May 7, 2009

Social Lack of Graces

The one part of my life that I constantly think needs a boost falls is my social life. Yet I've failed time and again to develop friendships. Maybe that's just because I generally don't get along with women and prefer the companionship of men. Being friends with men is difficult because you must first get past any desire that either of you have for each other, even if it is in the back of your mind. Also, in terms of meeting a friend who is of the opposite sex, I can't imagine how this happens, unless you are both in a relationship.

Take, for example, what happened to me last night. I was at a networking event and, as usual, spent most of the time wandering around trying to look busy and feeling awkwardly shy. At the very end of the night a guy came up to me and said hi. He must have been in his 20s or early 30s. We started to talk, first about our professional lives, then a bit about our personal lives in terms of where we've been and what we want to do in life. As far as conversation goes, we hit it off. Then, at the end of the conversation, about 15 minutes later, he asked me for drinks. I blurted out "I have a boyfriend!" "But" "I'm always open for new friends."

That may have killed the opportunity for friendship because that came out so weird, or maybe he wasn't interested in friendship anyway so it wasn't my game to lose. Or maybe we could be friends still and my response was appropriate. Or perhaps I should have said "sure let's do drinks" and to clarify later that I'm only looking for friendship. I don't know.

Any time I go out, whether that be to a karaoke night, or even the gym, I freak out when guys talk to me. I freak out because now that I've finally gained enough confidence to realize that with breasts and a butt there is a reason for some guys to like me, that all guys want to date me, or at least take me to bed. Why else would they talk to some random girl? And that certainly hinders making friends with any of them.

Women are a whole other ballgame. And it's tough for me to find female friends who can, well, shoot the shit, the same way I like to. I've got a fairly manly mind when it comes to some things, and it's easier to be myself w/ guys. Or at least with geeky guys, not frat head muscle boys.



13 comments:

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com said...

"Type rest of the post here" ? :)

You could always say: "drinks would be great! my bf is always saying I should get out more"

Or something to that bf-like sentence.

or just "drinks would be great."

And then when you meet up say, "Sorry my BF [insert something mundane here]"

Slinky said...

With new guy friends, that can be somewhat awkward. It's much less so with a ring on a certain finger. In the mean time, I always found it helpful to act like platonic friendship was the only option on the table. Act like no other option exists. Often, this is enough to get your point across. (ie act like you would if he was a girl)

For stubborn cases, casually mentioning a BF can be helpful. In a case where you think a guy does like you, ignore all the little hints like you don't even notice them. Ideally, the guy will get your hint. This allows them to save face because you never 'noticed' and therefore they didn't get 'turned down'. Sometimes guys persist in flirting/hitting on/obsessing over/whatever in which case friendship may not be feasible. Sad, but true.

I'm also a bit of a tomboy with some geeky guy friends. It's definitely nice if you can find another girl with similar tendencies (I have one that plays video games with me), but maybe you can find some girl friends who like some of the girly things you do, assuming of course that you like any girly things. (I'm a knitter, so that works well for me.)

Revanche said...

I deal with that sort of awkwardness by assuming there's no attraction. Because I'm totally awkward if I think there is, and prefer to pal around with guys, I just act like dating is completely not on the table. It probably helps that I'm usually acting like a dude [as my friend constantly points out, he thinks I'm half dude]. As long as I know they're not going to get me, and I'm pretty sure that I'm not flirting [I don't always know what form that takes], we're all good.

With women? It can be a little harder. You frequently need something more in common than you need with guys. I'm crap at intentionally making new friends, myself, so I can offer you some empathy on that front. It can be such an effort to do the small talk, just-met-you thing.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...this is such an interesting post. It's true that most guys are interested in one thing. And, I'm not sure about the drinks thing. If you have a boyfriend then going out with this new guy might lead him on. I don't know. I'm an old married guy and I've been out of the game for a long time. I do think it's sad you don't have more female friends. True friendship (male or female) can be insurance for your sanity and so grounding. I hope you can find some girls or guys that you can be honest and sincere friends with. It certainly enhances life greatly.
Jerry
www.leads4insurance.com

StephaniePTY said...

Wow, it's just a little creepy - reading this post is like reading something I wrote. I don't have any advice for you, because if I did, I wouldn't be in the exact same situation! I think it's tough for girls like us to identify other girls like us, but easy to find guys that are geeky/friendly/interesting. So I wish you luck... maybe there's hope for us! ;)

Lulu said...

Girl I think you read my mind because your post sounds like how I feel sometimes.

Try to relax and not read too much into the situations.

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Anonymous said...

Surely with breasts and a butt, many guys are trying to get into your pants, but surely, there are some, albeit few, who may actually want to know you. If you don't allow a chance to find out whether a guy is genuinely interested in knowin you (or getting in bed with you), it'll make it that much harder for you to meet guy friends.

Maybe the guy who asked you for a drinks is still up for conversation once you tell him you are only interested in friendship. Just a thought.

Yes, don't let guys impose on you, but at the same time, don't impose on the guys to be the one solely responsible for wanting a friendship with a lady.

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Anonymous said...

Seriously, hetero guys simply don't want girls as friends unless there's the prospect of nudie prod games. Me included.

Sounds harsh but it's a fact. Guys like hanging with guys. If there's no chance of "cuddles and spooning", I'll either be at the gym or playing Battlefield 1943 on the Xbox 360. God I love that game.

SS4BC said...

Yeah, I would have done the drinks and then casually mentioned the boyfriend in the convo. He may have been interested in more than just friends, but then again - he could have just wanted someone to talk with. =)

Harm said...

Lots of people miss you....I hope you're OK....

camorra said...

Your post definitely sounds like something that I would write. I don't hang around girls too much. Recently, I've grown into a womanly shape that makes guys want to talk to me more often. With 3 minutes of makeup application, the rate of guys who will talk to me goes up quite a bit. I'm still growing into this, because I've spent so many years not having the sexual thing be on the table at all. I have a ton of guy friends that I hang with and whom I've known forever. And yeah it definitely helps that none of us think of each other in that way, because it would get really awkward if we did. A few years back, I was mistaken for a lesbian because I seldom hit on straight guys. I don't think I can flirt; I probably have to work on that. I've spent such a long time not being used to guy attention that the attention that I get now is actually overwhelming.

And as far as the d-bag who posted as anonymous and said, "Seriously, hetero guys simply don't want girls as friends unless there's the prospect of nudie prod games. Me included."...

My guy friends respect me as a person and not a sexual object. This may be because we've grown up together since first grade, but my friendship provides them with something they can't get with other guys. It's not common for boys to talk about their feelings with one another and sometimes it's nice for them to have someone to talk to. Boys do have emotions. And not only that, I hook them up with my friends and act as a nexus. In return, they have my back. Platonic friendships between guys and girls exist and there is no reason for them to have to have any sexual element.

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