An ex-draft post. The mens group to which this refers bit the dust last autumn, which was a relief in the end.
Last Saturday at men's group we all did the masculine thing of agreeing that platonic relationships were not possible between men and women.
I nodded along too.
How many healthy men have fancied their mother in law?
But in all seriousness, the more I consider it, the more I think it's about us, our wants, satisfactions, expectations and desires. We can pretty much all get along without the least issue of unwanted desire for our MiLs (and probably a whole bunch of aunts etc too) and why is that?
QED, platonic relationships are perfectly possible.
But on the other hand, present someone delightful with the right chemistry and a desire for friendship and we suddenly find we have to be very careful where we tread. So then relationship becomes much more difficult to keep at a purely platonic level, and may require someone to run away sharpish before it gets out of hand.
There's aspects of this that I'm still thinking through, as to how we can offer encouragement, friendship and Christian love to those of the opposite sex that are attractive to us through no fault of their own. Running away has been effective in stopping things getting out of hand, but it's not necessarily that helpful to the person run away from.
This is pertinent to me still because science is full of women - probably more so than most industries - and if I'm going to share anything of the love of Jesus then there will be times of relative closeness & friendship. How does one do that without getting involved to a depth where things stop being 'just' friendship friendship? Being older helps, but is by no means any real answer, and running away will keep me 'safe' but probably doesn't look great or help whomever one is friends with. One of life's tensions.