Have you found yourself while in a relationship asking, "Have they always been like this?" "Were we ever supposed to be together?" or even "How did I not see this before?" Well, I sure have and I think most of us have! I truly believe that some of these questions could've been answered or even prevented if we would've taken the time to intentionally be friends before jumping into a relationship. I know having these questions/ concerns can be very frustrating and that is why I wanted to share with you a few simple reasons why creating a friendship before jumping into the relationship is so important.

When you are friends with someone, especially with someone that you are romantically interested in, you are able to witness first-hand how they treat their friends. The way someone treats their friends can give you an idea of how they treat the people they care about. How they treat friends and even their own family can also reveal a lot about someone's character. Someone's character is a huge thing you should take into consideration before getting into a relationship. So many times we have this idea of what they are like and then even fall for the person you created in your head, I am guilty of this myself. Often I have caught myself creating this picture of who they are as a person that fits right into what I may consider #relationshipgoals when in reality I haven't taken the time to actually understand this individual as the person they really are; I'm literally creating a relationship founded off of lies without it even starting yet.

When you take the time and put in the effort it requires to get to know a person, you may find things about them that you didn't know and those things may even create a bigger attraction to them. Now, in some other cases, getting to know each other gives you the chance to see you are actually attracted to the idea of a relationship but not necessarily with them. Friendship happens when you find someone who you share interests with and you then spend time together. It is almost like an initial click is happening between you both and that means they enjoy your company. You are already winning!

What often is even better is that there are fewer expectations within a friendship than there is when in a romantic relationship. I have personally found this to be such a plus! When you take the time to be around someone without that heavy feeling of pressure and expectation, it allows me to understand how they may act within a relationship without feeling obligated. You get to understand their behavior on instinct. In a relationship we want our significant other to listen to our problems and be there when something is wrong, listen to our problems, and just pay attention to us in general and it can really be frustrating when they aren't doing those things. When you have created a relationship that is founded on your friendship, no one is expecting you/them to care for you/them, but you both do it because you want too

When becoming friends with someone, we both start to experience each other in a very revealing light! We see each other's weirdest traits and that could be both a bad and a great thing. It varies from person to person. The idea of being yourself definitely goes with my following point of there is less pressure and fewer expectations because you are creating a sense of comfort between you both so if/when you are in a relationship with that person they have already excepted you for who you are and now attracted to all of what makes you-you. If you meet someone and just jump straight into the romance of things, you may find that both of you may be portraying only the best qualities of yourself and never showing your flaws. Because no one is perfect, leading with needing to be perfect just sets one up for disappointment and expecting a version of you that is not realistic.

A wonderful thing about being friends first, after getting to know them in a variety of ways, you have the opportunity to decide whether or not you actually want to pursue them romantically. Sometimes we go into a relationship and then later on realizing it was a mistake to take it that far because it was only meant to be and remain a friendship. Figuring out that you both are just meant to stay friends is such a free feeling! This also protects your heart especially and you still have a friendship. No one is left hurt to the point where you have to completely remove them from your life and you can just go about your life the way it has been. Now, if you decide to move forward into a relationship, then you aren't going in it completely blind and you know what you are getting into.

After reading these few reasons that I have provided, I don't want you to feel like your relationship is hopeless because you might not have started out this way, but feel encouraged to create a friendship within the relationship you are already in if you desire. I truly hope this was helpful!