Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly genial, I’ll have a conversation or two. Now, you might be asking yourself: “Why is having a conversation big news?”. You, my friend, need to have your thought pattern looked at. What you should be thinking is: “Why did I not engage in conversation with him!?” Cause I got glorious conversational skills. Been workin’ on them since I was 8, yo! It’s been a constant battle for me. I was always the shyest kid in the class. This crippling shyness follows me around to this day, however I’ve been trained by the best! I can now hide my shyness better than that dieter that you know, hides their candy stash (shame on you, you cheater… yes I know about you and that stash.)
Sorry, I get easily sidetracked. Tangents, to me, are like great shiny things. I can’t help but drop everything that I was doing previously, to investigate… (most likely another reason that conversations for me, are few and far between for me)
The point of this was that I have interesting conversations sometimes. I have noticed an interesting trend. For some unknown reason, there is much lamenting from members of both sexes, over their friendship selection. I hear lots of my female friends & acquaintances talk about how much they dislike other females. There is always some level of drama going down, and the reason for this is two females, butting heads. I hear about how it’s so hard for a girl to get along with other girls, because girls get all catty. When I ask who they befriend, the answer is… GUYS! It’s so much easier, they say. Guys produce ¼ the drama that girls do. Guys won’t worry about reading too deeply into things. Guys don’t care if you don’t always call. Then, I talk to the men folk and hear the same thing. It’s too awkward to talk to other men. . “I (as a strapping, young, heterosexual male) have nothing in common with them (other strapping, young, heterosexual men).” It’s much easier to deal with girls. Girls are actually able to talk about their feelings. Apparently, it makes men feel validated when a girl wants to listen to their whining.
The flip side of those conversations is, of course: “I can’t find a <insert member of the opposite sex, appropriate to your gender> to date! Where are all the good boys/girls?
Could it possibly be that we are not finding potential significant others, because we are too busy collecting members of the opposite sex as friends? I might suggest that we’re getting to know people really well, but dismissing some possibility of romantic style interaction. It would even seem that people are using these friends of the opposite sex as a replacement for relationships. I mean think about it. If you were able to get all the things that you could get from a boyfriend/girlfriend without the commitment and responsibility of a relationship, wouldn’t you jump at it? It’s much less risky to open yourself to someone when you feel safe, with no real chance of being hurt. It’s similar to being friends with benefits. The only (obvious) difference, is that the benefits in this case aren’t sexual in nature. There are issues of false intimacy and unhealthy closeness that can come up though.
I am guilty of being of the mindset that had me seeking out companionship from women. I thought that it was just because I was constantly around my mother and sister while I was growing up. Since I was surrounded with the ladies, I was just more comfortable with them. I never thought of the consequences that would’ve come from me pursuing friendships with girls unhealthily. I’m not saying that men and women can’t be friends in a healthy way, I’m just suggesting that perhaps there are ways that people go about it, which are not quite healthy.
After you’ve reached a certain age, you’re looking for some full level companionship. Getting settled down and married become a bigger priority later on in life (post-college style). Falling for the idea that you can just have close friendships with members of the opposite sex, might blind you to the importance of participating in a healthy romantic relationships. There are always dangers in taking shortcuts in life. Substitutions almost always lead to someone having hurt feelings/making excuses about things. In the long run, it would also seem that the more friendly people get with each other, the less likely they are able to date.
I’ll take my fellowship for example. At the UC Davis chapter of Intervarsity, we were great at having boy/girl friends. This fact overshadowed the fact that no one was dating each other. There were less than 3 couples that were produced through the fellowship. I would surmise, it was because once you’ve established a friendship dynamic, it’s hard to see people past that capacity. There are frequently cases where best friends become daters, but it didn’t seem to take hold in the city of Davis.
It would seem that just like any other relationship, we are in definite need of evaluating our desires/needs and making sure that we’re not overcompensating for anything. Perhaps a good idea is making intentional friendships. Making a friendship with someone, knowing that you might want to date them.
Having too many friends of the opposite sex can be potentially deadly… To your romantic endeavors. I’m just sayin…