23 May 2011 @ 09:47 am
Platonic Friendships  
A few years back, I helped my cousin research and organize a paper for one of her psychology classes pertaining to this topic. She wanted to write about intense friendships without sexual attraction among those of the same sex (the oprah-gayle), friends with benefits and opposite-sex friendships. Now, that this topic is so close to home, I wish to quote it and engrave it on my skull.

"...outside friendships between men and women can complicate people’s lives. And the complication is often sexual attraction. Regardless of who is attracted to whom in the friendship, neither gender considers romantic interest a good thing among friends.

No wonder tongues cluck and fingers wag. Wary husbands and wives have an uneasy sense of the temptations out there, even if they trust their spouses. “It’s like when your teenage daughter goes to a concert dressed like a slut,” says Bleske-Rechek. “She says, ‘I’m not going to do anything.’ And her father says, ‘It’s not you I’m worried about.’ ”

-Bleske-Rechek, Midwestern Psychological Asssociation

"...opposite-sex friends can expect a friendship, at some point, to cross the flirtation line. They need to be ready to deflect temptation."

-Helen Fisher, anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of “Why We Love.”

"'Above all, put your mate first. It’s not just an affair that can feel like betrayal,' he says.

'Is there such a thing as a nonsexual affair? What if you go for coffee at 10 o’clock every day with someone from work, and talk intimately with them,' he says. 'Then you go home, and you don’t talk to your spouse.' The platonic friend is getting some of the spouse’s major perks, even if it isn’t sex."

-Stanley Charnofsky, therapist and psychology professor at Cal State Northridge