Living each day much muchier
We forget that the sweetest joys are found in the simplest acts: hugs, laughter, quiet observation, basic movements, holding hands, pleasant music, shared stories, a listening ear, an unhurried visit, and selfless service.
Richelle E. Goodrich
Bewildered as he might be, sometimes a man’s highest calling
is simply to stand, and hug.
I’ve written before about friendships as romances. Some moments of connection are precious; the heart is alight and content.
The world is a beautiful place because that very person is there with you. They’re irrevocably part of your soul. However, they’re not your partner or lover and will never be.
Romantic friendships are not a new thing. In fact, they’re a very old-world thing that fell out of fashion when our culture decided sexual relationships were penultimate love.
The simple acts of holding hands, cuddling for connection and reclining on one another has become fraught with connotation. So we keep them between romantic couples or for the innocence of children, leaving single people touch-starved.
Touch-starvation is a very real thing for otherwise healthy adults. You feel disconnected, lonely and shy. You can even seem awkward and creepy when the natural balance of connection has been absent too long in your life.
As a dancer, I’m in the company of huggy people almost every day. We laugh, we flirt, we move together. Yet it’s not quite the same. It’s never as nourishing as the purposeful touch of people I’m fond of and the deep satisfaction that comes from the warmth of their hugs.
I feel blessed to now have a few friends that I can cuddle randomly without reason or apology, link arms with, hold hands or rest my head in a moment of affection. Women find this easier but there are even a few men whom I’ll happily stroll with, hand in hand, down the street.
People might look on and make assumptions but what does it matter? I’ll probably never date them, for one reason or another, but that doesn’t mean we can’t forge a connection and find comfort.
We all belong to one another. We belong in ways that we’ve lost the language and rituals to demonstrate.
Let’s start a hug revolution.
I disagree with the concept of “romantic friendship” being something that was relatively common. I would say that it’s not and it never was and that if you have experienced it in your life, then you have been very fortunate.
It takes two people with a very special attachment and different way of thinking for such a thing to work. My opinion is that this is the idea is that of a woman (generic “woman”, not directed at you) who wants the closeness of a male in her life but without the issues that go with being in a relationship.
I would surmise that it has a foundation that is founded in fear (with some women) and utter selfishness (in the rest).
Romantic friendship describes a closeness that modern understanding confines to sexual relationships. If you read from even just last century, people passionately describe their friendships in ways we think is weird today. In the days when marriages were for social standing, your husband/wife was not necessarily the primary relationship in your life.
These days, it does seem like the sort of thing dreamt up by a woman who wants to have her cake and eat it too. No doubt there are circumstances like that where one is leading the other on and it’s unhealthy for both. That’s not a romantic friendship. That’s taking advantage of someone.
For the most part, I’m not actually the one that draws the friendship line. I respect it though and that’s important. People need the safety net of others who simply care for them while they sort out the brokenness of their past. Maybe it does have a foundation in fear, but we all fear. We can be kind with each other’s fear.