Monday, February 28, 2011
So last week while on the E train, I heard a guy and a girl going back and forth in what seemed to be a friendly debate. She kept saying, “You never came, you never came!”
Now, I have to admit, I was wondering what the hell she was talking about.
Came? Came where? How? With who? ;-)
She noticed that I glanced her way and she smiled at me in a ‘SMH’ way as he said, “You never invited me!”
Ah…she must be saying he never came…to her house. Or something like that. Nothing juicy.
Now he’s looking at me grinning at my perceived disappointment that they weren’t talking about anything sexual.
Finally she says to me, “Who do you believe? Me or Him?”
I told her that since I don’t know either one of them, I’d need specifics.
“I’ve invited him to my apartment several times, but he never came.”
Before she could even finish her sentence, he jumps in, “I’m a man! If she had invited me, you know I’d go.”
Now they’re both looking at me in a “Hurry up, our stop is coming up next and we need your answer NOW” type of way.
I asked, “Are you two dating?”
She says, “Oh no, we’re just friends.”
“Well maybe he wants to be MORE than just friends, so he doesn’t want to come to your place because he won’t be able to control himself. Maybe he’s just trying to be a gentleman" I suggest.
He doesn’t say anything, but she quickly dismisses my theory.
“Oh no, we’re just friends. He’s damn near pre-engaged to his girl.”
The look on his face is now a defeated one.
I turn to him.
“Is this true?”
“Yes. I guess you can say that.”
Trying not to sound too judgmental I say, “Well, if so, then what does being a man have to do with anything? Are you saying that even in your ‘pre-engaged' state you still would have gone to her place if she invited you because ‘you’re a man?”
He looks down at his feet nervously. “Well, that was just my fast reply cuz I couldn’t think of anything better to say, but you both shot that down….so….”
“SEE!!!?” she squeals.
But then I add – now looking at her, “Well, maybe it’s BECAUSE he’s pre-engaged that he hasn’t been to your place. Maybe his ‘pre-engaged girlfriend’ wouldn’t like it if he’s at another woman’s house. It’s obvious you two are good friends, so maybe him going to your place wouldn’t sit well with his girl and he knows it, so he doesn’t want to come over in order to keep the peace and respect his girlfriend.”
She looks at me as if I’d just cracked the Da Vinci code or something.
And he looks at me like “DING, DING, DING, DING! Tell her what she’s won Johnny!”
The doors open up and all three of us get off. I walk ahead, but I can hear her saying “Is that true? Is that the reason? Well then let me meet her so she’s not worried, why didn’t you say something, blah blah blah.”
To me it wasn’t rocket science. And why did she want him to come over so badly anyway? None of it made any sense to me since I didn’t know what led to the conversation…but whatever. She probably thought having him over was no big deal, while to him, going over there could have been the start of a world war.
Most of my male friends have behaved differently towards me once they start dating someone – and I get it - especially if I know they once had an interest in me. It may seem awkward for them to confide in me once they start dating someone new. Or maybe they want to still hang out with you, but haven't figured out how to walk the thin line between remaining close friends with me while still respecting their girlfriends.
I’ve had male friends who have told me they got engaged, and I didn’t even know they were dating anyone. Some kept their girlfriends a secret until the very last minute – maybe because they were holding on to their “singlehood” for as long as they could…who knows. I’ve even dated men in the past who have gone on to marry other women and were afraid to tell me – or didn’t tell me until they were expecting their first child…even though I chatted with them on almost a daily basis. And I'm sure I've dated men who kept ME a secret from their female friends as well.
I never understood it. I always thought that if we’re just friends, no matter how we got to be that way, you can and should be able to tell me anything. And if your new girl would be upset that we’re good friends, then that’s understandable and should be something we can discuss. I got the feeling that the dude on the train wasn’t being fully honest with his female friend - as if he was afraid to admit that he valued his relationship with his girlfriend and didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize it or cause conflict. Maybe that’s why some men keep personal details to themselves…and keep their female friends and their significant others in completely differently worlds far, far away from each other.
One of my guy friends told me that his new wife told him that he could only keep ONE female friend. She has to be an “old” friend…not anyone “new.” And once he chose that friend, he had to give his wife the friend’s phone number, and he wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone or hang out with this one female friend past sunset.
No…I’m not making this up.
I know this because I’m the female friend he chose. I thought her rules were a little extreme, because after all…what can’t be done during the day BEFORE sunset that can be done after dark? Some of the best nookie I’ve ever gotten has been in the early afternoon - and temptation can hit you at ANY time…but I digress… :-)
Anyway, as absurd as I thought her rules were, I had to respect them. He loved his wife, and in order to keep his friend and make her happy, those were the compromises he was willing to make for the sake of his marriage. Did it seem to suggest a lack of trust? In my opinion…yes. But she’s not my wife, it’s not my relationship, and it’s none of my business. As his friend, it’s my job to support him…even if his wife might be an insecure lunatic.
Either that or she caught him cheating before and is determined to keep him on a short leash. Again…who knows.
Anyway, this was a long story told to ask a short question: Do you find that you or your platonic friends change once you/they are in a relationship? Do you automatically set new boundaries for your platonic, opposite sex friends once you start dating someone seriously, or do you interact them the same way you always have? Do you think the rules should change between you and your close, opposite sex friends once you get seriously involved or should your new boo accept your friends in your life on your terms?
Let’s hear it!