Edge of Everywhere

Archive for February 2009

I’ve been thinking lately about how I haven’t made any really good friends since college. My few close friends are all people I went to school with and knew during a formative period in our lives, which is something that means a lot to me. The only place I’ve really bonded with anyone since I graduated is at work, but those friendships tend to stay at the office and taper off when people change jobs. I’ve tried meeting people in a lot of different ways and have met some cool ones, but few that became more than acquaintances and none that I see often.

As someone who has no interest in meeting people in a dating context but wishes I could find a few more good friends, I don’t know what to do. How have you met the people that you’re close to besides through school?

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There’s a really interesting storyline right now on the TV show Private Practice that shows the tension that can arise between a person’s romantic/sexual and close non-sexual relationships. Cooper’s girlfriend Charlotte is jealous of his relationship with his best friend, Violet, with whom he is currently living because she’s pregnant and single and he wants to be there to help her. While Charlotte does not see Violet as a romantic or sexual rival, the emotional intimacy of Cooper’s relationship with Violet makes her feel hurt and left out and not knowing where she fits. She tells him that as his girlfriend, she should be his best friend.

Violet is not asexual, but I know that many asexual people (myself included) can identify with her position in this type of situation. The storyline also raises the issue of the way people in general are taught to define and compartmentalize our relationships, and the difficulties we can all face in maintaining intimate relationships (sexual or not) with multiple people, or with someone who has them with people besides us.

Yes, unfortunately, I saw the movie. Not my idea, I promise. It actually wasn’t as horrible as I expected, but there were some annoying messages. Mainly:

1. If she doesn’t sleep with you, she’s not into you. If she sleeps with you at first and then stops, she’s not into you.

Of course, we know that she might just be asexual.

2. If one partner in a mostly perfect long-term relationship wants to get married and the other doesn’t, but then the marriage-obsessed one comes to appreciate the relationship for what it is, that’s not really a happy ending. The person who doesn’t believe in marriage needs to propose anyway in order for there to be a happy ending.

This baffled me. Why should we feel happier for people who feel forced into social conventions than for people who build successful relationships outside of those conventions?