Wednesday, February 20, 2008

friends...

so here is the thing, at what point can males and females, men and women be JUST friends?

that's the question that keeps coming up around me right now...

some times i truly think that people take things to far...

i have heard, "well if i am in a relationship, i can't have any female friends because all my female friends really want to do is f*ck me..."

wow, okay!

i have also heard, "he is strictly my homeboy, we grew up together and have known each other for years...there is nothing there..."

some people refuse, i mean TOTALLY refuse to give up their male or female friends when they enter into a relationship regardless of the level of committment that they have to their partner or regardless of how the partner may feel about it...Why? because they figure this person was here before you and they will be here after you...further more, we are JUST friends!

but are you really...do you secretly wish for more, and if so, aren't you more than friends...
or is it really that this is like my bro/sis type of thang...

why is it so hard for SOME people to accpet their partner having friends...

at some point in a relationship you have trust the person that you are with until proven otherwise...if the person says that they are "just friends" then you should be able to trust that they are just friends...but at what point do you say "hold up this is a bit much"

when your phone rings at 10pm and its a male/female friend calling?
when your text messaging plan has gone over from texting said friend all day long?
when you don't answer your phone when your partner calls because you are with said friend?

what are the levels of friendship and when is it time to step back from friends of the opposite sex, even those that you have known since forever????

what is the definition of a friend?

like i said it seems to me the older we get and the more serious relationships become the issue of friends of the opposite sex become and issue...i mainly think its because of trust...but then the rebuttal to that is, "it's not that i don't trust you, it's the other people that i don't trust because things happen"

well if you trust your partner or their judgement then you should know that they wouldn't put themselves in a situation that would be detramental to your relationship, they wouldn't allow themselve to be in a compromising situation with someone else...

but i guess that again goes back to trust.

why doesn't anyone fully trust anyone anymore? what happened to believing in the person you are with, ESPECIALLY if they haven't proven to do otherwise

maybe if we all started off as friends FIRST in a relationship then we would really know the character of our partners and be able to trust their judgement and be more sound in their friendships...

true others have abused this title of "friends" before and YES sometimes friends become more than that...but if you are in a relationship shouldn't you trust that it won't go down like that?

i don't know people, speak to me

22 comments:

j.a.c. said...

I haven't read the entire post. Actually just the first couple of sentences, but I'll say now that my very first reaction after reading the first sentence was "THEY CAN'T". Men and women cannot be just friends. But I'll read your post in its entirety and elaborate and/or change my opinion after lunch. =)

T.C. said...

so then my question would be how do we explain our relationship with mc, rh, and dh or even our Kiamsha fam?

B_More BAP Life said...

I'm still trying to master this question myself. It can be so confusing sometime. Last night I had a call from a "friend" and he asked if he could stay the night. I said no. I aint CRAZY!!

miKeSee said...

First and foremost I want to say I agree with Jendi. People need to keep it real and be honest with themselves when it comes to friends of the opposite sex.

I have a full dissertation/novel typed up so I won't rant about it too much on the blog.

Your inner circle of friends are people you share personal things with and things that aren't just casual. I think there's a difference between your inner circle of friends, casual friends, and friends that you are just cool with.

I don't share my innermost secrets and thoughts with you, Jendi, Kacey or any other woman (that I'm not in a relationship with) other than several of the women in my family. But we (Me, Tiff, Jendi, Kacey, etc.) all talk casually, hang out from time to time, have discussions, and enjoy one-another's company. So I'd say that's a casual friendship.

Then you have Randy and BHill who I talk to about damn near everything and they know far more about me than most people will ever know. We talk on a pretty regular basis. When I go through something they probably feel like they do and vice-versa because they get so much information about what's going on in my life. That's a friend that's in my inner circle (along with Wayne, Bay, Jon, Lionel, etc. but no women that aren't family).

And then I have people that I just know from college or work or wherever that's a friend in the sense that we have a cool, healthy relationship.

And friends can move around in those different categories depending on where you are in life, where you are geographically, the frequency with which you talk to them, the type of experiences you have together, etc. So it's not to devalue any one type of friendship that I mentioned above but just say that I view my relationships with people in those broader categories.

But in general and regardless of what broader category someone is in, even if you consider someone of the opposite sex a platonic friend the feeling is almost always not mutual. Or has not been mutual 100% of the time you've known that person. Meaning, it may have started off with the two people having different expectations and ended up platonic. Or it may have started off platonic and someone developed feelings over time.

In most alleged friendly relationships between the opposite sex someone has at the least thought about "what if" or thought "if the opportunity came to...I think I would". Or someone wanted more and just suppressed it or maybe spoke on it directly or indirectly.

Imma be real...I know for a fact I have started off friendly with someone and then wanted more. Let's be honest, a lot of people have had the same experience. But I think that's actually healthier and more natural than starting off liking someone and then trying to be a friend. That right there is tough.

But people need to stop fronting and be real about this whole opposite sex friend stuff. Or at least realize that just because they view someone a certain way doesn't mean it's mutual.

My $0.02.

T.C. said...

and see situations like that one there is what makes your partner doubt or not want you to have friends...i have homeboys that i talk to here and there, but i know that they do NOT like me in that since, at least i don't think so...but there are other ones that i had to cut off because i knew that it was more than friends...but how can your partner trust your judgement? even if they meet the person(s)?

T.C. said...

okay Mike, you kept it real, so that's awesome...and i appreciate that...i consider you a homeboy...you and my other homeboy dickey, like you said its a casual thing, nothing that would be that i devuldge my secrets to...my inner circle includes ladies only and him...because he is my partner.
but how do you explain to your partner that people are just cool...casual friends...and nothing more nothing less???

miKeSee said...

That's easy. If this person is a friend you tell your partner. You explain how you met this person and what role they play in your life currently. That'd also be a good time to clear up any confusion about whether or not you've been romantically involved with that person.

From there, all you can do is trust in your mate's level of security in the relationship and their trust in you. BUT, to help aid and increase that level of trust and security, if the opportunity presents itself for you to hang out with that friend, bring your mate along so that your mate gets a feel for the person and can see that there's nothing "there". Or make it a point to introduce your mate to this person so that your mate can see for himself. The thing is that you are never going to completely convince your mate that it's strictly friendly unless your mate meets the person and feels that way his/herself. Even after meeting the person and seeing that he or she is cool, a lot of people (including me) will be nice to that opposite sex friend but still have reservations and never let his/her guard down. And if your mate gets a bad vibe, then you need to make a choice as to how important your mate and your relationship is to you and if you need to fall back on that friendship or not. Easy to say, tough to do, I know. But in the end as an adult, you should be more concerned with the person you want to spend (or are spending) the rest of your life with, in my opinion. A real platonic friend would understand you falling back a bit.

And back to my point about what may happen even if your date gets a good vibe from the friend. There's a difference between your mate not letting your guard down and being straight up insecure. But it's your job as a partner in the relationship to do what you can (within reason and sensibility) to make your mate as comfortable as possible about that friendship.

Relationships aren't easy and this is potentially another thing you might have to work through/at with your mate..."Anything worth having you work at annually." - Common

Relationships involve commitment, sacrifice, patience, understanding, etc. So if you aren't ready to handle situations like this with common sense, maturity, and focus on a common goal, then you probably shouldn't even have been in one in the first place.

When thinking about friends of the opposite sex in a relationship just keep in mind that the only persons' thoughts and actions you can control in this world are your own. So while you might think you know what's going on with someone else, you can only be 99% sure.

miKeSee said...

I meant to say "not letting his/her guard down in the 3rd paragraph by the way.

j.a.c. said...

i'm 100% in agreeance with Mike. i had to learn this the hard way with my bf in college. i too went through this discussion with my current mate, and I've learned that it all comes down to how important your relationship is with that mate vs. your relationship with said friend. the reason why it was so easy for me to give up certain "friends" (those that had/have feelings for me) is because baby boi trusted me and left me to make my own decisions. now there's no way i'm messing up a relationship with someone as cool as that. he gave me my room to decide for myself and i appreciated that, and in turn did not want to hurt his feelings, or our relationship. now if he went about it in a pressuring sort of way, things might have turned out differently. a red flag might have gone up if he were obsessed with me getting rid of certain people. then words would start popping up in my head like 'insecurity', 'domination', 'demanding' and so on.

i definitely will or would bring baby boi around what you guys are calling "casual friends". (I would call them associates.) They're casual friends, so there should be no issue.

T.C. said...

i really appreciate the comments i think that this brings a whole new light to the situation that many folks i know are dealing with...

if they are a friend they truly understand

your mate, who is truly loving, will trust you with friends as long as you don't give them reason not to

and in order to reinforce this, bring your mate around your casual friends so that he can see for hims/herself

good stuff

Anonymous said...

I got a lot to say. But not enough time.
When you are in a relationship you cant be selfish. Are you in a relationship with your mate or your friend??? I have plenty of home girls that are like sisters, but once the get into relationships I totally back off. What guy really wants another dude calling or hanging out with his woman all the time?? or at anytime for that matter. Ladies do you REALLY trust your man to hang out with a "home girl" "that is just his friend"?
I understand there are people who have platonic friendships whith the opposite sex. It's just not my thing. On the other hand you do have to trust the person that your with. So if they have someone who is "just a friend" you might have to let them hang out. It's just funny because when you get grown how many friends do you really have? You don't really have time like that. This is for the ladies.... guys for the most part are always going to see how far the can go. How many of your "homeboys" have tried to hit that??? my comment is all over the place. Just wanted to reply. hope this makes since.

My preference is for my woman to not hang out with no dudes. Is that really asking a lot??

Anonymous said...

oh yea.. most real dudes would understand the fact that your man doesnt wanted you hanging around other guys...that is, if he's really your friend.

I have a question.
What are you and this friend doing?
Going to lunch? Going to the movies? going shopping? Going to the club? Is this friend coming to your house?

Jenn Will said...

I have lots of male friends-most of them are gay. If they are not outrightly gay, I have suspicions about them. And really I also have non gay male friends, but with most of them even though I know I don't think of them in "that" light, I from time to time get a sense that they would consider taking our relationship to some other level. I don't think it makes them less of my friend, but as MC says you can't control the thoughts of others and really that is what is all boils down to.
You can't control how any of your friends think about you-the context, the dreams they have, the fantasies etc-you can't control the level of trust your mate will have for you or for them, all you can do is be as open and honest about the relationships you have with your friends to your man/woman.
I completely agree that platonic relationships are rife with the possibility of disaster, drama and typically result in someones brusied feelings or ego. But I think if its one that has already gotten past all that and is still enduring through 2 or 3 of your romantic relationships keeping that person around is possible. Apply the golden rule as much as possible as well be empathetic to your partners feelings. If it would piss you off for his female friend to call him at 11:30p 2-3 nights a week, then the same would upset your partner-don't do it. And if he has expressed negative feelings about your friend see if there is some compromise that can be struck-can you hang with the friend with your partner, maybe a double date, house party situation...if there is no compromise then decisions have to be made. As someone else stated I think these platonic friendships tend to fall off anyway as you both seek out life partners. I have one friend who absolutely falls off the planet when he has a girlfriend, as soon as he breaks up he calls and we hang out. I know it, he knows it, it works for us that way. But my gays are always there for me! :)

Trapped-n-my-Thoughts said...

WOW..this subject is heavy. I agree that men & woman can be just friends. One of my best friends happen to be a male. I won't lie that because he understands me so well and know almost everything about me(and me about him), when life has gotten crazy, the thought of us becoming a couple crossed my mind but I never acted on it...I think I might've felt vulnerable at the time. But we are very close, I know thathe finds me attractive but we have never crossed the line. I go to him when I need a male perspective on realtionships and he does the sa,me with me. He's getting married and he made sure thathis fiancee and I met, talked and I'm in the wedding. He has met my boyfriend and his approval was very important. So, I do believe men & woman can be just platonic friends.
On the other hand, I think woman usually have the upper hand in the way the friendship flows...if the woman is open for more, regardless of how tight the friendship is, I think the guy would try his hand.

Blu Jewel said...

I have a male BFF and wouldn't trade him or our friendship for anything. We dated at first, but realized we wanted different things in life and ended it before we over invested emotionally. Since then, we've been ride or die. I go to him for the male perspective and he comes to me for the femal perspective. Yes, there have been a time or two when I might have questioned how he looked at me, but I know he values me and our friendship too much to ever cross the line. Furthermore, I know entirely too much about him to ever want to cross the line, so it has made things that much easier. He tells any girl he's with about me because he holds me and our friendship in high regard. We don't sit up on the phone talking or txtn all the time or at odd hours, but we do know that we're there for each other 24/7.

There are some people that you just can't let fade to black even when you're in a relationship. They don't have to be all in all the time, but time shared with them is still important. I think open and honest dialog about said person to your current helps a lot in them understanding and trusting.

Love!

dc_speaks said...

it's tough to maintain good friend relationships with opposite sex pals when you have a man/woman. There has to be introductions made and trust needs to be a non issue. a slipper slope indeed!

excellent post topic.

T.C. said...

@all-i don't think its asking alot but then again i do...i do in the sense that it makes it seem like the person asking is insecure and untrusting....if you trust your partner and know that they are strictly into YOU then it shouldn't matter if they have casual friends...now your partner, in my humble opinion should be your BEST friend and as MC stated, know your personal bidness...(of course you have your "best friend" that has been there through it all and knows you your true friend, but you see what i am saying...maybe not)

i have gone to my homeboys for a general perspective from time to time, but my personal ideals and personal issues, that's for my partner ONLY

i also think that's the case because none of me and my homeboys are as TIGHT as the other mentioned friends above, we don't have that bond like that...

they are casual friends...meaning we'll hang out if someone is having a party/get together or event and its something that i would take my partner to...we may discuss social or political topics via e-mail but that's it...we don't rap it up on the phone, we don't chill over the other person's house, we don't hang out like that at all...if we hang out its because we and ALL of our other friends are doing something as a whole

out of respect i wouldn't just have him hanging out at my house or going to a movie or stuff that i would do with my partner...but again becasue i don't have a male BFF...maybe if i did it would be different

i think it all comes down to your partner respecting that you had people in your life befor hand that you are cool with or in some cases that are very special to you...and if they trust you and respect you then they know that you wouldn't put yourself in a compromising situation to jeopardize what you have...and that you will take the proper steps including letting your "friends" know what your status is and even introducing them whenever possible...

but in the end it all boils down to trust and respect and compormise taking your partners feelings into consideration and moving forward....

i truly appreciate ya'll speakiing to me! thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK everyone, here is the bottom line....

When you "grow up" and are in a committed relationship that's leading to something permanent, like marriage, none of this will be an issue. If the two of you are stuggling about holding on to your platonic relationships, then you need to question your very own. Perhaps your relationship does not warrant making these adjustments at this time. And, if that's the case, then that's ok.

However, when your relationship is one of a serious nature, then all outside relationships have to be put into a proper place. This includes all of your homies...guys and gals alike.

The willingness to make these adjustments should be a mutual and logical conclusion between a serious couple. The alternative simply defines your relationship as "not ready."

T.C. said...

@anoy-at some point you are right in the sense that your partner takes the front seat and NOT the back to your life...it was never about a willingness to make adjustments but rather a willingness to have an understanding. as long as, as you say, "your relationship is one of a serious nature, then all outside relationships have to be put into a proper place. This includes all of your homies...guys and gals alike" then i personally think that can continue to grow and move forward within the relationship and be serious...

because as you stated everything is in its proper place, and that proper place, will in my eyes, depend from couple to couple....but both parties have to be open to listen and understand each other...not dictate each other

Any Given Day said...

Ok! I have/had a friend that started off platonic, but grew into something more and when that ended, we become STRICTLY platonic friends again because we realized that we were better at just that "being friends". We have NEVER revisited that side of our relationship in over 10 years, but just enjoying each other as we are able to talk about any and everything, such as topics he would talk to his male friends about.

I truly value that friendship and though the significant other might not ever understand that, I really feel that that relationship is important to me. We've been friends since middle school, waayy before when. So I don't know how to justify or explain this one!

Then I have/had another friend that is STRICTLY platonic and has always been. Throughout our friendship, he had expressed some concern about his feelings for me, but that was where it stopped. Nothing else transformed out of it! Now we are at the same level of friendship as we were before, I look at him as big brother and I'm hoping he's looking at me, as "a little sister". BUT if those feelings aren't gone that he had once before and HE NEVER revisits the conversation again, should I still cut off the relationship?

Kitty said...

I can't speak for all women but from the time I took my first steps till now I've been taught not to trust men. It's everywhere. Music, TV, Life, that all men cheat. and it's expected behavior.(a la "he was just being a man") As much as I may love a guy I'd never fully trust him with another woman. Maybe like 90% but it's really tough to fully trust another person.

MysTery said...

Oooooo this is a good post! I'm sure what I think has already been said.

Voice your opinion and give them room to make their own decisions.