“What are you guys?”
Attempting to be as poised as ever at this black tie event, the question certainly did scare me. I was surrounded by several people of this huge NYC high-end accounting firm; if not, they were wives, girlfriends, or escorts. When we came in, I was quickly introduced as the friend. Yes, I was the date. Still, I was the friend. I made it clear too. Do not get the wrong idea. So why was I being asked about my bond with “Mr. Accountant”? He was my… platonic friend.
I am not claiming there is no way you can have friendships with the opposite sex. However, it is nearly impossible to avoid trouble if you do not establish boundaries with this friend you have no plans in getting involved with. And for that situation I mentioned, I blame my avid texting fingers-they got me there. He started it! Oh, yeah….I blame myself also. Talk about an aha moment!
How does it start-the constant texting? In many cases, it can all just begin from seeking advice. You know, that “opposite sex opinion.” It comes in handy. Then, the venting. Whenever that drama comes, you text him. Shoot, you may even start calling. Especially when something goes wrong with your boo. You’re asking what to do, mainly since you’re hopeful the boo becomes your boyfriend. It’s too embarrassing to share with the girls anyway (except your best friend).
Often, perhaps it can even be, he becomes your “career move supporter.” For me, it was the “career move support” with a combo of getting the male advice. The venting did not come until later. Either way, I was sending the wrong message.
It is feasible to keep people in the friend zone; surely easier said than done (notably if you’re maintaining nonstop communication). Who knows? You may not see this guy as a potential companion after all. Yet, your comfort level with him is quite there. And it’s clear to everyone. He knows it. Here’s the thing, to him it could mean more. Through the dates, or happenings with other guys, the new boyfriend or next-even the heart breaks, he’s still there. Or vice versa. There can be exceptions.
Usually, women do develop the emotional attachment. I know I just threw us ladies under the bus. The intention was anything but that. But let’s say it is the other way around. Sounds ideal. Not so much. In reality, this is an act of true selfishness, carelessness, and lack of self-awareness. This is not to say you will assume every male wants to pursue you. It means we need to create limits and not have the ambiguous territory.
If it was flipped: You’re the lady catching feelings; may even begin to feel upset when he speaks of other girls or dates them. He was your shopping buddy, and whatever else. You feel he led you on. You know the pain. Remember what your Momma taught you as a little girl: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”
Living the bachelor life, my friend Isaac Reyes seems to also feel the all day texting can be risky. “I still see these girls as potential options,” 30-year-old Reyes says laughing. Right away, he reminded me of “Mr. Accountant.” Whether or not he and Reyes are different, my friend thought we would become an item. We got through it but he hated me for quite some time. That’s just one of the dangers of 24/7 texting with a platonic friend.
Oh my - his girlfriend does hate me though.