This website is a place where male and female can safely approach each other and gain deeper understanding for what the "other" half of the human race has been going through...while keeping an eye trained on the goal of reuniting with a real partner.
To this end, we created a "courtly companion" concept for site members. It's entirely voluntary, a sort of safe, encouraging arrangement between equals. Companions can use their user names and contact each other through the site. They needn't reveal their true identities, as that is unimportant for this type of connection. Companions simply try to be open and accepting as they listen to and support each other.
Anyone who wants to volunteer can indicate his or her willingness by creating a user account. Then click on the "Edit" link, then click on the "Courtly Companion" link, and then click the box. Of course, anyone is also welcome to contact any other member directly and ask to establish a similar relationship. The advantage to following the above procedure is that I can make sure the other person is also willing before you connect.
I match people up at random, so there's no saying when you may be matched. We usually have more men than women, so the wait for men is longer. Please note: There is no actual "matchmaking" involved. Age differences and sexual orientation don't matter; only gender difference.
Married and partnered people may also serve as companions, just as in the courtly love tradition. However, if you have a partner, but are also considering a Courtly Companion, here are some helpful guidelines proposed by a forum member:
- establish boundaries about what you will and will not discuss
- limited sharing of personal information outside the topic at hand (karezza), ie. avoid talking about families, hobbies, likes/dislikes, and other "get-to-know-you" topics as this serves the purpose of relationship and intimacy building.
- tell your partner about your companion, explain why you are doing it, and invite them to read the correspondence
- encourage discussion with your partner as the primary form of expression, problem solving, etc.
Sharing intimate details of one's sex life with someone without partner's knowledge could be a breach of trust. There is a significant risk of becoming emotionally or romantically attached to a partner when discussing such intense, personal, emotional, sexual matters. If partners have a history of addiction, dishonesty, or infidelity, having a "secret" companion with whom you discuss sexual matters would be problematic. One might ask themselves how their partner would feel if they knew you had such a companion.
If the connection feels right to both Companions, then it would proceed for a month, at which time Companions could mutually decide if they want to continue. I will be happy to reassign people at any time. Also, communications through the site are totally private. No one can see them.
Most of us have scars from the way our biological mating programs have made love seem scary. Genuine, kindly connections with the opposite sex - without recreation or procreation as the goal - seem to gently heal that alienation. By understanding, together, that we have all been tricked by biology, the pain seems to dissipate, and optimism is restored.
Obviously, this is not a romantic relationship. Courtly Companionship is simply a comforting, healing connection between two people, both of whom are devoted to helping ease any past hurts relating to alienation between the sexes.
A word on why this approach can help:
Men often contact me privately, and really seem to benefit from having a sympathetic female ear...one that doesn't need anything from them, and isn't expecting anything. In that comfortable space they are often able to see their next step toward healing something in themselves or their relationship. More importantly, over many years of such listening, I have gained a greater understanding of the kinds of hurt and challenges with which they are dealing (a chief one of which is today's flood of intensely stimulating visual erotica which can especially affect the male brain like drugs and be very difficult to leave behind). This makes it easier and easier for me to see men's situations with greater compassion. From their side, Courtly Companionship seems to help them become more sympathetic toward women's challenges. I've also made some wonderful, trusted friends this way, whom I can ask for advice when I need it. I think that real cyberspace companions can help us to feel safe to open toward deeper contact with the opposite sex.
Please use this blog space also to suggest refinements to this effort, or share anything you wish to about the concept.
To sign up if you already have an account, go to "My Account" and click on "Edit." Then click on the "Courtly Companion" link and check the box.