We often say that “love is blind” when explaining how apparent flaws in a beloved remain unseen, especially in the early phases of a relationship. Yet a similar affliction in our vision can prevent us from recognising a soul mate who is right before our eyes. Alas we can fail to see the partner we seek in someone we know as our friend. The emphasis nowadays is placed more upon heady sexual chemistry than real friendship as the foundation for attraction and ‘love’.

Childhood sweethearts

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, it was common for young adults to marry a childhood buddy, the boy or girl ‘next door’, and live happily ever after. Then we lived far more sedentary and stable lifestyles, growing up in a community in which we expected to remain throughout much, if not all, of our lives. With the changing seasons, childhood friendships would blossom into love. The basis for such partnerships was not the “chemistry” of superficial attraction but rather a love founded on a rich knowledge and valuing of each other, flaws and all.

These days few of us live out our lives in one community or locale. To get ahead we are likely to make many moves as we pursue our studies and then our careers. Schoolmates and friends of childhood are left behind as we shift suburbs, cities and countries to achieve our goals. It is much more difficult to be known in the hectic pace of day to day living and the varied roles we play. In our urban sprawl, neighbours often don’t know each others names let alone whether they have things in common.

Given the breakdown of the supportive community of old, it is important for us to invest time and energy in building friendships, in getting to know – and be known – beyond the surface, to value – and be valued – warts and all. Yet so much emphasis is placed upon immediate chemistry when it comes to romance and love that many in quest of that special someone find themselves continually disappointed as yet another dream dissolves in disillusion.

Is lack of ‘chemistry’ a good thing?

It is not uncommon for clients of Yvonne Allen to give feedback after an initial meeting saying that while chemistry was lacking, they would like to develop a platonic friendship.

This is very positive from our point of view. Not only have they gained a potential friend but they can also open new networks through their relationship. It is also not unusual for such platonic friendships to develop into sexual attraction and real intimacy, a bond based on substance not illusion. Our most recent testimonial in ‘Success Stories’ is a touching example of the magic that can happen for such ‘mates’.

So, before you despair that there just isn’t anyone out there for you, look at your circle of friends through fresh eyes…and you may be surprised! As you meet single folk whose company you enjoy, focus on developing friendship, first and foremost, and you never know what may follow!