Love: Is This Romance or is This Friendship?

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James, in his middle 30s, was ready to meet his life partner, get married and have children. After dating many women, he met Cindy.

“She is really beautiful, although I’m not sure she’s my type. But I think she is perfect for me. We have the same interests, the same values, we go to the same church, and we both want children. My friends who meet her think she’s dynamite.”

“But…?” I could hear hesitation in his voice during our phone counseling session.

“I don’t know. There doesn’t seem to be a spark, and I don’t miss her when I’m not with her. In fact, I rarely think about her when I’m not with her. And our conversation doesn’t seem to flow easily. We run out of things to talk about. Maybe the spark will grow. Does that ever happen?”

“Why not spend a little more time with her and see how you feel?”

It became apparent within a few months that the spark was not going to grow and the conversation was not going to flow. James still did not look forward to seeing Cindy.

“James, it doesn’t seem that this relationship is going to become what you want it to be. Perhaps it’s time to move on.”

But James was afraid of ending up alone, afraid he would not meet anyone as sweet as Cindy. He ended up staying in the relationship with her for two years before finding the courage to leave.

James and Cindy were wonderful friends, but not good life partners. Romance just wasn’t there. He loved her, but he never fell in love with her.

Abigail found herself in the same position as James, only she had stayed in the relationship with Andrew for 7 years, hoping that romance would grow. She knew at the beginning of the relationship that she was not sexually attracted to Andrew, but he was such a nice guy and he really loved her.

The sad thing is that Abigail really wanted children, but by the time she finally left the relationship, it was very close to being too late to have children.

Why didn’t she leave sooner?

“I hate being alone. I don’t know that I can be alone, and I’m afraid that I won’t find another partner. Besides, we are best friends.”

Both James and Abigail could have saved a lot of time if they had understood the difference between friendship and romance.

It is my experience that, if the spark and the flow aren’t there at the beginning, they generally won’t develop. I won’t say never, because I have seen a few relationships where the spark did develop over time, but this is generally not the case. If the spark does not develop within the first six months of the relationship, then it is time to move on – unless a companionship relationship is acceptable to you. But if spark, flow and romance are important to you, then accept that you and your partner have a wonderful friendship but not a romance.

James soon met another woman, Val, with whom he had romance. He was very attracted to her and they could easily talk for hours. But he soon discovered that romance itself is also not enough. Val did not share his spiritual beliefs, his values, or his interests. Her rigid religious beliefs deeply conflicted with his deep spiritual beliefs, and he knew he could not raise children with her beliefs. He realized within the first few months of the relationship that none of this was going to change so he moved on, now open to finding a woman with whom he can have it all.

“Am I too picky?” he asked me.

“No!” Stay solid on what you want and you will find it!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Are you are ready to discover real love and intimacy? Learn Inner Bonding now! Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more information.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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