It’s a long-running – and frankly rather insulting – trope that men are powerless before their own sexuality.
Men especially, who are socialized away from acknowledging or expressing their emotions, have a hard time accepting that one can have love for his friends that doesn’t have a romantic or sexual tinge to it. ” guy is a comedy staple – his gushing profession of manly affection is supposed to be awkward and embarrassing, something that should never be openly acknowledged.
Men can refer to their friends of long-standing as “brother”, but telling a friend – especially a male friend – that he loves them… Even movies about platonic male friendships are almost always played out in romantic terms; you have the meet up, the burgeoning friendship, moments of jealousy, the big fight, then the make-up and reconciliation at the end.
Defining love as having two meanings – one for family, one for everyone else – limits the ways in which we perceive the world.
The ancient Greeks on the other hand, acknowledged many different kinds of love.
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Another issue is that culturally, we have a problem with the idea of love that doesn’t conform to romance or familial relationships.
We are acculturated to believe that love has two definitions when it comes to relationships; one for family and for everybody else.
It’s hard to weave a narrative out of “Well, we get along great and we have a lot in common, but we know it wouldn’t work out, so we’re happy as we are.” Platonic friends are for supporting characters, the ones who’re cheering on the protagonists to get together…
and even they usually end up with a “pair-the-spares” b-plot running in the background.
One of the most famous examples – especially with relation to friendships – comes from the movie When Harry Met Sally: The issue here is the underlying assumption that the fact that an attraction It’s a popular idea.