Male-female friendships are merely vestiges of our foolish, idealistic youths.
Dear friends of mine with ovaries, some of whom I've known for decades:
I know that this is sudden, but it turns out that we were never truly friends. Furthermore, we can never truly be friends going forward. Yeah, I know. It was a shock for me, too. But it must be true, because a stranger from the internet said so.
Here's what happened.
So there I was, scanning Facebook instead of adulting, when I hit upon this article: "Why Men and Women Can NEVER Be 'Just Friends'."
At first, I was skeptical. Who the hell was this person to tell me that my friends aren't my friends?
But then, I saw that she cleverly (and, for the purposes of making her point, conveniently) listed every category of "friend" that's even possible, and then went straight to work invalidating them.
What we thought was a meaningful and fulfilling friendship was actually just wishful thinking all along. According to the author, male-female friendships are merely vestiges of our foolish, idealistic youths.
Observe the following passage:
"I'm sure you had a few of those relationships in your time. You know the ones. You'd spend hours on the phone or hanging out, talking about whatever the hot topics were in your crazy young person world. You may have even messed around once or twice, just to test the waters. You were never a couple, always just friends with a few elements of couple-hood thrown in there.
When one of you was in a relationship, things would inevitably change but you were still friends. Boyfriends and girlfriends just had to accept that. Chances are, they too had friends of the opposite sex and it would've been considered possessive and controlling to expect anything to change."
Never mind that this could be literally any platonic friendship in the history of ever. Never mind the fact that the dynamics of every friendship undergoes change when someone enters into a romantic, long-term relationship. None of that matters. What matters is that we were wrong to think that a friendship could ever truly bridge the Crotch Gap.
But there's more: the author even goes so far as to shame her non-single readers for having opposite-gender friends, rhetorically suggesting that nurturing a friendship with a differently-crotched human somehow equates to neglecting your romantic partnership:
"What is the basis of your friendship? And is it possible that your time and energy might be better spent within your own intimate relationship?"
Naturally, this didn't sit well with me. I'm one of those f*cking weirdos who enjoys the company of amazing people regardless of what they're packing between their legs. Admittedly, my views are pretty outlandish.
I think that friendship and camaraderie between two homosapiens ought to be celebrated and shared. I don't get insecure at the thought of a wife or girlfriend hanging out with another man. And I hold the opinion that anyone who does feel threatened by such is likely to be a small-minded, petty control freak.
But I guess I'm wrong.
The question looms: what are we as mature, rational adults to do? Allow healthy human relationships to organically form and develop? Or arbitrarily deny the very possibility of those relationships, based on the opinions of a socially uptight blogger?
We go with the blogger, obviously. And if one of us used to have romantic feelings for the other? I'm really, really sorry. Her worldview doesn't allow for that, either. In the author's mind, there exists no depth for emotional nuance, no possibility for feelings to evolve, and no confidence that adults are capable of handling them:
"If they've been in your heart or in your pants (or they'd like to be) then they shouldn't be in your life or even on your Facebook for that matter."
There's nothing I love more than when a random blogger tells me that they know better than I do concerning my situation, dogmatically invalidating any human relationship that doesn't fit into their tidy, moralistic paradigm. Thank God there are people willing to take me aside and tell me that my friends aren't my friends, and how naive I was for ever thinking of them as such.
Love, according to this article, isn't this wonderful, deep, multi-faceted human experience like I'd always thought. Turns out, it's a clingy, insecure mandate to jealously hoard the affections of a single human being, blithely cutting out half of humanity from your life and expecting your partner to do the same:
"So go ahead: de-clutter! Purge those uneasily defined friendships from your life and then head over to your Facebook and do a quick, well intentioned, cleanse there, too. Choose simplicity. Unblur those lines. And just love the one you're with."
Anyway, I'll really miss you all, but as you can see, you've been demoted to "clutter."
Remember: don't get chummy with anyone of the opposite gender unless they're your spouse or your future spouse. It's the only relationship with a differently-crotched person that's emotionally and morally valid. The author said so, after all.
Your former friend,