***the following is a revision of platonic shmetonic, which was originally posted april 2008. in light of a few conversations i’ve had in the last few weeks, i felt it was particularly apropos and sh*t today***
we’ve heard it before.
boy approaches girl, and girl is charmed by his subtly effeminate masculinity non-threateningly secure heterosexuality, the fact that he noticed she’s wearing seven’s jeans and his proper use of “eclecticism” and “pragmatic”. boy and girl exchange numbers, and after a month or so of coffee-house outings and a trip to banana republic, they become…friends. not lovers, not even the awkward “friends with benefits”, but friends. bff’s serving as each others de facto permanent back-up weekend companion, but never, ever, ever, ever, ever crossing that line.
sure, they’ve seen “chasing amy”, and are aware that the odds stack up against two like-aged, opposite sexed, available, un-asexual people staying strictly platonic friends even in tough economic times, but theyre different, and they prove their differentness by staying true friends, forever.
everyone has heard this story before. everyone has also heard stories about the green man, virginal latinas, and beer that actually tastes good. just like the three aforementioned inventions, truly platonic like-aged male and female close relationships do not and cannot exist…and i’ll give you six reasons why.
1. unless online or in college (two paradoxical universes where the usual rules and regulations of social discourse are thrown out of the window, like mop water and caustic midgets) men and women don’t actively seek friends of the opposite sex.
2. if given the opportunity, most men who aren’t in a committed and monogamous romantic relationship will sleep with pretty much any reasonably attractive woman.
we may not actively want to, but, in the right situation, we happily would. that pesky “would” kind of has a way of always completely contradicting the whole “free from sensual desires” platonic thing.
“well, what if the guy harbors absolutely no physical attraction at all towards the woman?? a platonic friendship can occur then, right??“, i hear you asking, which leads us to…
3. no unattached man is going to willingly spend a good amount of his free time with a like-aged woman he is completely unattracted to, a fact which “fits”, especially when you consider that…
4. women (please note the lack of qualifiers) aren’t equipped to handle regular contact with a guy who finds her completely unattractive. don’t argue this. it’s science.
basically, i’ll watch an entire episode of “meet the browns” before 3 and 4 have any chance of occurring.
5. …even if you claim to be in the 0.1 percent of people where there’s absolutely no romantic feeling harbored by either side in your platonic relationship, you have to figure in “the champ’s law of averages and percentages“,
basically, if you spend more than 20% of your free time with someone of the opposite sex willingly, there’s at least a 50% chance that at least one of you will develop sexual feelings…or already has developed them but fears that they would be unrequited. the higher the percentage of free time, the higher the chance.
the equation is x(time percentage)* 2.5 = y(chance percentage).
according to that, if you spend anywhere over 40 percent of your free time with a platonic friend, then there’s anywhere from a 100 to 250 percent chance that someone wants to bed somebody. dont argue. its science and sh*t
since i’ve already established that we don’t actively seek opposite sex friends while we’re single, the only way two people in separate romantic relationships can become truly platonic friends would be if they happened to first meet each other after they both were already in the relationship, an impossibility due to the fact that…
6. …no man or woman is going to be okay with their significant other making new close friends of the opposite sex.
you know, I’ve considered the fact that maybe my platonic friend viewpoint is a bit jaded. this is most likely due to the fact that the one time I tried the very, very, very close strictly platonic friend thing, within a four year span caught feelings, nasty emails, and some very, ummm, “unplatonic” things involving a staircase, a blackout, and an empty bottle of moet eventually occurred. thing is, all that experience did for me is reinforce what millions of years of evolution has taught us…men are simple, women are nuts, and holden mcneil is a f*cking idiot.