There's so much about this question I have wanted to explore, but I'll stick to the short version for now. This time, this issue/question was jogged by reading a post on Dichotomy and commenting on it, though my question is from a non-married, slightly different perspective, stemming from that discussion but not meant to be directly applicable to his scenario.
I've asked myself, many times, why it is that an embrace from someone I feel chemistry with or just "clicked" with, who is a potential romantic interest (assuming we were both available or looking) by virtue of their being a gay male I find attractive, but have known for two months can feel so much more comforting and fulfilling than an embrace from someone who is not a potential romantic/sexual interest but has known me my whole life and has proven their love and commitment as a friend. What's with that? Isn't that backwards? Isn't it somehow juvenile? Is it my own emotional immaturity or search for fulfillment in all the wrong places? Is it totally normal? Should it be normal? It's certainly not rational. Stupid romance, attraction, and sexuality...maybe they'll make more sense to me someday.
On a very related note, why can the former hurt me so much more easily than the latter? Why do I open myself more to vulnerability with them? What does that say about my emotional health in relationships, or is that a normal human condition, to become vulnerable inordinately quickly where there's attraction, whether it be sexual and/or romantic and/or emotional? Shouldn't my long-term friends be more able to hurt me? Do I not give as much or invest enough in those friendships to feel emotionally at risk or vulnerable to be sliced asunder? Or are they truly able but choose not to, and that's why our friendship has lasted? Or have I been hurt, but our history attested to the fact that we were committed to our friendship through the rough times?
And how are some people seemingly immune to that? Have they just never opened up with someone enough to vulnerable? Have they never loved enough or cared enough or let down their guard or emotional walls enough? I think I used to be so guarded that I never "let anyone in" enough to lose the emotional upper hand in a friendship. But even when, in moments of pain, I wish I were as impervious as I once thought I was, I still would not go back to how I was in order to gain that protective shielding.
But I still imagine I have plenty to learn about real intimacy, earned vulnerability, deliberate commitment...and with that, ladies and gentlemen, I've decided it is way too late for me to be blogging. It might end up a rambling mess so long nobody will ever read it.
...shut up, Max, no my posts are not all like that. Gosh.