HOW TO BUILD LASTING BONDS IN A WORLD OBSESSED WITH ROMANCE
We as a generation are so hyped about romantic relationships that we tend to take our friendships and platonic relationships for granted. Within the mainstream western culture, romantic love is placed at the highest position, overlooking the value of all other relations.
We should try taking all relations- the one with our friends and value them for what they are, rather than trying to place them within a hierarchy, embracing the fact that each one bestows us with something unique and is a part of the experience of life.
Today, we’ll explore how to keep our friendships at par with our romantic relationship and maybe value our friendship even more.
1. Hug your friend
As cliché as it may sound, but the power of a hug never goes in vain. A hug can always uplift a person. Research proves hugs help alleviate stress, anxiety and increase feelings of calm, trust, and security.
Expressing someone how you feel will always make them cheerful. It can be something as simple as putting a picture of our friend on social media to congratulate them for an achievement or even when they just look beautiful and show them that we are proud of them. It won't cost us anything. We can call our friend in the middle of the night just to tell 'I miss you' when we feel like it.
We must never cancel any plans just for a lover. We must never say 'I won't be able to make it, cause my boyfriend is not free'. That is so not cool, as we can eventually lose all our individuality with this one line. Never call off a girls' night just because you had a fight with your boyfriend. In fact, it can make our partner love and respect us even more for our individuality: the fact that we have a life outside a romantic relationship.
4. Flowers, letters, and chocolates
It may sound all sappy, yet it's extremely heartwarming. Let’s get our friend their favorite ice-cream when they had a bad day, take them to their favorite place when they are low and accompany them in the silence, randomly surprise them with a handwritten note, order for them their favorite food, buy them their favorite packet of chips when we get one for ourselves, make them Maggie noodles or coffee when they had a tiring day. Help them with some daily chores, as basic as folding clothes or make their bed when we are together or help them with the homework they are super stressed about. It will cost us maybe a penny but will give them a fortune.
5. Appreciate friends
All of us ask our friends for a party when they get a job or crack an exam, but instead, we can also give them a treat and show them we are so proud of them. Won’t we feel elated if someone does that for us? True, right?
6. Go for a vacation
Taking small trips with our friends time and again can be wonderful. Spending time with them solidifies our bond. We can eat, travel, laugh, dance, watch the sunrise and have breakfast together.
7. Make it up
Sometimes we make mistakes that may hurt our friends. We can make it up to them when we make a mistake, tell them what they mean to us and it can make a world of difference to them.
8. Be there
There is nothing better than having someone through thick and thin. We can be there for them when they are going through a break-up or have stress. We can always support them, encourage them to study for the exam the they want to crack or motivate them to get up early and go for that walk.
Friendship is like having another version of you. The general traits of friendship include similar interests, mutual respect and an attachment to each other. Friendship is a combination of affection, loyalty, love, respect, and trust. True friendship is when someone knows us better than our own self and takes a position in our best interest during times of crisis. We all need friends. If not, we would be all alone in this cruel world. Having friends does not only mean having a companion, but it is also good for the heart.
We want to challenge this notion of the superiority of romantic love. Maybe when people stop thinking it is the ultimate form of love, they will stop feeling like they need to seek it out to be happy. We put so much into romantic relationships, and they can be really fulfilling, but here’s the thing - friendships can be equally long-lasting.
They can be meaningful too. Are we not doing ourselves a disservice by erasing, or at the very least not paying close enough attention to, these very real experiences? Most of the people who have romantic partners are so preoccupied with them, that they take other things for granted. On the other hand, many of the singles feel all empty and void, seeking for that one person and overlooking the gems (friends) that they already have; for someone that they are anyways going to find sooner or later.