Being new to a place you track down all your connections. Friends of friends. Friends of random connections. You trace some of your first Facebook friends to find that their current city matches yours. Bonus. People you actually once knew are again in close proximity.
But time affects your memory of interactions. I can hardly remember what it was like to spend time with these people. At the time of befriendment I was happily studying in Paris and in a relationship and therefore had the luxury of having lots of pure guy friendships. A rarity for me, sadly. I’m a girly girl. I like my girly friends and talking about girly things, including boys. That’s not to say I don’t like having guy friends. I very much do. They bring a really fresh perspective and some handy dude skills. It’s just that the majority of guys I’ve been friends with over the years at some point reveal themselves to being quite open to the prospect of being more than friends. As a result, I’ve grown to believe that ‘There is no such thing as just friends’. Unless:
- Caveat 1: Neither party is attracted to the other at all (highly unlikely)
- Caveat 2: One party is not attracted to the opposite sex
- Caveat 3: One party is in a relationship
Caveat 3 (and suspicions of caveat 2) recently found me lulled into very comfortable guy-friend territory with one such rekindled Facebook friend from my Paris days. Despite him being self-evidently handsome in that Tommy Hilfiger catalogue way, I’ve always maintained that he’s not my type. Tall, olive skinned, with an athletic build and floppy dark hair really just isn’t my thing. The model scouts who’ve persuaded him to quit his job at McKinsey may be into that look, but not me. Which is why it’s so liberating that we can just hang out as friends. Turns out after all these years we have a lot in common – not only an appreciation of French and Management Consulting but apparently also obscure arty events, Brooklyn ‘raves’ and drinking…
Turns out the Tommy Hilfiger look is fine over coffee but not over a drink or 5, which can put ‘friends’ in a very precarious position. I should have known better (especially given caveat 3) but we were having so much fun, what being at the ‘rave’ n all that it all just felt like a parallel universe at the time. A natural extension of the friendship.
So now, in broad daylight, the question becomes ‘Can we go back to being just friends?’ I’ve never experienced it myself and usually prefer total avoidance but I’ve definitely heard examples of where it has been done successfully so I’m keen to give it a try. I’m sure, if I put my man hat on, we can go right back to ‘normal’. As such, I’m looking forward to many friendly coffees gradually obliterating the memory of any un friend-like behaviour.