Friday, July 16, 2010

Dallas does....the ever-elusive platonic friendship.

It's been a few days, but here I am roaring back into your life with an important issue to explore: the complicated world of guy-girl friendships.
There are billions of people in this world and that means plenty of opportunities to make new friends...and plenty of people leftover to fill your romantic needs. Right?
But what if the same people in the first column slide on into column two. Not supposed to happen. A bit too complicated to be desired.
And to think our mothers are always saying that the best love begins with friendship!
In a world much less divided into male and female regimes than it was a century ago, guys and gals find themselves matin' and relatin' all over the place.
A guy walks into a bar, sees a girl, and thinks "Well my oh my, what a wonderful friend she'd make."
Okay so our motivations are not always that sincere. But however a girl and guy come together, it makes sense that they could choose the friendship route over the path to the bedroom.
And no, I'm not talking about those relationship cop-outs like "I'm not ready for a relationship right now" or "We're better as friends" said moments before one of the pair walks out of the realm of emotional involvement entirely. I'm talking about two people, a man and a woman, who truly click in the friend zone and tell each other everything (well...almost everything...) and just 'get' each other.
Is it possible to stay there? To stay in that place where he's not noticing how good she looks in those shorts and she's not asking him to give her the attention that Mr. Smirnoff wouldn't give her at the bar?
Here's the issue. Guys and girls are obviously meant to end up in friendships. We complement each other in ways that can't be matched between people of the same sex. If a girl needs some space away from the nail polish fumes, she deserves to be able to spend some time with her male compatriots without questions being asked.
And if I guy just needs one girl in his life free of mind games and high-maintenance whines, he should be able to text her whenever he feels like without the nagging thought that she wants something more.
But no matter how many conversations are shared in the comfort of the friend zone, talking about all the crazy friends turned lovers who are bopping in and out of our lives, there always seems to come that moment where a tightrope appears that gets harder and harder to walk.
Maybe her options are drying up and she doesn't understand why not every guy can be as sweet and perfect and wonderful as Mr. Friend. Why they can't compliment her without being sleazy, or know exactly how she deals with her parents?
And maybe for him it's just a need to finally be settled. To find one girl he knows won't drive him up a wall for the next fifty years.
And then it hits you: love.
Well that would be just peachy keen, wouldn't it? So natural to cross that border. All the details have been worked out. He knows exactly the type of ice cream you need when you're feeling down, and you know all about how nervous he gets when he thinks about his future.
But then it doesn't work out. It's weird not being able to tell him when the guy you love is bugging you, because HE'S the guy that's bugging you.
And it all falls apart.
And there's no returning from that little trip. Border patrol won't let you by.
Was it worth it?
Obviously I'm being a bit pessimistic.
Surprisingly, I'm actually a huge believer in having guy friends. But I'm also a huge believer in taking 5 minutes at the end of the day to remind myself of all the reasons love needs to stay out of the equation.
And even that doesn't always work.
It's not like you can force yourself not to become interested in a person who knows all your secrets and is actually worthy of them. But you can remind yourself of how much it means to be able to talk to them about anything, without those nasty stomach butterflies getting in the way.
It's going to be a give and take. He can't expect you to love up on him when he's feeling lonely, and vice versa.
Because, let's face it. Nobody wants to live in a world where the only friends you're allowed share your same pair of sex chromosomes.
But if it's going to work you have to work to make it work.
And that's a lot of work.

Thoughts of the day about this same issue:
"The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other."
-Ashleigh Brilliant
"Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship."
-Oscar Wilde

Peace, love and only temporary pessimism.

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