Compatibility is such a weird thing. What makes two people stay together? It is more than simple compatibility, and it is more than just romance. It is certainly more than material things.
One of my favorite shows is “Will and Grace,” because the two main characters are a perfect example of forging a partnership based on compatibility rather than sex (for those of you who have been living under a rock, Will is gay and Grace is straight). In one episode of the show, where Grace gets scared that Will may leave her, she decides it is time to make a large financial investment together by buying a piano. Who can blame her? A number of people have stayed together because of material objects that hold them together. What is sad is that these material bonds have become more powerful than emotional or romantic ones.
I have one person in my life who I am sure is the most compatible person for me in the world, but we are not dating. Why aren’t we dating when we understand so much about each other and always know what to say to make the other person feel better? We have the same priorities in life, and both complement each other’s weaknesses and strengths seamlessly, but still, we are just friends.
The reason we are not dating is because the person I am talking about is my best friend, and we are both currently dating really great guys. Just because we are not in a typical romantic relationship does not mean that I am not terrified of losing her or that we don’t daydream about the things we are going to do together in the future.
Friendship, job interviews and dating are so similar sometimes I find it hard to see the difference. Some people date without sex, some people have sex with friends and some people have sex to get a job or get promoted. There used to be real definition between all of these realms, but now there is nothing but gray area. I will say, however, that I don’t think it is ever ethical to sleep with someone to get a job; if you can’t get it on your professional merits alone, you shouldn’t have it.
So back to the friendship realm. In today’s world of sexual ambiguity, gender is not the differentiating factor between what makes someone a friend and what makes him a romantic interest. My ex-boyfriend was far more jealous and insecure about my relationships with women than he was of my friendships with men.
Women have the ability to cultivate deep relationships that are impossible for most men to understand, and this makes them insecure. I suppose I can see why, if they have a girlfriend who could be bisexual and is incredibly close to another attractive woman who has yet to define her sexuality – it could be slightly unnerving.
So how close is too close? I am sure most of you have heard the expression “emotionally cheating.” I firmly believe that you can betray a lover without having sex with someone else. So my stance is that it is only emotionally cheating if you entertain thoughts of sexuality or passionate love beyond what is normal for friendship. Really the only person who can know if you are cheating emotionally is you.
So even though I am afraid of losing my soul mate of a friend, it is like a romantic relationship in that if you trap someone into being with you, neither of you will ever be happy. So in friendships and all other relationships, we have to learn to give each other room to move and be moved and let fate take her turn at deciding our future.