I do not date my friends. I keep them in a box, cage, vacuum…whatever. I’m fairly social and I enjoy the company of the opposite sex very much. But I do not date my friends…Male or female. There’s a reason they have been marked as ‘friendlies’ they’ve been deemed harmless, functional and truly ‘friends for all occasions’. I have my ‘surrogate boyfriend-friend’. He’s in a committed relationship and yet he treats me like his girlfriend. No hanky-panky, just lovey-dovey. He takes me to lunch, movies, buys me chocolates and listens to my woes. He can read me like a book. I’m his plus-one whenever his girlfriend can’t attend something with him. We talk about his relationship with her all the time. In fact his girl and I are friends. Thing is, neither of us wants to date the other. We don’t want to have an affair. We just want to have companionship without the baggage of a formal relationship.
Sure at some point things get weird like sometimes he says a few ‘interesting’ things to me but I always gently put him in place and remind him this is not what I signed up for. Truthfully part of me would like to date him or at least a guy like him. But I know for a fact that he loves his girl deeply and if we ever had anything we would spoil the ‘arrangement’ because he’s never leave her for me and we’d never be the same again.
There’s the lets-hang-out-at-this-event-where-we-both-know-no-one-else friend. He’s the guy I know I can leave my drink or hand bag with for a quick dash to the loo. He’s the guy I can argue, laugh at or discuss politics, social life issues or whatever with. He’s cool. I’m comfortable around him. I can be myself. I even help him get girls if we’re at an event together. There are two types of ‘lets-hang-out-at-this-event-where-we-both-know-no-one-else’ friend. There’s one who knows nothing about my personal life. Ours is a superficial relationship with civil sema? Siku-mingi! How’ve-you-been conversations.
Then there’s the one I have keenly observed and seen I can talk a little more with. With him I can divulge a bit of myself but really the purpose of our friendship is to learn about the male psyche. He’s the guy who tells me how he has 10 girlfriends and why he feels nothing for them or how he likes this girl [not me] or just how men are. I enjoy this type of friend a lot. I have the best conversations with them.
Then there’s the male friend who has all these lovely features wrapped up in the unfortunate cloth of ‘not-my-type’. He is wonderful, we laugh, we talk, we eat, we dance, we have a glorious time…but he is not my type and in my heart of hearts I know that we will not work as a couple. Why? We are total opposites who have a few wonderful things in common or perhaps tend to react to certain things in the same way. Its like how man is an omnivore and a dog is a carnivore and even though both eat meat there is a separate world in which one cannot exist. Make sense?
It’s a beneficial friendship, we both have someone to cuddle with and call up for help. But I’m in a dilemma now because two of my ‘not-my-type’ friends like me. Really like me. And its all my fault because in a terrible lapse in judgment, I crossed a kaboundary with them. I’m not making excuses for myself but honestly I did not think they’d want to pursue anything serious with me. May be offer a chips-funga invitation which I would have declined. Of course they are men and would want more, duh, I know that but its not what I wanted or expected.
Men use friendship to start a relationship and women use friendship to end it
I read somewhere that men use friendship to start a relationship and women use friendship to end it. Lets examine the first part. Is that what their plan has been? To use our friendship as a springboard into something more meaningful? Perhaps. The problem is I do not date my friends, liwalo liwe. I keep them in a box, cage, vacuum, whatever because they serve a certain need. I need a release! It is they who help me solve or forget, even for a moment, the struggles of singlehood and ‘coupleland’. How can I throw that away? Sure it is very selfish of me but I like where we were before things got complicated. It maybe stupid of me to not let someone who truly cares for me in my life but what about their feelings?
Both deserve to be with someone who loves them just as much and exactly as they are. I cannot embark on a mission of ‘sympathy dating’ here, both are too precious to me and I respect them too much. Alafu who would I pick anyway? Bleurgh! The worst part is that I cannot tell either of them the truth behind my not wanting to date them. I can, but I don’t want to. Not if, as I strongly suspect, it will mean the end of our friendship.
The girl who honestly values friendship
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Some things are best left unsaid, while others are best said by others...allow me to say them all.