brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

when harry kissed sally

everyone has heard the infamous question, can women and men be just friends?

and as everyone knows, the movie that best asked that question answered it with a resounding no.

but what if there is no attraction on the part of either party... can they be just friends then? or if they're both in relationships?

being the girl that has always had guys for friends (my three best friends from high school, one of my best friends from college, and several current great friends are all guys), I do truly believe that guys and girls can be just friends...


there may have been some non-platonic attraction at some point during the friendship on the part of one or both of the parties... for instance I thought my good friend M (who is now married to an amazing woman with two beautiful daughters) was the absolute cutest boy in the world when I was in about 3rd grade.

I also was originally interested in dating another good friend... but he had a girlfriend at the time. later I found out he, too, was interested in dating me... but the timing gods were probably just looking out for us. we were definitely meant to be only great friends.

and what of those attractions that do go beyond "just friends" at some point?

I've been through a few of those... and some of those guys are still my best friends. one was a few amazing non-dates with a very good friend, that luckily is still my very good friend. another was a random college make-out session with a guy I only knew through a friend who turned into a great friend. but, maybe I just got lucky in those cases, I think once a friendship crosses the strictly platonic line, things can get weird...

I've been there, done that, too.

in fact a couple of those were recently... for whatever inexplicable reason, a couple of my friends have become not-so-platonic this year. one was definitely an aided-by-too-much-vodka evening. after a night out with a group of friends, my friend OhThoseEyes ended up crashing on my couch... after we kissed for a long time in the kitchen.

OhThoseEyes was someone I would have considered dating (if you couldn't tell by the nickname), and I'd heard through mutual friends that he had been interested while I was with my ex (the guy behind the little reminder).

but after the drunken event, OhThoseEyes acted very junior high. a little while after the "incident" I talked to him and gave him what I imagined to be a very non-scary opening if he was interested in seeing where things could go. but after that we didn't talk much for a few months. when we did hang out with mutual friends, he'd either be obnoxious towards me or not say anything.

lately things have been a little more normal. luckily my friendship with him seems to be close to getting back to the way it was. I (in my mind) think I was totally laid back about the entire thing, and knew it was his problem if one drunken night would completely ruin our friendship. so either OhThoseEyes realized the situation had become ridiculous or he realized I wasn't sitting home pining for him, and things appear to be getting closer to the way they were. I guess time will tell on that one...

the other one (AdorableSmile) is the best friend of my guy friend FrighteninglyBrilliant (just remembered there's a story there, too... hmmm...)

anyway, the situation with AdorableSmile is still rather complicated... one problem is that there was definitely an attraction when we first met. despite that, and because he lives in another state, is one of the biggest players I know, and because of a few other reasons, we'd become fairly good friends over the past few years.

well, FrighteninglyBrilliant got married a little while ago... and although the ex was originally going to go with me, by the time the wedding rolled around, he'd been gone awhile, so I headed for the destination wedding solo. when AdorableSmile got into town, it was apparent he was flying solo for the wedding, also.

AdorableSmile and I hung out, shamelessly flirting with one another (which was no different from before, except, for once, we were both single) and we ended up going beyond the platonic line... with a little help from another couple who is one of those happily-coupled-think-everyone-else-should-be-coupled* couples.

to give you a little idea... this is along the lines of a conversation I had with my friend AssertiveWoman (of course, after drinking excessive amounts of vodka):

AW: AdorableSmile is really cute, and he seems to be into you!

me: yes, but he's, well, the biggest player I've ever met.

AW: well, you could be the one to change him, FrighteninglyBrilliant did say that AdorableSmile wanted to find what FB had found in his soon-to-be wife.

me: right, I have NO delusions there.

AW: well, at least it could be a little fun vacation fling?!
um, yeah, it could... but... wait, was she only pushing this since I was so obviously the 3rd wheel in their condo, or did she really think I needed to have some fun... well, either way, she kept inviting AdorableSmile to join us in just about everything we did for the rest of the week.

and one night on the way to the beach, AdorableSmile says to me... why do you have to think so much, why can't you just have fun?

and so I did... for the remainder of the trip...

but now things are very weird... and I know, what could that really matter given he doesn't even live in the same state, I knew he was a player, etc. and yes he's acting weird about it, and honestly the whole thing doesn't bother me, except that it appears my friend FB is upset with me, or disappointed in me... or something. and that's what breaks my heart. sure, I hope AdorableSmile and I remain friends, but if my friendship with FB is tarnished by having a little fun at his wedding, it definitely wasn't worth it...

and maybe that's really the key question. is it worth it to possibly permanently alter a friendship for the sake of a potential fling or relationship?

I think in some cases it is, to see if there's something amazing there, beyond the friendship. (the most amazing relationships I've ever had have been with friends, whether we started the non-platonic part as friends, or ended it as friends, or both.)

but in other cases it's best to let the brief moment (or week) of vodka-induced bad judgement pass, keeping the friendship intact. I don't regret anything I've written about above, well, unless my friendship with FB is forever altered, then I will definitely regret not thinking through to the outcome and just having fun.

I suppose I need to find out if FB is uncomfortable or disapproving or whatever, and make sure everything is ok with our friendship, but I'm not good at bringing up those things with guy friends... guess it's time to get better about it!

after reading this over, I realized that I may sound a bit, um, slutty shameless, but those that actually know me (who I haven't decided if I want reading this or not, yet) would defend me. I really am mostly a "good girl" (whatever that means) I just happen to kiss a few too many guys sometimes... oh, who am I kidding, you'll make your own judgements...

* if you want to read a story about some other happily-coupled attempts at similar couplings... read this.


GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

My question is can ex's ever truly be friends or is it easier to make a clean break? How much is too much? Just food for thought...

And I do think guys make good friends when they don't annoy me. LOL.

Aarwenn said...

Now it's MY turn to blog-stalk!

So. I was going to get all up in yo' grill, as the kids say, about this disclaimer of yours on the end, and then I realized that I do indeed have my OWN blog...which is what it's there for, anyway.

Regardless. This issue is so difficult. I've stopped drawing any sort of conclusions whatsoever and instead am making only declarative statments based on my own experience:

1. Almost everytime I've hooked up casually, whether with a friend, acquaintance, or new acquaintance, I've regretted it the next day. Some girls do one night stands well, and I envy them. A lot. Because I have a hyperbolic sex drive. But as I get older, I get better--the last time I hooked up casually with a friend, it was absolutely fine the next time I saw him.

2. The few times I haven't regretted hooking up with a friend or acquaintance or anyone, it's been a combination of both my laid-back behavior and THEIR laid-back behavior, and those two things are hard to control--but like I said, as I get older (and HE gets older, where HE is whoever I'm hooking up with) it gets easier.

3. After many attempts on his part, I gave in to a friend of mine, and we are still happily dating seven months later, and I'm a huge fan of his.

So, what's the conclusion? It hardly ever works out, but when it does, you either end up getting a good fuck buddy, or you end up with a great boyfriend. Is it worth it? I'd say yes, especially if you can be laid back enough after the fact.

And FB is a typical male--he doesn't want any girlfriend of his ACTING IN A SEXUAL MANNER. If my guy friends had their way, they'd put me in a chastity belt. Don't listen to him for a second. Not one second. He'll come around.

Ms. Pan said...

Yep, I agree with Aarwen. Guys are very possessive--even with girls that they consider "only friends." They get all squirrelly whenever someone else shows some interest. They're idiots, and he'll get over it.

As for the rest...there is nothing wrong with kissing guys, and nothing wrong with kissing friends who happen to be guys. If y'all are fine afterwards, then you really have a strong friendship. If not, then they would have flaked out on something else.

As for glittergirl's comment--I don't know if ex-boyfriends can stay friend. My sister calls me an octopus because I can't stand to lose touch with anyone. I attended my fourth grade boyfriends wedding a couple of years ago, and just congratulated them on their first child. But there are a few that have slipped through the cracks, for good reason. It was just too hard for one of us. If you can, great. If not, I guess that's just what happens.

Good grief! Sorry for my cyber-rambling!

j2 said...

my best boy friend billy and i have been close for 7 years now. he's funny and attractive and all kinds of good things but we are totally platonic. we have slept in the same bed together while wasted, kissed on the lips as friends... we just don't *like* each other that way. so it is totally possible to be platonic. rare but possible. i don't forsee us ever crossing that line.

ramblin' girl said...

ggg05 and j2-
I really do believe guys and girls can be just friends, even after a non-platonic encounter. or dating for years.
it just has to be completely understood that is what they both want. and the laid back thing is essential (as aarwenn said).

good points! and thanks for return blog-stalking! you can totally borrow my li(n)es.
as unbelievable as this may sound, I've never had a true one-night stand (now, one-night fully-clothed stands are a totally different story). there has always been something before or after... does that make me odd?

ms. pan-
octopus, that's great! I also try to remain friends with too many people sometimes, but I love all my friends, guys, girls, ex-bfs, imaginary internet friends, etc!
and I wouldn't change my "octopus" ways for anything!

Shananigans said...

Of course guys and girls can be just friends, it just all depends on the circumstances and people involved. This singles/dating thing seems so complicated! I've been in a LTR so long that it seems like the distant past. I only hooked up with one of my guy friends in college, and it was totally fine. (Other than the fact that he was a really BAD kisser.) We remained great friends and I became his most trusted realtionship advisor. Boy could he pick 'em! Trust me, he needed help!

Yoda said...

What, no guys have come forward to respond to this topic yet?

A little info from the male perspective: We're protective, and we're a little territorial. The fact that a guy is respectful enough of your feelings to remain open to the possibility of friendship in the absence of an accompanying romantic element usually doesn't mean he's not open to things going a little further. Or a lot further.

I have been very close friends for years with a woman I find extremely attractive. Given a change of heart on her part, I'd go there in a nanosecond, and however it turned out, would be happy to keep the friendship going. One of the things I recognize about her is that she's insecure enough that she needs to know she'll have my friendship no matter what, and her experiences have been that once she's "gone there" with a guy and had it not work out, the guy's gone-gone-gone.'s not like I'm pining, but I do confess that a part of me adores her completely and hopes that she looks at me someday and says, "Wow. Kurt's been there for me through it all...maybe he IS my type after all." There was a time when we wrestled with that...I told her that's how I feel and she got very uncomfortable around me. We spent about a year not talking, and in the end, we both realized how much we miss each other's friendship, and the perspective that comes from being so much alike.

These days, she gets my absolute honesty...and I give it without being judgemental. The hardest thing about being "just friends" is not being able to kiss her for the hell of it or tell her that she's beautiful, but the trade-off is that I've got someone around who knows me better than almost anyone and still thinks I'm pretty cool.

If a guy gets weird after you've gone beyond the line into non-platonic areas with him, it's because he's struggling to reconcile his attraction for you with his desire to hang on to your friendship. He knows you've just changed the rules, but he's not sure how they've changed, and it's a little scary for him. It's also a reminder for him that you get to make the rules and he doesn't, and that's bound to make any guy feel a little insecure.

This has rambled a little...but hopefully, it sheds a little light on what guys are thinking.