I recently located an article from 1989 entitled “Toward A New Definition of Singleness: Building a Life With Close Friends” by Rachel Kranz. It originally appeared in Utne Reader, March/April 1989, and was reprinted in a book called “Marriage and Family 90/91.” It’s worth locating.
A few good passages:
Many of my single women friends were desperate to find men because they saw this as the only way to have any significant emotional ties with anyone. What about friends? Well, no. If coupled, they weren’t available; if single; they’d disappear as soon as they found men.
I certainly recognized this anxiety, too. So I decided to make a radical assumption: I was never going to meet a man who would become my lifetime partner…
I’ve begun to wonder whether I really want a life of shared intimacy with one person. I might actually prefer builidng my life around a wider and more independent circle of friends…
In fact, relationships with female friends, if they are serious ones, open you to all the pain and terror of any important relationship. Yes, of course female friends can disappoint you, betray you, terrify you with their demands or their inaccessibility– why should this relationship, alone among all others, be exempt from the guilt, fear, anger, and destructiveness that we have ruefully learned to associate with families ad lovers?
Sometimes it seems to me that everything in the economy and the culture conspires against female friendship… I often feel that in my decisions to accept my single life and to allow myself to depend on my friendships, I’m hacking out a small, temporary space beneath an imminent landslide.