Out of the “friend zone”

Six honeymooners share stories of romance springing out of long-term friendships

By Lovey Heartburn

Recently, I was away on a warm holiday with one of my closest cousins.  The resort we choose was 98 percent honeymooners or people who were celebrating a milestone in their marriage. I wish I did a bit more research before booking this place… but the fact that it was five star resort made it an enjoyable experience despite the lack of singles.

When away on vacation people tend to have their guard down; most are relaxed and friendly. Given that this was an all-inclusive place, every night we went out we would run into the same couples. We got along with them and got to know many of the honeymooners well. We even started to feel like we were a part of their honeymoon! Over the course of the week I asked seven different couples how they met. Interestingly, six out of the seven couples were friends for years before they entered into a relationship.

One couple was her future husband’s hairdresser for over six years before they went on their first date. She knew many details of his love history — the happy times as well as the spiral downward of his relationships. Finally, at the same time they were both single. He was very excited to have started his own business and he gave her his new business card once after his regular haircut. A few weeks later, she decided to call him and the rest is history.

That got me to thinking about the males that are in my life that I am close with but are not (yet?) in a romantic relationship with, from high school and college friends to those I’ve met in the different cities that I have lived in. Could someone I’ve previously not considered ever be a potential mate?

I have always believed that strong friendships can turn into the best long-lasting relationships and this was further evidenced by the couples we met. I think this makes sense, too, as for me personally I am always more comfortable around people I know well — when a romance is born from this place, it has a sort of jump-start as there is history, trust and comfort already established.

As I considered my non-romantic friends and acquaintances over the years, one came to mind. There’s this guy who I’ve always kept in touch but have never dated. Ten years after we met, I still wonder if it could be something more, someday… I guess, if the time is ever right to act, I’ll know, just like the six couples I met described.

Sitting on the beach, it also occurred to me that a “sexy man” is someone who is smart, thoughtful and generous; good looks are a bonus, too. What I mean by “smart” is that he uses his knowledge to advance the world, shares what he knows with others and teaches me new things.

By “thoughtful,” I mean someone that goes above and beyond for me and others without even asking. Someone who knows that the smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention and notices the little things in life.

Similarly, a “generous” partner knows that their actions go a lot further than words. A generous man gives back to society, is kind to all walks of life and has a big heart that he is not afraid to show, all while being humble simultaneously.

These are the qualities of the person I am looking to share a life with. I am holding out on faith and hope he is out there.

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