It’s an age old question, Can men and women be just friends?
My answer is usually yes. As I’m a notorious friend-zoner and grew up with quite a few male friends.
I saw one of them today. One that I saw as more of an older brother than anything. His younger brother was my best friend all throughout high school, so he was there… He was in that “older brother protection squad” whom also gave the solicited and unsolicited advice. Who would also jump to my defense at the drop of a hat…
I typically do not respond to the “DM.” Especially a one-word “wassup.” When we haven’t kept in contact regularly. Just feels… Suspicious? I’ve been burned before. It took all day. I responded, Hey, how’s it going? Discovered he was in town (we’re talking across the country!) and thought about me. It’s not everyday that I get to see someone from back home! I suggest lunch. Of course he’d like that! We haven’t seen each other in 11 years!!
I have to apologize because, I don’t remember seeing him at Walmart.. My memory isn’t the greatest. He tells me that he remembers a lot of things… Nervous laughter.
I don’t know what made me so uncomfortable. We were/are just friends. What’s worse, I lied to him.
I think it was the way he looked at me. The way he looked at me and stroked his beard. Although I was covered up, in a t-shirt and knee-length denim skirt, I felt somewhat exposed.
Then he started talking to me about relationships and things. When they invited to some Renaissance Fair for Dead Bicycles – don’t ask, it’s the best description I gathered from the long explanation they gave – I lied. I said I couldn’t go. Why do you have plans? Yes (Not entirely false and I should have stopped there.) I’m going out with boyfriend. How long have you been together? He saw through my lie. I’m a terrible liar. Then there’s me, sputtering – “Uhhmm, uuhhh not quite a year yet.” I wouldn’t have even convinced myself. In any case, he stopped staring creepily at me.
Saved by my fake boyfriend.
I’m mad at myself for lying. I’m also mad at myself for not being strong enough to just walk away from an uncomfortable situation. Some situations are easy to stand up for myself and walk away. Others are not so easy. Today, I don’t think I was fully prepared for what I was getting myself into. Totally unexpected.
I remember going out with friends and getting hit on by losers. I knew how to just walk away, fearlessly call a guy out – who cares it’s not like I’d ever see him again. I mean, maybe, but I also didn’t care what anyone thought about me. Plus, I had my friends right there with me if the guy tried anything. It’s like I’ve forgotten all that!
Can we ever truly let our guards down? Can men and women actually be friends?
I suppose if everyone is honest with their intentions upfront, it would make things easier. But, so many, myself included, are afraid to say, hi, I’d like to get to know you better. Of course, I’m more of a, let’s be friends and see where it goes, kind of gal. Not a, I’m going to stare at you and make you feel uncomfortable and talk to you about relationships. Or a, I don’t know you but I want to date you. Like, get to know me first and figure out if you truly want to date me. I digress… Memories!
Okay, I’m done.