No nuptials necessary

Phoebe Luckhursts recent article, for the Evening Standard, questioned whether the classic Rom-Com had died a slow and saccharine death right before our very eyes. I am not ashamed to say that I have long been a fan of the Rom-Com. Predictable and dependable, there is nothing taxing on the brain when sitting through 2 hours of couple meet, drama happens, couple gets together. They’ve served a great purpose in my life but recently that predictability seems to be wearing thin. I’ve probably seen every possible variation of will they/won’t they. Oh your family doesn’t approve? Don’t worry, they’ll come around. You can change him! She’ll move to Australia! Luckhurst pointed out that the recounting of romantic relationships appear to have been super seeded by family relationships. More specifically, Sisters.

I won’t repeat what she wrote {Please read here} as I agree with everything she mentions ie The growing interest in sibling love/rivalry. The success of Little Women, Frozen, The Crown.

She ends with a quote from Fleabag who’s Season 2 opening line ‘This is a love story’ I have always believed refers to her relationship with Claire and not The Hot Priest.


With Season 3 of The Crown I couldn’t wait to see the love…square {?} of Charles/Camilla/Anne/Andrew unfold. But what actually stayed with me was a simple exchange between The Queen and Princess Margaret declaring their love for each other. It was powerful, moving and surprising. We’d already seen the jealousy and bitterness between these two stoic sisters but what triumphed in the end was their unconditional love.

This summer I told a room full of people that Sister With Massive Laugh was in fact the greatest love of my life. It was at her wedding I might add and not just when out for dinner at Pizza Express. The table arrangement, at that wedding, had me sat between two sets of sisters we have grown up with. I was sandwiched from every angle by sisterly love. The dynamics of Elizabeth and Margaret’s love is something I can totally relate to. The unconditional love part that is, not the bitterness or jealousy part so much. Having said that there was the time Sister With Massive Laugh met Mark Owen and I didn’t…

Limiting this new fascination with non romantic relationships to just sisters though leaves out the special bond that can bloom between brothers {Who’s real intimacy can often be over shadowed by sisters}. There’s also the beautiful revelry that can occur amongst all siblings. Check out Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson’s new podcast, Sibling Revelry, for a genuine, messy, bigging-up of each other. And what about the love story between plain, old friends? Lovers can come and go but a friendship can last decades. I would drop everything to watch a dramatisation of the love shared between journalist Suzanne Moore & the late Deborah Orr. In a recent Guardian article Moore paid tribute to her friend saying ~

‘She once head-butted an ex of mine when I wasn’t there out of some misguided loyalty and then phoned me, shouting at me angrily because she’d given herself a bruise on her forehead….We could have been competitors, but something much more magnificent happened: we become co-conspirators. My success was her success, hers was mine.’

Recently I got lost in 3 hours worth of tears and laughter whilst watching Ant & Dec’s DNA journey. So obvious has the depth of their 25 year friendship been I didn’t think it could throw up any more surprises. But it did! We’ve all seen the war stories of men bonding through adversity. And there’s plenty of tales about-sports-team-solidarity-team-fails-team-wins. Well, here was a modern day love story of two heterosexual men literally declaring their deep love for each other. Two tiny men. Who used to be in Byker Grove.

If family/sibling love is relatable to most and the same sexes make up the majority of our friendships, where are the stories about platonic male/female friendships?


In the classic Rom-Com format a really deep relationship would have them start out as friends and then – Shock horror! Didn’t see that coming! – they’d end up boning and live happily ever after. Well, I want to see the stories about those who choose not to bone. Those people who have no blood or sexual ties. Friendships made up of different genders but who have the same sexual orientation. Where no nuptials are necessary for these couples stories to be just as intriguing, complicated and rewarding.

When people start to pair up and children arrive on the scene I do feel that these are the friendships that suffer the most. For years you can be stuck chatting with ‘the wife’ or ‘the husband’ simply due to your sex. Mmmm…Not for me.

‘The Other half’ doesn’t know what I was like in the 90’s. They also don’t have permission to tell me to pipe down when I’m showing off.


I don’t think the Rom-Com will ever die completely. If nothing else they’re necessary for hungover, sofa days. They may just need to take a back seat for a while as other, more original love stories come to the forefront. We haven’t even talked about those who used to date or were married and still have a strong friendship after splitting up {a personal favourite of mine}. There’s the love that can arise by bonding through grief or hard times. Or the super intense friendships that appear quickly through shared experiences and then die off just as fast. Or what about the retelling of a group of old friends who threw another friend the best, surprise 40th birthday she could ever have hoped for. It was so good it makes her wonder if she’ll ever feel as special again….Now that’s my kinda love story.

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