Saturday, May 26, 2007

Too Long Gone...

I spent last night talking to a dear friend about relationship/non-realtionship problems. My friend has been hanging out with this guy for what seems like forever, and he's super affectionate with her. In everything that I've heard, my opinion is that this guy is crazy for her, but scared to make any moves. So, this brings me to the purpose of this post. Is it REALLY possible for friends to date? All my realtionships started very quickly, and the friendships developed as the relationship developed. Wait, that's not true at all - I had ONE relationship in which the boy and I were friends first, and it truly was the disaster of all realtionships and break-ups. According to the Movie "When Harry Met Sally," it is impossible for men and women to just be friends - because one of them usually has ulterior motives. I used to be a pro at this kind of consulting, but I've been too long gone (four years last wednesday) to be an expert anymore. So tell me this, dear blog-followers, have any of you made the transition from friends to dating sucessfully? And at what point in a friendship is it too late to take it further?

15 comments:

Tara said...

Good question. I've been asking myself that same thing. I think you can always go from friend status to dating status, but if you have been friends for too long without anything happening, that usually means one has stronger feelings than the other.

Next time you see C.E.B. get his number. I'll be down in July.

Melissa said...

Wait, did I get that straight? Did Tara just inform me that she's coming to Utah this summer...BUT ONLY wanted me to get in touch with Cute Engineering Boy for her? What about visiting ME!!???

Tara said...

Don't be silly. I'm planning on sharing a room with Maddie.

Ben said...

I'll go out on a limb and extrapolate a generalization from my experience that I will then infer is universally applicable.

Men can't "just be friends" after being rejected. It doesn't matter if there was friendship before they became romantically interested in the woman, or if that was the first thing on their minds. Women seem confused by this. Men are confused as to how anyone could be confused by this.

If a guy continues hanging around a girl after she rejects him, ostensibly under the pretense that they really are, in fact, friends, it is because he secretly believes that if he's persistent enough the girl will eventually come around. This is a sad state of affairs perpetuated and nurtured by Hollywood, which is a fantasyland.

(E.g., baguettes do not possess magical properties which cause romance to blossom between people with antithetical motives and intentions, and if a girl loathes a guy when she first meets him that's not a signal for him to up the obnoxious levels until she comes around.)

I've rarely become attracted to a girl with whom I've not been friends first. However, I've never had a romantic relationship develop from what was first a friendship; becoming romantically interested in a friend is a surefire way to destroy a friendship. Ironically, conventional wisdom holds that the strongest relationships are those that are based upon friendship. So, yeah.

Ben said...

"...and if a girl loathes a guy when she first meets him that's not a signal for him to up the obnoxious levels until she comes around."

And if it is, that's stupid.

Ashlee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashlee said...

Wow Melis, such an interesting topic. Did you post this from your Wii?

Ben, might I tap your intelligence and delve a little further? Here's a hypothetical: Tommy has been spending every night with his friend, Lucy. He may or may not have tried a few times to 'make a move', but... was possibly shot down (only because Lucy was scared, not because she in any way would be opposed to said 'move' - we can talk about Lucy's stupidity later). Tommy continues to hang around, but Lucy is afraid she is 'sending the wrong signals' now. Could Tommy still be interested? What could Lucy do to reaffirm her interests (short of 'making a move' herself, or just talking to him ...as simple and straightforward as that option sounds).

And while we're here...what reason would Tommy have of informing Lucy that his ex would be coming into town? And that he 'wouldn't be opposed to seeing what happens there', while still continuing his affections toward Lucy?

Tommy, Lucy and I thank you in advance.

Thanks!

Ben said...

My intelligence was tapped-out this morning when I tied my shoelaces, but I'll give it a go.

Being shot-down and being rejected aren't necessarily the same thing. If a guy tries to hold a girl's hand and she pulls away, that's being shot-down. If a guy tells a girl he has feelings for her and she tells him those feelings aren't reciprocated, that's being rejected. And yeah, someone interested in arguing semantics could say that those terms should be reversed. The point, however, is the same; if I ask a girl out for this Friday and she tells me she'll be busy, but "next Friday would work" for her, it gives me hope. If, on the other hand, she simply says "No." or "I'm busy.", that pretty much kills off hope because it conveys a sense of finality. So, in the case of Tommy and Lucy, it'd depend upon what she did or didn't say at the time she declined his move.

The wrong signals to avoid if Lucy wants to let Tommy know he shouldn't give up? Aloofness, fear, and reticence. The tricky part will be letting Tommy know that she's not being friendly for the sake of being friends (something Tommy wouldn't like at all). I would say, however, that because Tommy already made a move, the simplest thing would be to make a move back. I've never known a guy that's interested in a girl to respond negatively to that sort of thing.

As for Tommy's reasons for letting Lucy know that his ex is coming into town, I can think of only one: he's trying to gauge her interest by seeing how she reacts, and hoping it might stir her up to do something about it (her jealousy, not the ex coming into town). If he told her this after she rejected his "move", there's likely a little bit of retaliation to it as well (but just a bit, and only in the hope that she's jealous). It's juvenile, but then, that's pretty much the description of most behavior associated with dating and flirting.

There's a caveat (several, in fact, but I'll just mention one) - if Tommy is insincere and shallow, this is all one big mind trip for him, in which case mentioning his ex, etc. - especially with the suggestion that he wouldn't mind stirring things up with her while keeping things going with Lucy - is a chauvinistic and manipulative facade and Lucy should give up on him.

Ben said...

Put a bit more succinctly, "Lucy" should let "Tommy" know that she was only rejecting his move at that particular point in time - not him.

Ashlee said...

Fascinating. Thanks, Ben.

Let me tell you - "Lucy" was more that a little annoyed at "Tommy's" 'ex' announcement.

And are there real "Tommy's" out there that are interested, and just afraid to 'make a move' (i.e. go in for the kiss, etc)?

Maybe it just comes down to both "Lucy's" and Tommy's" being entirely ridiculous? I dare say that is my take on it...

Ben said...

Yeah, there are real Tommys out there; the thought of making a move terrifies me. I'm sure the level of nervousness for most guys equals - if not exceeds - their level of interest in making a move. A girl could make that easier for them by giving little signs and signals, but then, that's probably a scary thing itself. So we all sit around being ridiculous instead.

ScottyD said...

Ok, here is my two cents. I had an experiance where I liked a girl and hung out with her. It was kind of a friendly hang out. I was obvious to the signs of her sitting real close to me and whatnot. It took her roommates to ask me why I haden't made a move. Knowing she was interested did make it easier. Anyway the relationship only lasted a month. After that we never hungout anymore. I have a lot of friends that are girls but they are all married. So I guess I am only friends with girls that I am interested in getting to no more than friends. Hope that makes sense.

mom said...

I absolutely LOVED this dialog...especially ben being tapped out after tieing his shoes. Ben...you should have a talk show! Anyway...in Harry Met Sally...the friends fall in love and live happily ever after. I don't have any other answers...and are there any that really matter that aren't from hollowood. opps...did I say HOLLOW WOOD?? Must have slipped. Such a good question though.

Macbeth's said...

This is a very intriguing conversation between what I assume to be friends and I feel a bit voyeristic (sp?) reading it. After all, I am Melissa's cousin by way of Rob, not a BFF in any way to either Ben or Tara or anyone else here...and that's unfortunate! Here's my two cents tho, for whatever they are worth. I love "When Harry Met Sally". It's perhaps the most quirky little film of all time. I always tear up just a bit when they finally get together and in my soul I think people can move from friends to "more" (whatever the heck that means...) However, I personally have never been fortunate enough to experience love blooming where friendship was planted. I am more like Melissa, who cultivated friendship and love at the same time. The sad part is that I'm usually not friends after we break up, because the relationship was based on romanticism and when it was over friendship was not possible. Only a few men from my past remained friends after (only one remains still) and let's face it, there is still enough attraction that when we go out he pays (like a real date) and we end up kissing. Pure and simple! So as much as we say we are "just" friends, there is obviously more feelings involved. Or it's just lust. Either way, it's messed up a bit. On the flip side, I have a friend we'll call Rob, not to hide his identity, but because his name is, in fact, Rob. I've been friends with this guy since the beginning of time--1997. Good, sincere, deep friends. Then, shortly after telling me he would not, could not be interested in me romantically ("You are more like a sister"), he kissed me. Now, 2 months later, our friendship, from what I understand by his not returning my calls, is completely ruined. Would I do it over again? Who knows. Wow. Cathartic. Thanks Melissa for the box on which to soap! I'll see you at the reuinion!

Macbeth's said...

Just to clarify, Macbeth's is my actual BFF, Brittany, who I'm visiting in San Francisco. Blogwriter from her computer is Melanie. Sorry for the confusion!