and yet, as i prepared to leave for the conference, i knew that something was missing. later in the conversation, i asked her if she was planning to go to another well-known event for writers later that year. i confided that i’d grown up in a middle-class family of doctors and social workers, in a house without books where the television was almost always on. she describes it as the feeling that “you are me, i am you, it is our obligation to save each other. for the rest of the conference, my new friend and i were inseparable in the most adolescent and obnoxious sense of the word. i took a cab to the airport, ate a lobster roll in a restaurant at sfo, and chased it with a xanax and a glass of chardonnay. the plane rolled back to the gate, and i was escorted back into the airport. she was going to a private high school and her new classmates thought i was weird. i’d been ambivalent about the breakup, and if she was still involved with him in some way, it was like i was still involved with him. help me, i texted her one day from a 4-year-old’s princess-themed birthday party where the mothers began to dance around the room with fairy wands and streamers.
when my daughter was a few months old, my husband and i netflixed a film about a young mother who has a series of affairs. i think one of us actually got a pen and paper and began to take notes. the closer i was drawn to her, the closer i was drawn to a part of me i’d thought was lost, vanished. i was too upset to eat dinner and went to bed the same time as my kids. i hoped that our friendship would return to normal, and it did, mostly. not long after she returned to new york, she told me she’d gotten back together with her boyfriend and i joked that this was probably the end of the romantic phase of our friendship. i’ve started to wonder if i’m seeking a degree of intimacy that’s not possible to maintain with someone i’m having sex with.” later, when i told her about my own travails, she sat back in her chair, sipped her drink, seemed to be mulling it over. “i need you to help me,” i told him through the near-darkness of our bedroom. one day, she came into my room to ask what i wanted to do with a bag of onions i’d left on the counter, and instead of answering, i asked for her thoughts on marriage and female friendship. after a while, i came to terms with the fact that my new friend and i wouldn’t be soul mates or bffs, we wouldn’t text constantly and talk on the phone for hours, make up our own language, or learn to do back handsprings together in the yard.
she began dropping plans with me to do things with whomever she was seeing instead—always a man, of course. on the night before my roommate was supposed to come to easter dinner at my grandparents’ house, we had a blowout fight at a bar in front of a very alarmed bartender. as coontz explains, it was hard to think of personal happiness as the goal of marriage when so many women simply did it to survive.
as the separation between men and women crumbled, those angels were expected to participate very differently in earthly delights. the understanding of coded queerness in history has changed, and so has the standard for how close two people can be before it’s considered too close for “just friends.” soon after friendships between women came to be seen as deviant, close relationships between men became suspect, too. for many, there is a great deal of diversion in making marital love the center of their lives and they’re happy to leave behind friends and other family ties in pursuit of that. no part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
studies have found that women who have close friends are happier in their marriages. if we have friends we can talk to about our problems, we put less pressure as girls and young women, we are allowed our friendships. we are afforded our close, intimate, intense relationships with one another. diamond says that there is a common assumption that intense, intimate, passionate friendships experienced by adolescent girls who later come out as lesbians or, intense female friendships, intense female friendships, intimate friendship, levels of intimacy in friendship, physical intimacy in friendship.
“deep marital intimacy had been difficult to achieve in the nineteenth century,” coontz writes, “in the face of separate spheres for men and now more than ever, the intimacy we share with friends helps us avoid feelings of isolation, increases our sense of belonging, and helps us cope female friendships can be extremely intense, fulfilling, often aren’t discussed—perhaps they feel like failed grasps at intimacy,, romantic friendship, intimate friendship quotes, emotional intimacy in friendship, how to have more intimate friendships, how to be more intimate, platonic intimacy, what is physical intimacy, intimate relationship, what is intimacy to a man, signs of intimacy in a relationship.
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