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"friend ceremonies"??

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Recently I've been casually trying to research potential examples of non-romantic relationship ceremonies, but I haven't had much luck, partially because in using the search term "friendship ceremony" I discovered that it actually refers to a non-legally binding marriage (who's idea of a sick joke was that? I'm annoyed), and "friend/platonic marriage" turns up a lot of articles about people unhappily stuck in sex-less relationships. The only relevant bit of information I found was on adelphopoiesis/adelphopoiia, or "brother making," a religiously recognized relationship between two men that once existed in the Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches. There's been debate as to whether it was either intentionally or unintentionally accommodating to gay men, but either way, it's not that useful to us I think. It's religious and limiting gender-wise, and even though it could potentially apply to me, a guy who was raised Catholic, it's extremely obscure. 

Anyway, I just happen to think it would be really cool if there were ways of making a big deal out of a non-romantic relationship either by demonstration in front of other loved ones or in private confidence. It might go a long way toward putting romantic and non-romantic relationships on equal footing, culturally speaking. Not sure if I'm looking in the wrong places, or if it's really that uncommon through history/in other cultures. Avoiding cultural appropriation is important of course, but I do want to take a stab at coming up with something new, and having other examples to learn from would help.

All I've got to go on so far is something from fiction. There was a book series I read as a kid called The Underland Chronicles, in which there were "bonds," characters who made a pact to be close companions who protected each other to the death. A *lot* of characters died or almost died in this series, so it's a practical thing in their world, but there's more to it than that. Bonds are basically inseparable, the closest of friends, and it's taken so seriously that breaking the terms of a bond lands a person in exile as their court-ordered punishment. The ceremony is done by holding hands and reciting a short poem: "[insert name], I bond to you. Our life and death are one, we two. In dark, in flame, in war, in strife, I save you as I save my life." I think there's an intentional reference to marriage vows, but the similarity ends there. Growing up, I really really appreciated this. I guess you could call it representation in a way. 

Anyone got anything else?

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Guest Blazkovitz

You can just invent a new type of ceremony, maybe it will catch?

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I like the idea. I might not use it personally though. Maybe there could be some tradition of celebration existing relationships. Kinda like how married people celebrate anniversary. 

I'm trying to come up with examples but I agree with poster above we'll probably have to make something up.

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yeah i'm not sure it'll become a well-known thing in society, or any standard way, just individuals can do whatever they like.  i'd like to do something with my best friend, i'll kind of leave it up to her how much weddingy stuff she wants to incorporate--guests, rings, vows, formal dresses, cake, etc.  

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I'm swedish there's a word Anhörig. Which if literally translated would mean something like bond-belonged. It's usually used to describe relatives but I like that it's kinda open to mean anyone. 

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There's the whole "blood brothers" thing, where you make a small cut on your hand and your bestie does the same, then you hold hands so the blood mixes and then you're brothers for life (or sisters, or siblings). 

Not exactly hygienic, and I've no idea where it comes from. When I was little some of the tougher kids would do this. The rest of us would just spit in our hands and be spit sisters or spit brothers instead!

Definitely more of a private thing than a public ceremony, on account of all the bodily fluids! 

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I came here to talk about the blood-brothers thing too. It is a well known concept, though aged, I feel like. It shows up in old tales and norse mythology, things like that. I never encountered it as a schoolyard thing, like skittles have. And it is also my impression, that a lot of cultures have had similar things. Usually as a symbolic brotherhood thing, and sometimes specifically for battle-reasons, but if we want to apply the concept in a modern age, we can always update those parts. It probably would be a slightly strange to be blood-brothers today, in an actually serious way, but I think it is comforting to know anyway. Because it means that, as humans, in the past, we have felt that need to bond ourselves to individuals in a non-romantic way. It's just fallen out of use in our culture, but the desire for that type of bond is nothing new. It isn't unreasonable that it could become a thing again. 

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10 hours ago, Jedi said:

It shows up in old tales and norse mythology,

That's so cool! I did wonder if it was based on an old tradition.

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First of all you'd have to ask yourself why we have the existence of "romantic relationship ceremonies".

As far as I'm concerned, I think that those ceremonies are mainly used for flagging purposes.

The heavy weight of child making in society
associated with the huge amount of care children require obliges society to flag the child-making kind of relationships.
A flag such as "tread cautiously on this one turf (relationship)".

Thus, anyone dealing with people involved in these kinds of relationships needs to be cautious or else their actions could result in making children from that child-making-relationship growing up, lacking the appropriate care, into adults with all sorts of problems. Of course, no one wants a society full of those kinds of adults.

The bottom line being that compared to non-romantic relationships, romantic ones will surely always be more favored as a result of their potentially-child-producing characteristic. Unless, somehow there is a healthy way of combining child rearing together with non-romantic relationships.

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