The 11th chapter of Epstein’s Friendship: An Expose concerns friendships with the opposite sex. He writes eloquently — why even mention his habit? — of Samuel Johnson and Hester Thrale as well as of Evelyn Waugh and Nancy Mitford. Then he explores his own friendships with women.
The problem here is singularly lurking: opposite sex friendships can lead to intimacies that destroy marriages, and Epstein has already gone on record with the observation that the two don’t mix well. At that point I disagreed and said I thought our spouses ought to be our best friends. Well, no need to return to that.
It made me think of my friendships with women and of Kris’ friendships with males — nothing, really, to make much of. I’ve had good friends, with whom I have coffee or with whom I visit in their office or in my office at school, and Kris has friends at both Wheaton College and at the Meier Clinic.
Both of us made commitments long ago — not so much verbally but at the visceral level — that we would remain one another’s best friends and that friendships with those of the opposite sex would never get close. They’ve always been that way.
I’m wondering what you think about this matter?