Honestly, this is one of the hardest topic that this on line journalism class has to write about. I guess in order to come up with a definitive description of that gray area, one has to have a combination of skills in social psychology, sociology, one’s own unique personality and lots of gut feels. So, how does one arrive at that moment that can reasonably be described as more than just best friends but short of being lovers? Perhaps it would help that in this instance the definition assumes a heterosexual relationship. Having male or female hormones significantly affect the physiological and emotional aspects of relationships. Remember that metaphorical phrase: men are from mars and women are from venus? Indeed, there is a wide difference between the two and with specific characteristics being attributed to each of them. Now let me try to simplify this complication.
First, let’s talk about communication. Obviously, being more than best friends assume a more frequent and a more personal kind of communication. It presupposes a closer intimacy whether the communication shared is done face to face, through cellular phones, through the social networks, or through photographs. Communication may range from the mundane (“I’m going to school today”) to the personal (“I’m taking a shower right now”) or to the flirty (“You look great with your smooth shoulder length hair”). The assumption here is of course that all of those communications are mutually acceptable and appreciated by both.
Second, let’s also check out non verbal communication. Perhaps seeing each other often is one measure. And not only an eyeball to eyeball contact will do, it does include more smiles and genuine expressions of happiness. Some non sexual contact such as holding hands together or placing an arm over the shoulder or waist of the partners will ensue. There may be some light kissing on the cheeks or the lips or maybe on the ears! And lots of caressing – hair, arms.
Third, let’s see how appearances go. More than best friends will probably make people exert some effort to be in comfortable outfits that are preferred by both. If the boy, for example finds the body hugging blouse and low rise skinny jeans combination good on the girl, she will oblige. On the other hand, if the girl thinks the guy looks good in sneakers, then, he too will oblige. Best friends alone may probably not go that extent even if an opinion or preference had been expressed by either person. It may be acknowledged but rarely followed. But obliging might just be a sure indication of being in that gray area.
Fourth, how about doing similar stuff? Doing school works together perhaps is one. Or being comfy just walking around or enjoying free wireless fidelity while surfing in some fancy restaurant is another. This may also include doing stuff with common friends. Remember, there is no exclusivity yet in this gray area. So, on some occasions, other friends are welcome to come along or congregate.
And last but not least, how about expectations? Since, the gray area falls short of the persons being less than lovers, there will be no expectation of anything or anyone getting a little bit closer anytime soon. No, it isn’t trifling with each others’ emotions, the happiness one gets from being more than friends is, well, more than good enough and the satisfaction of finding and having a “soul mate” is an attainment of a basic human need. Of course, this does not mean closing the possibility of getting hitched romantically at some point. That would mean crossing into a lover’s relationship already.#