On Relationships

A page from The Hollywood Reporter

Not too long ago, my boyfriend and I got into a tiff. It was a harmless tiff that lasted all of ten minutes. The issue at-hand was something so insignificant that I can't even remember what the fuss was about. All I can recall is the resolution, in which I teasingly asked him: "Are we friends again?" and to which he warmly responded: "We never stopped being friends."

Relationships. They're so much better when there's friendship in the foundation. According to Wikipedia, here are the values of friendship:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other Check.
  • Sympathy and empathy Check.
  • Honesty, even in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth Check.
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support Check.
  • Enjoyment of each other's company Check.
  • Trust in one another Check.
  • Positively strong, deep, close reciprocity; mutuality—equal give-and-take between the two parties Check.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one's feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment Check.

Of the four years that we've known each other, my boyfriend and I were friends for... I'd say, a good two-and-a-half years. That's right, we were just friends. Our relationship was so purely platonic that we can both pinpoint the exact moment when it changed: We were in mid-laughter, having coffee at The Grey Dog in Chelsea on a fall day. It was weird. Really weird. Suddenly, there was potential. Somehow, our ship navigated itself out of the Bermuda Triangle.

Here's why I think we work: We get each other. We're accepting of each other. And, above all, we're nice to each other. But don't go thinking that our interactions are nothing but a rigid and gray exchange of pleasantries. Oh no. We'll color outside the lines and all over the page. What we won't do is go off the page and onto the tabletop.

There's a line from that classic Ryan O'Neal-Ali McGraw movie Love Story that goes: "Love means never having to say you're sorry." I never really understood that line until now. (This, of course, is not applicable if you're dating a total asshole.) But, if you are two sincere and earnest people in a relationship, you know that, while an apology is certainly appreciated, at the same time, it's not required. I know that sounds contradictory, but it's true... You apologize, knowing that you don't really need to because you know what's real and what's petty—and so does the other person.

Chew on that.