I’ve previously written about All the Good Men in my life. I’ve always been proud of the fact that I’ve surrounded myself with lovely, caring and respectful male family members and platonic male friends.
The last two guys I dated, one pretended to be lovely, caring and respectful and the other was, but was not the best communicator, and maybe a bit stupid. (Come on buddy! No? I’m smart, into sports, have no problem with you having girl-space-friends, and I certainly don’t need to see or talk to you every day – that’s code for not needy. As if you wouldn’t want to date me, but I digress.) In both these “relationships” I put a case forward (several times) as to why they should want to be with me – and that’s total bullshit, the fact that I felt I had to and that I didn’t really notice at the time I shouldn’t need to. Hindsight is not a beautiful thing, it’s embarrassing and a pain in the ass.
So, why do I, and I suspect most women at some point in their lives, expect and accept high standards in their friendships, but not in their relationships? (Even if you have high expectations for relationships, you’re more likely to lower them for the sake of attention, or worse, the possibility of it.) I’ve never platonically hung out with a person and waited around for them to make a decision if they want to be my friend or not. You both know and express pretty quickly if you’re going to be friends with the other person. And I think it comes down to expectation. The expectations of friendship is clear, you’re usually coming into the friendship with purpose and common ground, and an understanding of what a friendship is based on: loyalty, honesty, fun, and common interests. What are the chances of having the sense of commonality with a potential boyfriend/”man friend” other than both being on Tinder/OkCupid/insert-gross-dating-website-here? (Because we all know no one meets their person in real life anymore – that’s a scientific fact). Not a goddamn chance.
The expectations for relationships are not always clear – at least not initially. Or maybe you’re clear on what they are and they are not heard or understood by the other person, and vice versa. Or maybe how we define relationships for our own agendas are different, maybe we’re unwilling to compromise. I’ve heard (true) stories of my friends’ relationships where they’ve come about from a simple drive to the shops and an even simpler conversation that went a little like this: “so, we’re boyfriend and girlfriend right?”, “Yep”, “Great, what snacks should we get?” I had no idea this can actually happen, the concept is so foreign to me.
Therefore, from this point forward, I will maintain my high standards and expectations of what I think a relationship should be and can be, and who I think what-ever-his-name-is should be and can be. Most importantly, I will not turn into a lawyer when it comes time to decide what we’re doing. Because seriously mate, if you can’t decide in 2.5 seconds if you want to be with me or not (and I quote my dear friend Giselle), get in the bin.