Inter-Gender Relations

14Oct09

friendsI came across an article on the internet the other day that caught my attention, mainly because it served to support a theory that a friend of mine, B., proposed to me a short while ago.  At the time I told him that his theory was silly and ridiculous, but as time is progressing I’m starting to think he might be on to something.

B. and I have been friends for over 10 years now.  In this time we have flirted on and off, but nothing ever occurred for various reasons.  Thus other than occasional flirtation it has always been a very platonic relationship we’ve shared, and for this we have always been friends from my point of view.  At one point I was attracted to him, but I guess I weighed the pros and cons of taking that next step and realized his friendship meant more to me than a fling.  Disproving the theory that sex trumps all I suppose.

So B. threw this theory out to me a few months ago, when I had to tell him about my incident with S. (the reason I say ‘had’ is because my sister spilled the beans when we all went out to dinner.  I gave the abbreviated form there, but being such a good friend he wanted to discuss it further later).  We were discussing it on msn one day, and he threw on the table the belief that men are only friends with women because they want to sleep with them.  And when they finally do sleep together, the need to be friends seems to magically dissipate.  It’s like a quest, and once the goal has been achieved there’s not really much point in proceeding.

This statement bothered me in a few different ways but I let the conversation slide because I had to go to work.  However a few weeks later the topic came up on its own again, and I decided to raise my issues with him.  The first one was the fact that B. and I have been friends for ages, and his theory implies that the reason he stays friends with me is because he wants to have sex with me.  Furthering the complication would be that he’s engaged.  B. got a good laugh out of it, and then explained that occasionally (but not too often) an actual friendship can materialize from what started as sexual attraction.  So while B. might have wanted to sleep with me initially we somehow actually managed friends out of the situation.  Rare.

The second issue is that I’ve always been the type of personality that gets along better with men than women.  It’s probably related to common interests and personality, but whatever the case I always tend to have more guy friends than girls.  Granted most of my guy friends are now pairing off, and their girlfriends/wives aren’t quite so understanding of guy-girl friendships (B.’s fiancee is very okay, thankfully) so my number of guy friends to hang out with is diminishing rapidly.  Whatever the case, B.’s theory tends to imply that if guy-girl friendships are formed off the idea that the guy wants sex with the girl … then I’ve got issues.  On one hand it can explain why a lot of my guy friends would drift out of my life while I was in a relationship, but then drift back in once it ended.  In and out until we eventually just lose touch.  But it made me a little uneasy, because I always worked off the assumption that my guy friends saw me a ‘one of the guys’, never actually really as a girl.  And to suddenly have to entertain the other option, being that they do recognize me as a girl and potentially want to jump my bones?  Ick.

The third issue, and my argument to disprove his theory was the fact that S. and I actually became friends post-coitus.  His theory is based off the idea that once you’ve had sex they no longer have the need to talk to you or hang out.  But the difference is that S. and I very occasionally talked outside of work and never hung out.  While we do not hang out constantly we have a few times since, and we see to talk a little more often.  When I presented this to him, B. mulled it over for a moment, then concluded that S. must want sex with me again or like me.  I rolled my eyes and stated that is the most unrealistic scenario possible.  B. reacted similarly and suggested maybe it’s just like him and I then, that okay we had sex, but now we can become friends because of it.  Remember earlier when he said this was rare?  And to happen to me, twice?  Skeptical.

So how does this relate to the article I read?  Well said article was discussing how a study (always reliable *eyeroll*) determined that in 90% of male-female relationships one of the parties likes the other one. 90%?!?!  I find this number .. somewhat plausible I guess.  Maybe slightly exaggerated.  I can admit that I’ve had a crush on a fair number of my guy friends, but they were merely that — a crush.  Nothing that I felt the overwhelming need to substantiate.  Well I did end up dating one of them, and I guess I have had sex with a few of them …. for the most part, nothing I felt the overwhelming need to substantiate.  I still wouldn’t guess 90% of my friends, but maybe that’s a generalization such as in 100 friendships between a guy and a girl for 90% of these at least one party is attracted/interested in the other.  In this case, I theoretically only have to like a guy 45% of the time.  This is much more plausible.

The article then proceeded to explain how to maintain your relationships with your guy friends while having a boyfriend, without compromising your relationship with your partner.  Blah blah etc.  I pretty much know how to manage that, my problems generally lie with the opposite situation in which boyfriends don’t know how to stay platonic with their female friends.  But I digress.  Maybe this just proves that women are better at keeping things platonic, and men aren’t nearly so good at keeping things in their pants.  Whatever the point may be, I think it’s likely going to corrupt my view of inter-gender friendships from this point out.  I’ll probably always regard the behaviour of my guy friends with a bit more skepticism, or at least for alterior motives.  I think some things are better left unknown, and ignorance is bliss when it comes to the dynamics of these types of relationships.

Friendship can sometimes end in love, but love in friendship, never.” — Unknown

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