Derivatives

26Jun10

Tonight I went out to dinner for a friend’s partner’s birthday … well more specifically, it was for Darwin’s fiancee.  Though they’ve been together for about four years now I could probably count on both hands the number of times that I’ve met the woman.  So when I first received the facebook invite for the birthday dinner, I disregarded it.  But as time progressed I realized this was the first time I was invited to something related to -her-, and not Darwin himself.

I decided to go at the last minute, which meant buying her a gift at the last minute.  I could only remember a few stores that she did like and a few she didn’t.  Knowing she’s a girly-girl I opted for a girl-friendly gift:  a very nice decorative candle.  When I arrived at the dinner I ended up arriving late, but they rearranged everyone so that I was sitting next to Darwin and across from her.  I spent most of the  meal talking to Darwin, but  made a point to try and talk to her and the other people at the table as well.  But it got me thinking about something:  do you have to become friends with your friend’s partners?

I know the way it usually works is that your friends are of your gender, so when your boyfriend meets your friends, odds are he’ll spend more time with their boyfriends, and not your friends themselves.  No one really expects for you to go above and beyond to become friends with a significant other’s friends since they are his/her friends, and the generalization is that you don’t have to become friends with them because they’re the opposite gender.  So how does this work when your friend is of the opposite gender, and instead their partner is your gender?

I feel confused at times on how I’m supposed to behave when around the two of them.  One part of me feels like I should be making more of an effort to be friends with her, but another part of me keeps reminding myself that I’m friends with Darwin, not her.  There’s been a few circumstances where I’ve been put in situations of gender divide, i.e after their stag and doe, when the girls were talking about men upstairs, I opted to go downstairs and play video games with the boys.  In that situation I knew I should want to sit around and gossip with the girls, but instead I wanted to go play games.  So I did what I wanted instead of what was expected of me, and it seemed to surprise pretty much everyone except for Darwin.

It also raises the whole concept of what happens when I get a boyfriend, and if we double date.  If normally the boys pull together, and the girls do likewise, that means I’ll essentially be grouped with his fiancee.  Who is nice, so very nice and wonderful, but not my primary friend.  And I know there is no reason that I couldn’t be friends with her, but it feels like it would be some kind of conflict of interest.  Not exactly akin with sleeping with the enemy, but more like being a double agent of sorts.   When it comes down to it, my loyalties always have and always will lay with Darwin, and I don’t think anyone doubts that.  But I guess I have this concern that if I become friends with her then people might expect that to change.  I like the way their relationship is one-sided to me:  Darwin tells me of problems and I can easily take his side because I don’t hear the other perspective.  Ignorance is bliss type of thing.

As I drove home tonight I combed my brain trying to figure out some common interest I could try to share with her, but I kept coming up empty.  It seems we share only a few common interests and the major one is Darwin, and probably not enough from which to build a strong friendship.  I guess as long as everyone is okay with that, then it’s not an issue.  Just another socialogical anomaly.

Make new friends but keep the old ones; one is silver and the other’s gold.”  — Anonymous

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One Response to “Derivatives”

  1. I know how you feel, I’m like this as well. The thing is I don’t make the effort to befriend their girlfriends and I usually don’t like them. But you want to make sure it doesn’t turn into a “My Best Friend’s Wedding” thing, like say you discover you actually have feelings for this Darwin. Eh, who knows. Don’t feel bad about it, it’s natural.


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