Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Just a Friend

Inspiration: - "Just a Friend"- Biz Markie

What I'm Listening To - "Hard to Earn" - Gangstarr

Question(s) I Asked Myself Today - "Why is Blogger tripping....AGAIN?" I tried to read blogs before work, but Blogger just wasn't cooperating.

Todays topic is inspired by the emails and questions I got yesterday after people saw the pictures of me and my friend Jessica. Do you think that men and women can be "just friends?" I know I believe thats possible b/c that's our situation. But I also understand from experience that it doesn't always play out that way.

Sometimes male and female friends start off one way and end up as friends. Back when i was just a high school nerd, I was crushing on this girl named Tiffany. We had a couple of classes together and I was ecstatic when she let me get the digits. I thought she was feeling me back, but when we talked it became clear that I was going to be relegated to the just friends role. We actually became pretty good friends, talking on the phone, hanging out at lunch, you know high school stuff. As the years passed, we maintained our friendship. However, I was no longer the high school nerd, I was now the college intellectual. I noticed our relationship began to change. Tiffany and I didn't talk about our respective mates anymore. There was an uncomfortable tension between us. It seems that the tables had turned. Whereas it started off with me digging her, a few years later she was now liking me. It was subtle at first, but later manifested itself strongly. Tiffany got her PH.D. (playa hater degree - P. Diddy 1997) on my girlfriend, just hating at any chance she could. One time, she told me, "I don't know why you with that girl. She ain't cute as me and she a virgin. You ain't gonna get none." It was at that point that our friendship started to deterioriate. We faked it for awhile, but it was clear that romantic feelings had destroyed our platonic friendship.

It aint just women who let their feelings interfere with friendships; men do it too. Specifically, I have done it. I was in another platonic relationship with a female. It was strictly a friends thing.
Over some time I got tired of hearing about her string of loser boyfriends and thought I could do a better job. Unfortunately, that was not the nature of our friendship. I had violated the terms. Once that kind of declaration is put out there, its hard to take back. This was another friendship ruined by those dreaded feelings.

As a grown man, I know how to separate friends from girlfriends, but a lot of people still run into these problems. I have a gang of female "just friends." However, I'm not naive enough not to realize that when I get into a relationship that this will be a problem. No matter how friendly a situation is, people tend to think of any male-female relationship as being potentially sexual or romantic. And I'm a hypocrite, too. Even though I have platonic female friends, I wouldn't want my woman to have male friends (unless they are gay.) I know that's messed up, but this is my blog so I gotta keep it real. So, question time! Do you think it is possible for men and women to be "just friends?" Have you had friendships ruined by one friend trying to take the friendship to the next level? And finally, are you currently in a friendship where the potential is there for something more and if so, what are you going to do about it?

It was written...

13 Comments:

Blogger Unsaid said...

The only successful friendships I have with guys are ones where we started out liking each other and realized we were better off friends. We eliminated sexual tension (not that I had sex with them all) and canceled the possibilities of having anything beyond friendship so we were free to be closer friends.

I think the "what if" between males and females is what makes relationships hard. I would rather my man be friends with someone he already knows he wouldn't date then to be with someone who he would probably date if he and I weren't together.

Tue Apr 11, 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger nikki said...

most of my friends are male so i say yes, there can be a strictly platonic friendship between male and females. i gotta admit that with most of them, it started off as something else, namely we were attracted to each other. however, either through a conscious decision on our parts or just the nature of the relationship, the bond evolved into one that's strictly friendship, almost brother/sister.

recently, i had one of my male friends tell me he thought i was the 'one who got away'. it shocked the hell out of me because although we'd flirted with each other throughout the years, he'd never pushed up on me like that. wait...he did push up like that once, but i figured it was a casual 'cuz i don't have anybody else to fuck with' kinda thing, so i just laughed it off. i told him i wasn't willing to change the nature of our friendship into something more. i think he has accepted it, but i'm not sure. frankly, it has made our association kinda awkward cuz my best friend is attracted to him yet when the three of us are together, he's flirting with me. i don't like her feelings getting hurt like that.

i also discovered recently that i would have a problem with my man having female friends. that is, until i realized i had male friends, most of whom i have absolutely no attraction for whatsoever. i really see those cats as brothers. i think it's cuz my brother and i are so close that i can have male friends and think of them in that way. so now, i think it's aiight for my man to have female friends. however, i'd also want for him to have male friends. female overload ain't good for NOBODY. shit, i don't want a whole stable full of female friends, and i'm a female.

as for now, there's really only one guy i have as a friend whom i would consider something more with. however, i ain't gonna do a damn thing about it because he's got his drama and i've got mine. makes no sense for me to push up on him at this stage, cuz all it'd be is a rebound thing for me and i think i'd be the consolation prize for him. i'd rather have his friendship. at least i know i can still benefit from his insight and wisdom and vice versa. we're good for each other, so why let romantic shit fuck with that?

now down the road...maybe. however, i really believe timing is everything. if that shit's meant to be, it'll be. and if it ain't meant to be...so be it.

Tue Apr 11, 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tenacious said...

Good Post..I'm going to have to type a whole post about you...You know I tend to ramble.

Yes I beliebe a man and woman can be "just friends". I have had a few friendships ruined but not because we were really friends, it was more "I'm going to pretend to be her friend in order to get closer to her" type of thing. And the third question...Well you'll just have to wait for the post ;-)

Oh yeah...Phone Stalker is now real stalker...lol

Tue Apr 11, 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cool AC said...

Wow! I am going through this right now. I want to be more, he wants to be friends. But if I want him my life I have to accept the terms. Part of me wants to say F-it and if I can't be more then I don't want to be anything at all, the other part says keep him as your friend, you are probably better off that way...

So, it is a complicated thing if you are attratced to each other. But I do have a best guy friend that is attractive, but we have never taken it there, so I can see it happening. I guess it is a case by case thing.

Tue Apr 11, 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger nikki said...

cool...if you keep having conflict about the relationship, you might have to cut that mutha off. LOL

for real though...he's established with you what he wants from you. you decide if you cool with it or not, cuz he's probably not gonna change his mind. don't sit around there waiting on his ass. you've got too much going for yourself to do that. move on, sista!

Tue Apr 11, 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger ScarlettRae said...

i love how nikki's comments can be so much more than "I agree with you." LOL. She's the best. :)

What up, T?!
To answer your question,yes, I do think it is possible for men and women to be platonic. I agree with you that the dynamics that ignite a friendship may be the personality characteristics that will begin a deeper interest in someone.
What I want to know is, why is it significant others/bf or gf/ or spouses can't handle the whole platonic issue? As if THEY are supposed to be the only person of their sex that you communcate with. It's ridiculous.
My friend said to me recently that the reason why ppl can't be friends at our age is because they are looking for mates. In essence, they have enough "friends" and need a companion. What do you think? If this is true, you can only be friends with males before your first period and after menopause.

I missed your blog muchly, T.

Scarlett

Tue Apr 11, 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger BBB_0202020 said...

This definitely a tough one becuz as an adult ideally you want to friends with someone before you get with them (well I do) and if I am intersted in that person initially I don't think I could be friends with them if they don't feel as much. Since I know that I wouldnt be able to handle a one-sided crush I would have to back the hell off before I go "a thin line between love and hate". Great post T!!

Tue Apr 11, 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Miss Ahmad said...

ooh you read my mind on this one. I have a balance of male and female friends, and my male friends are both straight and gay.

I have had to limit my time with male friends lately though because as a single woman I just think it can be a waste of time to begin to rely upon male friends at a time that I should/could be exploring real options.

I think men, unlike women know right away if they are attracted to a woman so there's no use in a woman playing the "friend" game.

Women can learn to like a rock if he hangs around long enough so that being said I think friends are good, but I think they have their place....

I over posted sorry!

Tue Apr 11, 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger T. Cas said...

@ unsaid - Failed relationships can sometimes lead to good friendships

@ nikki - damn, nikki sounds like you got caught in an unwanted love triangle.

@ tenacious - I know people who've played that pretend game too. that works sometimes.

@ cool ac - good luck with your situation. That is complicated.

@ scarlett - I don't think you have to wait that long, but I do think it takes some maturity to be able to handle it.

@ tigerkiss - sounds like you know where to draw the line, not a lot of people know that.

@ miss ahmad - theres no such thing an overpost. as to your point, a man can be immediately attracted to a woman, but still play the friend role until the time is right.

Tue Apr 11, 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger ChezNiki said...

To answer the question directly, "No, unless..." LOL
In the past, my closest male friends were my ex-boyfriends. After a cooling off period we became friends. Because we knew eachother we understood eachother better than some random "friend" could...
However, I think there will always be some sexual tension between friends. But how you feel and what you do are two totally different things...I mean lets face it fellas. Some of the stuff yall think about doing could get you arrested in six states.
:-o

Wed Apr 12, 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

You are co-rrect. Never cross the line of platonic and friends with benefits. I did it.... twice.

Once in high school. He and I nearly grew up together. Then after we did the 'grown folks', I hated every single girl he dated, no matter how cute or smart she was. No one was good enough .... but me. (and I played that Jeffrey Osbourne "woo woo woo" song forever behind him)

Years later I'm thinking "I'm grown. I can handle this thing maturely" with another guy. Wrong. Like change your locks and phone number, wrong.

Thu Apr 13, 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger i like liquor and tv said...

Hard to Earn is my fav Gangstarr album

I think males and females and just kick it. I have many male friends. I mean, most of my female friends don't listen to Gangstarr, so...

the secret is to keep only ugly male friends around so that you won't get tempted.

Thu Apr 13, 08:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Thu Feb 22, 08:16:00 PM  

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