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Old 06-12-2007, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,878,042 times
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We've talked a great deal, and according to the Administrator, about 169 times about relationships.

I'd be interested in your view (that is any of the 104,000 members) of a good, solid friendship that is equal to or perhaps even exceeds a relationship with a sexual partner (married or not).

I've had several, both female and male, and consider these friendships the creme de la creme of a well-lived, well rounded (see well-rounded thread for more details) life.
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Old 06-12-2007, 03:20 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
219 posts, read 667,801 times
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I have several very close friendships male and female. Some of them grew up with me - one friend I've know most of life since we were about 6 and I'm 31 now. We know each other well and without fail. I have other friends I haven't known as long but we have forged a very deep friendship.

I have some female friends with which we are so close that people actually think we're dating - however, those who are around us long enough will see the lack of the more intimate behaviors - sure we hug and get close to each other and so forth - just outward signs of affection. I suppose it can confuse some people when we tell each other we "love" the other. However, it is true - I love my friends very much. It is not the romantic love most people think of, it is a companionate love (vis a vis Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love).

One of my female friends I've know for a very long time often would have boyfriends be very suspicious and they thought she was cheating on them with me. I remember when she told me of an argument she had with one of her boyfriends. He asked, "Do you love him?" and she replied, "Of course, I love him very much...but I'm not f***king him if that's what you're worried about." It turned out that he was cheating on her almost from the beginning anyway.

In my experience - these deep friendships I have hold a very solid trust in the other person - a feeling of knowing that we can rely on that person no matter what. Someone you can confide in and feel comfortable around. It is akin to the trust and love you see with family - people who you care deeply about and would do anything for but they just don't happen to be related to you.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:12 PM
 
1,569 posts, read 3,078,756 times
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Friends…they cherish one another’s hopes.
They are kind to one another’s dreams.
Henry David Thoreau

Friends come and go in my life but they always hold a place in my heart. Different friends bring out different sides of who I am. If I make bad choices in friends, I can get caught up in negativity so I try to make friends that generally have a positive outlook on life. Friends are very important--I love my friends even when I am annoyed at them (or they me.) When that happens we give each other space. I think that makes it stronger.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Dilworth - Charlotte, NC.
549 posts, read 2,187,254 times
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The friends I recall the most are the ones I befriended as a precocious and chatty 5-years-old.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Dilworth - Charlotte, NC.
549 posts, read 2,187,254 times
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The friends I recall the most with great affections, are the ones I befriended as a precocious 5-years-old. The first day of school I was to shy to go up and talk to the other girls and watched everyone else play during recess. The next day Karina came up to me and told me, we would be bestfriends. From that moment on we were pretty much inseperable for a while. My neighbor, Nelson was a good friend of mine for a few years. We meet when we were sat together in the 3rd garde. He took a liking to me and would even ask my mother for permission to let me go to the playground with him. We rode our bikes together through the nearby park. Since I was not used to riding my bike I fell and scraped my knee. Nelson cleaned my wound with water from a park waterfountain and took the Band Aid off his own arm and put in my knee. It did not stick for too long but the gesture showed me he deeply valued our friendship. Those little random gestures of kindness live within me. As a sophomore in high-school I dropped my scale model for an Art class project. Jaime helped me pick it up and from then we became fast friends. I tend to view casual friends or "fair-weather friends" as acquaintances, someone you can be social with in certain circumstances but there are boundaries I will not cross with them to avoid any letdowns. I have a small group of close friends, can count them on one hand. Over time we have earned each other's respect and trust after spending large amount of time together and sharing life experiences that would make the bond stronger. The level of closeness is so liberating since we call each other silly diminutive nicknames others would think as goofy. The level of trust is so high, we tell each other some of our deepest thoughts normally too afraid to share with another human being.
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Old 06-13-2007, 03:41 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,859,068 times
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I agree with Anigirli about the level of trust, and sharing both good and bad life experiences: from losing virginity, to the serious illness and death of someone, travel overseas,college, working together, childbirth, divorce, etc.
That kind of friendship involves chemistry, just as love relationships do.
You either have it or you don't.
I had that kind of close friendship in high school and young adulthood, with several people, male and female.
However, for one reason or another (work, school or marriage) I and all of my good friends dispersed. While we keep in touch, we no longer get together very often. It's just not the same.
I miss having that kind of friendship, and hope I can kindle it again, but I realize you can't just snap your fingers and make it appear. It doesn't help that I can tend to be a bit self-contained and set in my ways.
Of course, I do have my husband. But as Dancingearth says, different friends can stimulate different sides of one's personality.
I have met a few online friends in person, too, and this was/is rewarding.
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Old 06-13-2007, 04:56 AM
 
26,319 posts, read 24,422,016 times
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Talking Outstanding Thread...thank you!!!

Great Thread

Here's my take on the issue:

Gosh…

always seemed, when I became involved intimately with a man…it fell apart and it hurt so bad. I always fell for the bad boy, needy guys, who possed little if any, confidence, respect and faith within, yanno?

Though, I have most certainly experienced superlative relationships with both males and females without physical intimacy.

There is a powerful force at work when you harmonize mentally..with someone…human touch is magnificant, but there is, to me, an even more powerful sorce of intimacy, which I've experienced…and that is, when two people come together, on the same plain (so to speak) without any boundaries or apprehensions…and can communicate anything from fears, to the greatest experiences of their lives. It's called sharing, completey, without expectation….like when two strangers meet for the first time and you feel like you've know each other for most all of your life. Same cause and effect.

I have a male friend with whom I share that experience presently and several female friends…
To me, it is even more satisfying, then a sexual relationship…cuz when the sex is over, there has to be something more...you can't stay in bed 24/7 :rofl:

Now...
I would like to also add…if by chance, you find that harmony with a person of the opposite sex…(as I am heterosexual) and are attracted to each other physically, well, let me tell you, adding both together, the physical becomes very powerful as well…I've experienced that only once in my lifetime…I call it…the power to love…which is outstanding and I would truly enjoy finding that once again, to last for the rest of our lives…it seemed we were so compatible…but, unfortunatly, he did not feel the same and had to move on….to a much younger mental and physical ego builder, yanno?

I believe it's called, loving without expectation...understanding everyone has faults and loving them for who they are...not just being in love with lust...but loving and allowing them to be who they are, without trying to change them...

allowance/tollerance, takes a great deal of maturity, understanding...which many people do not possess...contolling another person is wide spread within our society...and when people try to control each other, I believe that is concern more for effect then feelings...and for me, I honestly cannot tollerate controlling people...I have no patience for that, be it male or female.....I guess it's b/c I've been controlled all my life...by people who thought they knew what was good for me.

People seem to dismiss the fact that b/c they feel something is right for them, doesn't make it right for others...and visa versa....we've become individualists I fear, forgetting the effects that our throughts, actions and words have on so so many lives...it is like a ripple effect, when you throw a stone in the water...those ripples can effect others for years.

Thank you for this thread...it is so comforting to know, others feel the same way, though, I don't believe many will understand what we're talking about...then again, perhaps I'm wrong, and will be suprised...hope so...

Last edited by cremebrulee; 06-13-2007 at 05:57 AM..
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:37 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,287,868 times
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Sometimes it's hard to maintain friendships of the same sex or opposite sex - I have two wonderful girl friends and two wonderful guy friends and each of them give me something special, and I'd like to believe I do the same for each of them. Two are relatively long friendships - over 15 years - two are under 5 years.....and yet I wonder what I did without each of these very special people in my life - what was it like before they were a part of me?

My view of any friend is almost the same as a marriage - can I honor this relationship? Can I respect it and it's boundaries? Can I cope with dissention and disagreement without the world blowing apart? I have a close opposite sex friend - we could probably be better friends if not for the insanely jealous spouse - so we do the best we can and work around it. It's not the way I would like for it to be - I think we could be much closer, but in a nonsexual way - but time and opportunity and the constraints of jealous spouse have hindered it somewhat. My spouse, on the other hand, is secure enough in our relationship to not get sidetracked by whether my friend is male or female or any variation thereof.

I found this recently - to me it said a lot. It's about what we believe in. If you take the time to read it slowly and actually absorb the words, it's a very powerful message on what friendship and love really are - and to me, the two go hand in hand.


The Things We Believe In

That we don't have to change friends if we understand that
friends change.

That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt
you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

That true friendship continues to grow, even over the
longest distance. Same goes for true love.

That you can do something in an instant that will give you
heartache for life.

That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want
to be.

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we
feel.

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at
first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take
its place.

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when
it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and
have the best time.

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're
down will be the ones to help you get back up.

That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

That just because someone doesn't love you the way you want
them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences
you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how
many birthdays you've celebrated.

That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world
doesn't stop for your grief.

That our background and circumstances may have influenced
who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they
don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't
mean they do.

That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It
could change your life forever.

That two people can look at the exact same thing and see
something totally different.

That your life can be changed in a matter of seconds by people
who don't even know you.

That even when you think you have no more to give, when a
friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human
being.

That the people you care about most in life are taken from
you too soon.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:32 AM
 
26,319 posts, read 24,422,016 times
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Sam I AM
Can you answer me one question...
One of my male friends whom I've known since 7th grade told me not to tell my boyfriend, if I had one, about us, b/c for certain he would think that my male friend and I were intimate? Do most men think that? I've known so many males who THOUGHT a woman friend had to be intimately involved...as most men (not all) regard women friends as such? Is that true of most men?
It has been difficult for me to find that kind of man for a relationship/husband? One who thinks as I do...and I've been told by most men, that I'm way to deep...meaning, they don't want to pursue the relationship?

Yet, my other male friend and I get along so well...and we don't have to be intimate physically, yet we love each other deeply??????
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:46 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,287,868 times
Reputation: 7572
Men are very self-centered creatures for the most part - and yes, I believe most men are somewhat threatened by the notion of a male/female "friendship" - but much of it is maturity and trust. Some men never outgrowth the 10th grade mentality of "she's mine and only mine"....and yet it's said that females are the more jealous of the two sexes, so go figure.

I've said this before on this forum, and I do believe there is at least a grain of truth to it - my mama always said if a man and a woman are in a room, somebody's thinking about it. I think it's only human nature to say in your mind, "hmmmmm.....wonder what if......?" whether you're male or female. If you can push past that initial curiosity, I truly believe that you can reach a deeper level of friendship and if your spouse can push past it, you will find a deeper level in YOUR relationship. My spouse takes off a week every year to go see an ex-love in Texas who is also married - and they tour Texas together or just hang out at a resort. Do I care? Certainly not...again, maturity and time, and a ton of trust. I can tell you with my last spouse I wouldn't have trusted as far as I could have thrown them....picking a great spouse or SO helps a lot.
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