Before I begin, let me say that this is my last time sharing my thoughts on this particular subject until I can rectify it because it makes no sense for me to stress about it until I figure out how to fix it, so here goes.
I've said it before, maybe not as eloquently as I would like, but this post will break it down so it can forever be broke - I personally cannot fathom two heterosexual individuals, man and woman to be exact, being just friends. I will gladly tell you why in full force. I'm blogging about this on a Friday, so I know folks won't see it until Sunday afternoon at the earliest, but I'll be grinding back at work on Monday, so I figured I'd do it now.
The concept of platonic friendship was ruined for me my senior year of high school (back story in this here blog entry
) and for the last 10 years, whenever a woman has said that word to me in reference to her desired association with me, I feel my skin getting warm, my head starts pounding and my heart beat slows to a crawl. Hopefully that's not the sign of a heart attack or a stroke, but you get the picture. I become so infuriated and offended at the suggestion of friendship because more often than not, it isn't genuine.
Countless friendships with women have either been woefully one-sided or a major letdown because of what I found out shortly (or in a scant few cases, a while) after the "friendship" began. There have been times when I've been the one listening to women talk about everything (topics ranging from family drama to sexual ineptness with other men) and then when I needed an ear, they were MIA or flat-out didn't want to hear it. There's also the deception of saying to me "I'm not looking for ANYTHING with ANYONE right now, but we can be cool," only to see them enter a relationship ("OMG, it just happened!") or they're sexually active ("OMG it just happened!" - Again.).
For me, there is that disingenuous nature, that deception, that recklessness that makes me believe that women just aren't into me no matter what. Being close to a woman but not having any romantic or sexual potential is kinda like putting a buffet in front of a homeless person but saying they can't eat any of it. That's how I see it, and I have reasons for this.
For starters, other men - more attractive, well-off, popular men of reputation - don't have to subscribe to friendship to get what they want. If they do, then maybe it's genuine friendship or the woman is playing hard to get, so they play along. I don't know TOO many guys who willingly enter into platonic friendships for the complete and total definition of what a traditional friendship should be.
Secondly, as a guy who is self-conscious and battling with himself on the regular, the stigma of being friends with a bunch of women doesn't help the battle at all. As stupid as it sounds, I'm afraid of being stereotyped and outcast as being a man who isn't interested in women on a sexual and romantic level. Yeah, I said it was stupid, but it's a real fear. I mean sure, there are worse things to be in society, like a murderer, a racist, or if you're Michael Vick, being in PETA's cross hairs. But I really feel like it emasculates me and trivializes who I am as a man when women say "I only see you as a friend." And I know I'm a straight man with a desire for female companionship, but why does it have to be the most basic, stark, loveless form of companionship? There's nothing heartwarming about hanging out and talking on the phone. There's nothing passionate about random conversation. There's nothing loving about being introduced to others as a woman's "friend."
Thirdly, the sexual aspect of friendship is one that can't be overlooked. People are really engaging in the FWB thing now, and somehow I'm wrong for hoping for that kind of friendship. It seems that only men who are well over six feet tall, muscular and handsome can have sexual wants, needs and desires. A darkskinned overweight dork like me? Forget it. I may as well donate my genitals to science it seems.
Finally, and probably the most important reason I loathe being a woman's friend is because I know deep down in my heart and in the darkest corners of my mind that it will never go anywhere. If I had a dollar for everytime I've heard statements such as "friends make the best lovers" and "you have to start off as friends," Sallie Mae wouldn't be calling and sending mail every two days. It's hurtful. With God's will, I'll be 28 September 25th, and through the internet reunion marvel that is Facebook, I'm finding that people I grew up with are settling into adulthood with spouses and children. What do I have? Not a damn thing. No dating prospects, women hate me because I'm different, and a job with hours that make it difficult to even try looking for women if I wasn't so introverted and distrustful of the gender. All that talk about friendship leading to more has never worked out for me. It didn't when I was a kid and I don't see any reason to believe that things would change now and in the future.
But then there's the backlash that I usually incur from deading these kinds of friendships. More often than not, I'm cast as the bad guy who isn't really a decent person because I'm tired of being alone, undesirable and used. Well let me be clear. I have feelings, I have a desire to be wanted, I don't want to be by myself the rest of my life, I'm not any less of a man because I don't fit the physical description of what's hot. If women are truly interested in being friends, then be a friend, but please don't say it just to string me along. It's only going to add to my struggles, ones I'm hoping to kick before it's too late.