At a recent Melbourne Romance Writers Guild retreat, I played…
To anyone reading this, please don’t get the wrong idea, the title of this post is at not all aimed at my boyfriend. In fact I have no complaints about him, he’s perfect. Instead this post is about something else, something more sinister, and it’s causing many girlfriends to turn invisible. Yes, you heard me right, INVISIBLE!
Today I want to talk about those shifty male friends out there, you know the ones ladies. They hang around the periphery, scoping you out, without ever saying or doing much by way of risking their own egos. And then, BAM, one day you get a boyfriend, and that guy is gone quicker than a puff of smoke.
You know who I’m talking about… guys like this.
Now before I start, let me explain. I am by no means seeking to fuel the age old ‘girls vs boys’ saga, played out since God’s dog was a puppy. I am however writing this in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, someone will read what I have to say and see their own actions mirrored back to them. And maybe, just maybe that someone might reconsider their motivations when it comes to interacting with people in general.
I’m going start by sharing my own experiences. When I first met my current partner I’d been single for two years, I remember quite clearly having a number of guy ‘friends’, but not one of them ever asked me out. The couple who did, did things like asking to reschedule planned dates, without ever actually getting round to rescheduling.
Ok, whatever, I didn’t care. I went on with my life and eventually found someone wonderful.
Fast forward a few months, what do you know, these ‘friends’ start dropping like flies. What’s worse, some of the ones who didn’t drop away contacted me later to check on the health of my current relationship. They too disappeared once I assured them my boyfriend hadn’t turned out to be a crazed, plate-smashing, wildebeest. I even had one guy befriend me AFTER I told him I had a boyfriend, and when it later came up that my boyfriend and I intended to get engaged, this ‘friend’ suddenly went AWOL too.
So here’s what I have to say to the boys out there who carry on as if we women don’t notice. Just stop it, we do, we notice. And moreover when you befriend us, acting like you want to be friends, only to fade to the ether when it no longer suits you. It hurts. And what you are essentially saying is that a woman’s friendship is only worth the possibility of getting laid. That’s right, you are putting it out there that the only thing you saw of value, in the countless hours spent together, was her body. And this is the stuff that leaves girls feeling used and confused, and ultimately angry. Moreover you look like an asshole.
And don’t even try to use the excuse “she has a boyfriend, he won’t want another man hanging around.” All that tells me is that you’ve made a blanket assumption, not even bothering to do any background work. Most men I know (yes, some wonderful beings out there were able to stomach the presence of a boyfriend) have evolved beyond the 3-year-old mentality of “this is my toy, don’t even look.” If you really do value your female friendships, don’t just settle on assuming you’re no longer welcome. ASK. And if she confirms her boyfriend has a problem with her talking to other men, tell her, as a friend, she needs a new boyfriend.
“Awww, but men and woman can’t be friends” Don’t get me started on this one, all I have to say about this is… if you’re a man and you feel you cannot be friends with women, then just don’t be friends with women. Start by admitting this fact, fully accept it into your life. Hopefully then, when the next woman comes into your life you won’t feel tempted to parade as a friend. And if you do like that woman, and you’re looking for something more than friends, just take my advice. ASK. Ask if she wants something more, and if she says no, move on. You’ve only lost 30 seconds in what could have otherwise dragged out for months, or even years. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time of that!”
Finally, for guys who say that they did ask a girl out, but she just wants to be friends. If that’s the case. If it’s not what you want. Then you move on too. Chances are she’ll miss you and want to give things a try. Or she won’t. Either way, you’re getting on with your life rather than sticking around to watch some other guy take what you want. And who knows, maybe you’ll create enough headspace to find someone who does want something more with you.
So that’s my opinion, I’m just telling it like it is from a woman’s perspective. No hard feelings and no disrespect. Fact is I want both men and women to get more of what they want, without the bits where we jerk each other around. Remember guys, be honest with yourself and the women in your life. Just because a girl has gotten a boyfriend, does not mean she’s now invisible.
Hope you enjoyed today’s post. I love reading and responding to everyone’s comments, so feel free to leave a comment of your own.
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