The friendship between a man and a woman which does not lead to marriage may be a life long experience of the greatest value to themselves and to all their circle of acquaintance and of activity; but for this type of friendship both a rare man and a rare woman are needed. – Anna Garlin Spencer
Yesterday was all sorts of messed up. It’s a long story, but it’s necessary for me to get it out of my system.
[Disclaimer: I have lots of guy friends, because they don’t have drama, don’t over analyze things, and aren’t petty.]
Last semester I met this guy, Bing. He’s one of those super nice, super sweet, and super thoughtful guys. He never tried to be cool and over time we had become great friends. I don’t know what it was about him, but he was just so easy to talk to and be yourself around him. He was just so accepting of all personalities and I never felt judged by him whatsoever.
From day one, I knew he and this girl, Camel, had a thing for each other. It was no big deal, because I didn’t like him like that. I think around October they became an official thing and I was so happy for them. I knew Camel, but we weren’t really friends. Ever since I met her, I have felt that she is Little Miss Perfect and that is hard for me to be around. I’m someone who shows their emotions and doesn’t mind having a bad day. Although I know she probably has her own set of issues, I just don’t like spending time with people who feel like they have to be put together all the time. It seems slightly fake to me and makes me feel super inadequate and insecure. So, I just have never gone out of my way to hang out with her.
When the new semester started we were both really busy, so we hadn’t seen much of each other. When spring break rolled around, he mentioned that we needed to grab coffee and catch up. This sounded like a great idea, but again our schedules never seemed to allow it. We finally agreed that yesterday night after my class ended would be a good time. I was excited, because I hadn’t seen him in months.
While I was at work, I received a text from him asking if Camel could come. Obviously, I didn’t want her there, but I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. But then, he told me that she wanted to come, not because she didn’t trust us, but because it would look bad to onlookers. WTF! This irritated me, but I missed Bing and wanted to see him, so I reluctantly agreed. An hour or so went by and the thought of her coming, because of what it looked liked to others, just continued to eat at me and I decided I couldn’t sit back and not say anything. After all I am an honest person and he knows that.
So on my break, I texted him letting him know that this has hurt my feelings immensely. I noted that I didn’t appreciate being treated like I need a babysitter just because I happened to be a single female. I wasn’t putting up with it and as for how others felt about it… well, I don’t really care what they think and if they have a problem, they can take it up with me.
He let me know that he thought I would react this way and he felt it was a good idea for us to reschedule, so he could have time to talk to Camel. I accepted this answer. Hours later, during my night class, I receive a text from her saying how there was a misunderstanding and she wanted to come with us in order to catch up with me as well, because she missed me. Let me take a second to claim bologna! This girl has my phone number, so she could have found time to reach out and “catch up” with me whenever.
When class let out, I called Bing and let him know that Camel texted me saying something completely different than what he sent me earlier. I told him I wanted to see him and I didn’t mind if she tagged along if she really wanted to hear how I have been, but if it was the other than I would rather just wait. He said he yet again understood and would talk it over with her.
[I am an emotional person.] By this point, I was a little distraught. I was irritated and frustrated, because I had done nothing wrong. I went to my car, because that is where I find refuge when I am upset. I sat in there for a good hour having a breakdown when I finally received another text from him claiming that there was a misunderstanding earlier and that he thinks it would be best for Camel and I to talk before we get together. Yet again, I was livid. I felt this was ridiculous. We are adults and I can be friends and spend time with whoever I want to.
I didn’t want to text her. I didn’t want to give her that kind of satisfaction, because she does not dictate my decisions, but because Bing is my friend, I decided to buck it up and just let her hear my side. I texted her letting her know that I wasn’t sure where exactly I misunderstood. I told her that I did not appreciate her insinuating that I have some kind of hidden agenda where I need a babysitter. I don’t believe I should be punished just because I am a female who isn’t in a relationship. There was more. It was a novel. I waited forever for her response.
When I got it, it was exactly what I expected. She took the Christian purity route. It wasn’t “pure” for Bing and I to hang out. It wouldn’t set a good example. Seriously? Spending time with a friend is a sin now. I am no stranger to the pure relationship thing. I grew up in church, I was taught this as well, but I was not in the mood to deal with the whole “boys and girls can’t be friends” nonsense.
Once I had gained my composure I called Bing and let him know what Camel said to me. I told him I wasn’t okay with it. I understood where she was coming from, but I still didn’t feel like it was ok to punish me, because of my situation (single and female). He assured me it wasn’t me, but that they had been working through some things and our “plans” was what made it blow up. He asked me to be patient and let them work it out. He told me that I would still be his friend and that we could still talk, but just not one-on-one in person. After getting through all the hurt, and yes this did involve some tears on my part, we talked like old times… our jobs, school, friends, family.
So he and I ended up talking on the phone for a good two and a half hours, maybe longer. I put all my feelings about how this made me feel out there, but let him know that I would accept it and respect it, because he was my friend. I finally understand what it means to be a friend in a sense that you care about someone so much that you suck it up and deal with the cards you’re dealt, so they can be happy.
The compromise so far: we can talk on the phone and text, but we can’t hang out in person just the two of us.
I am going to accept this compromise even though I don’t think it makes sense. Ultimately, in my eyes, talking on the phone is a more intimate thing than meeting up with a friend for coffee in a public place, but I am not going to complain, because at least this way I don’t lose my friend completely.
When it finally got so late that our phone call had to come to an end so we could function the next morning, I was hesitant to hang up, because I didn’t want it to be goodbye. He assured me it wasn’t, but I can’t help thinking it will never be the same.
❤ a girl