S03 E1 – Attraction in Friendships

Attracted to our friends

  • If they’re our friends, then naturally they will possess qualities that we’re attracted to.

We insist on sitting on the fence. Either we’re too scared to admit we see attractive qualities in our friends of the opposite sex (this does NOT mean you HAVE to be romantically involved) OR we’re too scared to pursue, when we do acknowledge our friends have the traits we’d like to see in a future spouse, for fear of what it might do to the friendship or our friend might perceive of our attraction. 

This is all fear bound. Any form of change in relationship will require vulnerability, that’s only natural.

3 things to remember:

  • 1. Acknowledging attraction does NOT vitiate the possibility of a friendship. It takes more than a couple of qualities for a romantic attraction to be developed either in a healthy manner, with time and more information (as you get to know the person better) or an unhealthy manner – obsession.  
  • 2. We’re not doomed to act on attraction, We need not do anything other than thank God for the gift of the beauty of the human person and femininity/masculinity. If it’s a romantic attraction a conversation needs to take place for the sake of the friendship, of transparency and understanding how to proceed: That conversation would consider the following questions:
    • is the attraction reciprocated and if so do we act upon the attraction and change the nature of the relationship? If it’s not reciprocated, how do we move forward?
    • OR Do we not act upon the attraction – in which case we need to ask how does the friendship change to ensure a genuine love for the other and that the problem of unrequited love does not arise?
    • To face the risk of rejection and change of friendship all at the same time is massive! But perhaps a language change has to happen here. The word rejection is unhelpful. It tends to be associated with ‘I have been rejected’. I don’t think that’s true. Indeed, the Romantic gesture has been declined. But in the context of genuine friendship, the person is never rejected, but consistently valued. It’s that value which actually motivates honesty and transparency surrounding this issue.   
  • 3. We’re not doomed – Is it risky? Of course! Love requires risk. But two mature people are able to have the above conversations with courage, knowing that those conversations will actually preserve the possibility of friendship, even if that friendship looks different from what it has been. I think we need to change our conversation in this area. We often hear it said: What if our romance ruins our friendship. Romance done well, with maturity and love guiding our actions and emotions, may change a friendship, but it won’t ruin it. All of this accords with notion of friends in motions. If we cease to think of friendship as a merely static thing and instead think of it as something in motion, something open to change and growth, then these conversations and decisions become much easier to face. 

Truth. Beauty. Goodness

Padre – Crossing the Threshold of Hope – John Paul II

Stina – Our faith ‘affects’ Jesus, powerfully, tangibly and emotionally.

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