John R has posted on one of my favorite subjects, friendship. Like so many, he laments the decline of strong male bonds in the modern day, when hyper-masculinity substitutes for the real thing and close ties between men are either implausible because of vacillating circumstances or seen as potentially homosexual. A dear friend of mine took the day off from work and we strolled through the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, musing as one point that a few of our friends "would probably think we're gay, chatting and walking through a garden together." John gives a few potential reasons in his post for the decline in what I termed "Romantic Friendship." I would add one which is the false concept of romance between men and women which reigns in the modern day.
Not a married person, I am fearful of disagreeing with the married man John in saying that I think a spouse should be one's best friend because after children and physical changes friendship might be the enduring bond of commitment. This modern idea that people marry for "love" (a blend of lust and spontaneity) is utterly bonkers. The wedding vows used either in the old Roman Mass or in the county court house ask if the spouses will promise to love and care for each other until death, not whether or not they love each other right now. Marriage is a commitment for the long haul, not a satisfaction for current infatuations. Love and attraction are of course good starting points for marriage, but marriage should not proceed merely from those things. Friendship need not exist at the start of a marriage, but should it not naturally grow out of it once age has retired sexual attraction and the kids have moved out? I was madly in love with a girlfriend three years ago, yet I decided to break up with her because I asked myself if I could see myself marrying her and having children with her. Although I think she will be a great mother one day and although she is still my closest friend, I could not see myself married to her.
Basing marriage and inter-personal intimacy on attraction sets the parties up to fail ab initio. People will lose interest and the relationship will fail which means personal closeness will fail. If the modern parody of love called sexual attraction is the basis for emotional intimacy with another person, then of course it will not be feasible between two men without seeming "gay." Similarly, if those relationships are inherently unstable and prone to fail—as are 50% of marriages—then spending the time to share one's soul with another will be deemed a folly of a venture, if not effete and weak.
Good friendships are rare. Keep them when they come!