April 10, 2008

Marriage or Bust

I guess that I have already discussed the impossibility of having a plain platonic relation with a member of the opposite sex. If I remember correctly, there is a lot of hiding of urges and feeling involved. I did mention that it is not the lack of urges, rather the hiding which makes the platonicity (not a real word) possible.

I have a thought. By telling a member of the opposite sex that we do not think of them “in that way”, whatever that way is, are we not insulting them? What I mean is we are with them because we like them, but then we are not attracted to them? Is it not like telling them that if they were more attractive, we would be interested in them “in that way”, but since they are not, we are not attracted to them. What does this leave them with? Why are we friends then? So that when we do not have company, they can come and listen to our sob stories, so that we can bitch about other members of the opposite sex whom we find attractive to the one we don’t?

What do we gain from such a relationship, other than the agony aunt/uncle? Are they supposed to be a reserve, in case we do not find someone more attractive and have no option; we will begin to look at them “in that way”? Is this not the biggest insult?

It seems to me that heterosexual people should have friends of their sex only and only be friend with people who they think they can be with “in that way”. Homosexual people on the other hand should have friends only of the opposite sex. At least in this way, we will not be insulting the intelligence of the other person.


Suchitra said...

It is a misconception to imagine that the sole reason why people are friends is to function as a nose-blowing tissue when the other person has a need for it. Friendship extends its selfish arms in satisfying many other needs as well!

It is a misconception to assume that the only reason we interact with a member of the opposite sex (speaking for the majority of the population) is in order assess mating opportunities. It might start there, it might end there, it might go there and take the first turn back, whatever, but it is seldom the only reason.

It is also a misconception to assume that being labeled ‘attractive’ is the ultimate compliment that a person can get from a member of the opposite sex. The last is intrinsically dumb because as you know no two people can see things the same way, and ‘attraction’ is an individual oriented perspective.

Hence, there is no question of insult of intelligence. If anything, it is a compliment, that X can be with Y even if X is NOT attracted to Y, just for the person Y is, just for X’s other, perhaps equally important needs Y satisfies.

aditya said...

@ Suchi
I never said that friends are nose blowing tissue. However, I do state that they provide company, in what so ever forms, that man as a social animal needs. I do accept that the selfishness is the main reason behind any friendship (to read anything).

On the front of mating possibilities being the only reason, I was reverting to the most basic instinct of all, the instinct to reproduce. Yes, there may be other reasons, ones I am not able to comprehend, like they give better company, they give a different POV, they provide solace, they could GET you. However, I may be erring on the side of over-generalization when I said that that is the only reason.

I do agree that for many, being labeled attractive may not even be a compliment. They would prefer being labeled other things, like smart, outgoing, friendly, thoughtful, if they want to be labeled at all. However, does this not sound like a case of sour grapes? I do not think of the beauty is important. Because I am not beautiful, or because others fo not think I am (it can be either, mine or others standards), therefore I do not give it any importance. I am sure that you have seen the NGC/Discovery Channel episode where they talk about human perception of beauty, the importance of symmetry, the strength, etc. when it comes to choosing a mate. What I was trying to point out is that no matter how much we shroud ourselves in the name of decency, we are animals at best and under that state, reproduction is the most important function, maybe the only function necessary!

I still do not get the compliment part. How can it be compliment to A, when B, who clearly is looking for mates (let us not kid ourselves, we spend most of our lives doing that), does not think of A as a mate and yet does want to spend time with him/her. I mean, B does not want A to satisfy his/her most basic need, however, will use A to satisfy other peripheral needs. It is the hierarchy of needs which we are talking about in the end are we not?

Lazy Lavender said...

What is this? You can't enjoy someone's company unless you wanna cry on their shoulders or get into their pants? I am not gonna support platonicity or friendship or any of them being not-selfish. But seriously, there's a lot more to human interactions than the above mentioned purposes.

I would now ask you in Chandler's style - what kind of scary ass clowns came to your birthday ??!!!

I am not sure if the language I used, was good. But your logic of insult-because-not-interested looks pathetic.

aditya said...

@ Lazy,
Such emotion, for something so trivial as another person's POV; I must say that I am impressed with the amount of feeling that has gone into that comment as I am with the sophistication of language.

I did not say that the only purpose of friendship is to either cry on a shoulder. I said that it was to, in your own terminology, 'get into the other's pants'. All i am alluding to is the 'getting into the pant' thing is the main purpose and all the other benefits that one draws from a freindship across the sexes are peripheral, incidental.

What I am surprised with i that you can agree that every person of the opposite sex we meet is a likely candidate for a potential mate, as discussed in one of my previous posts, but you will not agree if I take it one step forward and state that the same search for a potential mate is behind any friendship with the opposite sex.

Lazy Lavender said...

I don't see why you had to be surprised. Quote me "I am not gonna support platonicity or friendship or any of them being not-selfish."

I still don't take back my words on the previous discussion/comment.

I was clearly irked by the following statements the author made -

"What do we gain from such a relationship, other than the agony aunt/uncle?"

"By telling a member of the opposite sex that we do not think of them “in that way”, whatever that way is, are we not insulting them? "

I still like to believe that 'friendship' is some relation which has a lot more to offer than 'just' agony-auntying, and as you stated, the thoughts 'that way'.

Any which ways, if someone doesn't find you as partner material, why is that an insult? POV, again.

Reminded of some saying I heard long long ago - 'Nobody can insult you or make you feel inferior without your consent'. Wanted to share it here.

And on your reaction to the emotions in my previous comment - Phbbtt!!!

And, 'Lazy' is an adjective. 'Lavender' is the noun.