Of Fries And Can We Be Friends?

I got to talking to this girl during my weekend creative writing class, and I was telling her about my blog. The conversation happened over lunch – where I had a side serving of fries on my plate – of which I only had 3 pieces, yay! Sorry, just had to brag 🙂

Anyway, we got to talking about men, and this girl had a pretty strong belief that men and women can’t be friends. For her, the notion was absurd and impossible.

As for me, I’d like to believe that men and women CAN be friends, because most of my good/best friends are male (and if her theory held true I’d be left with virtually no friends!)

Having said that, I’m actually struggling with making new guy friends.

I grew up with brothers, so I always feel I get along better with men. Because of this, when meeting a new group of people, I find myself naturally gravitating towards men more than women. For some reason I feel more at ease around men, and the conversations seem to flow better.

So I’m in a new city, I’m meeting all sorts of people. I meet a bunch of cool people, some of which are guys. We talk, we click, we laugh. We exchange numbers and make plans to meet. I’m happy to meet this cool person who has similar interests and to have a new friend in the city whom I can catch up with.

The trouble, though, is that I wanted to be friends, but he wanted the benefits too.

I’ve had to deal with a couple of these situations in the past few months, and so I tried a few approaches to see which one works best.

The up-front approach
This is where, before agreeing to meet up with a guy, I say something like “I just want to let you know that I’m agreeing to meet you as friends. I’m not looking for more, so nothing will ever develop out of this beyond friendship. I want to be upfront to avoid awkwardness and unmet expectations.”

The results?
Didn’t work so well. One guy said he still wants to keep pursuing me in case he can make me change my mind. I guess the flaw with this approach is for someone who enjoys a challenge, saying this to them is like holding up a green light saying “come get me”

The hint-drop approach
I found this really useful for the new year, because people always ask what your new year resolutions are. If the guy doesn’t ask, I make sure to ask him so he can ask me back. To which my response would be “my resolution? Just trying to give up things that are bad for me, you know, alcohol, fries, men”.. He is intrigued and respond with “Men?” And I proceed to talking about how I have no place or time for men in my life etc. One guy responded with “but you’re talking to one”, to which I casually said “yup, guy friends are allowed”

The results?
I actually don’t know if this approach worked (hah!) It might have just made them less likely to tell me what they’re really thinking, but that’s fine by me.

The play-dumb approach
This is where I literally play dumb. If he compliments me, I pretend I didn’t hear it. Or if it’s via chat, I ignore it and change the topic. When saying goodbye, if I sense he’s leaning in for a kiss, I would just wave or give a quick hug and go off. I basically ignore all attempts and proceed as though nothing has happened.

The results?
I think this is the easiest one to do because it doesn’t require any confrontation or conversation, but it’s also the least effective. By brushing it off, he might think he needs to try harder.

I generally prefer to be upfront and honest, so we get it out of the way and just be friends. The whole playing dumb thing bothers me because I hate the idea of leading someone on. But at the same time, I struggle to bring it up especially when the guy isn’t being explicit about it. He might just go all “Woah chill the f*ck out girl I wasn’t into yo ass”

So, that’s my story. I’m still not sure what the best approach is but I stand by my belief that men and women can be friends. I’m sure there are male-female friendships which don’t work, and some of my new friendships may never work out. But there are also same-sex friendships that don’t work. The way I see it, some friendships are meant to be, and some aren’t – regardless of whether you’re male or female 🙂

What about you guys? Do you think men and women can be friends? And if you have any bright ideas on how to tell a guy you just want to be friends, please do share 🙂

Advertisements

Of Fries And Discovering Patterns

I was reading through my old diary entries recently, and realized two things:

ONE: I was such a DORK!!
TWO: Every single diary entry had something to do with boys. Like literally e-v-e-r-y one of them. I would blab on about my “crush” in each entry, and somehow managed to constantly find new boys to ‘crush’ on and write about.

I was 11 years old when I had my first crush. He was an American boy who came to visit for a while. When he went back to the US, I went through great lengths to get his address and sent him a love poem (which I composed), only to get back a ‘let’s be friends’ note. I was heartbroken, but I got over it pretty quickly when I met my second crush at the age of 12.

Crush #2 was the first guy who ever rang me. Back then we were still using home phones. We would arrange a time for him to call every day, and I would wait by the phone at that exact time. If someone else (like my grandma) happened to pick up the phone, he would hang up and keep calling again until I was the one who answered. I still remember my family discussing a ‘prank caller’ who kept calling at 6 pm. Oops.

We hardly got to meet because I was too young to go out on my own (according to my parents). After a short period, it became difficult to sustain a ‘relationship’ only through phone calls, and even more difficult for both of us to be free at the same time everyday. So things started to fade. Also possibly because I met my new crush.

From ages 13-15, I had a series of crushes. One of them had dimples. One was tall and played basketball. Another was someone I met in an online chat room. My diary entries were a roller coaster of emotions from “yay, he talked to me today!”, to “he hates me.. I want to die :(” I wrote poems about each one, wrote their names and drew hearts around, took candid photos of them and taped them to my diaries. You would think I was some kind of serial killer if you saw my diaries!

When I was 16, I finally had my first real date. I remember we went to the movies, and this guy who was 4 years older than me had “forgotten” his wallet. I paid for his ticket and mine. Halfway through the movie, he turned to kiss me. It was my first kiss and unlike what I saw in movies, there were no fireworks, no sparks, no butterflies, no nothing. It was just awkward and sloppy and unromantic. I remember feeling horrible as though my first kiss had been “stolen”.

That relationship only lasted for two months. We got together on Valentine’s Day, and broke up on April fools day 😀

After him, I met a guy who would become my first ever infatuation and obsession. We went on a few dates and spoke on the phone, but he wasn’t looking for something serious – which at that time I didn’t understand. I wasn’t (and still am not) good at taking ‘No’ for an answer, so I spent the next few years making it my “mission” to win him over. I bought him gifts, did chores for him (I went over to his shop and mopped the floor for him!), called him everyday, wrote him love letters. I was one desperate chick.

Until I met someone else at the age of 19. He was my first real boyfriend, and we were together until I was 24.

After we broke up, I had a couple of rebounds, and one of them became my second obsession. Let’s call him frenchie. Many of my blog posts are about him. Of Side Orders and Casual Relationships,  Of Unavailable Fries and Men, and  Of ‘Limited Time’ Fries And Men, to name a few.

When I turned 25, I decided I need to get over frenchie, and so I got myself into possibly the worst relationship of my life. I wrote about him in Of Fries and Trusing Your Instincts and Of Fries And Hope.

I wasn’t even 26 when I got back to my obsession with frenchie, and it became this on and off thing for about a year. During this time I also dated a few other men, since my thing with frenchie wasn’t exclusive.

Last year I was 27, and went through a series of short-term relationships. Some were more intense than others, but they all had one thing in common: they weren’t going anywhere. 

In my quest for ‘love’, I had gone from trying to find the man of my dreams, to thinking I had found him, to believing there was no such man and that I would be better off just having fun with men whom I saw no future with.

I turned 28 yesterday, and it dawned on me that I haven’t been free of men for nearly two decades!

I tried to think of a reason behind this.

Is it an act of rebellion? I grew up in a strict household and it was an unspoken rule from the day I was born that the guy you date is the guy you marry. It seems like I was rebelling, but then I was writing my first name with these guys’ last names, so I must have been thinking about marriage to some degree?

Is it a way to escape? I wasn’t happy with the way things were at home, and maybe being obsessed with these guys gave me something to ‘escape’ to / daydream about?

Is it low self esteem and constant need to be liked?

Maybe it’s all of the above and more, I don’t know. All I know is after having discovered this pattern in my life, I am more determined than ever to break the pattern.

I think now is a good time to focus on me and on doing all the things I want to do – without being worried about whether or not I have someone to ‘crush’ on.  That’s my resolution for 2015 and the years to come.

Another resolution is to cut down on my other obsession: fries.

You must be wondering what would become of this blog if I was cutting down on fries and men. Hah! I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out 🙂

What about you guys, what patterns have you discovered about yourself and your love life?

427749b6e9bf400e4b568b2b702f3d3b

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.