JusFriends – The Platonic Conspiracy
So, I was doing my daily blog jog (where I run through a few blog sites for inspiration), and I came across one about platonic friends. Of course, this topic came up at a convenient time for me because I’ve been questioning my motivations for one. I think I’d be doing myself a great service if I explain my standards and viewpoints on platonic relationships…with the opposite sex….to myself.
First off, I do not deem it impossible or detrimental to have platonic relationships (with the opposite sex or someone you’re attracted to). And even if I did, you’d summon the stars, the planets, and an army of well respected politicians and lawyers to present your case and belittle my opinion like a Sarcastic Mother to an Insecure Juvenile. I’d be such a victim.
Personally (as John Skywalker), I don’t prefer to maintain a platonic relationship with the opposite sex. Now, here is where the train of contradiction starts chew-chewing away at my previous statement. I do reserve exceptions to my loose yet strict preference. But, before we tackle that Little Piggy in the Muddy Waters of this topic, lemme serve you a bit of asinine justice for my preference. Romance is a lot of work. I look at romance in terms of a heart that donates, transfers, and accepts blood using the veins and arteries that stem from it, in order to make my love circulate to a few commitments. I can either reserve my love flow for myself (which exhibits selfishness), or I can invest my Oh-so Positive Love towards bodies in need. “Bodies in need” is a conditional phrase – everyone needs love, and although I’m (we) are infinite in love, I do get exhausted and overwhelmed. So, I have to manage my relationships wisely. There are vampires and zombies in the Land of the Lost, you know. Essentially, I’m on a mission to practice unconditional love; and it’s a lifelong process. Although I have some self control, it’s very distracting to have a single, intelligent, goal-oriented, spiritually-inclined, practical, independent, physically attractive woman….as a friend. It’s a conflict of interest. It would be like guarding someone else’s chicken fried steak (with gravy), augmented with mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and a biscuit…
……on an empty, growling stomach….
Ohhhh, the agony! The suffering! The inhumane torture!! (Licks lips)
What’s my motivation? Why am I preserving a delicacy that I view as an off-limits indulgence?
I’m not neglecting the possibility of me being her friend; this is a matter of probability based on desire and purpose. I guess I’m being my extreme self again – one way or the other. I’ve been in the friend zone before, so the “Nice Guys Finish Last” doctrine is one I’ve practiced a few times prior. I even have a Collector’s Edition T-Shirt. I don’t feel grudgingly about this approach (because I gained wisdom for the opportunities), however, it really sucks to limit your love simply because someone doesn’t feel you like that. But, when they get hurt by the bad guy that emanated so much animal magnetism, charm, and lack of emotional security (which you warned them about by the way), best believe you’re getting a text message, a FB message, and a phone call (not necessarily in that order) and even a knock on the door so you can play Therapist! Of course, your sentimentality will nudge you in the back to yield because seeing another in pain is never a pleasant sight to the sympathizer. You can’t say “I told you so” because you’ll look like the Heartbreaker’s Advocate. So, yes, you’re being selfish through the whole “friendly” experience because you know what you want, yet you couldn’t get it due to your value for respect and invitation. It’s just one of those relationships that require a defined motivation and mature spirit. Ladies, watch “Just Friends”; it’s funny, but the experience is a sad testament for the nice guys and gals of the galaxy.
(Cracks Fingers…[here, Piggy-Piggy])
Now as I said previously, I do retain some self discipline, given that I’m objective about preserving the nature of the relationship. As in, we’re collaborating for a short term goal that’ll benefit us both long-term; in that long term, we’re not physically in each other’s lives. When I mention “collaborations”, I mean those that are business-involved, artistically mandated, or socially impactful. Overall, it’s for a greater purpose other than our selves. She can’t be faulted for looking so damn good in our Batman/Catwoman dynamic to save the world. In this case, the motivation is unselfish, and easy for me to follow.
Another instance is proximity. This is sooooo convenient for me! I can type and talk my ass off (I’m a conversationalist), and with proximity as an obstacle, the relationship has little intimacy. The luxury of technology, ah! Granted, I can override these obstacles like an Airborne Superman on a Tricycle, but I set my boundaries, and abide rationally. A pro to this aspect in the platonic relationship is the emotional commitment as being minimal since we’re not “hanging out”. It’s less taxing when there’s physical distance between the two of you. Contact is circumstantial rather than a consistent basis. Most of my female platonic friends are in the United States, and they’re out of physical reach (since I reside in Kuwait). I have a lot of social networking friends that I chat with online; the relationship is cordial, open, yet the security blanket of proximity makes it easy for me to adjust to.
Another barrier is if she’s physically unattractive, and is a work in progress. This includes character flaws. At this point, I’m playing the coaching role. No, she’s not a charity case, she’s an unblossomed flower. I’m just the sunlight and the rain. I’m a resource to aid in her evolution so that she can spread her wings as the fallen angel that falls in love. This is sort of like the first instance, because our relationship is more for my development as a spiritual guide (in a friendly sense), and her development as a human being. It’s a collaborative effort for a greater, long-term purpose outside of our little circle. Again, I could reap the benefits of my labor, at the time of harvest, but as paradoxical as it may sound, it’s a conflict of interest to my primary motivation. I’m simply aiming for the Best Supporting Actor for the Best Actress in a Leading Role. This role is a resume builder for my future interactions with my chosen mate. Again, my boundaries are set and I abide by them rationally.
The last instance (that I’m going to list) is if she’s already committed to someone. In this case, I’m completely turned off. Sure, I’d glance, hell, I’d even fantasize a few times (because my imagination just can’t shadow the possibilities) but…I’d NEEEEVER make a move. If I see a ring on her finger – automatic turn off. I initiate my Blind Kenshi Nice Guy defense mechanism (it’s an approach), and I act as if she’s nonexistent. All systems are in evasive-mode. I respond accordingly and cordially if she approaches, but I ensure that I give off the energy of a “loner type who doesn’t wanna be bothered”. It’s a defense mechanism (one of many) to keep me structured and secure. I’m not a fan of love triangles; although they’re entertaining, they’re not all that fun, personally. Drama films (for me) are at their best when I don’t have a part to play in them. They entail a lot of miscommunication and chaos, with a medium slice of guilty pleasure that’s oozing with regret dripping from the sides. They sometimes have happy endings, but everyone doesn’t survive the movie. It’s overall…a sloppy served dish with a bitter sweet taste. Unless you’re the Lara Croft of relationships, have a fetish for being victimized (masochistic), or is obsessed with victimizing (sadistic), I’d meditate on peaceful images and invest in romantic comedies on Blu Ray and DVD (unless you still own a VCR).
I understand that there are many cases where individuals are flirtatious. This interprets that a person has a desire for multiple relationships, each with different levels of intimacy. Flirtatious people are usually engaged in “open relationships” with individuals who are secure in who they are. Most of the time these relationships have romantic objectives; they’re looking experience a certain aspect of love that’s not found in one person. This is not gender-fixed. The masculine and feminine psyches operate differently, and for good reason. Women often think of the benefits of a masculine counterpart through prioritizing their interests (security, uncommitted intimacy, noncompetitive in mating, resourceful, fun, warmth, openness, etc), and although men value those same benefits, their priorities are different. What OFTEN register’s to the male psyche first is sex; the others trail behind like a Squad of Blindfolded Army Soldiers in Basic Training. Sometimes they get lost out in the field, and sometimes they manage to stay in cadence – one behind the other. As men mature entirely, flexibility is more pertinent to the male psyche, which gives women a bit more room to inflict their mastery of persuasion. SOME women manage to not be so misleading and ambiguous. SOME manage to reveal their intentions at the first bus stop before Greyhounding into foreverness as platonic friends. And surprisingly enough, there are a small percentage of males who pull these same tactics on WOMEN!! (gasps)
Now, I question if my personal boundaries, in this matter, are a thunder cloud of flatulence from my ass-hole persona of an ego. My perception is quite biased and paradoxical, according to my “unconditional love” mission. However, they seemed justified. I know one female who has surpassed the obstacles I listed above, and yet I still befriend her….almost intimately. She qualifies for all three of these categories (loosely), and yet I’m violating my boundaries. The best defense mechanism I have is proximity. But it makes me wonder, what if I didn’t have that – I’m not sure that’s a Drama Film I’m willing to rent! Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad, and I’m just exaggerating my fear of the unknown. What am I defending against… rejection? Conflict? Or maybe I fear that the nature of the relationship will be compromised. Or maybe I’m afraid to be vulnerable. How many times have you heard “I won’t hurt you”, and then 3 weeks later you stop calling her (or him), and you act as if they’re Brand New…in a bad way? You can’t love unconditionally and fully if you’re invulnerable; the spoils of vigilance. And forgiveness is hard work….
…if you’re out of practice.
A random but valuable mention is “She’s Out of My League”. It’s a mildly funny movie, but it’s definitely geared for those who are a bit shallow in their perception of relationships; self esteem issues and sh!t. Some people like to be around the good folk because they’re “safe”. Aint nothing wrong with that, but please….pleeeease let your emotional body guard know why he’s on your romantic payroll. Communication is vital to the survivability of a relationship.
I guess I can conclude that although I’m well equipped, I’m reluctant to engage in a male-female platonic relationship. Although this type of relationship would still compliment my “self love conquest” since I’d have little or no emotional commitment to the female. The level of intimacy would have to be established and reinforced with purpose and reason. This is all probably an inflated idea of mine that’s a euphemism for my fear of being “played” or “used”. If that’s the case, it’s an insecure perception that’s devised by my ego. Therefore, this could just be my ego’s attempt at limiting my love conquests in exchange for lustful ones. Regardless, I’m honestly indecisive of the matter after much explanation and contemplation – it just depends on the nature of the relationship, and how I feel about its direction.
Why be so objective about this when I’m ignorant of the future conditions? (shrugs) So I guess I’m as Open as Trey Songz’ Dress Shirt on Valentine’s Day.
Not sure if a Dog in the Backyard with a Bone would Dig it….but it works.
We know that platonic relationships CAN work, but DO they work for you? And are you considerate of your platonic candidate’s intention PRIOR to you initiating a friendship? Or do you assume based on the openness and friendliness that they share your views? Nonverbal behavior can be misleading.
And what about the effects of platonic relationships on committed ones? Is it fair that you invest energy in platonic relationships outside of your committed ones? Is commitment a good idea if you’re so vested in maintaining diverse relationships?
How do you feel about people you’re intimately interested in that have multiple friends of the opposite sex? Do you investigate, and risk becoming a number in his army of platonics (a possible visage for “sexual partners”), or do you abandon friendSHIP?