Platonic ‘Relationships’ as a Substitute for a ‘Full’ Relationship?

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Holding Hands shadow on sand

Holding Hands shadow on sand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was quite interested in the concept of having a platonic relationship with some man or other a while back – in lieu of a full-on relationship. In these relationships the couple IS a couple but they don’t have sex. There are various levels of intimacy to choose from. The reasons people go for this can be varied: physical illness or disability; emotional issues; spiritual issues; a belief that sex should be reserved for marriage. There are dating websites for platonics.

I had thought this would be a good way to get to know someone without being blinded by lust. I reckon it takes about two years to truly get to know someone – I mean to really get beyond the surface. Sex can stop you from truly seeing who a person is because it can distract you from their true character.

My platonic male friend seemed to be hinting that we could have that – a relationship without sex. I thought about it for a couple of days and realised that I don’t want that, at least not with him. I’d have to be somewhat attracted to someone to contemplate a relationship. After all, I’d have to WANT to hold their hand or snuggle up with them even if we had chosen not to have a sexual relationship for either physical or spiritual reasons. Otherwise it really is ‘just friends’ – which is okay by me too. After all, my strong friendships have lasted longer than my marriage!

One of my favourite writers, Barbara De Angelis, writes well about sexual chemistry in Are You the One for Me?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery – 101 Divorce Stories

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A Wedding Ring

A Wedding Ring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently bought this book – the first Chicken Soup book I’ve ever read. And I have very mixed feelings about this book. It did help me to some extent. I jotted down some great quotes that may help me to keep moving forward. I particularly liked the words of Kiera Peltz, who was just a child when she wrote them, and of Catherine Graham. Some of the stories were moving and inspiring.

But…the book seemed to be a celebration of divorce, and this was reflected in the cartoons. It’s pro-divorce and that doesn’t sit right with me and the things I have learned over the past five years, through my own experience and from encounters with others whose lives have been touched or shattered by separation and divorce. Children aren’t necessarily resilient and we need to stop pretending that they are. Even adult children of divorce can still suffer dreadfully – long after the actual divorce. Divorce isn’t necessarily freeing to both parties. Free to do what exactly? Be more selfish? Have “control of the remote”? Come on! We need tools to make marriages work not stories to say that the 50 per cent divorce rate is cool.

As another reviewer alluded to, the book is full of stories by women who imply that it was just great to get rid of their ghastly husbands and how they’d never looked back since dumping them. Mmm. That’s not much comfort to those who have been left behind.

Only one writer, a man, looked back and said that in his opinion the majority of divorces are unnecessary. His first wife had developed MS (long after they parted). Maybe it was guilt that formed his opinion but he was a least voicing an opinion based on moral issues and the long-term effects of divorce. Read Bill Doherty’s ‘Take Back Your Marriage’ (available on Amazon) for a great examination of how to build a great marriage, avoid a divorce and how whole communities need to support marriages. This is the best relationship book I have ever read, even though, sadly, it was too late for me.

Will I keep the Chicken Soul book? Probably. There were enough little gems in there for me to use. But would I recommend it to others? Probably not. If there’s any chance you can avoid a divorce read Doherty’s book. If divorce is inevitable read something else. Or join a forum. I’ll keep searching.

The One Whom My Soul Loves – In Pursuit of Woman

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Pursuit of Equality

Pursuit of Equality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite the fact I believe I am unmarriageable I have not been without male interest, even in my ‘celibate by choice’ life. Most of these men are not Christians but they are good men.

There’s SAL, who lives far away and is not safe emotionally but who seems to be fond of me. MAGS, who is the nearest I have to a soulmate, but who is not emotionally available and who does not want a relationship with me – and I probably don’t want one with him. WM seems to adore me but I am unsure about him for various reasons. Even SRP has been attracted to me at points, I believe, but he is unsafe. And TCG seems to like me too. Only WM has actively pursued me over many months.

Despite all this I feel I have not yet met “the one whom my soul loves.” Do you think I will know it when I do meet him or are we blinded by our own hang-ups, fears and prejudices?

Chola-Style, Religious Iconography and Me

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I’ve become fascinated by California and LA lately. This is largely to do with the music I love – rock, pop and soul. This led me to the book City of Style by Melissa Magsasay, about LA style.

I was surprised to be most drawn to Chola style and have been adapting the look for my own use, as suitable for someone of my age. The Chola look is based on Chicano gang girls’ style – working class Mexican immigrants from the 1920s onwards. It is characterised, today, by arched eyebrows, ruby lips, big hoop earrings, bandanas, checked shirts, tattoos, skinny jeans and converse trainers. In pop culture terms think of Gwen Stefani, Fergie, Amy Winehouse and Kat Von D.

At my age I can do without the tattoos but pretty much everything else is a great look for any age – strong, sexy but not slutty, tomboyish yet also girly. What’s not to love? I picked up a fabulous grey checked shirt, complete with pearly buttons, and it fits perfectly, from an incredibly scruffy charity shop in my home town – that originally came from a Los Angeles’ shop. A bargain at £1.00. What gold lies in them there hills! I wore the ‘look’ at church BBQ this evening. We humans have to wear clothes – might as well make it fun!

Cholas use a lot of religious jewellery in their attire too, albeit, Roman Catholic-related. Well, I’m not a Catholic but it’s refreshing to see faith worn as fashion when it has a direct link to someone’s heritage and beliefs rather than just in the way that crucifixes are  often worn with no thought as to what that symbol means.

The Best Thing About Being Single Is…

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I don’t really evangelise such but what I do is ‘testify’ – in other words, I talk to non-Christian friends about how I became a Christian and involved with my church when they ask me.

When they can see that you have not turned into a nutter they take you more seriously. My personality hasn’t changed greatly but my behaviour has, on the whole. My beliefs haven’t changed too much – rather they become more my own beliefs. I think before my beliefs were very heavily influenced by those of my husband, who is a man of very strong opinion. Only through becoming single have I been able to work out what it is I actually do believe and don’t believe about all sorts of things.

This discovering who you are is the best thing about being single after a long marriage or relationship has ended.

Beyond Belief (album)

Beyond Belief (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)