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  #11  
Old 02-24-2010, 01:36 AM
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An article on friendship from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/friendship/
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2010, 01:44 AM
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[ PS -- the above article is for whoever wishes to read it. PLEASE do not feel that you must read any stuff like that I post in here. I doubt I'd ever read the whole article, myself. I'd hate to see the topic dry up because folks feel they should have to read any links which they don't wish to.]
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2010, 02:16 AM
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"Friendship essentially involves a distinctive kind of concern for your friend, a concern which might reasonably be understood as a kind of love. Philosophers from the ancient Greeks on have traditionally distinguished three notions that can properly be called love: agape, eros, and philia."

-- from the first paragraph of the Stanford Encyclopedia article, linked above

Thinking out loud....: While our culture is making more and more room for intimate, loving, but non-sexual friendships between persons of the so-called "opposite" sex, most of us--I'd guess--probably had our initial sense of the concept of friendship as a same sex relation. Now, of course, how much this is so probably depends a good deal on culture, sub-culture, and historical period. When and where I was a kid (and we learn how to be and have friends as kids), childhood friendships are generally between persons of the same sex.

For "heterosexual" (or hetero-amorous) folks, at least some of what is eros doesn't enter into the intimacy of friendship, allowing philia and/or agape to express without worry over at least some kinds of desire. Sometimes, in the case of the exclusively homo-amorous, the situation is flipped and heterosexual friendship is possible without the influence of eros (or, at least, sexual eros).

But bi-amorous folks like myself might have a relatively unique experience of intimate friendship, in that sex (as 'gender') is much less determining of how we might respond to another in intimate friendship. Almost anyone could evoke erotic desire in the biamorous.
Well, at least that possibility isn't determined by sex (as gender).

I almost wish, sometimes, I could know what same-sex intimate friendship was like, from the inside, without the possible involvement of eros (more narrowly defined). Whenever I have had a very close friend, eros has been there with it in some manner, to some degree -- whether wanted or otherwise. What might it be like to, for example, give and receive affectionate touch with NO POSSIBILITY of "turn on"? I surely know what it is like to give and receive such affectionate touch without "turn on," but never without the very possibility of turn on.

No doubt, this has also had some significant role to play in how I have related to/with my heteroamorous friends, and they with me.

An example comes to mind. I went to embrace my hetero- friend, Sean. It just happens that I did so while I was laying in bed (and he standing next to the bed). It freaked him out and he backed away. Yet, had this occurred away from the bed it would not have represented a problem. He'd have freely shared that embrace. Somehow, in that moment, he mistook my philia for eros of the sexual desire sort.

[Not everyone agrees that eros is strictly about sexual desire.]

Last edited by River; 02-24-2010 at 02:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2010, 05:13 AM
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A couple thoughts on the subject before I hit the sack...

The best way to build friendship is through shared experiences. Conversation, work, adventure, are all things that promote bonding.

and

It is impossible to hate someone and laugh with them. Good thing to remember next time you're on trial for murder and need to get in good with the jury.

In the words of George Castanza, "That's it for me! Goodnight, everybody!"
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2010, 03:51 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I see friendship as a variable thing. I think there are various levels to it even if we were to drop off the "buddy" thing or the "acquaintance" and not consider them part of the tree.

For me I'll assign a random term to the highest level as "true" friend". Only a label for explanatory purposes.
I think most of us have FEW "true friends" in our lifetime. Some may never have any unfortunately. Because it seems the building blocks of this require a level of experience (which Caveman mentioned), openness and vulnerability, raw honesty and trust that we do not extend to many people.
The better you are at extending yourself in these ways the better your chances of developing that close bond. And whatever risks there are with that.

But if you get there, it seems there is a sometimes unspoken understanding between you, that you will always be there for each other when needed. Stand together through both the celebrations and the crisis. And a level of trust that you will always be totally honest with each other - to the point of brutality. The one person you can always depend on to tell you when you are full of sh%$ and headed down a dark road. A hand extended - but with deep enough respect to honor your choice without nullifying that bond that exists. Willing to pull you from that dark chasm - but not jump over with you.

That level of bonding is special and rare. And maybe it's the highest desirable level of a "relationship" while all the time being that much more difficult to achieve because of the artificial framework so many people place around the term (relationship).

Which is why I frequently advise people to embrace the "friendship" part and not to let that slip away as you try to travel together in "relationship".

GS
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2010, 04:09 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
[I]
An example comes to mind. I went to embrace my hetero- friend, Sean. It just happens that I did so while I was laying in bed (and he standing next to the bed). It freaked him out and he backed away. Yet, had this occurred away from the bed it would not have represented a problem. He'd have freely shared that embrace. Somehow, in that moment, he mistook my philia for eros of the sexual desire sort.
Yea River - this type of thing cuts deep to the heart doesn't it.
He didn't "misread" - he hit his own fear point. His homophobia. He would have hit it regardless of the manner you expressed a warm hug of friendship.

I was watching a panel on PBS last night delving into some of the homo awareness shifts. Although it started triggered by the current debate about the abolishment of the "don't ask - don't tell "policy of the military regarding homosexuality, it soon broadened out ( a rep was there from Pew Research) to general views of the american public regarding homosexuality.

The results of polling were very disappointing to me and maybe shocking. In general the research seemed to show that although a majority of people are making significant headway in believing about "rights" issues (discrimination etc) that down deep, the belief systems regarding "morality" and right/wrong of homosexuality have changed little if any.
So although the general public may be willing to stretch and accept you have certain "rights" - at a deeper level homosexuality is still "condemned". So any true "acceptance" appears to be still far away and as one panelist pointed out, without change at that fundamental level, backslides are likely to occur on other fronts.

So sad.

GS
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2010, 05:48 AM
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I like what everyone has said... to me friendship is built over time and going through shit together. I am not one of those people that says that they are "friends" with someone if I have just been hanging out with them for a while. (Facebook really bugs for this reason!) I need to feel it fully and feel that I love them fully. I love people almost immediately as I find the kernal of good in them... but when I find them to be someone that works for me... that love is for life. I can be beaten and bleeding at their hand and still love and root for the person. Stupid shit I know. It's the Scorpio in me,,,, there is a lot.

I can also be raised far too high up by some (or at least that is what I think... mostly because I am fearless and that to some is admirable) and then come crashing down when I become challenged and emotional and get bitchy. This has happened often and partly why I wait a long time to call someone a friend...(lack of trust) sometimes that doesn't ever work out and I get super hurt (I usually see it coming and have no way to stop it or change it so I don't fall), and sometimes they decide to love me anyway and see me for the human I am. These are the friendships that last for me.

As for the sexual part... well, it's a done deal if I am fucking you; you are in for life. That is why casual sex with people that are not past the "friend" stage just doesn't work for me. Sex is a life long bond for some stupid reason on me... it's fucked with my head endlessly. I am just getting to know that about myself and trying to figure out how to be in a poly world with this kind of wiring. All to come,,, at the awkward stage right now.

(there Mono, I thought of something.... had to drag it out of myself, but as you requested)
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2010, 11:28 AM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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i've grown to be like that too redpepper. I have very, very few friends and that number, sadly, decreased by two in December.

I am in the process of delving into this to see what, if anything, I can change in order to increase my friendships and improve the ones I do have.

i'm hoping to be able to change things for the better. That is my goal for this year, to do the introspection and self examination so that I can beter myself and my relationships.
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2010, 07:04 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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One thing, I just want to thank you for starting this thread. It jump-started me to reach out to a few of my friends and make some plans to get together. I tend to get wrapped up in my own little world and usually don't initiate plans with people, but I always love hanging out with my friends when it does happen. So kudos and thank you!!
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2010, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
What makes for a good friendship?
Trust, commitment, honesty, loyalty-in no particular order, I'm writing off the top of my head having NOT put enough thought into this.

Quote:
How long does it take to become truly close friends?
Hmmm, I'm not sure. I think honestly that for me it's not long, but it's also not OFTEN. When someone is going to be a truly close friend, I know pretty quick, but they are far and few between that I let in that close....

Quote:
How does non-romantic / sexual friendship compare and contrast with romantic and sexual relationships?
What does contrast mean? I read these type of questions often and I always get confused.
I find that for me there is little difference, except that I'm not having sexual relations with the non-romantic ones... I COULD.. somewhere else there was a post about the fact that there are different ways to bond in the spiritual way that can happen during sex.... well I didn't comment on that thread-because this wasn't a new concept for me.
But it pertains to this thread in that I simply find other ways to share that spiritual bond with the "non-romantic" close friends....

Quote:
What is this whole "intimacy" thing?
Um-for me its knowing that whoever you are internally would be safe with the other person...

Quote:
How important is friendship to me/you ... and why?
My closest friends are VERY important to me. I believe them to be my soulmates....
http://www.soulevolution.org/twinflames/twinflames.htm
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