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Why Can't We Be Friends?


I was somewhat taken aback recently when I learned that a single friend doesn't care very much for the company of couples. It is difficult not to take personal offense at this, being part of a couple, but then I took a step back and thought about the various types of people who I know and prefer to associate with socially. And the reasons why. It was an enlightening self-analysis.

First, I realized (though not really for the first time) that a majority of my friends are heterosexual. This isn't something I give much thought to on a day-to-basis. Whenever I've made friends with someone, their sexuality has been very low on the reasons why we click, if it's even been a reason at all. Indeed, it is a fact that gay people don't have a lot in common with one another, simply because they're gay. That sounds like a harsh thing to say, especially during Pride Month, nevertheless it is true.

Second, if I'm being honest, it's become a reluctant reality that, as part of a childless gay couple, I've tended to see friendships drift apart with couples who have children. We tried -- we really tried -- with some friends several years ago, but so much changes once a couple adopt or have a child naturally. The entire dynamic of their lives changes and, for those of us without children, well, it just isn't the same. Our friends with kids attach themselves to other friends with kids, and they experience things that those who are childless just wouldn't have a reference point for.

That, dear reader, is where I thought the dissimilar nature of dissolving friendships ended. Surely people without children could get along well and not feel any tension or exclusion? Well, perhaps not always. Depending on the numbers, there is the possibility the single person could feel like a third wheel. Then there is the bitterness or jaded feelings of being alone (single folks may bristle at this, but trust me, I've been there). And, I dunno, maybe there really are some things that couples like to talk about and do that perhaps single people can't relate to?

All of this is a shame, in the sense that I prefer to focus on our commonalities rather than what divides us. Yet it's true that humans tend to cluster with those whom they share interests and life markers with, so there we are. The entropy of our relationships occurs, sadly, for a multitude of reasons. I wish it didn't.


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