In her relationship blog over at relationshipliving.com, my friend Marika wrote about the platonic relationships and called their very nature into question.
Back several years ago, I had a discussion with one of my guy friends. He suggested that if a guy had the chance (considering he found me attractive) that he would jump at the opportunity to “jump my bones” if he had the chance. I disagreed and confidently added that my guy friends love me like their sister. Then, he laughed and said “Fine, do a survey to find out for yourself!”
How naive was I…
Here’s my take on the matter:
Your friendship is as platonic as your actions.
We have innumerable desires in life. The fact that we choose not to act upon them does not negate their existence. It is our experience, wisdom and enlightenment that cause us to exchange the pleasure of the flesh for something of higher value.
Knowing that, I’d ask you: if you could have your cake and eat it to, would you? Of course you would. Any human being would. But in this case, the odds are quite stacked that you can’t have both, so you struggle with the value of each.
I think just about anyone would agree that for men, the value of each is more balanced, hence troublesome. We struggle more between them. The priority of desires with which nature has programmed us is different than that of women. Women can mother 1.3 children per year, for a finite number of years; men can father multiple children per day for quite a few decades. Because of this, women are programmed to desire and accept only the best possible candidate, whereas men are programmed to recognize and at least consider if not desire all viable candidates.
Throughout human history, women and men have held all sorts of bitterness with one another because of this difference. Enlightenment has allowed us to gain rational understanding and to even make our priorities more similar, but after 2.5M years, it’s still there. I don’t see it ever disappearing altogether.
So, “would” a man? The answer is yes, but that is merely a thought, not an action. Does he know that he shouldn’t? For most, the answer is yes, for we are now rational, enlightened beings. WILL he? For many, the answer is NO. They are enlightened enough to understand that it may (and often will) put at risk something of higher value. It’s pretty common knowledge now that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
Still, there is no straight man who can look upon a beautiful women and not hear his instincts call. Being her friend and admiring/respecting her as a person probably makes it echo more loudly, not less. The enlightened man, however, merely chooses not to respond. And his instincts force him to make that choice over and over and over again.
So, your friendship is as only as platonic as your actions.