Yesterday Daniel brought me over a sandwich, on the random, just because he missed me and said he needed an excuse to talk to me. He needed his “JD nutritional requirment” and had been “suffering withdrawls.”
How transparent are his actual intentions? Very.
But he is a great guy with great characteristics. He’s a good friend. I value him and I enjoyed our random sandwich time. And if my chance to enjoy a friendship and good company ( and frankly, good sandwich…5 dollar foot-long from Subway) comes at the cost of hanging out with someone who would rather be more than friends…so be it. I enjoy our friendship. I find him to be a very interesting, dynamic person.
While some may disagree, I do not think that anything would be improved for either me or him if I were to stand up and say “Daniel…I know you are into me, but you don’t have a houseplant’s chance on Mars.” On top of being inappropriately abrupt (possibly disturbing the digestion of a sandwich), it’s just rude.
And I really do believe that we can be friends. And everyone on earth knows how it feels to like someone who doesn’t like you back. Eventually, I have great (yet to be proven wrong!) faith that pretty soon Daniel will quietly move on, find the woman of his dreams, and our friendship can remain intact.
This tactic of being…tactful…while not interrupting the friendship, has managed to survive major upheaval…including a triple proposal….and me and that guy are still friends.
Now, I know that this doesn’t work all the time. Friend Greg decided that the best course of action would be to declare his feelings in an e-mail ( which… can happen sometimes). I signaled to him the negatory. He got really angry. But after a few days he was mature and self-aware enough to politely request that our friendship not continue, for the protection of his own feelings.
Many of my friends called his behavior “childish” and “immature” but I think that it was an appropriate response given the situation. Avoid suffering wherever possible.
I think that men and women can be friends…but at the same time, as someone recently pointed out to me, usually these friendships begin with someone being romantically attracted to the other first.
True. Most of the time this is the case. BUT even if it is, unless there is Greg-like pain involved, really, everyone benefits in some way from discussion, interaction and the safe society space that is friendship. And, if you take care not to humiliate one member of the friendship by unnecessarily outing them, it should progress in a pretty organic way.
For example, Jacob, a feminist man ( and unfortunate crocko’denial) likes to write me e-mails and take me places. His intentions are transparent, but the discussion and the company are good.
And Marlon, even after a few instances where came right out and told me his feelings, managed to still consider us friends and invite me to things…but after he broke up with his girlfriend, I went off the radar again. That’s fair. He’s looking for other types of companionship right now.
But it IS possible to have friends of the opposite gender who are not attracted to you. I consider a few of my friend’s husbands to be friends of mine. A few great friends are cousins. Some are gay. Some of my friends from theater, or guys who used to be in my group of friends qualify.
And a gentleman whom I shall call Cracker Jack and I have a friendship pretty much entirely based on mutual lack of attraction to each other. It’s golden. This has been conversational bliss, for me anyway. It’s like having a friend who is a heterosexual girl, but who can see all issues through a male perspective. I never have to worry about offending him when I talk about other guys. I never feel like my eternal characteristics are under scrutiny.
I kind of want a bigger collections of friends like that.
So, there can be friendships between males and females.
But, here is where the argument has reached a standstill between me and a “Can’t really be friends” advocate. Can it be a long lasting friendship?
And it’s true. I’ve had male friends for a little while…but could I have a male “best friend”…without there being some sort of romantic tension…at least from one side? I mean, has anyone seen a male-female set of heterosexual “best friends” where both parties had no ulterior motive?
Really, all I can say right now is that I CAN have male friends…temporarily and at a distance.
But I’m young yet.
I’d be pretty sad if I couldn’t continue as friends with a lot of the cool men I’ve met in college.