THE GAY FRIEND DELUSION 2: “Friends First”
In the five years that I’ve seriously started meeting gay/bisexual men for more than just casual sex, I’ve discovered one main commonality amongst them. They’ve all, and I mean all of them, had a false sense of what it means to acquire, have and to be a friend.
So now that I have a platform (this website), I will dig into this issue in a series of posts covering its various dynamics and hypocrisies. As always, this is just my opinion. Some of this bullshit I comment on may actually work for some people, more power to you. These posts will just be from the perspective of one guy with tons of common sense.
In the first post of the series, I examined the fallacious concept of Gay men and their ability to be friends with their Ex’s. Controversial to say the least, but I stand by my original opinion. Part Two in the series should be just as polarizing.
I blame romantic films like “Love and Basketball” and “The Best Man.”
I blame Diane and Sam from “Cheers”…
I blame Dwayne and Whitley from “A Different World”…
I blame Tony and Angela from “Who’s The Boss”…
I blame Overton and Synclaire from “Living Single”…
I blame the entire cast of “Friends” who all eventually hooked up with each other by the series finale…
We see it in the movies all the time: The great girl and the clueless guy who were only platonic friends for years suddenly become The Perfect Match. They finally start dating, then there’s a snag that separates them temporarily but eventually everything turns up roses. Cue music. Fade up credits featuring obligatory Blooper Reel in a tiny box on the screen.
Whenever I hear this from someone, I smile, nod my head and say to them, “That’s Bullshit.”
This is bullshit.
I don’t accept that. This may be the very reason that I’m currently single but I’m better than that. If a dude isn’t feeling you in the beginning, why waste weeks, months or years trying to convince him otherwise like you’re selling him a used car?
The opposite applies as well. The odds of knowing someone for years and suddenly falling for them out of the blue are slim.
There’s a reason why you never hear the expression, “It was love at SECOND sight.”
Think about it. The way you interact and converse with a person you’re dating versus a person you are just friends with is completely different. Especially when you are first getting to know each other.
Also, I don’t see my friends in a sexual context at all. No matter how attractive they are, to me that’s like fantasizing about a sibling.
Once I put a person in the proverbial “Friend Zone”, they’re pretty much stuck there permanently. If for some reason they do step out of that zone and we we become more than just friends, there’s no going back (hence the reason I don’t believe in being Friends With Exes).
With people that I’m dating, I try to maintain my best appearance, manners, intelligence and personality traits at all times to get them to like me more. After I have them, then I can let it all loose and be imperfect.
Everyone does this.
This is universal.
As you read this, Men and women all over the world are meeting each other for the possibility of dating and NONE of them are saying “hey, I’m looking for friends, we’ll see where it goes from there.”
What the fuck is “Hanging Out?!”
“Nick, you’re getting it wrong. ‘Friends First’ is about getting to know a person before you get into a relationship.”
As Wikipedia states: “Dating is a stage in a person’s life when he or she is actively pursuing romantic relationships with different people.”
If I’m consistently chilling with a guy who I think is cool and intelligent that I find attractive It will be very clear to both of us that we’re dating. This doesn’t mean that we’re in a full blown relationship and it also DOESN’T mean that we’re monogamously dating each other.
It simply means that I’m getting to know him, as more than just a friend. The time I’m putting in is my investment in the possibility for a romantic/sexual relationship.
ANECDOTAL FACT: 99% of all heterosexual relationships begin this way.
“Wait Nick, you can’t keep comparing heterosexual relationships to homosexual relationships, they’re completely different.”
A relationship is a relationship. Whether it’s Straight, Gay or Interracial, a relationship between two people is the pretty much the same. To say that gay relationships can’t be compared to straight relationship is to tear away at the main civil rights argument that gay activists have been using: We’re no different.
“But Nick, I just want to see if I like the person before we start dating.”
The second “Friends First” scenario that I object to is the “let’s just be friends even though I secretly want to date you” scenario. This is probably the worst of the two. This is friendship under false pretenses.
The “Friend” who’s overly nice to you, always complementing you, always laughing at your jokes…This “friend” is just waiting around and hoping that one day you’ll realize that the perfect person for you has been under your nose the whole time.
Most of us see the writing on the wall and try to nip the unrequited feelings in the bud early. This never resolves the situation.
This “friend” will act surprised and say that it’s all just platonic. But secretly they are waiting for the night you’re both doing shots late night at home, too drunk to drive home so one of you spends the night…
“By the way, I like to sleep in my underwear,” he says.
“Man, I’m so drunk…liquor got me feeling a little horny,” he says.
Hands start reaching underneath the covers and the next thing you know he’s screaming your name.
Yes…I speak from experience. Multiple times experience.
And every time after, the friendship was pretty much never the same after that.
“Nick, you’re thinking too hard about it…Its just sex amongst friends.”
No, this type of friendship is erroneous because it’s a friendship built on a lie. It’s a friendship built on one person’s desire to fuck. True, they may actually have some feelings as well, but a one-sided crush does not make for a strong friendship foundation.
“But Nick, there’s this one boy that’s so fine…I just had to get to know and be friends with him.”
This is groupie thinking: I just want to know him and for him to know me.
Outside of secretly lusting after the man, these groupie friends can be seen insisting on acquiring pictures from the “friend” so they can add them to their contacts in their phone.
You can also see them constantly wanting to take pictures with this attractive “friend” so they can post them on Facebook and Twitter announcing that this is their “Bestie” or “Best Friend” (when they actually rarely even see/talk to each other). Or they don’t announce it at all, happily leaving the thought of him being their boyfriend open to misinterpretation by other people.
This is the guy at the house party attached to his hip so that everyone knows they came together.
These groupie friends often give poor dating advice so the object of their affection can conveniently remain single.
Attractive guys need friends too…But they need REAL FRIENDS not FANS PRETENDING TO BE FRIENDS.
I’m not against having friends who I find attractive or a friend who is somewhat interested in me for dating. The problems come with people who can’t curb those feelings when one of us makes it clear that those feelings aren’t mutual.
We can be friends but not some imaginary Film/TV friendship where there’s constant sexual tension throughout and by the Season Four finale we’re getting married.
Same applies to the “Friends First” weirdos. You either want a friend or you want a date. There’s a difference. Trying to blend the two just potentially leads people on and causes a lot of hurt feelings. I’ve been on both sides of this coin so I speak from experience.
The gay dating community already has a big problem with truth and honesty. No one wants to say how they really feel, whether for acceptance or rejection.
Let’s all collectively work to change that by keeping the “Friends First” fantasy in Hollywood Films/Shows where it belongs.
– Nick D
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