Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I want you to want me.

In his review of I Love You Man, Ezra Klein reflects on adult friendships:
What the movie gets right, I think, is the way in which making friends as an adult is not merely similar to dating, but actually worse. The absence of sex renders the process more uncertain: Unlike with dating, there are few discrete waypoints available to help you judge the relationship's progression. Unlike with dating, the acceptable behaviors aren't rigidly defined and so the appropriate moves are not always as obvious. Even the expectations are more uncertain: Two single people at least have a certain symmetry in their dating lives. That's not true for two potential friends, one who might have lots of friends and a busy social calendar and the other who might be searching out a best friend or a whole new group.
It is so hard to make clear to someone that you want to be their friend. Is this problem worse for men? Sometimes I feel jealous of the easy superficiality of (ed.: some!) male friendships. The expectations for female friendships are sometimes higher, and maybe that causes us to end up not connecting at all.
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