A year ago, I shared a blog post dedicated to two of the most important people in my life: a list of lessons on romance inspired by the love I’ve seen between them my whole life. I learned almost everything I know about love from them, which is why most of the romantic stories I write are about couples who started out as friends. If my parents taught me anything about romance, it’s that the best kind of love is based on friendship!

So to honor them again this year, here’s a new list of five details of loving relationships that you’re more likely to see in couples who started as friends. Keep these in mind if you ever write romance that blossoms from friendship! Enjoy!

1) You enjoy each other’s company.

Married-to-Your-Best-FriendThis one is a bit obvious, but it deserves to be pointed out nonetheless. You choose your friends based on how much you like them, and that depends on how much you enjoy spending time with them. Logically, the same principle should apply to romance: if you like being with your partner, you make an effort to prolong your relationship. One of the great advantages of starting out as friends is that you already know you like each other by the time you get together. When you already have fun together and make each other laugh often, the romance simply enhances an already beautiful connection. It’s like fast-forwarding through the awkward getting-to-know-you phase to the actual fun part of a relationship! Admittedly this might not be to everyone’s taste, but I highly recommend it. It worked for my parents, and it’s certainly working for me!

2) You know each other well and accept each other for who you are.

There’s nothing wrong with a little mystery in romance, but it’s so great when you don’t have to hide every little flaw you might have for fear of driving your partner away. A true friend is someone who not only knows almost everything about you, but accepts all the things that make you you, good and bad alike. In my experience, the freedom to openly express yourself and everything you like to your partner makes a relationship much more enjoyable in the long run, especially when that freedom is mutual. Let’s face it, you can’t hide your real self forever and you should never try to change yourself to please someone else, so if you’re lucky enough to fall for a friend who already loves you exactly the way you are, I say keep them!

3) You respect and value each other more.

You wouldn’t be friends with someone you don’t respect, right? So it stands to reason that if you’re romantically involved with someone you consider a friend, you’re much more likely to treat them as an equal. Respect is key in any relationship that hopes to last, so lovers who started as friends have the advantage of already beginning on an equal footing. This makes it much easier to build and maintain a healthy relationship: by respecting and valuing one another, you’ll help each other grow and become better people over time!

Friends_Monica_and_Chandler_Wedding

Move over, Ross and Rachel; Monica and Chandler are the real greatest couple of Friends!

4) You have greater intimacy with each other.

Ah, the best part of being in love! Superficial flings may be appealing to some, but when it comes to long-term commitment, romances based on friendship definitely have the upper hand. Enjoying each other’s company and knowing each other well leads you to trust each other completely, and with trust comes greater loyalty and intimacy. A deep emotional connection with another person is something most of us search for our whole lives (and many of us never find), so your best chance at finding such intimacy is with someone you’d consider your best friend!

5) Your love is more likely to last forever!

Keep-Calm-and-Marry-Your-Best-FriendFor all the above reasons and more, lovers who started as friends are more likely to stay together for life. Friendship is the most solid foundation for love because life is most enjoyable when shared between two people who enjoy talking to each other, often make each other smile, understand each other well, and value each other for who they truly are. So try exploring this kind of love in your romantic stories, and maybe if you’re as lucky as my parents, you too will discover (or perhaps already know) that the best romance is based on friendship!

What are your favorite kinds of romance? Do you write stories about love that starts as friendship?

Today’s creative writing post is dedicated to my parents, the happiest couple I know. Thank you for teaching me the value of love founded on friendship! Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! I love you both so much!

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