How long do romantic relationships last? A few months? A year or two? Sometimes they last for longer than that, but in the grand scheme of things, not a very big percentage of them last longer.

Think about how many people you’ve been in a relationship that you’ve stayed friends (or more) with for years?

Maybe the person you’re currently seeing, maybe not. Maybe there’s one ex who you managed to stay friends with (let’s face it, you two were better friends than partners anyway).

Either way, you get my point. Most romances don’t last forever. Sure they’re nice and comforting in the moment. Some people find “the one.” A lot of people think they find “the one” only to realize a few years down the road they were very wrong about that.

Romantic relationships are almost always fleeting.

It turns out, the real lasting love story in most of our lives is the one we have with our friends.

Just think about it for a bit. Who’s been there for you when you start crushing on someone? Who encourages you to make a move? Who’s there when the relationship falls apart? Your friends. They’re there for the shitty moments and the ones where you’re on top of the world.

These people will be with you for decades. How long have you known your best friend(s)? Three years. Five years. Ten or more years. I don’t want to make assumptions, but, for most of us, it’s probably a whole lot longer than you’ve known your partner.

I know there are a lot of you thinking: “But my partner is my best friend.”

Okay, I’m calling bullshit on that one. Yes, maybe that’s true for a small handful of you. But if your partner wasn’t your best friend for at least a few years before you started dating, then that’s just a cop-out. There’s a totally different relationship dynamic when you’re sleeping with someone. Sure you’re more intimate with them than you are with your friends, but that doesn’t really count. Your best friends probably know things about you that your partner never will, which when you think about it is another kind of intimacy.

The bonds we develop with our friends are often underrated. But there’s a certain closeness you can develop with a person when you’re not trying to sleep with them or plan a life together. You can be your real self in a way you can’t be around anyone else.

Take a moment to appreciate your friends. Their support and relationships mean more than we can ever really know, and we don’t often give them the credit they deserve for that. And they have to put up with you without getting anything in return. Sure they get your friendship (which is priceless), but it’s not like they’re getting sex out of the deal. They’re there for you because they actually, truly like being around you. Now that’s some impressive dedication.

At the end of the day, through the heartbreak, depression, excitement, and unexpectedness of life, your friends will always be there for you. In the good and the bad. If that’s not a lasting love story, then I don’t know what is.

Author: Dani Howell

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