Over the years, the most important thing I’ve come to know about friendship is this: friendships ebb and flow.
Hard to believe, but I’ve been FRIEND ZONED! I just wrote about the friend zone and setting boundaries in relationships in my last post.
I’ve been talking about this for a while in this space, the blurred lines that can sometimes occur between friends when there’s an attraction. It’s often a thin tightrope to walk.
Lately, I’ve been thinking that if I were giving relationship advice, I would advise women to never tell a man from jump that they’re not going to be intimate with him if they have an initial attraction to him, unless there was a reason that you need to say it out loud and make it a point – that is, if he asks. Some things just don’t need to be said, and part of your power as a woman is living in that mystery that men find so alluring. Not because they find it alluring, but because it’s a part of your power.
Also, if there’s an initial attraction there, you might just change your mind, and you might want to exercise that option years later because friendships are built to last.
I’ve been intimate with a few of my really good male friends. Sometimes it was because of one night of overflowing passion that finally reached a breaking point, and others it’s because we tried to have a relationship and for some reason, decided against it.
Because the friendship was solid for years, I didn’t have to worry about losing someone or the energy becoming awkward indefinitely because we had sex. We were beyond silly games, and we respected each other enough to where we could talk about our needs.
I’m grateful for these relationships. They are stronger than ever before, now that I make it an intentional practice of nurturing long lasting friendships. Maybe I’ll write about that next week.
Maybe I’ll write about that next week. But THIS week tho! I’ll tell you how it all started. I’m pretty open on my Facebook page. I am rebranding, quite subtly, but I’m really only trying to reinforce positivity and love on my page. People take notice.
One person in particular did, and since I knew a few of the people he dated, I figured he was cool since he hasn’t been excommunicated from the community.
Mostly, I just follow my intuition on these matters.
I’m an Aquarius moon, so it’s natural for me to have friends from all over the world, from all walks of life.
He commented on some of my posts and we sparked up a conversation. Soon we were talking on the phone, and at this point, I still didn’t know exactly what he wanted from me. I knew this man was older, and he seemed to talk about money more than was tasteful. But what intrigued me was that he was taking a class to improve his business skills, while having already ran a profitable business for 4 years. I researched it and it seemed legit. Anyway, I wasn’t going to invest in his business or anything, which is now being dissolved I believe – but I’m very careful where I put my energy these days, any relationship I form is, in fact, and investment.
Our first conversation on one evening lasted hours, which didn’t say much because I can talk for hours with no problem. He did most of the talking anyway. I enjoyed listening. This is a skill I wanted to cultivate more skillfully for my own self-development. It’s been working. It’s funny how the Universe responds to your intentions – I’ve been meeting some serious big talkers lately. Refreshing.
So, he eventually invited me to a party, but I got robbed! Larceny was performed (funny way to put it) on my vehicle that week, so I didn’t go. Plus, I was tired. I didn’t feel like the drive, and I wasn’t quite sure about this one yet. I was sure that I wasn’t really attracted to him in the way of romance, but in my new practice of keeping silent until there’s a reason to speak up, I didn’t feel the need to mention it. I did ask what he expected, and he said he just wanted to chill. Being so forthright when speaking about how he dealt frankly with other women, I didn’t feel he’d feel the need to lie to me.
We didn’t speak for a while, then one day he texted me saying, “I want to speak to you about something.”
“Sure,” I texted back.He called me and said, “Listen, I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our conversations, and I’d really like to keep you in my life – as a friend.”
He called me moments later and said, “Listen, I wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our conversations, and I’d really like to keep you in my life – as a friend.”
Well that gave me pause.
“And that requires a conversation?” I asked skeptically, with a bit of an attitude even.
“Well, actually… ”
And this is where it gets interesting
“…In this class I’ve been taking, they said one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship is to not express your intentions from the beginning. If you don’t, how can both parties’ expectations be aligned?”
This was definitely new for me. I didn’t think I could apply this piece of advice of telling him what I wanted, until after I knew I actually wanted a romantic partnership with a man. Then slowly, but surely, (that’s the goal) I begin to give him more and more responsibility and see how he handles it. Only then can he be a viable partner in my life.
NOTE: Becuase I hate when bloggers are making it seem like they’re totally following all of their own rules and perfect at everything, I want to say that this was only what I learned AFTER screwing so many relationships up. I mean by putting ALL of the responsibility for my happiness on the other person, by actually getting UPSET that they had other things to do besides be with me (now, I actually LOVE busy, PRODUCTIVE men) and exploding into angry, emotional outbursts and pouring out my heart to them that I have abandonment issues that they’ve triggered by not calling me back. So yes, I HAVE MADE THESE MISTAKES and here you’ll see me LEARNING from them. That is all.
Now, back to me literally being friend zoned – this was happening and I didn’t even catch it – but I liked it!
Not only did it take the pressure off of me of wondering what this new man who wanted to be in life expected of the times we would hang out and enjoy each other’s company, but he was straight up about it. It was a verbal contract. There was no mystery – there didn’t need to be – we’re just friends.
And friendship is a beautiful thing. I’ll never devalue it again.
I didn’t feel slighted. I didn’t feel less attracted to him OR less attractive. I felt relieved and empowered.
Sooner or later I won’t care at all what men want from me, or other people in general. I’ll show up with what I’m ready to give and leave it at that.
But I’m still navigating approaching all of my relationships in a new way.
I take full responsibility for my feelings, and you take responsibility for yours. It IS a process.
And in the meantime, some clear boundaries don’t hurt. In fact, they actually help.
What should you take away from this? Maybe I’ll revise what I said earlier: establish what you want from the relationship as early as you know it – but don’t let anyone pressure you into making a decision before you’re ready.
The friend zone is a pretty comfortable place. Kick your feet up, and make yourself at home.