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Soon back to blogging/Thoughts on Friendship & Romance

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:34 pm - April 2, 2007.
Filed under: Blogging,Friendship,Romance

I apologize for not having blogged in some time, but my last round of papers really drained me. And not long after returning from my last class session (also draining) and beginning to prepare for the next round of papers, I had to start preparing for Passover which starts tonight at sundown.

Anyway, as I post this, I’ll note a conversation I had with a close friend this weekend where I wondered if a friendship between two gay men could develop over time into a romantic relationship. My friend, while open to the possibility (in the abstract), wondered if each friend/partner might end up seeing the other as his “default” boyfriend. I wondered, if over time, as each began to appreciate the other’s qualities, that he might realize that what they shared was more important than intense sexual attraction.

So, as I prepare for my Seder, I leave you with that question — and invite you to share your thoughts.

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20 Comments

  1. I think it’s possible, Dan. I would say the same thing about two oppostie sex friends as well.

    Comment by Mike — April 2, 2007 @ 7:49 pm - April 2, 2007

  2. I do believe (and have witnessed) that friends can become romantic partners. However, I think that there was probably always some degree of attraction between the two of them. The real question is, is it possible for friends who from the start did not have any sexual interest in each other at all, begin to feel something for the other person?

    Comment by Andrew (Los Angeles) — April 2, 2007 @ 7:57 pm - April 2, 2007

  3. [...] Original post by GayPatriotWest [...]

    Pingback by Politics: 2008 HQ » Blog Archive » Soon back to blogging/Thoughts on Friendship & Romance — April 2, 2007 @ 9:37 pm - April 2, 2007

  4. Although certainly possible, after having been married to a man I had been friends with for 11 years and then dating a woman I had been friends with for 6 years, I would say that the prospects for long term romantic relationships are no better than with someone you just met. One of the biggest hurdles I found was that you see friends in a different light than romantic interests. Also, you have, perhaps, higher hopes for a relationship stemming from a long term friendship than otherwise. When that relationship fails, it hurts more, the friendship is changed, damaged or possibly destroyed. Consider the fact that an old friend has plenty of information that you share in confidence, believing it will never be used against you, if you do not choose well (as I obviously didn’t ) you can expect that this information will be used against you in ways you never intended and coming from a friend, it never should. If you can make it work for you, I am extreamly happy for you, because it has the potential to be one of the strongest, happiest and most powerful relationships you ever have. But choose carefully. A good friend is worth so much more than a mediocre lover.

    Comment by Mindy — April 2, 2007 @ 10:19 pm - April 2, 2007

  5. I lost my best friend of 25 years in October of 2005. We spoke almost daily including Trans-Atlantic calls on vacations to share experiences since I am sure 1992. He knew everything about me and still liked me anyway, warts and all. I ache for him on a daily basis just as his partner of 25 years does.

    It was a profoundly intimate relationship of 2 friends sharing everything about each other and our quest for spiritual enlightenment. It is the friendship that I gauge all my relationsips that I have today.

    Sexual entanglements have never lasted very long for me. Being a gay man has shown me that the sexual tension and energy of two men dies down after 6 months or so. I can think of those sexual attractions that turned into friendships too.

    So to answer your question, it can be done, but who wants relationships based on fantasies.

    Comment by Tom in Dallas — April 2, 2007 @ 11:27 pm - April 2, 2007

  6. Pesach question:

    Is the seder where you set a place for Elijah at the table?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 3, 2007 @ 1:44 am - April 3, 2007

  7. TGC, we don’t set a place for him, merely pour a glass of wine for him and open the door to welcome him.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — April 3, 2007 @ 2:16 am - April 3, 2007

  8. ..Soon I will be attempting matzah brei for breakfast. Oh, the carbs this week….lol…
    Have a Happy and Joyous Pesach with all your loved ones. Did Saxby ask the 4 questions last night?

    Comment by benj — April 3, 2007 @ 6:20 am - April 3, 2007

  9. Have a great Seder,

    Comment by thecisciokid — April 3, 2007 @ 7:26 am - April 3, 2007

  10. I’ve often found the opposite – lovers can become best friends. My ex and I are still pals even after all we went through, and we can still enjoy a meal or glass of wine without reenacting the dining-room scene from “War of the Roses.”

    FYI (I’ve already mentioned this to Dan): If anyone wants to read a truly hilarious take on Passover, read Alan King’s 1982 book “Is Salami And Eggs Better Than Sex?” He really nails the Jewish experience in Brooklyn circa 1940.

    Mazel Tov!

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 3, 2007 @ 9:25 am - April 3, 2007

  11. True enough Peter, one of my ex’s and I are very dear friends, and my ex husband calls once in a while just to see how things are going. My personal experience is that the opposite is much more difficult. Being friends first brings a lot of dimensions into a relationship that both partners must be willing and capable of dealing with for it to work.

    Comment by Mindy — April 3, 2007 @ 10:40 am - April 3, 2007

  12. Gut Pesach, Dan!

    Comment by EssEm — April 3, 2007 @ 10:58 am - April 3, 2007

  13. I’m with you there, Peter. My partner remains great friends with his ex, to the point that when he visits his hometown without me, he sometimes stays at the ex’s house to avoid having to be at his parents (all sorts of Southern Baptist issues there). My friends think I’m insane for “allowing” this, but I know the both of them, and I know nothing would be going on. I don’t lose a wink of sleep over it.

    Comment by Mike — April 3, 2007 @ 11:52 am - April 3, 2007

  14. This post has caught me off guard. I am straight and catholic so I feel that ,somehow, I am intruding. On the other hand…Who can possibly avoid giving an opinion about something he/she doesn´t know about?
    Friendship to love sounds good to me.
    Have a nice Passover and the same for the troops.

    Comment by Juan Otero — April 3, 2007 @ 12:10 pm - April 3, 2007

  15. Dan, Michigan-Matt partner and I BEGAN as friends –lacrosse teammates– and that grew into a romance over the course of 6 years, then choosing to create a family. It’s a wonderful, enriching, sustaining path for us; we’ve grown as men, grown as parents, grown as citizens helping society instead of gay guys fighting society… now 11 yrs, 2 kids and counting.

    Romance from friendship? You betcha. Are the benefits of friendship significant enough to outweigh romance or moving the relationship toward life partner? Kind of depends on the friend and his capacity/inability to grow.

    I think it’s telling that most of our gay friends don’t have many m2m relationships beyond the last job, the last social group, the last Carnival cruise. Why do gay guys, on average, seem to dispose of m2m friendships so quickly?

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 3, 2007 @ 1:13 pm - April 3, 2007

  16. We are Episcopal, but have been to a number of Seders at our neighbors. Once when Elijah was invited in, the dog walked through the door!

    I would like to think that friends could become lovers, but I’ve never seen it happen. My own partner and I have been together 22 years. It began romantically and I am happy to say it still is.

    Comment by DavidK — April 3, 2007 @ 2:46 pm - April 3, 2007

  17. Great question, Dan, but no simple answer. Good relationships can blossom with or without initially being friends, but I think there is a better chance if there is friendship between two persons before a relationship, from my (very limited) experience. When I met my ex, we dated right away. He apparently was very attracted to me (and insisted right away that I would be the love of his life forever, despite my doubt that he can conclude that right away.), while it took time for me to become attracted to him, which happened because I grew to like him also as a friend. But after the first couple of months, there has to be something to sustain the intial romance. In my ex’s case, apparently there wasn’t, because he dumped me. When I questioned him about his initial conclusion about the relationship, he said that that’s what he really thought at the time, which of course, was the point.

    With my partner, we did not date until six months after we met. Initially I wasn’t attracted to him either. We started communicating to each other on line, and then when we met six months later, I found I was attracted to him. The romance is great, but it does die off somewhat after initially dating. So there has to be something more, besides romance, to sustain the relationship.

    As to whether you can remain friends with exes, that’s another tough one. It’s possible, of course, since many people do so, and in fact, become much better friends then they were as boyfriends. It seems that some closure and time apart after the breakup is necessary though, before a non-romantic friendship can develop or redevelop.

    In my case, my ex and I met up a couple of times, and that was it. Nothing bitter, wish him the best and all. I only had to other sexual relationships. I’ve seen one from time to time, but no friendship there. And the other I hadn’t seen again, which was good.

    Comment by Pat — April 3, 2007 @ 6:28 pm - April 3, 2007

  18. #7. Ahh. Thanks Dan.

    #8 Saxby is Bruce’s pooch.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 4, 2007 @ 12:58 am - April 4, 2007

  19. One of the reasons that I’m not all that open to friendship with men (and the reason I believe that straight women are so inclined to friendship with gay men, though I realize this is a stereotype) is that it is difficult to keep a close friendship from becoming sexual. This is in the context of faithfulness. It’s unfair to expect one person to meet all your emotional needs. You also need close friends. But it’s not really a good idea to look for that emotional support from someone who is… possible. It’s smarter to pick friends where those complications aren’t part of the question. And that’s not a lack of trust issue. It’s a not complicating your life when you don’t have to, issue.

    When we’re single? That was a while ago, but it seems to me that even when we’re single people tend to chose friends where sexual attraction isn’t part of it. For one thing, if you’re attracted to someone, hanging out as friends can be really uncomfortable. So if the friendships a person has made are of the “safe” variety, it seems less likely that they’d evolve over time into attraction. Not that this isn’t the plot of many a romance novel, though.

    But I’m a believer in celibacy and I think there is a different issue that matters a whole lot. Intense sexual attraction is distracting. Putting off sex to develop a friendship with someone where there is sexual attraction might be the best way to find a relationship that can work long term. It’s not that friendship came first, because the attraction existed from the beginning, but that the friendship was developed first.

    Comment by Synova — April 4, 2007 @ 4:33 pm - April 4, 2007

  20. acyclovir…

    lovingness converses…

    Trackback by acyclovir — November 10, 2007 @ 7:54 am - November 10, 2007

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