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June 3, 2019 | by  | in Arts |
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SWAT: Friendship Column

“We’re just friends.”

 

“Let’s be more than friends.”

 

There’s a lot of discourse in our society that frames friendship as a limited love, as though it sits firmly under familial love and romantic love. This has never sat well with me—many of my most passionate bonds with others have been found under the context of friendship, and I think that spending time placing love into a hierarchy is to lose sight of what love is all about to begin with.

I think this discourse can particularly affect guys, so I’d like to say this: don’t be afraid to say “I love you” to your mates. I think we as men can struggle to show affection like that, and it’s a heartbreaking thing. I know it can be uncomfortable. I often struggle to say it to my guy friends, and I tell myself that it’s okay because surely they know, and maybe they do. But there is value in being open about our love for one another. There’s value in knowing someone loves you because they’ve told you so, and there’s value in telling someone how you feel.

 

A lot of “guy culture”—and student culture in general—is rooted in cynicism and banter. These are not objectively bad traits, but often they inadvertently drown out earnestness and passion. We can forget to stop and tell our friend that we appreciate who they are. We forget to put into words the love we feel. Maybe it’s because there isn’t an expectation of that, like there is in romantic relationships. But maybe there should be.

 

We’re in a snapshot moment right now. A moment of late-night essays, awkward tutorial icebreakers, mountains of readings, and half-price sushi. It can be hard to remember that one day these will all be memories—which might sound a bit dramatic, but I only say it to emphasise our need to be strong in our connections with each other.

 

To any of my friends reading this article, new and old: know that I love you dearly, and I appreciate the time we spend together.

 

-Alex Walker

 

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