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  #1  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:07 PM
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Question The difference between love and friendship.

When I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, I told him that even if I wasn't interested in someone else at the moment, our relationship wouldn't be able to continue because he didn't meet my emotional needs. Then, he told me that if I need emotional support, that's what best friends are for and I don't need to have another lover to have my needs met. I don't have very many female friends because I have trouble relating to women, and I often develop feelings for my close friends. I told him that I couldn't be best friends with someone without wanting to be more, and that the friends I do have stay friends because I don't like them as much and I don't feel comfortable talking to them about my feelings....so if I were to try to be monogamous with him, I'd not only not get my needs met, but have to keep all my friends at arm's length. He told me that I have a screwed-up perception of friendship and that I could definitely be best friends with someone without wanting a relationship.

What I realized was that for me, friendship is not qualitatively different from love, but that both lie on the same continuum. To me, the things that make a good friend are the same things that make a good lover, and if I get along really well with a friend, that feeling turns into romantic interest... But for him, it's not necessarily like that.

What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2012, 11:58 PM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
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I think our opinions on the subject aren't going to change how you feel. You aren't comfortable being close to someone you aren't sexual with. Let me tell you that the problem with that is that you're going to get frustrated with your lover and not have anyone to vent to. My wife went through that and it nearly drove us apart. You need a close friend you can trust that you don't have a physical attraction to. You also need to be able to relate to your lover. All of that is necessary.

I love all of my true friends. That doesn't mean I want to have sex with them. Love does not equal romance.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:13 AM
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I think our opinions on the subject aren't going to change how you feel. You aren't comfortable being close to someone you aren't sexual with. Let me tell you that the problem with that is that you're going to get frustrated with your lover and not have anyone to vent to. My wife went through that and it nearly drove us apart. You need a close friend you can trust that you don't have a physical attraction to. You also need to be able to relate to your lover. All of that is necessary.

I love all of my true friends. That doesn't mean I want to have sex with them. Love does not equal romance.
I agree that love doesn't equal romance, but some people (such as myself and, apparently, StarTeddy) do tend to start feeling romantic with their close friends of the opposite gender. I don't think that this means that we'll get frustrated with our lover and not have anyone to vent to. In all truth, the beauty of falling in love with your closest friends is that they should -already- be someone who know all about your issues and already help you out a great deal. Ofcourse, they also have to be attracted to you as well, but I've found that this isn't so hard to find as some might think. I've found that many women seem to like having friends who want them but who don't tell them. Personally, I think it's frequently because there's a lack of courage on the guy's part. What this can do is kind of string the guy along; he hopes that one day, he'll find the "right time" to tell her how he feels. Well I'm not interested in this type of waiting game; I tell them how I feel and then see where the relationship goes after that.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:36 AM
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One of the reasons why I feel that poly is a better fit for me than monogamy is because I don't feel like I need to restrain my feelings when I start to like a friend. That doesn't mean I want a relationship with them or want to have sex, but that it doesn't have to be as clear-cut as relationship/friends. It could be a close friend who I love but I'm not in a relationship with.

For example, there is one guy who I have feelings for (who I see quite rarely), but to me it feels more like fondness and safety/comfort...I don't feel like I want to have sex with him because it would ruin the purity of the feeling, nor do I want a relationship with him because I know we are too different for it to work. However, I think my feelings for him are clearly different from regular friendship.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
One of the reasons why I feel that poly is a better fit for me than monogamy is because I don't feel like I need to restrain my feelings when I start to like a friend. That doesn't mean I want a relationship with them or want to have sex, but that it doesn't have to be as clear-cut as relationship/friends. It could be a close friend who I love but I'm not in a relationship with.

For example, there is one guy who I have feelings for (who I see quite rarely), but to me it feels more like fondness and safety/comfort...I don't feel like I want to have sex with him because it would ruin the purity of the feeling, nor do I want a relationship with him because I know we are too different for it to work. However, I think my feelings for him are clearly different from regular friendship.
I see. I'm not sure what the difference is between your feelings for him and regular friend feelings. I personally don't see anything inpure with wanting someone sexually; to me, it's this sexual desire which makes the difference.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:56 AM
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I see. I'm not sure what the difference is between your feelings for him and regular friend feelings. I personally don't see anything inpure with wanting someone sexually; to me, it's this sexual desire which makes the difference.
Well, the thing is, I wouldn't mind cuddling or holding hands or maybe even kissing, but the feeling is a kind of light, sweet and airy (if that makes any sense), and it's not passionate. He's very kind, polite and gentle and I don't want to "tarnish" him with sexual feelings. (Though there do exist people I want to do that to...hehe) In this case, I feel like "love" and "sex" are different from each other. Or maybe this is also friendship and I never knew it could also be like this? I don't think friends would want to cuddle and hold hands though.

But I think he's really more of an exception...I've never really felt like that about anyone before, and with most of the people I've ever been interested in (which...have been many) I've felt sexual feelings alongside the romantic ones. Whether I actually want to have sex with them is a different matter entirely.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
When I broke up with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, I told him that even if I wasn't interested in someone else at the moment, our relationship wouldn't be able to continue because he didn't meet my emotional needs. Then, he told me that if I need emotional support, that's what best friends are for and I don't need to have another lover to have my needs met. I don't have very many female friends because I have trouble relating to women, and I often develop feelings for my close friends. I told him that I couldn't be best friends with someone without wanting to be more, and that the friends I do have stay friends because I don't like them as much and I don't feel comfortable talking to them about my feelings....so if I were to try to be monogamous with him, I'd not only not get my needs met, but have to keep all my friends at arm's length. He told me that I have a screwed-up perception of friendship and that I could definitely be best friends with someone without wanting a relationship.

What I realized was that for me, friendship is not qualitatively different from love, but that both lie on the same continuum. To me, the things that make a good friend are the same things that make a good lover, and if I get along really well with a friend, that feeling turns into romantic interest... But for him, it's not necessarily like that.

What do you guys think?
I feel the same way as you do.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarTeddy View Post
What I realized was that for me, friendship is not qualitatively different from love, but that both lie on the same continuum. To me, the things that make a good friend are the same things that make a good lover, and if I get along really well with a friend, that feeling turns into romantic interest... But for him, it's not necessarily like that.

What do you guys think?
I think most people see it more like how he does. Probably because society forces people to box all of their relationships into certain categories or something?

I'm more like you, though also very different I think; it's not necessarily that every good, close relationship grows into a romantic relationship, but since I already love all my friends, it's only a matter of how far we'll have our relationship grow and how we choose to express our individual type of love.

I guess my point is that each relationship with someone is a wholly unique thing, and whatever labels we do or don't put on it, it's only about what works for you and the other person. To me, the way your friendship-romance continuum works seems a little sad. (I don't mean to diss it at all. I would just feel alienated without the ability to have close relationships with people who I can't have romantic relationships with.)

Anyway, don't mind my ranting. Love and live on. (:
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lacunacoil View Post
I think most people see it more like how he does. Probably because society forces people to box all of their relationships into certain categories or something?

I'm more like you, though also very different I think; it's not necessarily that every good, close relationship grows into a romantic relationship, but since I already love all my friends, it's only a matter of how far we'll have our relationship grow and how we choose to express our individual type of love.
I think I work that way as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lacunacoil View Post
I guess my point is that each relationship with someone is a wholly unique thing, and whatever labels we do or don't put on it, it's only about what works for you and the other person. To me, the way your friendship-romance continuum works seems a little sad. (I don't mean to diss it at all. I would just feel alienated without the ability to have close relationships with people who I can't have romantic relationships with.)

Anyway, don't mind my ranting. Love and live on. (:
I agree that just because you have a close relationship with someone doesn't mean it has to be a romantic relationship. I don't think that StarTeddy meant this either; she did say that her feelings of attraction didn't have to be reciprocal.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2012, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lacunacoil View Post
To me, the way your friendship-romance continuum works seems a little sad. (I don't mean to diss it at all. I would just feel alienated without the ability to have close relationships with people who I can't have romantic relationships with.)
It is pretty sad, to be honest. The type of person I am is highly desirable among the kind of guys I hang out with, so even if I don't develop feelings, my friend usually will. My three closest friends at the moment all have some type of interest in me. The last time I had a purely non-romantic friendship was in high school, and she was a woman. Even then, she was crushing on me hard and I had to turn her down because I don't like women.

I wonder, actually, if some of this confusion happens because of the way I show my affection. I took the love languages test earlier today and my main one is touch, by a long shot...so the way I express love, even to my friends, can come across as "coupley", and probably why I get strange urges to cuddle with some of my friends, even though I'm not sexually attracted to them. This was actually something that got me in trouble with my ex-best friend; I was always so touchy with her that she thought I was leading her on!

Last edited by StarTeddy; 04-03-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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