Wednesday, 2 January 2008
The value of friendship
I found an American copy of Cosmopolitan in my lounge recently. It rather troubled me when I read the following:
Don't Be BFFs
Being pals with your man is great in theory. But that kind of connection actually can kill your sex life. You could wind up having a roommatelike bond with each other rather than a hot one if you let yourself lose track of the masculine-feminine tension that excited you at the beginning of your relationship. Save the gab sessions for when you hang out with your girlfriends and your sexy energy for connecting with your guy.
—Lana Holstein, MD, director of sexuality and vitality programs for couples at Miraval Resort in Catalina, Arizona. Source: Cosmopolitan USA, December 2007
I disagree. Not talking to one's partner would surely bring more distance, thus making sex less intimate, although perhaps sexier because of the unknown. But I don't think its worth it. If a couple don't talk, after a while, they are going to become bored of presenting only thier 'best' self; the secure, rounded self. The false self. Rather like the image we are given today of the fifties housewife, it will lead to isolation and unhealthy repression. Consequently, the relationship will not be the best, the healthiest.
Maybe I say this because I find the idea of having a roommate-like bond with my man appealing. It seems rediculous to me, to marry someone who isn't already your best friend. I'm aware that I am addressing Cosmopolitan, advocate for frivolous dating. And if you're dating casually, then sure; there's probably not enough between you (or not enough between you yet) to merit in-depth discussion of one another. But relationships are about respect. Refusing to discuss emotion for the benefit of sex is not giving one's partner the respect they deserve.
I wonder whether Holstein's opinion differs from that expressed above when it comes to married couples.