Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the "I don't want to ruin our friendship" BLOW OFF

I'm a big believer in the Nora Ephron theory: a straight woman and a straight man cannot be friends without one of them secretly being in love with the other person (See When Harry Met Sally).  Mostly, I believe this, because I've had too many female friends over the years who have been harboring a secret passion for their best dude friend.  Word to the wise: it never pans out the way you want it to.

For the straight guys, the arrangement was usually kind of perfect.  Their best female friend was there to boost their ego the same way a real life girlfriend would.  She'd be there to plan his birthday parties or buy him sentimental gifts.  She'd show up when his band was having a gig.  She'd help him move and have dinner with him and his parents if he needed a buffer.  She'd go on trips with him.  She was the perfect plus one for weddings and bar-mitzvahs.  And if he accidentally had sex with her, but just wasn't into her enough to seal the relationship deal: there was always the "I don't want to ruin our friendship" excuse.

The falling in love with your friend scenario is really only good for people who want to torment themselves.  I had a friend who was madly, obsessively, in love with a guy she met in college.  He knew she had feelings for him, but considered her more of a little sister type.  But she was patient.  Really, really, really patient.  And after pining for him for years, he finally gave in.  Even though they actually dated for awhile, the dynamic was always dysfunctional.  He had all the power in the relationship, because she had been in love with him for so much longer.  She was always petrified that he'd end things with her that she spent most of the time they were together being an insecure mess.

I've been in love with my boy-friends on a few different occasions.  There was the guy senior year in high school who I had a huge crush on even though he asked a tall freshman to winter formal.  Even though we were "just friends" he still did things like ask me to save him a dance and then engage me in one of those super flirty tickle fights at the after party.  I thought it was his way of confessing his love, but when we went back to school on Monday, I found out his freshman date was now officially his girlfriend.  Then there was my sister's best friend's younger brother (you follow) who I had on again/off again feelings from the time I was twelve.  We made out once in college and when I woke up the next morning, he had moved from the bed to the floor.  I got the message loud and clear.  It was almost ten years later after my sister's wedding that he told me he wanted to be more than friends.  It was too late, I was already with the guy I'd marry.

So, readers: what do you think?  Is the whole platonic friends thing a total crock?  Do you have any success stories you'd like to share of ending up with the person you were supposedly just friends with?  Here's at least one we've heard of.  Are you for reals 100%-- he's not in love with you, you're not in love with him, friends with someone of the opposite sex?  Oh, and also-- what about for the gay peeps out there?  I was just at a gay friend's bday party that was filled with all of his hot gay friends.  How are they not all in love with each other?! Someone please explain all this to me in the comments section below!

Also, ask yourself if you're secretly hoping your best male friend breaks this out at a karaoke bar, while staring at you the entire time he's singing it.


  1. I had a best guy friend in high school, and he pursued me for quite some time. we got along *so* well, and even though I had feelings for him, I just didn't want to jinx the friendship. I finally gave in (even though I told myself that it would ruin us). We went out off and on for 4 years, and I ended up breaking up with him because it just didn't work out. To this day he won't speak to me, but will be my friend on Facebook *face palm*

    1. if he's your Facebook friend then it's official ;)

      but seriously, like you had an instinct about your feelings for him and if he'd let you follow them... well you would still have your friendship. live and learn i guess!!!

      ps - i'm so happy you're here!

  2. Or how about a situation where you're friends with benefits (like regular benefits) and one person wants to get serious and the other doesn't want to lose the friendship. that's not friendship - that's selfish. and it's also keeping someone on the backburner in case, while you're just being friends, you get horny.

    this hasn't happened to me but i would just say: i have enough friends! hahaha

  3. I am one of those women who has successfully had straight male friends for years. Those men are some of the most important people in my life -- and our platonic friendships give me access to a type of special connection that only comes from NOT being romantically entangled with them. However, this does not mean I haven't had my share of male friends that I've been attracted to -- but usually I felt that instantly, which meant that on level they could never fully be a true a friend in my heart because I wanted more. Thankfully, I have learned that the guys who are going to stay in my life are the ones where attraction is soooo NOT on the table. Otherwise it's too hard and confusing. But that's just me.

  4. I am so sad that Nora Ephron passed away today. I can't handle it. Thanks for the comments everyone. And Anonymous, I like your style: only become friends with ugly guys :)

  5. This is what I get for not reading THE BLOW OFF for a DAY????!?!? Nora Ephron DIES???


  6. I have a guy friend we started as friends and one day he tells me he loves me. It got complicated soon after he said that. On and off we were friends one day we slept together out of curiosity for me. I didn't enjoy it as much as he did becos to me there was no chemistry. Now he is so in love with me its been two years after the sex, I can tell he is in love with me and it hurts him everytime he sees me. We have broken our friendship now and then again its becoming a rollercoster. I wish I never slept with him. I miss him but now its hard to even give him a call to just say hi. Its not easy mantaining that friendship after the other has admitted to be in love. Its painful.

  7. Recently had a "just friends" break up and of course, I came here to be sure I wasn't the only person dumb enough to think it might work in her mid twenties (thank goodness I'm not alone here). In college, it always seemed possible- the old FWBs eventually dating. Now, it's just a huge mess...and to top it off, I don't even get to be sad about it because our other best friend is so angry that either of us even broached the topic. Thank goodness for The BLOW OFF...or is it conscious uncoupling now ;)