Rethinking Friendships and “Romance”: Exclusivity

By | April 20, 2011
  1. There is a certain exclusivity expected in “romantic”/marriage type relationships. This seems right. But how much and what type of exclusivity is needed?
  2. As mentioned earlier, we’ve generally expected that “romantic” relationships must fulfill most all of our relational needs. Along with the “romantic myth” and exclusivity, or perhaps a specific expression of it, comes the notion that partners in a “romantic” relationship must be (as opposed to can be) best friends. Therefore, the importance of friendships with others is weakened and may actually be seen as a threat.
  3. Because of the expectation of exclusivity, there is the feeling that these relationships should be guarded, lest there be some breach in the exclusivity. This generally, practically means a wall between each person in a relationship and those seen as potential threats/competitors. Again, generally speaking, this usually means persons of the opposite sex within a certain age range. Persons of the same sex or who are much older or younger (depending on the case) are not as likely to be viewed as competitors, and therefore those relationship are considered more acceptable.
  4. Christianity, moreso than the general population, believes in the sanctity of marriage and disapproves of sex outside of marriage. Therefore, Christians are likely to erect even more substantial walls around those in marriage and even between the sexes not in any exclusive relationship. These barriers limit if not exclude people from experiencing needed relationships with people of the opposite sex.
  5. Healthier “exclusive” relationships have better possibility for allowing other friendships, because they don’t feel as threatened. A significant number of people will have a hard time accepting other friendships, due in part to their own issues and experiences.
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