I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because you fulfill all my fantasies

But because I no longer need my fantasies when I am with you.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because you are my knight in shining armor

But because my caring, my acceptance, my appreciation and my essential valuing of you

transcends the role you play in my life or the form our relating takes.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because you always say what I want to hear,

But because you are willing to communicate honestly and openly

and I am accepted when I do the same with you.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because you see me as the ‘ideal’ woman,

But because I don’t have to be and instead can learn to be as genuine a human being as I can with you.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because I like everything you do,

But because I can tell you honestly how I feel,

and know my feedback will be heard.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because our relationship is perfect,

But because we both take responsibility for making it better and better.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because you support all that I do,

But because you hold me to a standard of all I can be.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Not because my issues never come up with you,

But because you provide a workshop where I can heal them.

I am your friend,

and I love you.

Because I truly care about your highest good

Because you laugh and play with me.

Because you never let me take anything too seriously

or forget that it’s all God.

Because I have a deep respect for you and genuinely like you.

Because I learn to know myself more fully with you.

And because ever since I can remember,

I knew there was someone out there who really knew what being a friend was

–and was willing to be one.

Me too.

n what ways does this poem speak to true or authentic love? What is the difference between "romantic" love and the loving expressed here? How do these ideas match up with your experience?

from “I Am Your Friend” poems © Dr. Connie Stomper, 1990

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Connie Stomper earned a masters degree and doctorate in education and psychology from Columbia University in New York.
An ordained minister for over 20 years, she graduated from Peace Theological Seminary in Los Angeles with a masters and doctoral degree in Spiritual Science. The research on self and others that Connie did in this extraordinary program became the basis of the workshops, counseling and writings described on the Soul Musings site.

Her commitment to peace on the planet has taken her on journeys to nearly 30 countries around the world, traveling with fellow ministers focusing on individual and world peace. This interest in peace on the planet has motivated her involvement with organizations such as The Institute for Individual and World Peace and The Community Planet Foundation whose training in consciousness of Community and consensus decision-making she co-created.

Dr, Stomper has been a consultant, trainer, college teacher, and curriculum developer in a variety of organizational and academic settings. She has created trainings in areas such as team building, customer service, listening skills, problem solving, and is certified in the Meyers-Briggs personality profile and in dispute resolution.

Based on working with her own health issues, Connie has studied many forms of alternative medicine and counsels in the spiritual opportunities in dealing with health challenges. Having done care-taking with her mother for several years and having experienced a joyful shared death experience when her mom passed into spirit, Connie's counseling counseling and writing also addresses care-taking and end of life process.