The Spirit of Friendship

“IN ONE OF THE HINDU RITES OF MARRIAGE, the bride and groom make to each other a solemn statement,

You are my best friend.

Western couples need to learn to be friends, to live with each other in a spirit of friendship, to take the quality of friendship as a guide the the tangles we have made of love…

When two people are “in love,” (others)… say that they are more than “just friends.”  But in the long run, they seem to treat each other as less than friends…

(If) being in love is much more intimate, much more “meaningful,” … than “mere” friendship, why, then do couples refuse each other the selfless love, the kindness and good will, that they readily give to their friends?

People can’t ask of their friends that they carry all their projections, be scapegoats for all their moods, keep them feeling happy, and make life complete for them.  Why do couples impose these demands on each other?

Because the cult of romance teaches us that we have the right to expect that all our projections will be borne-all our desires satisfied, and all our fantasies made to come true–in the person we are “in love” with. ”

~Robert Johnson, from the book edited by Emily Hillburn Sell, The Spirit of Love.


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