Friends First

Luke was a great kisser! We were immediately drawn to each other. I didn’t date much in high school, but when I met him I understood the meaning of chemistry. We had it. He was a friend of a friend, and we started dating right away. For us, that pretty much meant that whenever we were together we participated in casual, unimportant conversation until we could find a place to make out.

Carrie and her husband.
Carrie and her husband.

We had been dating a couple of months when all of the sudden I was no longer attracted to him. I ended it. He was really upset. “Why?” he asked. I honestly didn’t have an answer for him at the time. But, looking back, I realized that there was no deeper emotional basis for the relationship, and I didn’t see him fitting into my long-term future. The physical nature of our relationship kept me from realizing this initially. I was head over heels and caught up in feelings and hormones. But once that wore off a bit, we weren’t left with anything to build on. I wasn’t actually attracted to him, just the idea I had of who he was.

Years later I met my husband through a church group backpacking trip and this relationship couldn’t have been more different than my high school fling. There were only 5 of us on the trip, so I got to know him pretty well on our 4 day adventure. We were friends—united by campfires, sweat, and snakes. I hate snakes. After continuing to text and talk over the next couple of weeks, we decided to date. I left town pretty much as soon as we made that decision, so we continued to get to know each other through long phone conversations over the first few months. Although we did our fair share of kissing while we were in the same location, he was my best friend.

Being friends first, establishing our relationship while looking toward a future, and having the same physical boundaries we were determined to uphold allowed us to connect on all levels; spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical. We got to know each other for who we were, not who we imagined each other to be. The physical aspect of the relationship was there, but it didn’t cloud my view of reality.

Once we were married, we got to enjoy sex and the highs of physical closeness, while simultaneously knowing we weren’t going to decide in a couple months that this person next to us was just another dud.

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