I've been grappling with the idea of having platonic relationships with the opposite sex for some time now. Actually, I suppose to be more politically correct, I should say, as a heterosexual female, I've been grappling with the idea of having platonic heterosexual relationships with the opposite sex for some time now... or something like that.
Let me just say that I haven't come to any conclusions yet, but I have gotten some clarity.
To start, I'll say that platonic relationships, of the aforementioned kind, only truly work with clearly established boundaries between both parties, and that it's most often the crossing of those boundary lines that makes things awkward.
A few weeks ago I had an awkward moment with a friend. We'll call him Frank. Frank is single. I'm single... Frank suggested that we take our friendship further, not to see where things went so much in terms of a relationship but to...well...explore the idea of being friends with benefits, for lack of a more graceful term.
I politely but strongly declined. I did not, and still do not like the idea of 'friends with bennies'. Call me a prude, but it's not for me.
It's not that I don't find Frank attractive; he's excruciatingly handsome. It's also not that I don't think a no-strings-attached 'situationship' wouldn't be mildly rewarding as we are both non-emotional creatures. It is, however, that I respect the friendship that Frank and I have enough not to want to add another complicated layer to its already complicated status.
And, as friends, we can seem a little complicated at times. We've known each other for a long time and have become the true essence of friends. To a respective or prospective significant other, our long-standing friendship can seem very intimidating. It's never really been an issue, and we've never gotten close to crossing any lines, until now.
The truth is, I don't want to be the free-lay-when-you're-in-the-mood for any man; regardless of whether or not we're friends. I don't want to be a tool used when necessary, only to be placed back in the tool box after I've served my purpose. I get offended at the very thought. I also don't want to use someone else in that way. I value Frank. Moreover, I value me. NO judgement to those who disagree.
The awkward moment hasn't bruised our friendship, although it did create some awkward tension and communication for a while. After all, the suggestion was now out in the atmosphere and couldn't be taken back....
So the clarity I've gotten isn't so much on platonic relationships or whether or not they work; the jury is still out on that one. The clarity and focus I've gained at this point is on me; who I am, and who I want to be as a woman; what I want out of my relationships, and what I'm willing to accept in my relationships as a woman, whether they be platonic or not.
The remainder of this issue will be on standby... for now...