What a friendship is not

Been pondering post-dating friendships over the last several months. Queried friends about it and came up with lots of interesting responses. Some say it’s possible. Some no. I have friends who I’ve dated. But those friendships are markedly different from friends who I’ve never dated. One or two I can level with and talk with in ways that I could never do with someone who had always been a platonic friend. But in most instances, those friendships are a back-burner kind of thing, someone who I may talk with — briefly — once or twice a year. Or never. That’s most often out of respect: To insert ourselves into each other’s lives would undermine important romantic relationships.

I wouldn’t and won’t well accept a romantic relationship with someone who insisted on hedging his bets with a former lover. And I wouldn’t put someone through the ordeal of that with me. (Although, true story, I dated someone who insisted on hedging his bets. And couldn’t understand why things didn’t work out well with us.)

So that leads me to what a friendship is not, culled from recent experience:

  • If a man says that he’s in love with you, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man says he misses you, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man talks about intimate things with you and intimate thoughts with you, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man gets angry because you are or have been dating, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man gets angry because you insist on boundaries, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man in any way seeks to undermine your self-worth or self-confidence, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man compares you to another woman and says that you should be less like you and more like her, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man says you should love unconditionally and accept poor behavior, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man says he hopes that, one day, you two will get back together, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man insists on telling you about intimate things with another woman — who he’s compared you to — it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man can’t let you go, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man shares intimate details about your relationship with others, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man says that your anger at crossed boundaries is like vinegar and he wants honey, it’s not a friendship.
  • If a man wants you to accept something you’re unwilling to accept, it’s not a friendship.

And if it’s not a friendship, what is it?

I’ll think on what friendship is and will post within the next few days. (Although I’m pretty busy with “stuff,” school and assignments, at the moment.)

-Christy

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