Thursday, December 10, 2009

A hypothesis about marriage and friendship

Hypothesis: A society where romantic relationships and marriages are seen as primarily about emotional union between two adults is likely to be a society where non-romantic friendships are emotionally more anemic.

If this hypothesis is correct, then there is reason to promote a more embodied view of marriage not just for the sake of marriage, but also for the sake of friendship.


Nichoteh said...

Hi Alex, Is the thought that there's some sort of conceptual trade-off between the two -- i.e. that an embodied view of friendship allows one more "emotional freedom" in one's platonic opposite-sex friendships? That may be true to some extent, but I think the kinds of permissible emotions would nonetheless be quite restricted... N

candy said...

Well said, though I don't promote marriage of any kind at all.

Alexander R Pruss said...


I was thinking this way: if romantic relationships are defined by emotional union, then any relationship that moves towards emotional union is likely to be seen as romantic. But then, if one does not choose to engage in a romantic relationship with x, one is likely to hold back from emotional union with x. (Especially if one is a man and x is a man, and there is a fear of being seen as homosexual.)