…e friendships of boys are both casual and interchangeable, along with our relentless privileging of romantic love over platonic love, we are driving boys into lives Professor Way describes as “autonomous, emotionally stoic, and isol…
By romantic love you mean sexual love. But the point is that in our society we have reduced love to sexual love not seeing that love and sex have little in common.
Apparently girls and women have kept the notion and practice of love as different from sex and love between girls and women is accepted, more or less, whereas love between boys and men is at once rejected as having to be perverse, homosexual, gay or whatever and we are living in a deeply anti-gay society and gay marriage or same-sex marriage does not change that since this love between two women or two men has to go through marriage to be acceptable, hence to be reduced to or identified as sex.
That’s the mistake, and by the way there is nothing romantic in sex, hence your term “romantic love” means nothing because of the old fashioned and archaic value of this word romantic.
And is it romantic the English or French way or Strum und Drang the German way? And what about courteous love in the Middle Ages?
Love between two people, no matter what sex they may be is a passion, and hence is deeply romantic, Sturm und Drang and courteous, and it does not have to be sex which is in no way romantic but hormonal.
Your term “platonic love” is even worse since it implies its definition is the result of the exclusion of sex, which is a negative definition.
Love is the full engagement of the mind in a passion for another person, and I do say the mind not the hormones.
Speaking of the mind goes beyond the hormones by definition. We are at another level. We are following another road, with one road untaken like in Robert Frost poem:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
We still have a lot to think on the question of love and get out of clichés, most of them bigoted.