In journalism’s olden days, physical copy had to be transported to the typesetter – sometimes even by train from London to Manchester! Today, instant communication brings with it the dubious luxury of last minute corrections.
Case in point. I am asked by a columnist friend to provide ten therapy talking points to accompany her piece on getting too close to the opposite sex. I’m willing to do this for the sake of sharing info even though her rush is mad. When I submit my pearls, it emerges she has imperfectly gathered from the editor what is needed so with 40 minutes to final deadline at 8 am I have to turn out a new set of comments in 15 minutes flat.
Here’s what I sent – judge for yourself against what finally appeared (picture below). I make no claims to have achieved profundity by the way – but no more should they.
Can men and women ever be “just good friends”? Of course they can. Can men and women be “romantic friends” and never stray over the line? Of course they can. Can a man promise NEVER to make a pass at a woman he adores – no he can’t.
I am afraid nature has hard-wired us to be attracted to each other and all you can really do is minimise the risks.
Where the sexes may differ lies in opportunism. Most men have probably got a predatory instinct about sex – if they can they will and if could they feel they sort of should. So don’t be naïve – in the back of his mind he’ll always famcy the idea.
Long years of being close without falling into bed may deter both sides because in order to lust you need to be able to objectify someone. Familiarity does breed content. But I know of cases where even after six or ten years of platonic routine there was a sudden lunge across the sofa.
If adultery begins, the man’s behaviour becomes more anomalous. He has to cope with cognitive impairment and possibly starts to leave clues:
– New levels of physical and mental energy.
– New interest in weight, appearance, clothes and grooming
– Semi-plausible lying which causes your mind to itch – you believe what he tells you but are left with a semi-conscious doubt
– Last minute changes to his diary
– Strong desire to have you go away by yourself – or with the rest of the family
– Changed online behaviour – checking emails in the middle of the night; phone calls are shielded or taken in the garden
– Increased working of “a friend’s” viewpoint and opinions into his conversation – who is this anonymous genius you should ask yourself?
– He stops arguing with you because his mental focus has shifted. (Even a child can work out that rows betray more involvement than silence).
– Sexual frequency changes – he either wants you more or a lot less – guilt can motivate both (Don’t discount reading adult stories together though, ex. NSFWStories.com
Finally – which poses the greater risk to your emotional well being – a man’s wandering hands or his heart? Katherine of Aragon was rumoured to have said that King Henry VIII’s amours were only dangerous to her when he started sending the wretches poetry. In effect, infidelity doesn’t have to be sexual at all to hurt. But most of us mind the physical cheating too.