I hate it when other Christian girls (this seems to be a feminine phenomenon) talk about their female friends as a “preparation” or “replacement” for dating. Friends are good in themselves. I guess it’s just another way that women devalue their own relationships with other women. Never, ever in my life have I ever heard a man or boy refer to his friendship with another male as a “preparation” for a romantic relationship, though occasionally I think they refer to their friendships with women as such. I don’t think I hear women talking about their friendships with men as preparations for marriage/dating much, either. I guess friendships with women are mostly valuable for what they prepare you for, instead of what they are.
This is an insufferable attitude towards friendship. Jesus didn’t say “This is the greatest love, that a man lay down his life for his friends” for you to use hashtags like “sisterpreparingmefortheMister.”
I suppose healthy friendships are a preparation for a healthy romantic relationship in the same way that being a good student, or sister, or daughter, or employee is, because it teaches you patience, how to handle difficulties, etc. But friendships (and those other things) are not to be treated as a means to a good future relationship.