I’ve a history of being friends with people I date. In fact, I’ve never dated someone who I was instantly attracted to. Love came after plenty of conversations, terrible jokes, drinking buddy-dates, etc. My current relationship is no different… except that it’s the longest and deepest both of us have been in.
It’s a precarious line sometimes – since dosti and pyar bring such different expectations, not to mention how much of it is coloured by Karan Johar. Also, to my partner, friendship and love are cleanly cleaved apart. Friendship = a non-romantic, non-sexual relationship.
I’m certain that I’m a better friend than a girlfriend. More honest, less prone to putting up with bullshit. It’s a side of me I fight hard to keep in my love affairs and it often results in me ruining ‘moments.’ My partner has accused me more than once of being unromantic. Which is a hoot, considering how much time I spend on my couch watching Romedy Now. Often without him!
I don’t get the broad divide between friendship and romance. But, once you’ve crossed over, maintaining both can get a little exasperating. I mean, I’d give my friend gaalis in at least two languages every day. Does that still work when you’re in love-love? Do you bluntly tell them when they’re being stupid or adopt gentler tones? The trickiest of it all is time.
No one counts how much time you’re spending with friends. Once you’re in a ‘relationship’, there are rules about phone calls and who calls first and if you spent last night with them, should you go over tonight as well or will that mean too much. I don’t have the answers, but after four years, I’ve just decided to go ahead and be friends with the love of my life. He can jolly well adjust because that’s what friends do.
I can’t imagine not telling him a dirty joke as soon as I’ve heard it. I refuse to be nice all the time because romance is all chiffon saris and singing when it rains and poetry. I’ll take muddy jeans and sulks and comparing whose arm has more hair any day. And, he seems okay with it.
The best part is… lovers are harder to forgive because we expect them to be perfect. For a friend, you always have their back. And when you have both, even gaalis sound like songs from Karan Johar films.
This article was written by Tia Basu and was first published on Bonobology.com.