Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just Friends

This week, in celebration of Valentine's Day, I'm wearing red to work every day. I realized yesterday that I have enough shirts/sweaters to just pull it off, as long as I don't want to wear red on Valentine's Day. Seems a little ironic, doesn't it? Oh well. Maybe I'll wear pink instead.

In addition to wearing red (one of my favorite colors to wear, by the way), I'm trying to write love/relationship-centric posts this week. Maybe not every day, but as often as I feel like it. That's pretty much how I do things nowadays.

Today, I ask you the question, Can single men and women be friends? My boss says no. I say why not.

The debate started again today because I went to lunch with Anthony. It was a spontaneous thing. Anthony came in to buy batteries and told me he had the rest of the day off of work. He asked if I could leave work for a bit to go to lunch with him. My boss was gone (at a work lunch) and my coworker said she wouldn't mind holding down the fort, so I went with him. I figured I'd pay for myself, but Anthony insisted on paying. I had a blast. He makes me laugh and we have a lot of fun together talking and signing. And, in case you're wondering, no, I have no romantic feelings for him. None whatsoever. I like him as a friend and that is it.

When my boss found out about our lunch "date", he warned me that I need to be careful not to lead Anthony on. I told him that Anthony and I have talked about where we stand and he knows that I only see him as a friend. My boss's exact words: "Guys don't do friends, they either want to be more than friends or they don't want anything at all."

What does that mean?

I have guy friends. Single guys. According to my boss, all these guys are secretly hoping to be more than friends, but I know for a fact that isn't true with at least one of them, if not all of them.

What do you guys think? Am I wrong? Is it irrational to think that a man and a woman can be friends, can talk, can hang out, and not want anything more than friendship?


Framed said...

Good question. I haven't a clue since I don't know any single guys.

tearese said...

I've heard that a lot too. Most of the people in the high school art guild were guys, and I wasn't interested in them...I always wonder if they thought different of me?
I've heard that girls often think they're friends and guys think it might develope more, but I think it works the other way too.
Plus,before he met me, Joseph was friends with tons of girls in his ward: he saw them as friends,but everyone in his ward thought he was a player.
So I guess..each case is different?
I don't know. I guess he did really "like" some of those girls too, and they didn't know it. Whatever.

Melissa said...

I think that you can be friends if both parties don't have any romantic feelings for each other and they know that they only want friendship. But I think that is only if you are single, if you are married and have guy or girl friends, I don't think that is okay. Just my personal opinion though.

Anonymous said...

Wow... good question. I am usually smitten to a degree in nearly all of my friendships, so I don't think I'm a good test case. What I'd like to know is if I can just be friends without always wondering if I still like the guy more than that. It's the wondering part that drives me nuts and that I'd like to get rid of.

Another thing... when it's a different girl in a friendship like that - such as yourself, I agree with your boss. Anthony is interested in you more than friends. When it's me in such a friendship like that I don't agree. I usually tend to think that guys aren't interested in me. Hmm...

julie said...

Thanks for your input everyone!

This morning, while riding my bike, I thought about this some more and realized that I'm thinking about it too much. It comes down to this: if I want to be friends with a guy, I'm going to be friends with him. If I have no intentions of being more than friends, I'll do my best to make that clear to him. Then it's up to him if he still wants to be friends.

I feel better already. :)

Now, I'm going to stop worrying about it...for now at least. :)

Cardine said...

I totally think you can be friends. I feel like I have friends who have no thought of dating me and I them. But, I also think that some people can't be friends with the opposite gender. Really, it's an individual thing.

Glad you figured it out. All you can really do is be clear.

Mellissa said...

I think it's different with every case, like Tearese said. I think a lot of it has to do with whether the guy has other interests in his life that can hold a candle to you. If he doesn't then you're not "just friends" because there is nothing "just" about it for him, even if you are "just friends." Good luck. I HATE to admit this, but you're so outgoing and flirtatious, I can easily agree with your boss. (NEVER tell him that, OK?) You might not be meaning to, but it's going to get harder and harder for Anthony to stop having feelings for you.

julie said...

Cardine, I agree, different people, different circumstances. I'm trying to be clear; however...

...I think you may be right, too, Missy. I AM kind of flirtatious, even when I don't realize it. Actually, usually I think I'm simply being cheerful and friendly. Short of asking him how he feels (which isn't going to happen any time soon), I'm not going to really know how he feels. Until he tells me different, I'm going to assume he thinks we're just friends, too. How's that for possibly being an ostrich with my head in the sand? :)

Alyson said...

I'm definitely on the fence about this one. I know that I have guy friends that I only want to be friends with, but maybe it doesn't work that way for guys. IDK.

Madman said...

Yes, I think guys and girls can be friends. Your boss (want to say something else, but I'm trying not to anymore) has no idea what's going on inside my head, and you're my best friend.

I'm grateful for that and don't think of you any other way.

Anymore. Not after the last two times of trying to be more.

So, he's wrong, you're right. No surprise there.

julie said...

Aly, maybe it really is an individual thing. Some combinations of girls and guys can be just friends, others can't? Maybe?

Madman, thank you. You're actually one of the examples I told my boss about, the other is Warnser. The difference with you is that we "talk" almost every day. It doesn't mean that there's anything more. And thank you for your friendship, especially last night. It was tough to hear in ways but you're right, I needed to hear it.

warnser said...

I totally agree with cardine

"some people can't be just friends"

And maybe this is a lot of people,
probably even.

I can say that I think I can be just a friend, and since I can't marry all the girls that I hang out with, it would be very hard otherwise.

But again this is a very tricky thing.

However, I think a lot of times people say they want to be friends, but they don't mean it, and this goes both ways.

I've seen people say that they want to be friends, because it's all they have, and I've seen (and hated, well maybe not hated, but you get the idea) those who have said, 'I want to just be friends' and when it turns out to be nothing like a friendship (we didn't talk for... well ever again really) It can be annoying.

So basically I think people can be friends, but mostly it doesn't happen like that.

But I do value you as a friend too.
so anyway thanks.