How Friendships Evolve Over Time and the Quest for Platonic Intimacy

I've been thinking about friendship, how friendships evolve as people grow older, and platonic intimacy. Here's my developing theory, would love your feedback.

Most friendships start as either "personal" or "professional" and are substantially "emotional" or "intellectual."

Types of Friendships and Their Animating Forces

Personal — Personal friends tend to be childhood friends, school friends, family connections, neighbors, or a friend with whom you have little in common career-wise.

Professional — Professional friends you meet at your company, at a networking function, or elsewhere in your industry. A professional friend knows specifically what you do 9-5 and knows various key facts about your life and career.

Then there are two main animating forces:

Emotional — An emotional undercurrent involves…emotions! Feelings. Relationships. Someone you'd call on a weekend when you're extra happy or extra sad. Heart. Emotional connection usually requires significant amounts of time spent with the person.

Intellectual — Ideas are the order of the day. Philosophy. Analytic disagreements. Industry banter. Current affairs books. Brain. Frequency of contact with the person has little bearing on quality of intellectual dialogue.

Usually personal / emotional pair and professional / intellectual pair.

How These Dimensions Play Out As You Grow Up

Growing up, you have only personal, emotional friends. A 10 year-old isn't debating marketing strategy with a colleague from work. But over time, as you enter the workforce and mature, you develop specific intellectual interests (or not). You become intellectually curious. You take on professional interests and goals. For a broadly fulfilling friendship, you need more than pranks or playing sports together. You need to be able to have a stimulating conversation.

So I think around age 18-30 you face a question: Can my personal, emotional friendships develop a meaningful intellectual dimension? If yes, you probably have a life-long friendship that will be deeply rewarding and intimate. If not, you have a relationship worth maintaining but not destined for intimacy.

As you enter your late 20's and 30's, you're meeting people mostly in a professional context with intellectualism as the animating force. Work as a social place is an environment not as naturally conducive as school or a youth sports team to personal, emotional intimacy. More authentic "social" time must be scheduled in advance due to a busy schedule and perhaps a family of your own, which means it happens less often.

Hence the second, harder question asked a few years later and for rest of life: Can my professional, intellectual friendships develop a meaningful emotional dimension?

I think for most it's easier to add intellectual fulfillment to a long-standing emotional/personal friend than it is to add an element of emotional personalness to an intellectual/professional friend. For one, there aren't as many established protocols or traditions that facilitate building emotional closeness in a non-romantic setting. Also, if you're married, you can come to depend on your mate for the emotional closeness that you used to get from friends and thus your skills at cultivating it platonically deteriorate.

Men in particular struggle with this. The five-year old NY Times piece on the awkwardness of a "man date" nailed the issue. You see older men with plenty of intellectual conversations but no friend with whom they can open up / confess / be close.

Intimacy Blurs the Lines. The Best Friendships Are Intimate.

Not all or even most friendships need to fit all of the boxes (personal, professional, emotional, intellectual). But the best friendships — the intimate ones — do, especially both emotional and intellectual boxes.

What do I mean by "intimacy"? Intimacy is a concept not exclusive to romance. I think it's also a potential descriptor of high-wattage interactions, feelings, and trust between two platonic friends. In a romantic relationship intimacy can be conveyed via physical contact — just snuggle up with her/him. In a platonic friendship intimacy must be expressed mostly via words and body language. So it can be hard to pin down in a friendship.

Here's one possible sign of intimacy: When you're with this friend, does your best and most natural self come out? Does being the person you want to be become effortless?

Intimacy in friendships is one of those things that you can get along fine without but miss once you've experienced it. Most people I know who maintain deep, intimate friendships value these relationships more highly than their ever-growing list of weak ties. Peak human experiences seem to happen in conjunction with intimate, soul-nourishing relationships. Friendships of this variety blur the lines and categories altogether.

(thanks to Stephen Dodson for helping spark this theory and Chris Yeh for helping think it through.)

29 Responses to How Friendships Evolve Over Time and the Quest for Platonic Intimacy

  1. Two close friends of opposite genders who share a non-sexual intimate relationship are called “dialogical lovers” — I found this term in a book many years ago and have loved using it ever since.

    I’ve actually found it a lot harder to convert long-standing emotional relationships into intellectual/professional ones than vice versa. Interesting that you’ve had the opposite experience.

  2. Dan Erwin says:

    Profoundly important subject, Ben. From my perspective, you’ve got all the issues nailed. However, your categories are far too clean for me. My experience is much more blurred. I can’t be intimate without both chemistry and intellect. I don’t sort work versus personal. Almost without exception, my intimates have grown out of a work connection.

    Years ago, a colleague who has been an intimate for years–we touch base yearly, and talk like there has no time between our visits–gave me these lines from George Eliot:
    Friendship is the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring all right out just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friendly hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of comfort, blow the rest away.

  3. Ben Casnocha says:

    Yes interesting that you’ve found the opposite.

    BTW, I don’t believe it’s possible to have a friendship with someone of the opposite gender and have the relationship completely devoid of sexual tension.

    • Alysha says:

      My experience confirms to me that friendships of opposite sex partners cannot exsist without sexual tension. I have had an opposite sex friend I’ve known for years and have in the last five months became extremely close to. I’ve moved beyond my level of intimacy with him than I have with anyone else ever, and the feeling is at times euphoric, and generally comforting and supportive. This is someone I’ve always cared for but never thought I would be sexually attracted to him. However as our bond has grown so deep through trust, mutual understanding and caring for each other, I have become more sexually aroused than I have ever felt towards anyone before.
      I don’t feel any differently about the relationship or him though as I did before the sexual feelings (acts) except continually more emotionally connected. The sexual part seems to me to be a natural part of the progression of intimacy. As I’ve gotten more comfortable and safe, and see he’s experiencing the same, I feel them and am able to act on them more. I was struggling with some sort of perceived decision about who my “partner” would be and feeling like I knew “it” wasn’t him and basically trying to escape the label game and enjoy what I’m experiencing. (his trouble with this was do I love this person or am I in love with this person?)
      I don’t desire to posses him and call him mine or restrict the love he can give or feel for others, is this what marks the difference between a modern ‘romantic relationship’ and This real true form of love I’m experiencing?

  4. Lisa L says:

    A really great book broaching this topic in an intellectual manner (and not the “evolutionary biology” “intellectual” manner) is Allan Bloom’s “Love and Friendship.” Examples from literature and philosophy through-out the ages. I’m really enjoying it.

  5. Krishna says:

    That quote used by Dan in his comment is from the novel “A Life for a Life” by Dinah Craik and not by George Eliot. Perhaps the confusion arose because Eliot’s “Adam Bede” and Craik’s novel were the two that reportedly were the most in demand in the libraries way back in 1859.

    I think it is risky trying to convert one category (from personal to intellectual and vice versa) to the other unless the characters share the trait. If not, it could strain the ties. A happy go lucky long time personal friend will be shocked if you suddenly discuss marketing strategies to him. He might be put off by that sudden heaviness of the banter and will begin to wonder whether you’re the same guy he knew. The one that always used to gather him up and hand it back to him in fine order, the one that always used to whistle the song on his mind. He may have liked you for your casual attitude and the lightness of your going about life. Similarly a serious professional acquaintance could mark you down if you suddenly cut loose and over engage him outside of business. Worse, he might get extra cautious when he has to deal with you in future :-)

    When the transition works, it’s cheaper than therapy – I agree. But why hit the switch at all? Isn’t it better to grow separately without growing apart?

  6. Dan Erwin says:

    Krishna: Thanks for the sourcing information.

    Re friendships: My friendship building experiences have been slow–very slow–an evolution, not hitting a switch. When an intriguing client gives me personal input along the way, input that resonates with my life and world, then I hitchhike. We dance back and forth–a little at a time. But over time, all of my intimate friendships have developed that way. It’s through a series of conversations–often over a long time period.

    Then too, and this may be explanatory–over the years, I’ve lived and worked in four different sections of the country–and that’s true for some of my intimates. But when I’ve moved I’ve kept a number of those intimates.

    I can’t help but believe that Gen Y like the other generations will be highly mobile and have experiences like mine.

    Again–for me, it’s always been a blurred, evolving experience, crossing work and personal life. And that’s also true for many of my intimates with their other friends.

  7. Naturally, I’m going to focus on the awkwardness of a “man date” as nailed in that NY Times piece, which I notice was written by a woman.

    ‘Straight’ men in the US generally are more insecure about their sexuality than men in Europe, and the contortions they go through on a ‘date’ with a male friend are laughable. As a gay guy, I’m acutely conscious of these social ‘perils’– like sharing a bottle of wine at dinner, and have often played off them to my advantage, just for my own entertainment.

    You straight hypocrites (you know who you are) deserve it for all the indignities you’ve visited upon your gay brethren, even the masculine ones like me.

    As Jennifer Lee (what’s that ‘8’ about?) was perceptive enough to see, big chunks of meat and beer or liquor are the essential props for two men to dine in comfort together publicly. Even down here in the fundamentalist heartland you see two straight men having lunch together in a barbecue joint all the time, with no reproach attached.

    It’s all about set and setting, and any homosexualist with the barest understanding of Freudian psychology can manipulate their fragile egos, under the right circumstances. As every gay guy knows, the drunker these macho goofs get, the easier they are to seduce, if he has any game at all.

    My club days are over, but the house ‘rules’ still apply. I promise you that the handsomer a ‘straight’ guy is, the more likely he is to end up in bed with the ‘queer’ he’ll despise in the morning.

    And apropos of Ms. Lee’s inviolable rule: “if a woman enters the picture, a man can drop his buddy, last minute, no questions asked”– let me tell you, they don’t take it nearly so well if it’s a guy taking their ‘buddy’ away.

  8. My definition is intimacy is to allow one’s true self to be known by another, and for that other to also allow their true self to be known by you. For some of us, this is the hardest thing in the world.

    Sex is a quasi-intimate act and so can take on huge importance to people who have a hard time being intimate. It’s halfway there, but not quite.

    Intimacy avoidance is intensely fear-driven. I find that as I let go of fear in all areas of my life, I find it much easier to let myself be known to others. I can use discretion and good judgment as to whom I make myself vulnerable in this way, but in the end the consequences are largely out of my control. Playing out the worst case scenario (the person will think I’m bad/weird/annoying), it’s really not as bad as the fear would suggest.

  9. Ben,

    I love how this excellent post on the intellectual and (and/or?) emotional aspects of friendship, particularly with regards to platonic male friendships and their ensuing man-date awkwardness, was based on a conversation at our very own (un-awkward) lunch man date.

    Like your point about “peak human experiences,” most of the fulfilling experiences in my life have been centered around what I like to call “epic friendships,” which uncompromisingly are based on true intellectual and emotional connections. It can be disappointing when one is met and the other’s not, but downright frustrating when friendships that once met both wane as people change intellectually (more often) and emotionally (less often). Personal evolution is crucial to a rewarding life, but not all friendships can evolve in the same direction. It’s just plain hard to intellectualize an intimate relationship or develop an emotional connection with a cerebral relationship, but when it happens, it’s one of the most rewarding things around, epic if you will.

    Thank you for putting this part of our conversation into words and structure, and most importantly, furthering it eloquently.

  10. John Brennan says:

    I’ve been wanting to write something similar myself.. more to try and organize my thoughts, but you did a great job!

    I agree with the notion of the “man date” being frowned upon in our society. I have a few intimate friendships with guys that are purely platonic. Intimate in the sense that we speak and interact openly, from the heart, on a one-on-one basis. Some of my friends often joke around about it, and I laugh as well.. but I really wonder what about the connection that I am having makes them say what they say?

    Is it that I’m butting up against their beliefs (which ultimately usually becomes their identity)? Or do they just think it’s not the time or place for real conversation (e.g. a bar with a group of friends)?

    My belief has been to live in the moment and let my heart dictate my actions (as much as possible). While this may through off some, it has ultimately lead me to lead a more fulfilling life of joy and happiness.

    well my mind is now saying i need to get back to work :(

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  12. nancy says:

    It is absolutely possible to be close friends with the opposite gender and have no sexual tension. Just as it is possible for men to have man dates and women to have girlfriends w/o tension. People are more complex than you may realize, even yourself! It may be something you’re yet learning? Is it worth the effort to try to overcome? Potentially, it depends on the opportunities… you may find yourself one day with the opportunity for a close friendship with the opposite gender and it might bee in your best interest not to dismiss it summarily based on biology. The idea of composite best friend points to the need for several sources of connection, that need might not be fulfilled by a single gender ultimately either. Why limit yourself? Good luck in all you do.

  13. Ravi Agarwal says:

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It was the course of find a away to reach my wife i found this great spell caster. I did not have the privilege of meeting but like he told other he had helped, some of them met him in real time. He told me after the spell casting my wife , my child will love me like we never fell apart they would know i messed up but they will not care about it any more. I got the materials that was required of me by i got i mean i asked him to help me sending over to him the total cost because most of the materials where only found in the heart of Libya. Just after the spell process was concluded a package was sent to me i can’t disclose its content but it rest easy it could not even harm a fly. He told me what to do with it and all he said will happen happened. I had my family back my wife , my child and i are once again that happy family i lost. I was still on suspension he told he i will get a call to come back to work and i did just after all he did for me. This spell caster he has something that saves lives. \Am glad i met him all he promised me he did i wish i could me more grateful. I will leave his email contact like those other person that did in there comment or article which ever this is spiritsofobudunmagonata ‘ at ‘ ‘ yahoo ‘ ‘ dot ‘ ‘ com . I know you all know how to make use of this email because email have a standard format use it in that form


    I am another individual that Obudun Magonata awesome has reached. A lot of us have desired love, wealth, luck and all but it always a step too far to reach or the chance never come our way and then it all became a dream nothing more that just a dream. Obudun Magonata the greatest enchanter i have ever known because he is the only one i know helped transform my dream into reality he helped me with an enchantment that made the one that i love find his love for me after wait forever in love with him. We’ve been best friend even before we could speak , we played together got in trouble together made silly promises at least we kept it but one i could not keep one. I could not stay friends with him forever, i didn’t want to just be his friend i wanted more i wanted him to love just as loved him but he saw me as just a friend or he didn’t want to admit he was also in love with me because it was obvious we sync perfectly made the same gestures, always in each other arm we were like lover that don’t make love . I was always a step behind when it came to letting him know how and what i felt about him. I wanted him to be the one to tell to say to me that he loved me and has always did. I wish i didn’t wait for him i wish i told him maybe it wouldn’t have took so long to be with him in first place. Through out our high school and collage years he was the guy every girl wanted to date he was the guy every wanted to give up their v card for and all the while i was the best friend of the guy i was in love with the one he tell all the nasty things he’s been doing with them. As hard as it was for me i couldn’t complain because we weren’t dating even when i wanted it so bad. I always found myself wishing i was the girls on the other side. We shared everything about our life and even told each other thing we never told those we dated. I couldn’t keep a stable relationship with any guy they all thought we hang out too much each other and i care for him more. They all left because they knew i was in love with him even when i tried to hide it always surfaced. My love life was a total mess and at first, it was really not a big deal because i thought with each man that come into my life a part of what i felt for him will fade away but it wasn’t the case. I found myself not being about to love them enough or always comparing them with him that always led to the death of the relationship. I knew i had to let him know i was in love with him and i knew it was going ruin a our friendship and also his relationship. I hated myself because she was a nice girl but i wanted to know if i had a chance, if we loves me just as much as i loved him but he never told me he was too mad with me for what i did not until Obudun Magonata helped me unveil it. I kinda picked the worst time to let him know about my feeling because he was engaged and i made his fiancée call it off. And for two years we didn’t speak he told me he never wanted to see me again and that i was dead to him. I was once again alone with my feeling all my effort to restore what i broke was in vain. I was happy the wedding was called off but was not so much because i didn’t get him instead he hated me for what i did. I was really really confused i wanted to stop loving i needed to get him off my mind and over. I was on that quest when i found Obudun Magonata on the Internet read about his work with some people and how they all got their heart desire. I contacted him with this email spiritsofobudunmagonata AT yahoo DOT com in the standard email form off course that they left on the Internet he told me the spirit had already told him that i was going to contact him. I only told him about how i was in love with him and what happened when i told him about my feelings but he knew we’ve best friends since we were kids that i did not tell him he reveal something only Ryan and i Knew yeah that is his name. Obudun Magonata told me that Ryan was always in love me like i loved him but he was unaware of his feeling. I asked him to help with with an enchantment that will make him love me and spend the rest of his life with me. All he used for the process was the materials he asked me to provide and after four days he sent a package via courier service which i paid for with content based on the enchantment he had done for me. I did not pay him anything for what he did for he did not ask me for anything. I followed the instruction i was given and just like told me Ryan was my to love again and i was his to love just like i wanted. Everything happened like the movie only that it was not like it. I mean he was in another state but he came down to let me know he now knew he was in love with and he wanted to love and just love me. It was the best moment of my life i never felt happier than how i felt that day. Just for the record we have being together for a year and six months now and still strong i can even sense a proposer it was one of the thing Obudun Magonata told me will happen.

  25. Gelina Mattson says:

    We all have different reasons why those of us who contacted Akpe Osilama to help us make our faithful to us some of us did it for lover, because of their children or health condition or even because they wanted not to be alone. For me it was non of those though i love my husband and don’t want to raise our teens alone . The reason why i contacted Akpe Osilama to help me with a spell truly was because my husband was running for one of the seats in the Riksdag,the national legislative body of Sweden. Now i am not going to say if he won or under what party for security reasons i did not ask for a spell to make him win or something NO i just asked for a spell to make him stop being a chronic Womanizer it was going to affect his campaign. I have lived with him for 20 years and after countless occasions of catching him cheating on me i have come to live with him like that though it hurts to death. I wish i knew all along all those years about Akpe the Great spell caster maybe my life would not have been this way. Like i was saying, His womanizing behavior got him into a lot of trouble and if any of those stories where to hit the press it would have destroyed his life and this political career and probably landed him in jail. With all the advise from me and his advisories of his campaigning team it was still not enough to bring him to caution. I went to the extreme to make sure he stops willingly or unwillingly that is i meant with some of his lover and asked to pay them off but they were not ready to let go it. I think he offered them something more that money that even with the amount i offered them, they all refused and believe me it was very surprising and they will turn down a large amount of money. We my husband got to know about it he mad mad at me and gave all sort of threats. I was confused and his opposition were digging to find dirt on him and still was so convinced that they will not find anything but they did only with no evidence that was how lucky we were. Right then i took matters in my hand and contacted Akpe Osilama with the email address i saw on the internet i contacted him and told him what i want him to do for me to make my husband be faithful to me till our dying day and make all those people looking for how to bring down my husband stop. OK note my husband is a very honest man who would not hurt a fly he was just careless and always picked the wrong kinds of woman that get him in trouble. Akpe Osilama asked that i provide 4 kind of item me being so careful employed expert to help me get those materials mailed them over to him. I sent a total some of 3000 dollars when converting from Swedish Krona to American dollars. And it much much cheaper if i had asked him to get them for me. But whats done is done. Just after four day sent me a package, not telling its content but is totally harmless and told me how to make the spell effective. I did as he told me and in two my husband somehow magically broke tires with all the women he was involved with i don’t know how it happen and those people trying to kill his political ambition stopped immediately. I wish i knew this Great man all along my life would have been perfect. His campaign team did not understand how i did it and what i did they were just happy all the worse is past. What wow me the most about Akpe Osilama was that he told me the out come of the election before the election date last year because all this happened last year and just what he said will happen really came to pass. And again i can’t give full info because of security reasons. I little advise for those that are going to contact him via this email (chiefpriestakpeosilamaspellcast@ (yahoo). com) rewrite to usual email format if you are asked for material to do the spell don’t go about it yourself Because you will waste a lot time and money on it and get to see asking him to get them for you with the total cost you wire to him will save you a lot. You have nothing be be afraid you can trust him with anything Because all he does is help people no matter how hard it may be.

  26. Louise Damen says:

    How to restore a failing relationship Unlike the movies we see, every relationship will not always been happy forever. Something or factors are always there to drop the relationship you have given all. It may be due to dishonesty, failing to funding, lack of understanding, the requirement of unemployment and so on. It will take more than a lot to save a relationship failing to take i’ve been there. Now I know some ways that can help restore a failing relationship that will work, it forms the background to the latest high ultimate way I know. Understanding: Understanding is a way to restore a default relationship.But as easy as it sounds, it is the most difficult task accomplish.Why is it? let see. In a relationship is like to be that person who has never heard as he or she does not exist. Men feel like everything he says or does is just because they are men and they think they need to be still in charge because men are heard and women feel like they have need to be heard and their opinion counts a lot. If the two can not balance this, I see no hope for this relationship because after so many struggles resulting from misunderstandings they call the end. Stable finances: This is especially for men. It is important to have a stable finance, because a lot of bad things can happen due to financial difficulties. Even if your spouse choose to stay with you through troubled times, you can see that the default and before you know little things and talk about money leads to fight and as you know the relationship falls. But stable finances can restore a failing relationship in a measure before some other factors plans. Couple Counseling: This for a very long time is the last point of almost all couples before the final relationship fall.Here terminal are either restored or destroyed.Couple Council recorded a large amount of success over the years, but does not guarantee that the relationship will remain strong for long time.Studies show that most relationships recorded by the board experienced a positive change for up to 3-5 years before failing again and some even comes experienced no change. I’m not saying couples therapy does not work I simply say, it does not really guarantee a lasting relationship. D’Amour spell: For me, this is the only way that you and someone you love will always be, as they have promised you. My marriage had its largest penalty the board, understanding and all the things I wrote above, and the only thing that worked for me was the Ajayi Ololo fate did for me. It was the only help I seeked that actually worked for me which is why I say is the Ultimate.My friend who advised me to contact a spell caster remained married to her husband for ten years and some months now because of love Ajayi Ololo fate of her.I can not speak of my own because its just been two months .I you want to save your relationship Contact your roulette with this email ajayiololo @ (yahoo). com. Warning: use this email in the regular mail format

  27. Susan Witkowski says:

    This comment i Susan is placing is not like the day by day advert you read online before!! Its a comment that you must read to avoid been ripped off and know the real spell caster on earth God sent to change and turn lives around without any harm / side effect.
    I am so over joyful as my month can not start to say all that really happened, It happened when i saw Ajayi advert online talking about been the best when there are so many spell casters online that i have used that has failed me.I spent almost close to $8000 dollars online for those spell casters that ripped me off my money without any result. But when i saw Dr Ajayi advert online saying that there is no spell caster like him and so many other testimonies about him from various people and from various countries in the world were it was written that ololo spell temple is the best that there is non to be compared to his work, Already i have personally take a decision never to apply to any spell caster online again after loosing such amount of funds on line to those scammers.But i don’t really know what drew my spirit / attention to that advert online that faithful afternoon, { I call it a faithful afternoon because all i desire was granted to me. } There was an email at the end of his advert and on the good comment from the FBI and various people about him, I decided to send him an email telling him my problem about my lost job, money that i have lost to scammers and also having problems with the love of my life that i want to get married to. After some few minutes i received an email from him that contain the spell application form that i filled out and he told me that to get my spell casted that i will have to get some items that i could not get here when i went in-search for it. He said if i can not get the items, That is going to cost me an amount of just $390 dollars for my kind of case that i told him about which i doubted to be another scam online, As i have read so many tips online that money should not be sent to someone you do not know via western union / money gram payment information’s. And Dr Ajayi insisted that i will be sending money to his messenger via this wire means. I was so skeptical because i was scammed in such a way of $700 dollars before,But this same spirits that attracted me to his advert told me inside again that this spell caster is real and noting but real that i should go ahead and send him the amount since i know that there is no how i can get the items that he told me that will be needed for my case. I sent him the charges through his messenger to please help me get the item with the money to get my spell casted.He promised me that in the next 5 to 7 hours that i will start to see results after the spell has been casted to get the love of my life back and others. I could not believe this because i have really been scammed and ripped off too many times for me to just believe till it works. To be sincere i almost faint as i was filled with so much excitement and happiness when my lost lover for over almost 9 months call was entering my phone and i picked the call were he ask if we can see to take things over and also my boss called me to tell me to come for training on my terminated job also due to too many thinking that in the office that result to it. Then in the next 2 days the FBI called to tell me that they have been able to get the scammer that is with my money. I am so proud and happy to spread the good-news about this man because he surprised me in his wonderful and powerfully work that restored back to me my heart desires. One thing that i also loved about this man is that he is understandable and he reduce or negotiate how much you can get for the work you want him to help you with. You want to meet with this great,most powerful spell caster that is 100% scam free,Just send your emails to this email: ajayiololo AT yahoo DOT com as you will get help from him without any disappointment.

  28. Hannah Puig says:

    I think this is a very interesting article as it pertains to the transition between college life and the working world. Even though universities are places full of intellect and intellectual people, they are also filled with many young adults trying to find their place and purpose. Because of that many of the relationships evolved in college are mostly personal, emotional ones. These relationships are fulfilling at that time in life, but I think it is interesting to see how many of those friends can became intellectual relationships, that are willing to take the intellectual journey with you, but still maintain the balance of the emotional as well.
    Being that I recently transitioned into the working world, I have found that relationships are a lot more complicated and dynamic than I would have expected. I mean of course, all relationships with anyone are dynamic and complicated but work ones are different. Personal, emotional relationships are intimate by nature. Intellectual, professional relationships are not, but sometimes become that way, unintentionally. In which case, I don’t think is an accident. I have found that many intellectual discussions have the potential to get heavy, deep, and real because they are usually about something that people are interested in or passionate about. In these conversations people unintentionally reveal more than you would think, and it can be missed if one isn’t in tune with these personal cues.
    I still agree with what you said. Most relationships do fall into those loose fitting categories. We as people, also tend to allow ourselves to fit into those categories to fit with work and societal norms. Just from the perspective of someone that is new to relationships in the work world it is interesting to analyze with these categories, and this perspective because you realize there is a lot of gray space.
    Men always tend to say that two people of the opposite sex can’t have a relationship with no sexual tension. I wonder if woman feel the same way, but as a whole are less likely to admit it because of the implications it would have on a woman. Not sure, just an on going thought.
    I realize this article is six years old, but thank you, thank you. -Hannah-

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