Navigating the pitfalls of romantic friendships

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imageAlix B. Golden started her life as a Carolina Girl, but matured into a Georgia Peach. This freelancer dishes on sex, relationships and dating often revealing more than she should about her own life. Read more from her at A Brown Girl.

The biggest mistake a new lesbian can make is to apply heterosexual rules to her homosexual relationship.

Admittedly, I gave my first girlfriend hell about having mostly femme friends. I felt like her friendships with them were inappropriate just for the fact that these were women she could possibly be attracted to. My preference was for her to hang around with other girls that looked like her. More masculine women, soft studs like how she identified herself.

As I experienced more of the lesbian community, I realized that it wasn’t so unusual for a masculine woman to befriend mostly feminine women. For some reason, it often seemed as though the dynamic between masculine women seemed a little off, for some reason they saw themselves as competition rather than someone they could realistically form bonds with.

Anyway, I digress…

Across the ranges of sexuality, women seem to form stronger bonds with other women. Historically, those relationships are documented as “romantic friendships.”

Romantic friendships are often defined as “a very close but non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in modern Western societies, for example holding hands, cuddling, and sharing a bed.”

Back in those days, in the Victorian Era, those relationships weren’t frowned upon. It was normal. Even if the men thought the women may have been doing something sexual in nature, it was commonly thought that women were incapable of sexual pleasure, so their male counterparts didn’t frown upon those relationships.

Let’s fast forward to present day…

I have a friend that has spent the night next to me, holding my hand. The same friend used to comment on my breasts, usually when I’d be braless and take every opportunity to look down my shirt. We grind on each other at the club, but we’ve never done anything remotely sexual.

I have another friend that is the person everyone calls for any and everything. She is the person you call if you need help moving. She’s the person you call if you need to borrow a couple of dollars. She’s everybody’s go to person. She’s straight and her straight married friends come to her before they go to their husbands. As a result most of her friend’s husbands don’t like her.

One of my exes was very much like the friend I just mentioned. Her friends would call her all hours of the morning of the night, wake her (and me) up out of our sleep to ask her opinion about something as small as a hairstyle. It used to frustrate me because I would always wonder why these girls couldn’t have a thought without my girl’s approval. This same girlfriend admitted later that many of her friend’s had crushes on her.

My thoughts: Romantic friendships without deeper intentions are fine. Send your friend flowers. Cuddle with her on the couch. Tell her that her ass looks hot in her jeans. The best thing about a truly romantic friendship is that it comes along with the best intentions. If things change, meaning one of you starts to see your hang outs as dates, it’s time to set clear boundaries within the friendship so that it doesn’t interfere with romantic relationships.

Do you have romantic friendships? Do you find that those type of friendship interfere with your romantic relationships? Or are these friendships just a front for romantic intentions?

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