What are the things that make a relationship different than a friendship?
This popped into my head when I was commenting on something that 4dramatic_flair had said, and it was like my own words bit me in the ass.
Yeah, kay, a friendship is a type of relationship, but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about when you're "romantically" involved with someone, or you're partnered with them in a significantly intimate way, what things make that different than being a friendship?
I don't think it's sex. If it were, there wouldn't be such a concept as the friend-with-benefits. It's not exclusion, because there is polyamory and open relationships.
Intimacy? Perhaps, but there is a great deal that I can be intimate about with friends. There may be a flavor of intimacy that's different here, and it's probably worth exploring.
Love? I love my friends.
Thing is, I've been shielding myself from getting romantically involved (and even dating) because I don't think I'm ready to be a good partner in a relationship, or so I've been telling myself. The thing is, I think I can be (and am) a pretty good friend, and when I try and identify what things I don't feel I'm ready for, I realize that I'm just afraid.
And since I refuse to bow to fear, I... uh...
Dear God I'm scared.
So help me out, people. What the hell is it that I'm so damn afraid of, and what makes it differen than being a friend?