come and join us in the trenches, red and purple by our side.
while drinking and (obviously) talking about dating/relationships with a fabulous new friend last night i started mentally examining my dating life again. and i found my thoughts traveling down a road they have followed many times. ultimately, it ended with the same ‘road closed-under construction’ sign. and it reminded me, that i never finished hashing out my friends of the opposite sex catch 22.
lets refresh and think back about what makes this a catch 22. i began examining the concept that i might actually be sabotaging my dating life with the propensity i have for a high quantity of male friends. and with the help of some perspective (comments) i realized that a) the guy friends that i surround myself with are smart and intelligent and value me and my womanhood for much more than the possibility of sleeping with me, and b) all my ex relationships (the real ones) started with friendship (real connection based friendship)- uh oh.
so what does this mean? hmm where to begin. i guess i’ll begin with the why factor. this is the easy and rational part. why did all my relationships begin with friendship. i guess you could say i’m old school. i believe in connection and intimacy (emotional, mental, and then physical). i’m also very expecting of my friends/boyfriends. i also have issues around being vulnerable and needy. those issues + expecting = it takes a lot for me to trust you (read: connect and become intimate). so, if it is not already OBvious ;), this means that friendship acts as the vehicle that transports me to my end destination: trust and connection. and i find that this is just good. its like friendship (since moment one) lowers the stakes of putting myself all out there. cause, if you don’t like what i’m brining to the table as a friend (a person)- then cool, we won’t be friends. i mean, when do we associate the term ‘rejection’ with friendship… not often. whereas with dating, we play the same ‘get to know you, put yourself out there game’ but if the other person doesn’t like what we bring to the table, then it is just sucky, and rejection. and no matter how high your self esteem, enough rejection will affect you. so there we have it. the why behind my prerequisite of frienship prior to boyfriend/girlfriendness.
now, the trickery of said prerequisite (which, now that i think about it, could actually be considered to have the same side effects as purposefully avoided rejection…hmmm). since this friendship connection usually takes a while to grow, the following questions are a must to consider: when and how do you then move the relationship from friendship category to romantic/dating category? and how do you know if the other one is even interested in taking it from one to the next? how do you know you want to move to romance? and what do your other friends think about it? is is possible they saw it coming/growing? is it worth the risk of not working and losing such a good friend? does physical attraction diminish after being friends for so long? and, once more for emphasis, when and how do you initiate this relationship transformation? mind you, all of these ‘must consider’ questions i am always unable to answer.
and honestly, its not like i’m thinking about all this throughout the growth of friendship. basically, i wake up one day, deep into the friendship, and it hits me like a ton of bricks that i want to be more than just friends. and because its been unconsciously building up for all this time, i hits me HARD.
therefore, i find myself in a situation that is paradoxical to the ‘high stakes get to know you dating game’ conundrum – the “high stakes this could ruin something good how do i know how he feels without telling anyone how i feel?” game. basically, if the decision is made to go for it romantically, then it becomes an all or nothing situation. because once i have identified that i want it to be romantic, there really is no going back (the ultimate guys and girls can be just friends death sentence is when one wants more than the other).
so what the hell do i do now? just when i thought i wasn’t unconsciously undermining my dating life…