I confess. I spent a good chunk of my evening sprawled on the couch watching ABC’s “The Bachelor” with my mother. At one point, my brother tuned in for the first hour and left us to go watch “Heroes” in another room. All three of us were hoping that Jason, this season’s single father hottie, would choose fun, smart, and down to earth Jillian.
Alas, that was not the case this evening. Despite the two of them getting along exceptionally well, him taking a liking to her warm and welcoming family, and her admirable strong-will and upbeat perspective – Jillian was sent home. What was it that ultimately led to her final dismissal? On their date in New Zealand, where they sat on a picnic spread overlooking the gorgeous mountaintops and sky, (okay, hold the exasperation for a second here), Jillian revealed to Jason her true philosophy on love and marriage.
Jillian [paraphrased]: I want to be with someone who’s also my best friend. You know, at the end of the day, it’s having that friendship that makes it all work. Someone to share things with, have fun with, and to also love. I want to be with my best friend.
Jason: [awkward smile] Okay.
To make a long 2 hour episode short, Jason was not looking for a best friend in his future wife. Ouch. It makes me wonder if most guys consider “friendship” an important aspect of a relationship.
I absolutely agree with Jillian’s perspective and I couldn’t help but think of J as I watched this episode. We started off as friends and eventually became something more, like an upgrade of a basic model. Is it a bonus? Yes! Two functions in one person! But, sometimes not the easiest thing to accomplish…
I noticed that early on in our relationship, he struggled constantly between “friendship” mode and “boyfriend” mode. During our first year together in Davis, I remember venting to him on how much I wanted to study abroad before I graduated. A friend of mine had gone to Spain and I was already envisioning myself taking a quarter hiatus to Europe, learning the language, exploring the cities. J wasn’t happy. “I’m not sure what to tell you, ” he says cautiously. “As your friend, I probably would be just as excited and encourage you to go for it. BUT, as your boyfriend, all I can think about is you being far away and me worrying about you in some strange country.”
Thus, the very first seeds of a dichotomous dilemma began. Does a friendship enhance a relationship? Or hinder it? Are you always comparing the person you fell in love with “as friends” versus the person your friend has become as “the significant other?” Which persona wins out in the end? And which do you prefer? Or does it depend?
to be continued