If You're Not Busy Friday, Could We Become Best Friends?

We all know that dating is hard. Beyond the intricacies of maintaining relationships and playing that coy, sexy, addictive witholding game with each other at the beginning to pretend you’re not the creepers you really are, just meeting someone is tough. Breaking the ice — regardless of context — can be a test of even the most confident person’s charisma. And though we accept this generally, try to give each other tips, and run endless websites based on the idea of making the opening few moments of meeting someone as low-risk as possible, we don’t acknowledge that it’s not just for dating that this is a tough scenario. Breaking the ice with a new friend — particularly someone you really like right off the bat — can be just as daunting and complex.

For some reason, for the past few months, Platonic Cupid (or whatever lesser deity handles the arrow-shooting business of lovestruck friends) has really had his sights set on me. I’ve had some serious girl crushes, and have realized that outside of the welcoming, cushy structure of school to provide constant interaction, developing friendships can be awkward. For example, I recently met one girl while out at a bar and immediately fell in platonic love. She was funny, whip smart, frank, and charming. I instantly thought to myself, “Oh, God, this girl is serious Wifey Material if I’ve ever met it.” And, aided by a few rounds of tequila shots, we engaged in that very familiar dance of “We should totally call each other!” We exchanged numbers, and my guy friends were mystified that I was able to, in effect, pick up a girl with no effort when they’d been spending all night flailing ridiculously in a similar pursuit. (I didn’t have the heart to explain to them that I wasn’t planning on using that number to bone her.)

In any case, I got nervous before the first time we hung out. Though I could sense, at my very core, that we would totally become thick as thieves, the first time you go out with a relative stranger is still a fairly awkward endeavor. We did something simple and non-threatening, and the night ended up extending into the wee hours, filled with conversation peppered with lots of “No way! Me too!”. It was a delightful affair. And each subsequent hang out, we’ve progressively moved closer and closer to friendship that will likely last a very long time — but it’s still very new. And like with romantic relationships, there is a fear that I’ll come off as too “needy” or try to move the friendship forward too quickly. I don’t want to tip my hand too early, so to speak. But between her and another promising girl crush, there is a balancing act to be struck so that real love can develop between friends.

Perhaps it sounds silly, but I recently thought about inviting one new friend to a beach house for a long weekend, and then quickly wondered if it would be too soon. With the exception of possibly ending in sex, the dilemma is every bit as fraught with excitement and anticipation as when you’re first falling in love with a new partner. When I think into the future about a new friend that I really feel a connection with, I can’t help but want to plan for things — vacations, adventures, and the like — that perhaps it is better to just let arise organically. But, damnit, they’re so cool and we have so much fun together! It’s hard not to imagine a future with someone, even the kind that doesn’t end in babies and a house in Connecticut.

In the end, I know that I don’t need to make more friends, and if it happens to fizzle out, it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll always have, for example, my best friend of many years with whom–in true BFF fashion–I have become as comfortable in routine and trust as an old married couple. But like that proverbial bored housewife, there is always a desire to get out there on my game and score some new friend tail on the side. And the pure thrill of meeting someone with whom you immediately feel the natural clicking into place of personal connection is one that is hard to resist. It’s just, perhaps, a very underrated experience. We are so quick to put all of the pressure–and the glory–of infatuation on romantic encounters, when falling in love with a new friend can be just as wonderful to live. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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  • Guest

    Amen.

  • http://twitter.com/Bleak_Angelique Bleak_Angelique

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. YES.

  • Guest

    My problem exactly. I love the feeling of falling in love that I can’t limit myself. Its why I seek friendship over a significant other.

  • Jaclyncalamaro

    Spot on! Exactly how I have been feeling!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    find a husband yet?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1572330072 Michael Luther King

    This post is great. Its even worse for guys. I hate going to a party and being like, “that’s a cool guy, I want to hang out with him more.” Then I spend the next week trying to figure out how to be friends with the person without him thinking I have ulterior motives.

  • Anonymous

    This is absolutely relevant to my life right now.
    I love Thought Catalog.

  • samantha

    This article just made me sad that I have such trouble befriending other girls…what’s my deal?!

    • Guest

      You’re probably a bitch.

      • Melissa

        how ironic of you to call HER that…

      • samantha

        nope.

      • Maja

        That’s so “non-bitch” of you. 

  • Native of Na'vi

    or you could be a bisexual. just a possibility you ought to exploe.

    • Angel

      u must be a guy

  • Michi Ebihara

    I love when TC has an article that is so relevant to my life right now :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/picturedwords Agesi Pillay

    Great article. I can so relate!

  • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

    True story. Well said! 

  • Angelik

    this really describes my every friendship with a girl ever

  • Brie

    This is wonderful! I call it friend courting and I’ve been thinking lately about how much society doesn’t value platonic love.  It’s sad because it is beautiful and important and frankly, tends to turn out better than non-platonic love. 

    Samantha- don’t feel worried, it’s a challenging thing to do and not everyone is great at making new friends.  For example, I can’t get a date to save my life but can make new friends really easily.  My best friend is just the opposite. I think it just depends on your confidences and personality- but it can be learned! 

  • Greg

    u know whats REALLY hard? trying to make platonic friends with someone of the opposite sex. unless one of u is gay, someone always thinks there’s an ulterior motive (bc there usually is, unfortunately). i wish it were easier for a guy to befriend a girl in a strictly platonic way.

  • Madison

    haha yesss I’ve recently been courting a new friend, who is definitely becoming more and more significant in my life, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels to starting a new relationship. spot on.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    You just KNOW.
    Whenever I get that feeling, I end up being friends with the person, even if it’s a long time later.
    Some things are meant to be..

  • Ken

    Chelsea Fagan ist win. Always.

  • guest

    Thank you for this. I absolutely loved it because it describes perfectly my life. And I love it whenever I get a feeling and everything turns out right, just as the way I planned it all in my head.

  • Brideshead

    I know, it’s absolutely mortifying. Especially if you’re new in a city and have no other ‘friends’. You’re just so desperate to find someone you can talk to without awkwardly flailing for topics, that you just want to intrude on their personal space, talk about your ex and death. However, common sense tells you to not terrify this other person, but inevitably it comes up and it turns out that the other person is as cool as you thought they were. However, I’m paranoid and insecure, and I’m still not sure if my friend likes me or my friend is just being my friend because she wants to expand her social circle. 

    I don’t really know what that point is when you’re totally comfortable in your friendship, but I hope that I’ll find out soon.

  • http://twitter.com/shan_tastic Shannon

    chelsea, i have had a tremendous platonic girl crush on you for months now. if we were on even the same continent i would throw my platonic girl self at you in the least threatening way possible and you would never even worry if you were too much because we would both be too much so it wouldn’t matter. when/if you ever return to the good ol’ u-s of a, we will hopefully cross paths and i will conveniently have a bottle of wine in one hand and a bag of doritos in the other and we will never look back.

    • Anonymous

      I approve of all of this, especially the wine and Doritos. COME OUT OF THE ANON SHADOWS, SHANNON. Let me love you down platonically.

      • shannon rawls

        oh lord, it begins.

        email me your life story in 100 words or less and we’ll see where that takes us. 

      • shannon rawls
  • http://alisoniven.com Alison

    I love this article and lady dates so much!

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