Illusion is the first of all pleasures, said Oscar Wilde. So, sit back in your chair, take a deep breath, enjoy it for a moment and indulge the joy of your fondest dream.
Is the dream illusion? No, it is who we really are. If only now we would find a way and mold our lives to align with that essence -- to meet reality that way, honestly and with straightforwardness. Then illusion would no longer remain. Pleasure and pain become immaterial.
Well, I used to write all kinds of little introductory essays as that paragraph here, but never really received a response. Then one day I met the most beautiful partner or rather she found me, and now we are creating a life together.
Why might you want to read on then? Because friendship is not excluded by monogamous commitment, and quite valuable in its own right. Perhaps you can also relate to what I share about my relationship here. If you can glean hope or some insight that will serve you, then great, these words are worthwhile!
My partner and I have not formalized a life-long commitment yet, although our relating is with that in mind, to live it each moment together as if it was the last and the first of many more. For that formalized announcement I like to take time to really develop the depth of our connection and have such words be acknowledgment of reality rather than a substitute for something honestly only hoped for.
To my surprise I have found out I am quite unique and as part of valuing who I am, a lifelong commitment requires discovering what a person is really like up close and personal day to day, particularly when facing challenges.
What are the questions that must be clearly answered in the way we relate and live life with each other? Is the bedrock truly solid and the stated purpose of our togetherness genuinely and thoroughly shared? One just does not discover that from a glamor photo or a few words on a page, or even from a few shared memories. Peering deeply into the eyes of another does not always reveal if they are ready to grow and live the promise of their divine heritage with stable continuity for years to come.
Can you relate to what I am saying?
Speaking as friends, two sides exist, and some would frown on our trial run. Some would say you just have to choose to love someone for keeps and you discover the rest as the consequence of that commitment. I think there is much truth in that, and living that way begins anew each moment.
Mutuality also requires we satisfy ourselves, that the other shares that approach and not to have it end up one-sided. Quite a risk we must take here in the end, but not to risk is assuredly tragic, more tragic than to foolishly rush in, where angels fear to tread, as John Milton put it in Paradise Lost.
Relationships and also friendships are quite paradoxical that way. Nothing of significance is accomplished, if one carries conditions, expectations, and agendas, and yet we all carry them. In order to succeed, one has to love unconditionally though and let go of them. Happiness is ever distant, if sought out, but if one goes about life's business without such expectation, then it may just find us. For any relation to be reciprocal, unconditional love has to meet those conditions, and that is a paradox.
Therefore, wisdom requires great discernment and knowledge of oneself to actualize the potential of togetherness, both as life-partners or as friends, the former being an exclusive type of the latter. This can be intimidating and daunting. The requisite depth of character and the risk of ventures of the heart can exasperate the sense of loneliness in life, to see how rare authentic connection is and how much has to change in oneself to truly become not only one's own best friend, but then also to befriend another.
In that sense, perhaps it is wise to be a little foolish and just begin to share the lighter side of life, the little joys of the day, the small events like the weather or the news in our lives. I would add only one caveat, to be ever mindful of creating the meaningful.
So, as Oscar Wilde said: Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
And remember: When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
Conversation Starters (i.e. what you'd like to do on a first date...)
Converse as friends (strictly platonic) and build connection. What is more valuable than friendship? Very little in my view, and it is so rare! It is rarer than diamonds to find and develop true friendship, which takes time and attention, sincerity, caring, honesty, depth of character, and above all heart.
As such, please only pursue this, if you can be platonic friends with a man who is in a solid, committed, romantic partnership.