The most important synonym of friendship is companionship. No other word can so appropriately replace friendship in relationship than companionship. In marriage and related relationships, friendship stands out is a major reason why these relationship should be desired and worked for in the first.
The very purpose of relationship as is deduced from the scriptural statements credited to the Creator when he created Eve is that it is not good for man to be alone. God, therefore, made Eve to keep Adam company.
The two major reasons for marriage are companionship and procreation. The general counsel is to keep these right reasons for getting married in the order of companionship first and procreation second. This goes to emphasize the place of importance that friendship occupies in human relationships, especially in the relationship between a man and a woman.
It is now being discovered that marriages entered into without friendship being developed first and foremost remains prone to divorce even when the couple have married for fifty years and more. Research studies are showing that many marriages still break up after a couple have been married for several years, pursued their careers, raised their children and returned home to live more closely for the first time without jobs, children and business commitments between them. These couples having to face each other for the first since their marriage without obstacles between them suddenly discover that they have nothing in common and could not qualify as companions for each other.
From Nigeria Africa to United States of America in the Americas, couples who had done well raising their children and given out the picture of the ideal family have turned out terrible at the end of the day. These are people who were able to manage jobs, hold up well in business and celebrated family successes with neighbors and friends in the manner of the ideal family. As soon as they retire and the children are gone, they are shocked as they suddenly discover that they have nothing in common. Some have been alarmed at the fact that they cannot even hold any meaningful discussion with one another without quarreling and sometimes violently.
It is these reasons that have brought about increasing divorce, separation and plural marriage rates among the elderly citizens.
The challenge of waking up in later life to discover that you have no companion in your wife and husband could be taken care of in the foundation for joyful relationships if it is established during the period of dating, courtship and long before marriage is contracted and consummated. This is because, once you contract and consummate a marriage, you get so enamored in the business of raising a family and building a career. These keep couples so busy that they really do not have all the time to face each other.
The time to establish that friendship that would be the beacon stone for your relationship in later life is during dating. In fact, it is strongly suggested that if you could not become friends with a member of the opposite sex, it would be unwise to contemplate courtship or marriage.