Rethinking Friendships and “Romance”: Misc. Thoughts

By | July 20, 2011

I’ve said a lot about relationships here recently. I’m still trying to sort things out. If you haven’t seen it, you might look at the comments on my review of “Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions”. I came up with how I would have organized chapters, which was really just a way to help me sort out all of the different issues in play. For me, it is helpful to untangle them so that I can look at them separately (that’s not to say they aren’t interrelated).

  1. There is no such thing as a “perfect” relationship. All relationships are different, because they are an interaction between two unique people. Therefore, no relationship will be completely fulfilling.
  2. Many relationships are broken, dysfunctional, and/or abusive. Due in part to this, many people are broken, dysfunctional, and/or abusive people. No one is perfect (indeed there is no such thing); everyone has some weaknesses and will make mistakes in relationships; everyone has some kind of “baggage”.
  3. Some people, maybe even many people, won’t be able to handle a relationship with someone of the opposite sex when in a relationship themselves, and/or won’t be accepting of their “significant other” having a relationship.
  4. There is a difference in talking about general friendships with people, specifically of the opposite sex, and a close intimate friendship with a specific person. You could say that every relationship falls not into specific categories or levels, but falls some where on a continuous spectrum between no relationship and intimacy. Most people are open to open to opposite sexes having some level of relationship, the question is where the line is drawn.
  5. I recently read where a woman is frustrated because of feeling like guys were often standoff-ish with her just because she is a female. I feel the same way, though in my circles, I feel like I’ve mostly only experienced girls being standoff-ish. It is frustrating because I think “I’d like to get to know you better”, but don’t get a chance to. I don’t like feeling that I can’t be someone’s friend just because we’re different genders.
  6. I used to be quite standoff-ish to a girl if a guy I knew (say in a group of friends) started dating this girl I didn’t know previously. I wanted to be respectful to the guy. However, I thought about it later and realized, I think I’d hate to be that girl, meeting a new group of people, and feel like no one would talk to me because I’m dating the guy. I realized that I could be warm and friendly to that person, without crossing any lines or doing anything inappropriate.
  7. I feel kind of like I’ve had trouble with keeping “best” friendships. I could come up with a handful or two of people I’ve been “best friends” with. In a few cases, they moved. But in most cases, they’ve gotten married and had kids. I’ve never thought to be upset with them. I understand that having a family and working to support one doesn’t leave a lot of extra time. While these people are still friends, I don’t get a chance to see them or talk to them very often. I know I’ve heard singles talk about feeling blown off by their married friends. But I’ve also heard at least one married person talk about feeling ditched by their single friends. I’ve generally thought this was a matter of practicality: singles often are making plans at the last minute, while I’ve heard that some families need to have things scheduled at least six weeks in advance. I don’t really know what to say or make of this, but it is an issue Brennan brings up, at least through implication.

(I believe this concludes this “series”.)

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