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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Does Your Mate Make the Grade?
(The Friendship Test)

Is your best friend dishonest? Disloyal? Difficult to get along with? Distant? Probably not. Yet, many of us accept these same traits in people with whom we share a more intimate bond. (Does that make sense?)

While it’s true that love is sometimes "blind", it should never be deaf and dumb too!

By definition, our “best friend” is likely to be someone with whom we share common interests, good times, a spiritual connection, and trust. A mate should be as well. If not, what would be the point?


How about your significant other? Is he/she real “mate material”? Is he or she truly a friend as well as lover?

Take the following quiz to tell. Answer the 12 questions below, as they apply to your mate, with either a yes or no response.

(The Friendship Factor)

1. The last time you were financially broke, broken in spirit, or your car simply broke down, did he/she come to your rescue, or did you have to phone a friend?

2. Does he/she know your favorite color and your middle name?

3. Have you ever caught him/her in lies?

4. Can you trust him/her with your most intimate secrets?

5. Do you have designated days of the week that are specifically yours to spend together?

6. Have you ever caught him/her cheating?

7. Is he/she nurturing when you’re sick?

8. Can you count on him/her to be a person of his/her word, or do you have to plead and pray for them to come through as promised?

9. Have the two of you weathered any storms together and still stayed in tact as a couple?

10. Does he/she sometimes put your needs first?

11. Can you totally be yourself in his/her presence?

12. Has he or she ever seen you at your worst?

If you answered yes to 9 or more of the above questions, you’ve got a "keeper"!

According to Dr. Judy Kuriansky, sex therapist and best-selling author, “Not only can lovers be friends, but lovers should be friends. If not, they might share intense passion and physical attraction, but have no friendship to carry them through the rest of their relationship. Above and beyond a sexual partner, you need a friend--- a confidant, a person who will be there for you in an emergency—to share your experiences, and to play out all the roles that a healthy relationship requires—sounding board, support system, workout buddy, travel partner, etc.

Sure, romantic love is a wonderful thing. And sexual chemistry is electric. But friendship is the solid foundation that keeps the relationship together, even when romantic love and sexual attraction aren’t at their peaks (and they won’t always be). True friendship is crucial if love is going to last.”

So, here’s how to keep the relationship going even stronger!

Don’t take your mate for granted.
Occasionally send cards for no specific reason, or write a poem, or call your local radio station and dedicate his/her favorite song.

Mind your manners.
Sometimes we treat the people we love with the least amount of kindness. Remember to say “please”, “thank you”, and “I’m sorry” when the situation dictates.

Give “love coupons”.
You can purchase these at novelty and specialty stores, to award “good behavior.”

Fix his/her favorite dish.
And you be the dessert.

Learn the art of compromise.
It will help the two of you to have your needs mutually met.

Keep your appearance up.
The better you look, the better you’ll feel.

Give him/her needed space.
"Total togetherness" is unhealthy and unwise.

Support his/her dreams.

Don’t let problems fester.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Show respect.

Laugh and play together to stay together!

Jen Recommends:


> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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