Tag Archives: couples

How touching?

I know a couple who is not affectionate with each other. I know – hoo wee! Alert the presses for this shocking news – but I think the reason they stand out is twofold: they aren’t old and neither is demonstrably affectionate toward the other. I pay attention to how couples relate – it’s just something I naturally do – and what you, or I, often see, is that ONE of any given pair is the “affectionate” one. And the other is essentially the receiver (or sometimes it appears, tolerator). For neither to be a toucher or otherwise noticeably affectionate, in an otherwise functional dynamic, surprises me.

No matter how good the rest of the relationship was, I could never live without affection in a romantic, primary relationship. Affection that wasn’t always a prelude to sex or always behind closed doors. I may become close or friends with a “cool,” undemonstrative person, but I would never choose him as my partner.

People’s styles vary. There’s the couple groping and showing off that makes you wanna heave up your lunch. Their affection often – although not always – seems calculated for effect. (Aside: Despite not enjoying the sight of couples dry-humping in front of me, I have never liked nor used the phrase “Get a room.” One time I was giving a prolonged embrace to a male friend whose father had recently died. His friends, a man and a woman, adults – not kids – evidently became uncomfortable, and said, “Get a room.” I didn’t say anything to the friends but wanted to snap, “What the hell is the matter with you?? His father just died.”)

There’s the obligatory, dry cheek peckers who make you think, why bother? Whose relationships seem as perfunctory as their affection. Then there’s the couples whose affection with each other make you think “Awww, that’s nice.” It makes you just feel good by association. Maybe I believe affection; the looks, the touches, the tone of voice, the friendly teasing, etcetera, that passes between two people – things which can’t be faked or not for long – is a fair barometer of the overall relationship.

How old are your friends?

I read once that throughout their lives, people tend to have the same age relative to their friends. It’s an interesting idea. In my case, for example, my friends have tended to be my age and older, a theme which has run fairly constant till now, even as the specific people have changed.

On the other hand, starting in childhood, one of my older sisters leaned toward people her age and younger for friends, and, pushing forty, even married someone younger.

If there is anything to this, it must have to do with the nature of the dynamic we prefer in our social relationships. I thought about that and realized I’ve wanted peers and people I can learn from.

With my sister, it’s pretty easy to understand too; she liked to be in charge, the ringleader of her friendships.

I am thinking that my way could eventually hit snags. Suppose I’m 90. Will I be looking for 100-year-old friends?? I can see where the pool of eligible contenders might begin to dry up a bit!

I do need to say that in sometimes being drawn to older friends, I have never looked for someone to “take charge” of me, i.e., tell me how to think, live, etc. Not all all. I have always been my own person and pretty capable of thinking for myself. Being interested in someone’s mind has consistently been the impetus for my friendships and relationships as well. I’ve seriously dated a man 10 years older and another 13 years older. I can think of two younger guys I seriously dated but both were long ago and have proven to be exceptions (so far?).

Another aspect to the friends business independent of age, is that my friends have typically been single, like I am (whether they never married, were divorced, and in one case, widowed). I don’t seem to befriend couples – or vice versa. Theoretically I’m not against it, but it hasn’t been part of my experience.

How old are your friends relative to you? Does the age theory seem to hold true to your experience?