The Prioritization of Romantic Relationships Within Amatonormative Cultures

We live in a society where it is totally acceptable and expected for us to go long periods without speaking to our friends (notice I said ‘friend’, not acquaintance, which is a more casual superficial relationship) and brush it off as being “grown” and “busy” but when it comes to our romantic partners, we are expected to maintain steady, consistent contact and communication with these individuals and to invest a great deal of time in building intimacy, love etc no matter how busy we are. We are expected to sacrifice our friendships and familial relations at the drop of a hat to please our romantic partners. How often do you see a person leaving their hometown to follow their friend overseas because they don’t want to be without their friend? Rarely, but we do this for our romantic partners in order to maintain the relationship. Yes, I do acknowledge that we can have friends who we love dearly and go a certain amount of time without speaking with them but why don’t we view romantic relationships the same? Is it because society has this messed up idea that romantic relationships are worth more than friendships? We prioritize romance over friendship. Our romantic relationships are of a higher priority than our friendships because we all know when someone/something is a priority we make time for it no matter how busy we are. Simple! How often do you go without speaking to your “significant other” or someone you are romantically interested in? Because we are not romantically interested in our friends (let’s be honest, most people don’t have close, passionate, intimate friendships. Friends are just people they hang out with, share a few jokes and common interests with. They don’t have deep relationships with their friends, especially if they are of the gender which they are sexually and romantically attracted to) we don’t see it necessary to invest time in building an intimate, sensual, loving relationship with them because society says we only want to spend time with, touch and be emotionally close with someone out of romantic interest for them. It’s a society that tends to romanticize any emotionally intimate, physically affectionate or sensual, deep, meaningful friendship. It’s an amatonormative culture based on a romantic-sexual relationship hierarchy. Even if these close friendships are accepted, they are only viewed as appropriate during childhood/adolescence. Growing up means leaving friendships behind in pursuit of finding the “one” and any close friendship is viewed as having an “emotional affair” because we are only to be close with our romantic-sexual partner. A world where romance and love are not seen as equal, where sensuality and physical affection are not so closely linked with romance and sexuality is a more loving world for everyone.

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