I have had several relationships which I call soulfriendships. A short definition of a soulfriendship would be: a committed friendship where both are completely open and honest with each other, include each other in every aspect of their lives, support each other, and continually help each other to grow. ((you can read a more in-depth description here, but be aware that I need to update it)) You could also see it as a platonic marriage/partnership.
Recently a soulfriendship of mine ended, and I began to mourn the loss of it in my journal. Most of those who commented to me offered comfort, but one person took the opportunity to tell me that "I think you are putting unrealistic expectations on yourself and others by expecting your relationships to be that deep all the time. Perhaps if you allowed nature to take its course and appreciated the natural waxing and waning of all things, you wouldn't feel so devestate and depressed after the loss or lessening of a connection." I think the person had good intentions, but what struck me about the comment was that it suggested that it was wrong to expect depth in my friendships. I do not know the person, but this is not the first time I have been faced with this attitude; people get downright hostile with me about it. Those same people would not say "you can't expect it to be forever, because humans don't work like that" about a romantic/sexual relationship -- even if it may be true! Many people get married with the expectation that they will continue in that relationship 'until death do us part' but I have found few to believe that such a commitment can be made without sex or laws to hold it together.
Does love require sex in order to be deep? I believe it doesn't.
I'm tired of my friendships being viewed as lesser because they don't include sex. I loved Hannah every bit as much as I loved my partner Ben -- I loved them both with all of my heart. And she loved me as much as she loved her partner Nick. We didn't rank each other lower because we weren't lovers.
I do not expect too much. I do not expect soulfriendship with anyone unless we have thoroughly discussed it and decided to embark on it together -- just like two people in a marriage/partnership discuss it and choose it together. Of all of my other friends, I have no set expectations. I 'let them flow.' But just like a romantic relationship, friendship changes when you add commitment to it. It is a different kind of relationship -- more intense. And just like I wouldn't swear off romantic relationships because one ended, I'm not going to swear off soulfriendship. I know what it's like; I know what incredible benefits it gives, the love and growth and learning. I fully intend to keep on having soulfriendships, whether they are with lovers or not.
LJ idol topic 5: "Sexual Ethics" ((if you got something from this, please vote for me!))