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Intimate Friendships

author: James W. Ramey (1975)
date read: 20 February 2020
rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

This is a book about the changing nature of friendships and relationships between adults.

The key idea is pretty simple: the “traditional” ideas of marriage (one man, one woman; women as the possessions of men; breadwinner and housewife roles) are going away, and being replaced by more complex relationship models. It talks a lot about more pluralistic and peer-based relationships – you treat your partners as equals, not inferior/superior; you might have multiple intimate friends rather than a single primary partner – and the possible effects of such relationships becoming less taboo and more common.

What’s interesting is that this book is 45 years old, but a lot of the ideas still feel relevant. The terminology has changed (I tend to associate these concepts with the queer/poly crowds), and in parts it’s a bit dated (binary gender, ahem), but I was surprised by how well it held up.

It’s quite slow-paced, so I’m not sure I’d read it again cover-to-cover, but the concepts are useful and I might dip into it again.

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