or you really can’t bring yourself to be bothered about his interests, as he can’t quite move himself to care enough about you; you manage at best to tolerate one another?

And then you get situations when people evaluate their own marriages from hindsight, and say:
“I did not marry my friend”. I always silently think to myself:
“Well obviously you were friendly enough during dating and courtship!”

Well then, how would I know while I am actually in that dating situation, with all the friendliness and tenderness and talking and sharing of activities, that actually, this guy is not truly my friend?

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