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When I was in college I knew that a solid relationship must be grounded in, a friendship. Where this concept came from I do not know. Maybe it was the fact that I was raised in a family where my parents ran divorce recovery programs or maybe it was because of the brokenness of my own family. Divorce has reached its tentacles into every part of my family and with it so much hurt and heartache has happened. Whatever the case, I grew to understand as a young adult how incredibly important friendships are. In my heart I knew if there was anyone I was ever interested in dating I would have to be friends with him for a long time before I would ever be able to date. Amazingly, God gave me the desires of my heart. He gave me a friend who became the best friend I could ever have. We journeyed through two amazing years of college together. Although he didn't quite understand my thoughts initially, he eventually conformed to them. Because of this we had many fabulous adventures and memories that I have captured in my book. His memory will live forever in my heart because he taught me that my idea was not wrong. Our friendship made our relationship so much stronger because it was not based on the things I see so many relationships based on: fleshly desires. We talked for hours and hours about everything. Because of this what we wanted was time together that was spent talking not kissing, hugging, holding hands etc. We spent quality time together getting to know each other and we became very close. He kept me sane through the stresses of college life and we had some amazing experiences.

Today I think young people are so focused on beauty, sensual pleasures, lust, and physical passion that they often lose sight of what relationships were truly intended to be. Because of this they cannot truly be blessed in the way God intended and the result is later in life they are not entirely happy with the person they end up with. This saddens me so deeply. I know what I had and I know how much it means to me even now over 25 years later. We had a friendship that so few people truly know. Even now I thank God for the brief years that I had and for the amazing memories I still hold deeply in my heart. My hope is that all of you will rethink your relationships if you are dating or considering dating. Truly, there is no better starting ground for a relationship than a friendship. It will form the firm, solid foundation that all relationships need and it will steer a person clear of the common pitfalls of most relationships: lust and sensual passions. I hope and pray that we will realize the true gift friendship is even in relationships. It truly is the goldmine of any healthy relationship!

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