Just Good Friends: Give me strength!


Why is it, when we are close friends with someone of the opposite sex, that we feel obliged to add that nasty, and telling, little rider: ‘We’re just good friends.’?

What is that phrase actually saying? First that, in the GCSE League Table of Relationship Results, pairing in the sexual sense comes out as a praise-worthy and Ofsted Excellent-producing A*, with friendship being a very clear C/D borderline and barely worth bragging about!

The other meaning of this phrase is as defensive as it is sad: What we are saying is, ‘We are not sexually involved. We are only friends…’ Again, think of the implications here: That there is only one legitimate way for men and women to relate – and that involves sex. Anything else has to be explained and apologised for because of other people’s assumptions and the way we rate partnership so highly.

How is it that we get some things so lamentably wrong?

I feel that friendships are a source of delight and pride, not shame. In no sense are they inferior to marital-type relationships. Different does not mean lesser. It is the bond that matters, not which parts of the body we express it with!

It really annoys me the way so many people assume that a friendship between a man and a woman must be a thin and bloodless and C/D borderline thing because it does not involve mating in the physical sense. Barking! ‘Good friends’ is something to be proud of, to celebrate, not to apologise for or feel the need to explain – let alone make into something it is not.

Love crosses divides far more easily than the human mind can keep up with! We are not obliged to join together sexually in order to feel love – and yet that seems to be the litmus paper of the ‘genuine’ relationship! If it comes up coloured with sex’s juices, it is valid; if it doesn’t, it is not!

A marriage is not better than a friendship; it is just a different way of playing the life and intimacy and connection game. There are squares on the board of human connection which are off limits to those not in a marriage; but, continuing that metaphor, there are often squares which are easier to access within a friendship than in a partnership.

Love is not sex. Sex is not love. Though they often combine flawlessly and create truly wonderful partnerships, the emotions and shared interests which give rise to friendship can be every bit as loving, in the non-sexual sense.

So, I celebrate all my close friendships, whether the friend be male, female or currently unsure! They are complete and wonderful, inspiring and loving in and of themselves. They do not have to prove anything or explain the lack of physical love-making!

I have said this before, and it is one of my core beliefs: It is perfectly possible, and often delightful (variety being one of life’s most piquant spices), to be best friends with men (as well as women). Why on earth not?

Those who say it is impossible have a very narrow view of what constitutes shared interests – implying that the only thing connecting the two sexes is genital!

I like to think that we, as human beings, have evolved a little higher than that. It is an attitude of mind, and a questioning of life’s assumptions, isn’t it?

We are brought up to think, ‘If I really like someone of the opposite gender, there has got to be at least the possibility of sex and marriage at the end of it…’

But why? Why can’t we say/think, ‘I really like this person because of who he or she is – and the connection we have is absolutely perfect the way it is!’?

Another argument I have heard is the one concerning the spark between a man and a woman. My response is a very clear, ‘So what?’ Which rule is it that states that all sparks have to be fanned and made into a fire? That rudimentary sexual attraction has to result in physical coupling? That electricity cannot be equally well used to power the mind, the soul, the emotions?

Truly, we limit ourselves by this staid way of seeing things. We miss out on wonderful bonds because our conventional minds are too busy pairing in the Biblical sense and cannot think outside that particular box.

To me, the ‘relating’ part of the word ‘relationship’ is far more important than the ‘ship’ in which we, traditionally, set off in neat married pairs!

ali_0

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14 thoughts on “Just Good Friends: Give me strength!

  1. I love my male friends. Easy to talk to and no pretense. I have one that hubby calls my boy friend. Yet I don’t feel anything sexually towards him. Just a friend. That’s it. We confide a lot in each other as a friend would . I do care for him but as a friend nothing more nothing less.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. it’s funny though as I used to have a huge crush on him as a teen..the more I get to know him the more I just want to be friends . He’s not my ideal mate . Kind of funny thinking about it. I like strong men, knows where they are going and has potential . I like what’s in their heads but a decent size in their pants is a bonus 😊

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        1. Oh absolutely! But I also think it possible to harbour latent feelings of lust for a male friend without actually having any desire (outside the dream world, that is!) to do anything about it. It think we can acknowledge the chemistry – and move on. The spark can be filtered into other things, after all.

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  2. AHHHHHHH-MAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIINNNNNN!

    For as long as I can remember, most of my closest friends have been female, with there being no apparent “love/sex” desires from either party.

    And whom a person falls for: they may have their own standards, but if a strong connection forms that fails all the so-called standards, then what?

    I just hope that this openness regarding my friendships doesn’t cause trouble later, based on the vibes of this culture!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Noah. So what, indeed! The vibes are man-made and do not, in my view, represent an absolute truth concerning all that we are capable of in terms of relating to others. xxx

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  3. People are just bits of a 7.4 billion piece jigsaw puzzle. We are all unique and have a subtle blend of protrusions and recesses. In life we search for our matching piece. With billions of tiny parts in this gigantic array some can look quite similar, we can be fooled into thinking we have found that particular needle but there are myriad tiny differences and the match may be flawed, a forced conjunction. Also it’s no good searching by site for the pattern is infinitely subtle and mere light may not reveal its complexity. When two matching pieces find each other it’s a rare event indeed, done more by feeling that silver bond that attracts than any number of dinners out or trips to the theatre. Rare magic indeed.

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  4. I have a male from work. We became friends on the job because I was being bullied by certain females and he stood up for me, supported me and encouraged me. He was a supervisor within our department and despite our mutual attraction he never did anything off. Also respectable and has great moral values. After that sad part of my life passed he was someone I could talk to, a mentor and an example to be admired. He retired last year and we still talk. Yet while he was still at the workplace and even after he left nearly all our co-workers assumed we were sexually involved. I guess people are natural born perverts and just believed we were Lovers. We both actually had people come up to us while on the job asking if we were sleeping together. Goes to show you that folks have no shame in their game in regards to assuming the worst. However we have still been able to continue our friendship which is probably stronger since his retirement and we no longer have to endure disgusting accusations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People see what they want, or expect, to see, don’t they? I also think some people base their comments and observations upon their own behaviour – and are unable to understand anyone who chooses not to do things the way they do. I am very glad that you have been able to continue your friendship.

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  5. Julie

    I had a female friend who used to find it easier to be friend with men than women. For me, the reverse is true. I cannot give a rational explanation for either. Some of us are born with a clear propensity towards men or women friends and this cannot be rationally explained. The most startling example of ‘arbitrary’ choices is often found in the sexual mates we select or in who we ‘fancy’.

    Liked by 1 person

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