Updated: Nov 15, 2021
i always thought that to be with someone there had to be an initial spark. an initial attraction. an initial desire. my current relationship has challenged these beliefs - not only is it possible to later develop these feelings, but perhaps it's a more organic and genuine way of approaching a relationship.
when i met my current partner, there was nothing but a deep love and respect for her. i never saw her as more than a friend. she was the person i sought when i needed comfort. the person i kept wanting to hang out with. and the person i wanted to move in. but as a friend, not a lover.
during the first six months that she lived with me, i was in a relationship with someone else. and so our friendship was strictly that - friends. neither of us allowed our thoughts to consider feelings for the other. instead, we were able to get to know one another without any ulterior motive - i showed her the worst sides of me, and she of her. and the best part? we accepted the other. because that's what we do with friends - we accept them unconditionally.
why does this change for a partner? it's as though when we meet someone we're romantically interested in, we have expectations of who we want them to be and how we want them to behave. but is that accepting them as they are? is that the most organic way to get to know someone?
take dating apps - you're on there looking for a partner or a fling. so when you meet this person, you're asking, "do i like them?" "could i sleep with them?" yet, you know nothing about them. do you ever meet a stranger and ask, "will this person be my friend?" probably not. and that's because we allow friendships to unfold naturally - but for relationships, we're always in a rush to label and define it.
that's where i feel extremely lucky - i was able to get to know my partner platonically for a year before anything transpired. within that year, we saw every colour of each other. we saw these colours without filters. without reservations. because neither of us intended nor expected for the friendship to transpire. and to me, that's the most pure and organic way to find someone. and, it's also been the most rewarding.