About a month ago, readers, a fling of mine ended. Now, this courtship lasted a month, which is pretty good for me considering my less than ideal track record. I have no hard feelings towards this guy and we even decided to “just be friends.” Now, I’ve had guys say that to me before but, it always means something different. I’ve even used that line once or twice and not meant exactly what I said. Anyways, it got me thinking, What does that saying mean?
“Let’s just be friends…because I don’t want to feel like a complete jerk.” Aaah, yes. I’ve even been guilty of using those four little words as a way to ease my own conscience. Rejection, as we all know, sucks. It sucks when you’re rejecting someone and it’s a bummer when you’re rejected. Pulling the “friends” card enables us to lighten the burden of breaking a heart. It’s an easier way of saying goodbye.
“Let’s just be friends…because I want to still keep my options open.” This is an ulterior motive if I’ve ever seen one. If your significant other is unsure of his/her feelings but does have a genuine interest in you, saying those four words enables him/her to explore their options while keeping you close by. How convenient. To me, this is basically an “open relationship” and we all know those never turn out well.
“Let’s just be friends…with benefits ;).” So risky…and frisky. Hooking up with an ex feels like something akin to slipping on an old pair of jeans: comfortable and nice. But, eventually, those old jeans fall apart and get holes in them. While hooking up with an ex is nice, previous feelings and emotions tend to get in the way. If a person truly likes you, he or she will want to be with only you! No FWB deals involved.
“Let’s just be friends…because I genuinely just want to be friends.” Just because things didn’t quite work out, doesn’t mean two people have to become total strangers. And yes, while at first friendship might be difficult, it can’t be impossible, right? I mean, you two must have had common interests to begin with. People here at Brown are so genuinely nice I like to think that when they use the line, this is what they mean.
Ultimately, the true meaning of the line will be revealed through the speaker’s actions. My former flame? I’m pretty sure he falls under the first category. At least he liked me enough not to hurt my feelings. While that confusing saying is tossed around quite often, it will forever be a conundrum to those who, like me, are crazy enough to actually delve into its meaning.
With love (and friendship),