A male friend’s facebook status:
You women are funny! I kept it 100% with her from THE GATE! It’s not my fault if she caught feelings. I told her from jump, I’m not tryna get into a
*sigh* Boys….and some girls.
Where do I begin?
The theme of “but you say she’s just a friend” comes up over and over and it’s one of the most frustrating parts of dating. In a nutshell, you meet someone, you begin to correspond, whether online, via phone, or by spending time together. It’s clear that there is an attraction there but not clear where it will lead or if the other person even wants it to lead anywhere.
That’s where things can get ugly.
Ideally, when you have a situation where you’re not sure if the other person is interested in exploring a relationship with you, you should be patient and not force things to be ‘defined.’ But I have found that this approach isn’t realistic because by and large, people are full of shit.
I have a friend who says that she believes that you can meet the right person at the wrong time. I agree with that statement. In other words, you can meet someone with whom you are totally compatible but they just got out of a relationship or they are sick or live too far away or are just generally unavailable emotionally or physically.
How you find out whether that person is unavailable or not all depends on how full of shit the person is. Usually, they will tell on themselves early on. But sometimes that person may not even realize they are full of shit. How you deal with finding out the person is unavailable all depends on how full of shit you are. I bring to you, Exhibit A, ME.
I have been on all sides of this equation. I have ‘dealt with’ a guy who told ME that HE wasn’t interested in a relationship. So, I got into my comfort zone when seeing him. Over time, it was clear to me that despite his claims that he didn’t want a relationship he was starting to develop feelings for me. But I told myself, he said he didn’t want a relationship so his newly developed feelings are his newly developed problem—not mine! In the end, he was really hurt when he finally confronted me about what our relationship is, and found that I wasn’t remotely interested in being his girlfriend. In a different situation, I was getting to know a guy and it was unclear whether or not he was interested in being with me, so I asked. He reacted like a damn fool. I was hurt and it was hard to cut him off. I allowed him to continue to lead me on until I finally had enough strength and good sense to unfollow his foolishness for good. In several situations, I was the one who was emotionally unavailable and justified my behavior because I’d told the guys that were trying to get to know me that I wasn’t interested in anything serious.
Bottom line, in each situation I was a jackass because I either took advantage of someone or allowed someone to take advantage of me.
There’s an undefined area in between meeting someone and dating someone in which you are getting to know a person but there is no commitment or EXPLICIT romantic interest. Some people may refer to it as friendship but I think that’s a misnomer for a few reasons.
“Friendship” implies that things are totally platonic. But you and I know that although that undefined area may not have a name, there’s nothing platonic about it (although things may become platonic later). Don’t think so? Compare your behavior with this new person to your behavior with the friends that you already have, you won’t find many similarities.
This undefined area is so fuzzy and indistinct that it brings out the asshole in 98% of the population, in particular, those who carry penises around with them.
This is not to pick on men, but to acknowledge that men are particularly skillful at making replica bonds and then, when a woman shows that they’ve developed feelings, the man says “You couldn’t tell these bonds were fake? Did you look at the tag?!” How horrifying to find out what you thought was a Gucci bond is actually an Ucci he got off Ebay.
A lot of us have walls around our hearts formed by the bricks of our bad experiences. The more bad experiences, the higher the bricks stack up. Now you want to be loved but not love. You want to be dishonest yet not deceived. You want to get to know someone without being self-aware.
'This undefined area allows people to achieve all of those things in one fell swoop. It is this undefined area that people who have commitment or intimacy issues will try to drag out forever and ever so that they can have the attention of an attractive person of the opposite sex without having the grown up responsibilities that should accompany it. That goes for both the person who is unavailable AND the person who is being led on (which is probably part of their pattern of being attracted to unavailable people).
Knowing this, I pay CLOSE attention to a man’s behavior during that undefined phase. It lets me know whether I am going to engage in a “cop and a drop.” A “cop and drop” means I enjoyed your ______ (attention, penis, affection, conversation, money, distraction) while it lasted and now I’m done because you are ______ (full of shit, a jackass, not my type, better off as a friend, meeting me at the wrong time) and now I’m going to _____ ( include you in my friendship circle, never talk to you again, burn some photos of you in effigy) [notice I didn’t include “lead you on or allow you to lead me on to believe this could be something more” as an option. We off that.].
At some point you just have to be honest with yourself. After a certain age, you don’t make many friends of the opposite sex with whom you exchange contact information after flirting just so that you can be that person’s platonic friend. Feelings on either side are not 'really' a surprise to act otherwise is dishonest. And whether you like it or not, you have a responsibility to be careful with other people's feelings. If you think otherwise, you’re probably one of the jackasses I’m talking about. If so, please re-read this post and do better.