Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Levels of friendship

Last night I was surfing around the Net, reading articles that sounded interesting. One article reported the results of a study that found that half of all our friends are replaced every seven years. That sounds about right to me. I spent some time thinking back over the years about various friends I've made. Many friends are acquired in specific, church, neighbors. So if your life changes in a significant way, then it's possible that you or your friends move on.

In my last big move, I lost friends in all those categories. I left my job, left my church, and moved to another state. In a very short period of time I found that I no longer had any common interests with my old friends so I looked around for new friends. Fortunately, I have a wonderful friend in my downstairs neighbor, Jane.

And when I started writing I found fellow writers with a common interest. Over the last two years I've found some really interesting women to visit with. In October I look forward to visiting with almost all of them in person as we meet at a conference. Even in that special group though, some have moved on while new ones have arrived. In our very mobile world with ever-changing homes, jobs, and families, I can definitely see the possibilities of changing friends.

Another article studied the prevalence of friends "with benefits". I found this post very interesting because back in my day there was no such animal. I sure there was an instance of friends with benefits, but if so, no one would admit it. It wouldn't have been respectable at all. Back then for the few who dared to have sex prior to marriage it was all about LOVE. If you were caught with an unexpected pregnancy, it was eventually excused because you were in LOVE.

This article was about friends who occasionally have sex with each other because they need to scratch an itch and doing so with a friend is safer. Hmmm. That almost puts it on the same level as a chimp that grooms another chimp in the hopes that he gets some. I'm no doubt old fashioned, but I suspect that I would have a tough time wrapping my head around such a friendship.

How would that work? You call up Joe and say, "Why don't you come over this evening--I'm horny?" Is that it? Joe shows up with a six pack of wine coolers and a handful of condoms? Or is the woman responsible for that stuff if she's the instigator? I can see that there are all sorts of things I don't know about being friends with benefits.

I wonder if you both date other people? What is one of you isn't available when the other one wants to get it on? What if he has a headache when she's ready to rumble? Interesting.

Apparently, friendship has a very elastic definition.



  1. Friends - to me there are different types - some I have known forever and would walk over broken class for. Then there are acquaintance friends and they shift and change and are only meant to be in your life for a short time - and Anny I am quite amazed you do not get the friend/sex thing. I see nothing at all wrong with it

  2. I'd rather have sex with a friend--whom one can love, if in a different way from how one loves a spouse--than have a one-night stand with a stranger. Most of the problems arise, I understand, when one of the friends wants to move the friendship into a romantic relationship.

    But, like you, I prefer to reserve sex for the person I'll be spending my life with.

  3. Certainly better to have sex with a friend than a stranger. I suppose my "old fashion" is showing because I would have a hard time participating in such a loose-ended non-romantic relationship.

  4. I don't know. THere's something appealing about having a 'friend' whom you could hang out with and maybe have occasional sex without the stress and pressure of a relationship. I would never do it but I could see how that might work for some.

  5. Most all of my relationships (a very tiny number) evolved out of friendships--so my problem is that I'd have probably fallen for the friend and wanted more.