GENDER FRIENDSHIPS: CAN MEN AND WOMEN REALLY JUST BE FRIENDS

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“Friendzone is a hard zone.”


I was contributing to a discussion on a Facebook page of a woman I know who was having a hard time regarding finding male friends. And she was saying how it’s hard to have male friends because there is always some way of bringing the situation back to him liking and pursuing her. And I started to think about that, can men and women truly be friends, given the two are heterosexual. Because it’s obvious they can be friends when one or both of them are gay. But what happens when both are attracted to the opposite sex, but also are physically attractive. Can two people find each other attractive and still be friends? Because men and women are biologically on this Earth to procreate, but socially we are expected to behave a certain way in certain situations.

That’s what is interesting about both genders, is that there is this scientific piece, then there is the societal element. Society says, you are supposed to give the other person space when they just want to be friends and respect that space. Science dictates that I am attracted to this person, and want to intimate with his person. So what happens is that the friendship sometimes degrades when one person is trying to date the other person, while the one being pursued just wants to be friends.So how do you get across to the person that you just want a friendship, yet you know how we are designed as men and women?

This is all the reasons above why so many women have their gay friends. This is so they don’t have to deal with the stress of having a guy every single second of the day trying to create means of getting with her. She can also go to the night spots that this guy frequent and have a good time as well. But on top of this, she can also have the comfort of being able to hang with her guy friend and receive man advice with no pretense. Now, on the other hand, be careful if you want someone to just be your friend and they are fine, but then you turn around and change up the contract. This is also known to happen as well. You can’t hold someone to a friendship and then you don’t hold up your end of the bargain.

In the end, men and women can ultimately be friends, but I think that happens with time and maturity. Your objective when you are a young man is to meet women and date. So when you come across a woman that you find attractive, the last thing you’re thinking is let’s hang out. You would almost sound phony in situations trying to act as if you do want to be friends as a means of getting close to her. But once people do age, they take on certain viewpoints making it easier to have opposite sex friends.


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PEER PRESSURE: WHY SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE DON’T FIGHT IT

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“A time in life without a sense of self.”


When you’re growing up in school, you seek to fit into the environment of that academic space. And coincidentally enough, that space is not attaining the best grades, but more so trying to wear the latest fashion, and hang out with what is perceived to be the cool kids. And that word perception sticks out the most because your perception of each other is what’s the strongest, not the real person. Why is perception the most important, well it has to do with lack of facts. The facts that lead you into the inner workings of the real person. But who cares about facts, when you can easily makeup a perception that suits you just fine. And that is what we live by all growing up until we become adults and take on our own identities. That keeping your image together for what people think you is known as your reputation.

Now, considering your reputation proceeds you wherever you go, you work hard to keep that image in tack. But what if your image is not the image of what your peers think is acceptable for you to have in life. See, it’s easy as an adult to say, screw that, this is such a small window into the outside world, but kids don’t understand your advice. We can look at life from such a rational perspective, once you step out into the world. You have realized as an adult that no one truly cares how much swagger you have in life. You have to be able to be productive, but that built in understanding is not present in kids and teens. You can’t fully expect children to have that level of self-awareness, or that built in rejection mechanism that you get once you become adults. To them, this is your circle of friends for life. As adults we understand you may never see these individuals ever again once you graduate high school.

And not because you think you’re better than your friends, but more so, you start to out grow people’s mind frames. So the kids who were once your adversaries, eventually become people you have as associates. Now, there are those exceptions to the rule; such as the kids you just walk to the beat of their own drum. These kids are very few and far between, but they do exist. I took on the walk to my own beat after getting injured in sports. You go from, “Who is that boy that runs track and plays football so well,” to “He use to fly playing sports, oh well.” That’s when I learned people like you for what you’re doing, not necessarily because of you. So they generally gravitate toward that because we all want to be attached to something we perceive to be great, even if it’s for a short stint. Yet again, there goes that word perception; people perceived me to be great.

And in the end, that’s why fighting peer pressure is so difficult for so many young people. It’s not just the idea of wanting to not be the odd one out, but you want to be attached to something you perceive to be better than yourself. We all have this time in our lives where we want to be something other than ourselves. And once we see someone who appears to be doing anything remotely better than us, it looks appealing to us. So if the kid who has the latest sneakers growing up walks into school, we seek to be close and attach ourselves to that person. That person could potentially have a trouble home life, but they are perceived to be better because they are in a social class outside of where we see ourselves.


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DATING ALLEGATIONS: WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU ABOUT A CHEATING PARTNER

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“To talk or not to talk.”


Having a friend in a relationship can be a new adjustment if you guys have both been single for so long. Now this new person comes in the mix and everything is different. But that is not the topic of today; the topic of today is sharing information with your friend regarding their significant other. What if you had proof that your friend’s significant other was talking to someone else on the side? Would you inform your friend that this person was out talking to someone else? Or would you keep the information to yourself? Telling your friend could mean an argument depending on how they felt about the person. But keeping it a secret could mean jeopardizing the friendship as well.

Let’s observe the outcomes of telling your friend. See, if you tell your friend it could go a few ways. The first is that your friend is proud that you would bring the information to them. Allowing them the access into what is going on behind their backs is really important. But there is another outcome from telling them. That is that they might lash out at you for telling them. You don’t know how they feel and it could backfire ending a friendship. So, so many people tend to not say anything and leave the situation alone. But even that has repercussions to it. What are the repercussions for not telling your friend about their significant other?

That’s right, there is the other side of the coin. And that is not telling your friend what happened. This could have its own set of problems by not speaking. Because once your friend finds out what happened and you knew, now what comes of the friendship. When they found out you know, it will put a serious damper on the relationship. Especially if you are their best friend, they expect you to say something before anyone says something. So then if they are mad for you not saying anything, and mad for you saying anything, then what? And it all boils down to the friendship that you and this other person have together.

In the end, friends usually have an understanding whether they would want someone to say something. If you don’t have an understanding with your friend, then it can go good or bad. With no communication, it can go in any direction.



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RELATIONSHIP CURRENCY: WHAT DO YOU VALUE IN RELATIONSHIPS

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“If cash is king, where do relationships stand?”


Relationships throughout history have always taken on different forms as time progressed. But in today’s society there are so many meanings for what relationship currency stand for. How do you define what it means to have relationship currency? Now when I say relationships it can mean marriage or even a friendship. Currency can mean something of monetary value or it can mean something of mental/emotional value. I am here to ask which one is important to you. A lot of people say money and others say what someone has to offer. Some people want a monogamous relationship others don’t. So which is important to you?

The majority of people in society hear relationship and automatically think it has to do with dating or marriage. But what about friendships; how important is friendships and what is their currency. We usually dictate friendship by what the person has to bring emotionally to the table. Because what is the use in hanging around people who are not in your best interest. And what I mean by that, it’s heading in the same direction as you. This doesn’t mean you want to be a physician they should be doctors. No, it should mean that they have some type of goal in life. If they don’t and you do, you guys will fall apart from each other. So relationship currency in friendships should be pushing each other to do better which translate into non-monetary currency.

Well, what about monogamous relationships, currency is important here. But what type of currency? What type of currency is important to you in a relationship? Let’s observe from an emotional standpoint. When you’re looking at monogamy from an emotional standpoint, then you’re talking about how much meaning you bring into someones’ life. This means that when one of you are weak, how well does the other counteract that weakness with strength. And that in itself can be seen as sometimes and even greater form of currency than the monetary. But what about the monetary? There are people that look to this as a form of currency in relationships.

When in monogamous relationship, having an income coming into the house is very important. Maybe not when you’re in your early twenties, but what about once you hit your thirties. Once you get to this point, it’s the getting your life together point. The time where you need to really have it carved in stone where you would like to see yourself in the years to come. Now, money isn’t everything, but when you’re talking about settling down and having a family, you need to keep this in mind. Take into consideration the cost of buying a home, car, paying off any debts, and long term investments like retirement. This is where monetary currency is very important to your future success in a monogamous relationship.

In the end, the meaning of relationship currency can take on many different meanings. It’s up to the person/s interpreting what the currency means or even what the word relationship means. No matter how you look at it, know the currency you are looking for, but also know what your value is as well.

TOO OLD TO CHANGE: HOW WAITING TOO LONG FOR MONOGAMY IS A HARD ADJUSTMENT

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“Did you wait too late?”


Are you in your late 20’s or even your early 30’s and have yet to enter a serious monogamous relationship? People see this as crazy, but it’s not as impossible as you might think. Especially if you are working toward a goal in life, sacrificing your personal life is an easy thing to do. And before you know it, it’s hard to be in a relationship. Dating is pretty standard, but being in a relationship is a lot different. It becomes hard because now you’re sharing your personal space with someone. You have become used to living on your own for so long it becomes tough to live the opposite.

Your transition from moving in with someone or getting an apartment jointly is tough. One of you might be used to living a certain lifestyle that can be negotiated upon. But there are things people are not willing to compromise on which makes living with someone difficult. You like to sleep with the television on, but they want it to be off. You leave the lights on when you leave the house, they need them to be on. You take longer showers than the other person, and need a longer time in the bathroom to prep yourself. Certain things can be given up and some cannot. What about not being able to give up certain things.

Let’s say for a second that you are living with someone and your non-negotiable is what the other person want you to give up. This could hurt the relationship if this happens. Giving up something you love most is tough especially if you’re not guaranteed to be with this person. You’re really taking a gamble with your life. Now what if you give what you love up and then the relationship ends. Now you’re behind in whatever it was you were pursuing in life. Setbacks that cannot be recuperated is hard to cope with. Money can be replaced, but not time, you will never get that time back in life. So where do you go from here if you’re set into a way as it pertains to relationships.

In the end, a lot of people are used to living on their own for long become turned off by relationships. Just the idea of someone other than yourself occupying your space is an invasive experience. Unless this is something you’re used to, your first few relationships might fall through. It might even take years for you to get into the groove of a relationship. But once you’re used to it, it may not be as bad you might think.

FRIEND ZONE: CAN YOU EVER GET OUT?

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“You like me: check yes, no, maybe so; or friend.”

Naw, I kinda look at you as just a friend, sorry. These are the words no one wants to hear, especially a guy. But how did it happen? How do you find yourself in this uncharted zone? You thought you were doing and saying all the right things to make yourself seem more attractive, so what happened? Maybe I was too nice, or maybe I was too mean. On second thought, maybe I was not nice enough, or maybe I was not mean enough. Well, what was it that brought me into the friend zone?

These are some the questions we ask ourselves for anyone that has been in this space known as the friend zone. Guys manage to get ourselves into the friend zone a variety of ways. One way is that we are interested in a female and never make the move to show interest. She become familiarized with us as more of a friend or develop a brotherly bond with us. Then once we do work up the courage to ask her out, she immediately place you into that zone or get skived-out that we like her. But wait, did she place you into the zone or did you put yourself into the friend zone.

A lot of guys start off by developing a friendship like a woman has with her friends. He never expresses how much he likes her initially. Like for instance, instead of just coming out and asking her on a date, he invites her a to kid cousin’s birthday party. Then once there she is introduced to the family as his friend. Or he’ll say let’s go grab some coffee from a diner and hang out. These are friendly exchanges, that are a lot different than just asking a woman to dinner outright.

Another means of placing yourself into the friend zone is to share certain common interest that she typically share with her girlfriends. For instance, you guys are both into the same chick flicks. I don’t know, call me crazy, but I don’t think too many women are interested in a guy if when they first meet he owns the DVD box set of Sex and the City. Not only owns the set, but follows plot lines and know all the characters. These are friendly common interest that she shares with her girlfriends.

So, knowing how some men may get in the zone, are there ways women become friends. Yes, as a matter of fact, women have been known to get in the friend zone. The reason why it’s fewer instances when women do is because it’s harder for guys to be friends with women unless we grew up together. Especially if we find her to be attractive. It’s natural for us to be into her, but as for women, they seem to be able to friend us easier than we are to friend them.

Now with that said, is there any way for a man to be brought out of the friend zone? Sure it is, but there is just one problem. If you start dating someone that you have deemed to be a friend and it does not work out, than it could effect your friendship. But some people say who better to date or marry than a friend, but it can get tricky. Because you never want to lose a good friend. So how do you approach dating someone that is a good friend. You have to assess if the relationship does not work out, then is it worth the friendship. Some friendships are not worth losing, so usually the friendship stays just that, a friendship.

So in the end, I will say, approach the situation from a non-friend position in the beginning. Don’t try to friend your way in because you don’t want to deal with rejection. Ask the person out and if they say no, keep going. But once you develop a friendship, it can be hard to get out of that position.

RESTLESS NIGHTS (SHORT STORY)

As I lie here, staring at the ceiling, I wonder when is my baby coming home. He left a few days ago and I already miss him as if he has been gone for years. Will he ever return, and if he does will I recognize him. Should I move or wait around until he comes back into my life. Some of you might be wondering, who am I referring to. Well, my one and only, my true love, without him I am not whole. You might think to yourself, how did he leave, and why did he leave. It started when I made him breakfast a few days ago. I have to admit, it wasn’t the most filling meal one would hope for, but I tried my best.

I gave it my all, but to him, he couldn’t see that; he couldn’t see how much I worked to satisfy him. How could he not appreciate the distance I went to, to please him? And it doesn’t stop at breakfast, what about how clean I keep the house. Getting up at the crack of dawn and cleaning is not an easy task. The body needs time to adjust after resting for eight hours of sleep. But do you think he cared, not one bit. Sometimes it would take me the whole day to clean this house. Of course during my task, the television was on, so I could keep up with my daytime talk shows and soap operas.  Taking part in some daytime entertainment kept me distracted from my mundane existence.

Another task that I knew my baby would like is making sure I had a good meal in evening for him to eat. This always impressed because it took the most planning. Nonetheless, he still walked out and left me here alone. Now I am holding on to these sheets in my bed where he left me some time ago. Maybe I should just replace him. I could always find a new baby who will love me and appreciate me for the things I do for him.

I know there’s that one out there that will appreciate that extra mile I am willing to go to satisfy them. Wait a minute, I think I hear something, let me go see what it is I am hearing. Oh my God, it’s coming from outside. Let me see what’s out there. I open the front door, look down and my baby. My baby has returned to me, but not saying a word, just strolls right on in. But you know what, it doesn’t even matter because my babys’ home. Lying comfortably close to his litter box he rest his head.