I had hoped that that last post would stir up all kinds of passionate responses and debate, so I’m kind of surprised and kind of disappointed that only a few responses trickled in. Ahhh, to be a major blogger . . . one can only dream.
Anyway, I guess what it all boils down to is the initial point made in When Harry Met Sally . . .
. . . and later amended and then reaffirmed –
I love this movie, by the way. Adore. One of my favorite movies of all time. But really, I always thought this was a joke! I mean, in the real world, men and women can be strictly friends, right?
Well, can’t they?
My husband seems to think not. And let me just say that he’s not some young, emotionally immature, jealous type. He’s really not. He’s pretty much the coolest, most laid back guy I’ve ever known. But as I’m figuring out, it’s one thing to be friends (or at least friendly) with people of the opposite sex in the real world, where one’s significant other is at least to some degree privy to the whole thing, and likely even a part of it. It’s another thing entirely, however, to develop a strictly electronic friendship with someone of the opposite sex, to which one’s significant other is not privy or a part of, not out of any sense of secrecy or deceit, but just because the very nature of electronic communications tends to be private and one-on-one.
So, my husband’s assertion is basically that a male would likely not pursue an electronic relationship with a female he didn’t have some attraction to, and that chances are, that male will take opportunities to take the communication, and therefore the relationship, to “the next level.” I do not want to believe this! It sounds silly and ridiculous and sophomoric. We’re all mature adults, aren’t we?
And yet . . . I guess I have to trust my husband as a better authority on this type of thing than I am, being that he’s one of them and all.
I find this disturbing on many fronts. First of all, is it true? Are men generally really so driven by . . . that . . . that this is just the way it is? Have I really been that naive, that I’ve believed it possible to engage in purely platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex? If it’s true that this is the general state of things, then where does it leave us females? Are we supposed to just steer clear of any online male-female relationships because there will always be the potential, the risk, of it crossing some line of propriety? Is engaging in these relationships just encouraging impropriety because we’re supposed to be looking at it through this lens of distrust? And, really, just for the sake of argument, what if he did like you in that hypothetical way (that online guy, whomever he might be)? If you don’t like him back, then so what? In theory, I guess I’d like to believe that as long as the real-life relationship (marriage, or whatever) is strong and secure, then no third party could disrupt anything because the relationship just wouldn’t be open to disruption by any third party.
And yet . . . if I want to be honest, I guess I have to acknowledge the fact that as much as I trust my husband (completely), I wouldn’t be crazy about him engaging in an electronic friendship with someone of the opposite sex that I had no part in.
It all makes me feel very tired and headachey. My case for going to live in a cave somewhere is becoming stronger and stronger, people.
**Disclaimer: No, my marriage isn’t in trouble! Not that you think so, but just in case this post has you wondering. This is just a topic that’s come up recently that has been fodder for much discussion. And really, it kind of goes to the heart of male-female differences – our perspectives on the subject tend to be different enough that it’s stoked quite a bit of conversation, and the conversation itself is about male-female differences. Hmm, did I even say anything there that made sense?