Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More on Friendship

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!


  1. I might take this as an opportunity to plug my own post on friendship, one of very few articles of my own composition which I would recommend:

  2. Dear R.T. If your wife is also not your best friend, you are in a weak marriage. MJ and His Bride were H.S. sweethearts who have always first sought out the other whenever anything of worth is to be spoken about or when anything of consequence has occurred.

    O, and after nearly fifty years together as friends and spouses, our love has deepened, expanded, and intensified and when the Bride speaks about her body derisively, M.J. tells her, in all honesty, what when he makes love with her, he is making love with her in the totality of her existence since he has known her and when she complains abut how her once perfect perkinsville (Vt) peaks have fallen, M.J. reminds her of the truth that they are that way owing to them being humbled by their perfect function (feeding our babies) following their once perfect form.

    M.J. can not even imagine being married to a better woman and she remains the prettiest woman he has ever met - and MJ imagines you understand how pretty has a definition that is more elastic definition than it does for the average Joe.

  3. Good friendships are rare, indeed. Have you ever had the pleasure of perusing Philip Blosser's philosophical-literary anthology "Friendship"?

  4. "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." On a different but related note, then, are you advocating that platonic male-female friendship can exist? It seems to me that while fewer men are forming true male-male friendships, there has been no shortage of men (married or single) have non-romantic female friends who often do fill the place of a "male other" in whom to confide or express himself in real ways beyond the macho and superficial topics that men today "converse".

    1. No, I would not recommend female friendships as a substitute for male-male ones. I was using a previous relationship with the potential for marriage to demonstrate that even attraction and love may not be strong enough reasons to enter into an indissoluble bond like matrimony, that all facets of a relationship must be considered seriously. Having decided that our relationship would not work in a marriage we decided to be friends again.

      I would agree that more men seem to be forming male-female friendships, perhaps as an emotional substitute for the volatility of marriage as an institution today.

    2. I think platonic male-female friendships can exist. My oldest friend, from age six, was a tomboy. My best friend is my former girlfriend and I have another close female friend from university days. A similar number of male friends are just as close. Each friendship is a bit different and my "guy friends" and I tend to talk more about "guy stuff" and do "guy things"—liturgical things inclusive.

  5. O, and think of the letters twixt Abagail and John Adams and how many carried the salutation, My Friend.

    Certainly we Catholics can do as well as did they when it comes to spouses as friends

  6. If you want an example of the degradation of friendship, check out the "friendzone" phenomenon.

    "OMG! A girl wants to be 'only' a friend. How horrible!"

    If the girl isn't your friend (either before or after the attraction sets in) then the relationship just isn't going to last.

  7. Thanks for sharing, nice post!

    Máy đưa võng em bé hay vong dua tu dong hay vong dua tu dong cho em be giúp bé ngủ ngon mà đưa võng tự động không tốn sức ru võng của bố mẹ. Võng tự động hay vong dua em be chắc chắn, gọn gàng, dễ tháo xếp, dễ di chuyển và máy đưa võng dễ dàng bảo quản. Lợi ích mà may dua vong vô cùng thiết thực.
    Giúp các mẹ giải thắc mắc làm sao để trẻ thích đánh răng hay bí quyết làm trắng da bằng cà phê và dầu dừa hiệu quả, những cách giúp trẻ không đái dầm ban đêm hiệu quả hay giảm cân nhanh bằng gạo lứt hiệu quả hay mẹo giúp tăng cường trí nhớ hiệu quả, kinh nghiệm trị tiêu chảy cho bé bằng cà rốt hiệu quả, những thực phẩm giúp cải thiện trí nhớ hiệu quả, bí quyết trị sẹo thâm bằng rau má, mẹo hay giúp trẻ thích ăn rau hay cách giúp trẻ hạ sốt nhanh hiệu quả, bệnh viêm khớp không nên ăn gì, một số mẹo giúp giảm độ cận thị cho bạn, bí quyết chống nắng với cà chua cực hiệu quả, cách giúp bé ngủ ngon giấcthực phẩm giúp bé ngủ ngon mẹ nên biết, chia sẻ cách làm trắng da toàn thân bằng thực phẩm, những món ăn chữa bệnh mất ngủ giúp ngủ ngon, mách mẹ mẹo giúp bé không sốt khi mọc răng hiệu quả
    Những thực phẩm tốt cho da tại
    Chăm sóc da mặt ở
    Cách chăm sóc da mặt bằng
    Dạy trẻ sơ sinh tại
    Bí quyết giảm cân hay tại