I received an email from my 22-year-old daughter Alexi, regarding relationships. I found her insight was amazing when advising a friend; that I wanted to share her thoughts here.
Alexi believes having a lasting, true, and real relationship can only be successful if you first build a friendship based on honesty, understanding, self-exploration and growth – both separately and together. She advised her friend to be completely abstinent until she reached the level of closeness that she has with her best friends. “Why,” Alexi asks, “as a society, do we separate our closest friends with our relationships? It’s as almost if we can’t equate the two (friendship and intimate love) together as one. But isn’t that technically what relationships should be if you intend on spending your life with someone? You must question…can you really call it love (which should be unconditional and everlasting) if you don’t have the type of bond you have with your closest friends?”
People often look for all the wrong qualities in a partner. With divorce rates at 50%, it’s time to re-evaluate love relationships. The new paradigm is that “Love” is the result of a great friendship. When the core qualities are there, the love will come. Alexi and I agreed to look for following –
1) Do you share a deep and meaningful common life purpose? Each must know what he wants out of life, and those goals should be similar so you will grow together.
2) How does he treat other people? Does he enjoy giving to others, or is he self-serving and absorbed? Observe how he treats his children, parents, siblings, and those that serve him. Does he show respect and kindness; or is he mean-spirited?
3) Are you looking to change something in this person, or falling in love with “his potential.” You must be able to accept him fully as he is today – be realistic; no one is perfect.
4) Are you safe in being your self and in expressing your true thoughts and feelings? Do you trust him? Trust and safety are utmost important.
5) Is he a “good person” and altruistic – always looking to help another, strives to do the right thing, dedicated to personal growth and character refinement? How does he spend his time? Is his life healthy and balanced; or is he lazy, selfish, addicted, or materialistic?
Our joint opinion is to build the friendship, safety, trust and open and honest communication before getting intimate. Building this type of love relationship takes time that you both must be willing to invest.