In short, probably not.
They say, you marry your best friend. But what if you have someone in the friend zone, in other words, you have no passion for them. Can you marry that person and truly make it work? I found myself asking that question while in that exact situation. Here’s what happened…
Becoming a parent, you realize that the aspects of a partner that once captured your attention are now just bittersweet reminders of the past. I used to like the bad boys, the ones that were moody and aloof and that kept me at a distance. They were intriguing and a challenge, and man, the passion was fire. But after having a child and being a single mother for a while, I realized that the needs of my child came before my penchant for bad boys. I truly want someone who is down to earth, reliable, loving, and faithful.
Fast forward, I reconnected with a former love who I had fond memories of from our time together. We were always great friends and had a mutual respect for each other. When we reconnected, I felt a warm familiarity and security that was nice. It’s exactly the kind of safety I feel that married couples get to enjoy. So I went for it, even though the passion rating of the relationship landed somewhere between 0 and 1. Yeah, that lackluster. But did that even matter?
I wondered to myself if I could possibly learn to love a friend, in a passionate way. We had experienced the passion in the past, so maybe I could get back to that place. Or maybe I was truly broken and needed someone to knock down the walls. I wasn’t sure, but I was going to find out. To me, it was worth it to find out and he loved me so un-apologetically that I felt I was able to explore the depths of my heart to try.
Falling in love with a friend
A big piece of who I am is my daughter and he really connected with her. If there was anything I could say in what brought us closer, it would be this connection. Single mothers everywhere can understand how important this is – someone secure, someone fun, someone loving to share with your child/children. It’s the jackpot in terms of family relationships. This honestly is the best thing that could happen to a single mom introducing her significant other to her child! It filled my heart with love, in those moments, my heart was brimming over with happiness.
Looking back, that’s what kept me driving forward. To be honest, I tried breaking it off a couple of times but he wouldn’t let me. And I thought, man, this is love. This person loves me so much, he won’t let me walk away. Maybe there is something wrong with ME? Why can’t I love this extremely wonderful man? Am I broken?
I wasn’t sure if I needed to learn to love again. People can learn to love, right? I gave it an honest shot and sometimes, I did feel very loving towards him. At the core, I was content. Sure, I wasn’t head over heels in love, but I was content, and I felt like that was enough.
Learning your love language
It was important to understand our love language, how we feel and express love. If you don’t understand this, you might miss the important expressions of love you receive from your partner and need to show to your partner. If you haven’t read the book, I’ll tell ya a secret – I haven’t either! But I have read about the 5 love languages and I do believe that people show and receive love in different ways. If you’re interested, you can get the book and we can read it at the same time, go HERE.
Our love languages were different, and that caused a problem. The things that made us feel most loved, we each had difficulties doing. And after two years, it became clear, we both didn’t have the ability or desire to change…
- my love languages: acts of service & quality time
- his love language: words of affirmation & physical touch
| learn the 5 love languages without reading the book at sheknows.com |
Unfortunately, I was missing passion for him and therefore, I struggled with physical touch. And consequently, I wasn’t necessarily gushing over him or expressing my love each and every day. On the other side, he was not the epitome of a handyman and was a bit immature so picking up household chores, projects, and other things to take off my plate never really occurred to him. We definitely weren’t speaking the same love language.
When it comes down to it
It was evident that during our 10+ years apart, our lives took different directions. I couldn’t take the steps back for him, and he wasn’t ready to jump up to where I was. We tried it and although it ended, it was still worth the journey. I’m sad, but it was something we both needed to see through. If you’re like me, wondering if you can date a friend or someone you don’t have absolute passion for – I can tell you, it didn’t work for me. He ended it because he wanted something more; but I had ended it a long time ago when I accepted my lack of passion for him. I gave all I could give but found out, I couldn’t manufacture love, even if we did share a lot of great times together.
I can’t say a relationship with someone you have an appreciation love for won’t work for anyone, I’m sure there are examples of this working for others. If you are one of those examples, please share your story below in the comments. But for me, even if I loved him for who he was, I couldn’t fully love him because of who he wasn’t. And he wanted me to be head over heels. I just couldn’t get there because it wasn’t there. My advice: give it a try but don’t ignore your gut feelings. I should have trusted mine and maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, therapist, consultant or any other medical, licensed individual. Information contained in this blog should not be taken as medical advice or counseling from a professional licensed provider. For counseling, please reach out to a local consultant or therapist. For serious cases, where abuse may exist, please seek help 24/7 at http://www.thehotline.org/
Lauren is Co-founder and CMO of momsplained.com. A single mom, marketing pro, and avid DIYer, she spends her days playing as much as she works and working as much as she dreams. “Omnia Feminae Aequissimae (women are equal to everything).” – Lady Hale