The He Said/She Said quandary for the sexes; can Men and Women ever just be friends?
I'm certain that I've dabbled a bit in this specific topic before, but today I'm making it my focal point. There are a handful of people in my life who make for great inspiration in work that I post. Now, while the majority are heinous exes of mine that provide nothing but ridiculously embarassing and outrageous bounties of personal relationship litter for me to distribute to the world at large, a few friends too make for plenty of worthy talk that ocassionally light a fire underneath my writers' block self and get the metaphoric literary ball rolling. One whom I converse with pretty consistently has outstanding insight. Like myself, he has developed the ability to cater to and grasp the inquiring minds of both genders, so he most certainly makes well for intruiging rounds of debate. As the specific muse for my Private Talk article (scroll down to the bottom and you'll find it), I am certain to keep our dialogue frequent and open, as it is always a mystery when he will happen to throw some new ideas in my lap to write about. He will remain anonymous as all of the people I speak of are by mutual agreement, and for selfish reason on my part to not want to share the identity of one of my key outlets!
Today he made this statement which I share with you word for word, "Boys and Girls can't be friends. There's no such thing. Both sexes - whether they realize it or not - are keeping potential partners around. Look at the males you speak to, or are willing to entertain. I bet most - maybe not all, but most - are still prospective partners in that, they haven't reached their full earning potential. Earnings obviously aren't everything, but I best most (a) haven't reached their full "breadwinning" capabilities and (b) would be suitable paternal figures to your kid."
Remember When Harry Met Sally? Yes, that is where this is going....
My knee jerk reaction was to defend myself and the men in my life who I call my good friends. Hey, that idea just isn't true! It sounds somewhat deceptive and of malicious intent to sabotage a wholesomely innocent friendship. Surely the males in my corner of the world aren't keeping me around for that particular reason, I don't need to be someone's wife or girlfriend to have a place in their heart. I mean come on, no one has made a straightforward attempt yet so how could his accusation be true? But then I did what he said and looked over the males I speak to and am 'happy to entertain' as he put it. While it just doesn't fly for all of my personal masculine collection (also as he said), he made a valid point that I just had to admit to....there most certainly ARE those whom I could/would take on as a prospective partner if the cards dealt my direction manifested that way eventually.
Have I subconsciously been doing so all these years, grabbing onto any worthy man here and there with a quick and intensified grip as if I were Veruca Salt on a Wonka Factory rampage just in case I have a sweet tooth craving that could use a little tending to? I have not welcomed every male friend of mine into my life as a 'backup plan', but yes, there are some who I have considered candidates for beyond the friend zone, I have just never acted on it or brought it to their knowledge.
There's the worry of rejection which has always been my top fallback excuse for most things making my personal life no exception to the rule. Why rock the boat with a great guy if the feelings happen to be one-sided, right? It's not like I've been secretly pining years and years for a particular love interest here, I can just categorize my 'Men from the Boys' (it's the best way I can put it here, so cut me some slack). I'm not afraid to relay what I feel though if any guys come to ME first, that's always been easier. It may paint me a chicken, but it's a road I feel most comfortable trail blazing, so that stays.
Then he went on to share this, "Even if they're in a relationship, females hate other females. That's a fact. You're all jealous of each other and constantly comparing each other. With divorce rates the way they are - not to mention unseen and unfortunate circumstances when we are reminded we are mortal - these males are kept on your periphery. This is why you have to be careful, once in a committed relationship, of the members of the opposite sex you speak to and why you speak to them. If you're speaking to another male about intimate details of yourself - just your feelings and whatnot - and not your partner, you're setting yourself up for your relationship to eventually fail, because at some point the male will - not might, but will - interpret this to mean you are physically interested, too."
Gulp. See what I mean? This guy gives plenty of food for thought.
Hate is a word I don't like to harbor in my regular vocabulary, but I will say that I have not been fond of most females while I have been involved with a man, especially if these women happened to be single and becoming or already existingly too close for comfort with 'my' man. Ugh, it makes me sound like a worrisome pup marking my territory so that I can keep other bitches at bay....Now I know that it's always my choice in a specific partner who has ventured off and left me for another, and I'm fully aware that not EVERY woman goes after a man who is taken, but seeing as how it is quite a common occurrence, especially as it has been in my life (and karma shall serve all of them well), I can't shut off my intuitive radar and trust that everyone holds nothing but well intentions. If that were the case, breakups and divorces would cease to exist.
And then there are the boundaries I am careful with myself, making sure that it's known that I have no desire for any boyfriends and husbands of my friends, or anyone I meet that is involved for that matter. Some will argue that unless there's a ring on the finger, they're fair game, but I just can't wrap my head around that logic. If a person is in ANY relationship, to me, they're off limits. Period. Why? Because I would hope that I would be respected in the same way by other women who share the same moral compass that I do. Have I also divulged emotionally in other men while I've been taken? Guilty as charged. When my marriage was falling apart, I had latched onto a fellow writer I'll call Mr. Flowers for support (he looked exactly like Brandon Flowers of The Killers, which I'm sure aided in my infatuation), believing that he understood the despair that my husband had no interest in patching up. He wasn't the cause of my divorce, but he was a eye opener and soothing outlet to relay my unhappiness on. I never had an affair with this man, but our few written exchanges (and no, no dirty stuff, just ramblings of how my marriage was going to shambles) led the way for me to face what I had tried to cope with and avoid at all costs; calling it quits.
I can see how engaging in a heart to heart with the opposite sex can lead them to believe I may very well be seeking out something beyond a platonic exchange, but where does the line get drawn, or is there even one to begin with? Can men and women really not be friends? Are we all slyly holding onto favorites we call 'buddies' just so we are not percieved as needy and have someone to come home to someday if we need them? I can tell you this much; I will continue keeping mum on my end and go with the flow. My dating life is a topsy turvy adventure that has lead me in all sorts of wild directions, and my male friends have been right in there with 'em. While I am unsure about who I may end up with eventually and have yet to become romantically involved with any of my friends since I started dating over a decade ago, I just may very well be destined to end up with one of them. Nothing is set in stone, and the journey is always changing. But do take into consideration my outlook; Don't chase after what isn't yours and is already taken. However, be open minded with available parties, you just might be surprised where it can take you...