Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

harry vs. sally

some of us were talking in christianity about whether it's healthy to have close friendships with members of the opposite sex after you're married.

I think: no.

Trust me, I have faith in people. I work with 200 guys every day, and very few if any of them want to seduce me. I'm friends with guys. I invite them to parties, introduce them to marc, go with them on float trips. But when it comes to close friendships... the ones where you stay up late over coffee, go out to lunch with just the two of you to catch up on old times, write long e-mails about the events of your days and how you feel... I don't feel like you should have those with the opposite sex if you're straight and married.

Marc and I haven't exactly talked about this but we feel the same way, so we could talk about it at any time and it'd be one of those quick ten minute agreements we have. We were at a friends house once talking to this girl who'd just gotten engaged, and her fiance was away for the weekend visiting a [female] friend of his from school who he'd just been best friends with forever, and she was a little weirded out by it but he assured her that he and this girl just weren't right for one another, and that this girl was his best friend and that didn't conflict at all with the girlfriend/wife position that our friend occupied. Marc and I exchanged our favorite glance: "that's fucked up." First off, it obviously made her uncomfortable, so why keep it up? Second of all, in our experience, those "best friends forever" are destined to one day find out what might have been. You know what I'm saying. Yes, you do. The guy involved here missing something in his relationship, otherwise he wouldn't be taking a long road trip alone to visit another girl, that's all there is to it.

Marc and I have both been in relationships where there was cheating. We know where it comes from. We know that in close mutual friendships, the odds of one person secretly wanting to screw the other are rarely, if ever, zero, and frequently they're very high, even though one or both parties will deny it to the end. And really when it comes to cheating on a spouse I don't even think you need sex, you can mentally be unfaithful and it's almost just as bad. This philosophy doesn't even come from my religion, it just comes from what I think is right and the experiences I've had. People think affairs start on, like, or something and they're wrong. Affairs start from close friendships. Late nights alone. Hours of talking. They start innocently.

Plus I just feel like friends aren't worth it. there are billions of people in this world for me to be close friends with. I'll pick the ones who are female. Or gay. Or related to me. It's just that easy. I don't really have time in my life for many close friends anyway... I can pretty much count all the ones I've ever had on one hand. In fact right now, four come to mind. Granted, I am a total introvert and sorta weird, and probably have fewer friends than most people, but it still feels like marc is almost all the friend I need anyway, and that little bit of extra bonding doesn't need to come from another straight man.

So anyway, I feel fine going to a club and dancing with other guys. Coworkers will call me and say that they're all out at the bar and I'll go meet them, and it's cool. But there's a line... I don't need to be alone with any of them, I don't need them to be my bestest closest friends, I don't need to send them an e-mail that says, "Marc will be out of town all weekend, we should definitely get together!". And people can deny it all they want, and pretend that there are two categories of people, those who can control their emotions and those who can't. But for me, it doesn't cost anything to just lump everybody in the "can't" box.
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