Added: Peony Jelinek - Date: 15.02.2022 22:57 - Views: 28250 - Clicks: 6118
I know, I know, you're probably thinking, well of course friendships and romances are different —but consider all the similarities: Both strong friendships and romantic partnerships include connection, vulnerability, and physical intimacy which, it bears mentioning, doesn't need to be sexual.
In fact, intimacy—cultivated by way of foundational trust, loyalty, and support—is centrally important to friendship much as it is with romance. Furthermore, both friendships and romantic partnerships are cultivated over time and strengthened by weathering difficult situations together, often because adversity requires people to be more vulnerable.
And all of that remains true—with or without the component of romantic partnership. People often consider lack of physical touch in a relationship—both the desire and the act—as the key distinction between deep friendships and romantic ones, but according to Marie Murphy, PhDa relationship coach who has studied the sociology of sexuality, that's often not the case.
Think about it: Most friends, at the very least, hug, and, depending on a person's culture or Need intimate friend, kissing or holding hands with friends may be seen as "normal" as well. Then, there's the type of gray-area relationship structure between platonic friend and romantic partner: friends with benefits.
These arrangements involve physical contact that is sexual in nature, blurring the lines between friend and lover, and yet people in a friends-with-benefits dynamic likely don't classify the sexual relationship as romantic—because that would cross a line. But why is that? McNeil believes people this is an effect of people becoming more open to looking beyond traditional standards and expectations to create relationship ecosystems that are fulfilling for them, whether through non-traditional relationship structuresclose friendships, friends with benefits, or something else.
With a close friend, expectations of exclusivity are often taken out of the equation—often, but not always of course. A fear of cheating in a monogamous relationship can mar a romance just as jealousy and possessiveness fueled by a fear of platonic infidelity can muddy a friendship if, say, a person's best friend feels threatened by another close friend.
So, whether the expectation is emotional, physical, or otherwise, exclusivity expectations can be present in both dynamics, thus highlighting the need for explicit communication of personal needs and expectations. To that end, Dr. Need intimate friend example, why do we consider it romantic when a ificant other buys us flowers but not when a friend does it? And why is it often viewed as a huge step to Need intimate friend a romantic partner to a family dinner but no big deal to invite a platonic friend?
The real separation, she contends, is how people are conditioned to interpret these relationships. That's where societal influence comes in. We are influenced by the society in which we live, and most modern societies clearly value romantic relationships over friendships. According to Dr. Murphy, societal influence is part of what makes people more likely to prioritize and look for fulfillment in romantic partnerships because they believe—even if just subconsciously—that casting these relationships in the starring role part of one's life will be embraced as more culturally legitimate and reflective of adulthood.
And those in "friends with benefits" setups are perhaps decidedly uninterested in partnerships viewed in such way. But that may be changing. For some, every aspect of partnered life is integrated with their spouse, while other romantically partnered folks live fairly separate lives.
Some best friends speak every day or every week, while others may go as far as buying a home together. Ultimately, everyone experiences, expresses, and even defines love in different ways, leaving its true definition up to interpretation.
That's why communicating our needs to others—friends and lovers—is so crucial. We each get to decide the rules, boundaries, and expectations that will dictate how we navigate our friendships and romances. And how do you assess your relationships based on your internal sense of these definitions? Get shopping! Your official excuse to add "OOD" ahem, out of doors to your cal. Become an Insider. Enter Address.7 Stages of Falling In Love With Your Best Friend
Facebook Pinterest Twitter Youtube Instagram. I f your life were a movie, which bonds would you identify as being truly soul-nourishing, with leading-role potential, and which would more so be supporting-character material—or even extras? Now consider who you placed in the leading-role spots: Are you picturing romantic partners or platonic pals? Because, as Rhaina Cohen pointed out in The Atlantic in Octoberfriendship can definitely have a starring role in one's lifethough many reserve that spot for a romantic partner.
Why, though? What real differences exist between intense friendship and romance?
Related Stories. Experts Referenced. Relationship therapist.
Marie Murphy, PhD. Relationship coach. Tags: Healthy MindRelationship Tips. Loading More Posts Featured Collection. Close Close.Need intimate friend
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