Who says men and women can’t be friends?
The age-old idea that people of the opposite gender will start thinking with their hearts (and other body parts) – rather than their heads – as they grow closer is as outdated as the idea itself. Contrary to popular belief, a man an a woman can be friends, with platonic love for each other. After all, what is meant to happen if they simply work better as friends than as a romantic unit? Are you meant to force the relationship into a romantic one? Of course not (heck, that’s not healthy for either one of you!). But when you have people around you saying,
“Oh but you two work so well together!”
“You look and act like a couple.”
“You guys are perfect for each other.”
…what do you do? Well, you look for these signs! Are they more suitable as a friend than a partner? Here are the signs they may be…
Your relationship is full of laughter, humour and more laughter.
There is nothing wrong with a relationship that is full of laughter, quite the opposite actually – a relationship that is fun is healthy. But a relationship where nothing can be taken seriously? That can be a problem when it comes to big decisions. It also indicates a different level of intimacy – one of simple, unassuming friends. A person who takes the time to learn more about your life, about you – and remembers them – is a person that will be thinking of where your relationship can go. But if your relationship with them is lighthearted jokes the whole way through, then that may be a sign to keep the relationship equally as light – as friends.
You find yourself looking at other men/women.
If, even when you’re with your friend, you find yourself looking at other men/women and wondering, “Hmm.. what if?” then you’re obviously not as invested in the person sitting opposite you. As humans, it’s normal for our eyes to wander at times, but when our intentions are geared towards wondering what opportunities we’re missing out on, then your heart isn’t in the relationship.
You have different ideas of what a relationship should be like.
They say that opposites attract – but two people with opposing opinions? That’s not a good basis for a relationship. For example, if they are looking to have kids in the future and you don’t – that’s almost a dealbreaker (almost because, you never know, you may be open to changing your mind in the future). It is difficult to be in a relationship with someone who disagrees with you on how the relationship should be. You will find yourselves fighting more than enjoying your time with each other. How tiring!
You’re holding each other back.
A relationship is about having each other’s backs. They need to support you and you need to support them. Not only do you need to have the same ideas of what a relationship should be like, but you should also have similar paths in life. After all, there is more to a relationship than just sexual attraction and physical need. They should stay your friend if you both find that you won’t compromise your future plans for each other. That’s not to say that people in relationships give up their dreams for their partner; on the contrary, partners in relationships will find ways to bend and fit their plans around their partners. So if you don’t see yourself being able to do that for them, it would be better to have them to support you from afar as a friend than to hold you back as a partner.
There is no stability in their life.
Coming back to the need to be with someone you can be serious with, a partner is someone you’re going to be making all sorts of decisions with – be it for your career, in terms of finance and so on. If your friend is not emotionally or financially mature or stable (or at least at the same level of maturity and stability that you’re at), they’re probably not going to be a good candidate for “the one”. As a friend, you may be able to guide them through this instability in a way that can be more wholesome and effective than a partner can.
Having gone through these signs, how do they relate to your friend? Of course, there are many other reasons they may be better off as a friend than a partner. But, let’s be honest – at the end of the day, the decision is in your hands and you’re the one who knows them best. Take your time with this decision as relationships can be built in seconds and brought down in just as much time – it’s not a simple decision.