If you are a twenty-something female of the sexually attractive persuasion, you may feel my pain with this one. If you are a young man who has female friends, this is for you, too, especially if you’ve felt like something is amiss in your friendship as of late. And to be clear, I say “pain” because it really is deeply painful when you realize that you have to let someone go who has meant a lot to you during your formative years. I’ve always had close guy friends (the types that I would consider brothers) ever since I was in middle school, throughout college, and now leading into my adult life.
I’m a girl who loves having guy friends because I feel I can always be myself around them — I’m a little vulgar, brutally honest and I love to talk about sex and relationships. Most guys find me to be the perfect candidate for a female friend because I’m “not like the other girls,” (their words, not mine) and they often come to me for practical advice on relationship issues. I’m the one who tells them like it is: that this girl is playing games with you, or how to gain back control in a relationship when no-good THOTs (sorry, ladies, but some of you are) try to grab them by the balls. I also tell them when they have someone great (see: I would let her be my friend) and should do everything possible to hold on to her.
For a little more clarification on who I am: I’m 23, about to be 24, and I’ve been in the working world now for two and a half years. I take care of myself in every way possible — pay all my own bills and rent, have good car insurance, pay for all my groceries and hobbies/”extracurriculars”; I make sure that I take care of my body too through exercise and healthy eating (although not always regular or consistent — sometimes the pull of the Taco Bell Dorito Loco Taco is just too strong). Suffice it to say that all of my guy friends think I’m “down-to-earth” and “have a good head on my shoulders.” Also, not to be conceited, but I get a plethora of compliments on my appearance every day so let’s suffice it to say that I am an attractive female.
I love having my male companions because they love to do all the same stuff as me — go out and drink (sometimes, they buy my drinks when we go out, which is AWESOME); get brunch with mimosas and talk about conquests of the night before; gossip about that girl at the table over there with GIGANTIC tits; go on day trips; watch TV shows that aren’t on E! or Bravo; and just generally live life with no worries. Occasionally, if I’m feeling particularly athletic, I might join in on a game of pick-up basketball (okay, so that last one only happened twice…).
Don’t get me wrong; I can do a lot of those things with girls, too. And that’s why I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s time for me to dump all my guy friends. At this point in my life, it’s become a necessary evil. Because with my female friends, there is none of the following:
I’ve noticed that ever since I graduated and I’ve been taking the time to work on myself, my guy friends have grown consistently more flirtatious with me. Some of these guys I’ve known since we were pizza-faced kids with braces in the 6th grade, guys I’ve never had a flirtatious relationship with. Some of them are friends that I made in college, with whom I took several classes and still continued to hang out with long after we graduated. I will admit that I am generally good-natured and I love to laugh, so some people may take that as flirtation, but my guy friends whom I’ve known for years should know better. And yet, despite the fact that they know my nature and that I would never get with them in a trillion years (because if I want something, I make it known and go after it, and I’ve never sent those signals), it’s become apparent that nearly all of them have succumbed to “Usher-You-Make-Me-Wanna” Syndrome (henceforth known as UYMMW).
As R&B prince Usher said in his infamous ballad of unrequited love,
“Before anything came between us
You were like my best friend,
The one I used to run and talk to when me and my
girl was having problems (that’s right).
You used to say it would be okay,
suggest little nice things I should do,
But when I come home at night and lay my head down,
all I seem to think about is you!
You make me wanna leave the one I’m with,
start a new relationship with you,
this is what you do…
Think about a ring and the things that come along with it.”
Okay, maybe a ring is taking things a little far, but this UYMMW Syndrome is straight-up REAL, y’all. Over the past two years, weird (and I mean WEIRD and many times very uncomfortable) admissions of love (drunken AND sober) have bubbled up from the inner depths of their hearts and oozed through their mouths and into my ears. And yes, that imagery is necessary because the whole process is disgusting to watch and listen to. “I’ve had feelings for you for a little while now… It’s not just that you’re beautiful, but also that you just get me,” one said. “You’re like the female version of me,” several others declared.
For some, it’s as simple as getting jealous when I talk to another guy while we’re out. Sometimes, it’s even me just not paying enough attention to them when we’re hanging out with the crew. Others still try to be a little slyer, making suggestions like, “Well, if I were to take you out on a date, what would you want to do?” When I inevitably reply with, “Well that would never happen because we’re friends, so…” I always see a glimmer in their eyes, like, the games have begun! when really, for me, the “game” is now over.
See, once I know that my guy friend has the hots for me, the times of us kickin’ it old school are no more. Our once-pure friendship, based off of a mutual search for the meaning of life and a good ass time, has mutated into “potential conquest” and I see that as the point of no return. When a guy friend contracts UYMMW Syndrome, he begins seeing you as a sex object rather than as just a companion. Yes, maybe he sees you as both, but that only makes it worse, because now that the sexual aspect is involved, romantic feelings are there and those little fuckers are hard to get rid of.
And truthfully, it’s not their fault. It’s biology. When straight men see a beautiful and well-put together woman, they often want her. When you already know that you have a mental connection with that woman, in their eyes, it’s even better. This woman now becomes a potential girlfriend or mate. She’s someone you already have fun with outside of the bedroom, so why not try to add on that extra dimension and take it to the next level? At the age where we’re at now, men are basically programmed to see women as potential mates, not as potential friends. In our early-twenty-something lives, the era of the male-female friendship is no more. I called it disgusting because I truly find it so — as humans we should have the self-control and mental capacity to rise above these primal urges in order to salvage something more meaningful and long-lasting: a genuine friendship where two minds meet for intellectual conversations. There shouldn’t always have to be a sexual component. If I were to enter a romantic relationship with these guys, it wouldn’t work. I know how they are in relationships since I’ve witnessed them with their girlfriends. I’ve seen how they are when they’re alone. Truthfully, I’m a go-getter, and if I saw something within them that I wanted, I would have gotten it by now.
Despite my chagrin, I understand where they’re coming from. I remember reading all of my teen girl magazines and seeing articles entitled, “In love with my best friend, what do I do?” where the snappy-but-oh-so-knowledgeable (excuse me, what are your qualifications again?) advice columnist always tells you to make your feelings known – you never know what could happen! And yes, that may have been sound advice when we were all in high school and sexual tensions were running high, where one stray pimple could ruin your whole week and also your chances of going to prom. Back then everyone was shy and the only way we knew how to interact with people of the opposite sex was by pretending to be friends with them until we got the courage to let our true feelings be known.
But now, in our lives as young adults, this advice is the WORST. We’ve moved past the faux-friendship charade and into the world of dating. Even if you’re in one of those really awkward what-is-this relationships, you definitely know that you’re NOT friends with the other person.
Gentlemen, if your female friend wants to be romantic with you, she will make it known. We’re at the stage in life where people (and especially most young women) value romantic relationships right up there with careers, and often above friendships. If I wanted you to be my boyfriend (and I don’t, as you know, because you’ve met my boyfriend, you idiot), you’d know by now. I am very adept at flirting, and I could charm the pants off of Popeye with Olive Oyl standing right there.
I’ve never used the magic power of my feminine mystique on any of my guy friends, and like I said, I’m attached. So for them to come to me, professing their love, is not only ridiculous, it’s also self-destructive. It’s a surefire way to make everyone feel awkward — me for having to turn you down and hurt your feelings like I’ve seen so many girls do before, and you for now feeling like shit because you stupidly ruined a friendship that could have gone on for many more years of letting le bon temps roulé.
So, sadly, I will have to dump all of my guy friends. We’ve gotten to the age where male-female friendships are going extinct. Think about it: how many straight adults in their late 30s and 40s do you know who actually have friends of the opposite sex? Even Harry and Sally had to stop playing their stupid game after a while. Maybe it’s because we’ve left the age of innocence. Maybe it’s because now the only thing that most young men can think about is sex? Maybe men and women were never really meant to be friends anyway? Whatever it may be, I can say with certainty that it’s just easier with my girlfriends. And truthfully, I’m flat-out tired of wondering if he’s secretly undressing me with his eyes or how many times he’s mind-fucked me in the past hour (my boyfriend says it’s probably about 6).