Now, remember all the naive notions you contemplated in your youth when you thought you knew it all? It is both of these concepts that, if balanced carefully, can present you with a friend so good, you'll wonder why you never thought of it that way before.
In our teens, it was all too easy to fantasize about the hot guy or girl that captured our gaze. That attractive person who could be the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend in your life was just a hello away.
What could be more perfect than that someone who could satisfy your desire for companionship AND intimacy?
The answer...is NOT in finding that perfect boyfriend/girlfriend to satisfy you.
Rather, why don't so many of us search for the perfect FRIEND in our youth?
Let's face it. In our teens, we are all a bit too emotional, hormonal, and just plain excited about the opposite sex. Though likewise, we all thirst for the companionship and attention of a good friend who would be loyal and supportive to us. The problem is, beauty fogs the heart when our mind needs a companion of supportive and compassionate strengths.
Often, when we make friends of the same sex, we can take comfort in venting to them and looking to them for humour or support in difficult times. For example, without sounding sexist, two guys can engage in an afternoon of fishing while venting about their personal issues. Likewise, two ladies can meet for coffee and face each other as they vent and seek validation or advice from each other.
But consider the significant void in that friendship. You can't get a woman's perspective from a man, and a man's perspective from a woman!
Consider that if you had a friend of the opposite sex, you could ask him/her for their perspective or advice on an issue, through their eyes!
In theory, such a friendship could be endlessly valuable. You could get honest answers to things like:
"How do I look in this jacket?", "How would you and your lady friends interpret that answer?" or "I need a guys/girls perspective on this."
But although this type of friendship CAN and DOES happen, most of the time it dissolves. Why?
Because of feelings.
All too easy, we develop attraction to people we liaise with of the opposing sex. It could be the sweet voice or captivating eyes of an good friend that can suddenly cloud our judgement and arouse feelings of romantic desire for that person.
But herein is where the line between friends and lovers can be crossed. Once crossed, the friend now takes on a different title...that of boyfriend or girlfriend, open to the privileges of intimacy and sexuality.
But if two people of opposing sexes can develop an innocent, comfortable, supportive friendship, where there is no temptation to walk past platonic lines, then a most favourable and powerful companionship can occur!
This type of friendship can last for years and remain forever strong. With time, the bonds of friendship can grow so powerful that the two friends can be very comfortable around each other, sharing personal thoughts or seeking meaningful advice about social interactions with others.
Of course, this type of friendship may not be easy to maintain. With time, two friends can grow closer than expected. Now this isn't necessary a bad thing between two single people.
I've always said that everyone should take a long time to grow a very good friend...and God willing, you may one day fall in love with your greatest friend.
That said, falling in love with your best friend has many pluses. You learned to respect them first, way before even looking at them with hungry eyes. You also know each other inside out. By now, a sudden belch or temper tantrum will be no surprise between two close friends. You then know how the each other are on good days and bad days. Very little is hidden with someone you have known for years as a good friend first. There is no reason to hide yourself from your best friend.
...so if you LATER fall in love with the person whom you FIRST believed in and respected, then you have likely found the compliment to your soul!
But back to honest friendships. Having a friend of the opposite sex can be as valuable, perhaps at times more valuable, than a friend of the same sex. Forming such a friendship is traditionally not easy, as the heart may wander when the mind otherwise seeks a consoling companion.
I will just conclude with this final point. Never abandon the notion of finding your greatest strengths in life. One of which, can be developing the strength to build and grow a friendship with a guy or girl who seeks the same respect and support that you would desire as an honest adult in a very big world.
It is when we grow our senses of maturity and respect that we can develop a sense of character we can be proud of, a character so beautiful that it will one day be seen and valued by the person who is destined to be the mate to your soul.