Day 45 Question 45:
Can men and women be JUST friends?/Can men and women go back to being friends after dating/a relationship?
I just finished meditating. I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each. I have made this part of my daily routine and have found the benefits of it to be amazing so far and I believe the more I practice the more benefits I will feel/see. I am rambling about this because I should be focused on my Grad school work but whenever I come out of meditation I always feel creative and inspired. The thoughts come rushing into my head. There is something I must share that I found interesting this morning (yes, it is off the topic of the question but I am getting there I promise). This morning I got on the scale and it showed that I had put on a couple of pounds. Under normal circumstances in the past I would freak out. I would obsess over it in my mind and I would start feeling completely down on myself. After I stepped off the scale I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, ‘Well you know what you have to do. A little more time at the gym and focus more on healthier eating.” I realized I am currently experiencing that fun time of the month (sorry to share boys) and at that time I always weigh heavier. I accepted and moved forward. I realized that the meditation I have been doing is easing me a great deal. In a weird way, meditation is helping me to re-prioritize. This blog I believe becomes truer and truer day by day because I am able to open up more due to the lessening of stress I feel.
Anyhooooo, there wasn’t a significant point to that rambling except for my wanting to share. I believe feeling good can be infectious so I guess part of me wanted to put it out there. As far as the above question goes…hmmmmm…..well it is an age old one that is for sure. Can men and women be friends? Can men and women go back to being friends after dating/being in a relationship? Honestly, I really don’t know. I think most people would say yes but I am unsure.
In regards to men and women being just friends I do think it is possible. I also think though that a lot is dependent on the type of relationship the two people have. If a male and female spend a lot of time together, doing various things (watching games, going to bars, going to the beach, etc) I do believe at some point there is a solid chance that one will become attracted to the other. A part of me feels that we are built in a way that either draws us closer to someone of the opposite sex or pushes us further away (either because we aren’t attracted to them or because we are and we know it will never happen so we abandon the situation). There are very few guys in my life that I would consider close friends that at some point I did not feel an attraction to at some point. I have a male roommate and I do look at him as a close friend (and if he read this or his mom read it by chance I would probably want to crawl in a hole and die) but when we first met and became roommates I admit that the thought did ponder my mind about a romantic or intimate relationship. I felt attracted to him but was unsure of what my feelings really were. I pushed the thought out of my head and I still have remained friends with him (the thought of being with him in any physical or romantic way now is not even a possibility) but at that time I realized I needed to keep my life separate in certain ways from his. I needed to focus more on me in order to not get all wrapped up in that kind of situations. So, yes, we are friends but there are boundaries I make sure to never cross. I guess what I am saying is that men and women can be friends but it usually goes along with more rules and regulations.
I can’t believe I am going to admit this (thank goodness I do not use names) but at one time, probably a year and a half back, I had a male friend that I would go to happy hour with and just chill with from time to time. It sounds kind of mean but he was kind of the guy I went to when nothing else was going on and I was itching to get out of the house. This guy is nice but we would not be compatible in the least. He is your stereotypical engineer nerd (yes he even says that about himself) and our personalities are soooooo extremely different. I am bubbly and silly and loud and he is more analytical and “know it all”. We are not a match even a little bit. Our personalities worked together in certain situations. One night my old roommate and I had a party and I admit that the alcohol was flowing. In a mere moment I found myself attracted to him. The thought of him being snuggled up to me in bed entered my mind. The next day I was in complete denial that I ever felt that. I kept telling myself that thought could not have possibly entered my mind. I know to this day I would never want to be with him but for a minute (or maybe for more than a minute and a few drinks) I felt it. I am telling you this because I believe at some point or another, if a man or a woman has a friend of the opposite sex there will come a time they will find themselves attracted to them. I guess what matters the most is how that person reacts to that feeling. I believe 100% at some point or another my roommate considered me in some way or another. I am sure it was just a passing thought but I guarantee it was there. The good thing about us is that there is not a chance we would act on it because we have seen each other so much and know each other so well now that any attraction or romantic/physical possibilities has ceased. I feel like I keep contradicting my answer. See why I said I don’t know. :0)
What I do know (well what I believe, I can’t really say know) is that men and women being friends after dating/a relationship is very rare. The chances of a long-term successful friendship after being involved is slim to none. I believe that it is a form of regression if people try to be friends after being romantically involved. Obviously, if two people have been romantically involved then there is attraction there. Attraction doesn’t simply go away. If it does go away then I believe that there is a good chance you don’t even want to be around that person anymore. I think people need time to heal and explore themselves and potentially meet someone else when the time is right and maybe after enough time has passes then two people that have been romantically involved may be able to become friends again but I still have doubts about it. The last guy that I dated and I tried it and it took very little time to realize it was not going to work. He ended us being romantically involved because he had far too much on his plate too deal with (going through a divorce, blood disorder, getting his house back in order, etc.). A little time passed and I asked him to dinner (our birthdays were only a week apart so I thought we could go out to celebrate). I said ahead of time that I would like to be friends with him and keep him in my life but as I sat there with him it hit me hard that it could never happen. It sounds pretty intense but it had to be all or nothing for me. Friendship was not an option because I was too drawn to him romantically and physically and the idea of him being with another girl just tore me up. There was no way I could accept that. He said he believed he would seek me out after all was said and done with his divorce and who knows if that day will ever come but I realized that keeping him in my life right now was not going to be healthy for me…and most likely not for him either. I knew deep down that I would be constantly hoping that things would take a turn and he would realize that I was truly what he wanted and he would forget everything else and just dive in. I finally stopped dreaming and realized I could not live like that. So, through my experiences, and in my opinion, I do not think it is healthy for two people to “try” and remain friends after a break up. I am not implying they should be arch enemies by any means but I do think that people need their space and time away from each other to regain their independence and their individuality. During those times is when you realize what is truly important to you and if a relationship ends like that then long-term was never meant to be. I may be a die-hard romantic and a dreamer but I truly believe that when it is right it is right…there won’t be a whole bunch of breaking up and getting back together, there won’t be the question of whether to date other people, there won’t be an issue of timing. When it is right, in my opinion, there are no questions and no doubts. A friendship later could be possible but I think initially is not the right time.
What do you think?