The Young and Disenchanted

“You got what I need…” – Dating in College, Part II

Posted on: 21 February, 2009

This is the first time I’m writing in about three weeks. And what an intense three weeks it’s been. A lot of family stuff has taken over my life, in both good and not-so-good ways, so all that, rather than writing, has been my focus. But now I’m back as the events of the past month or so have me feeling like my young and disenchanted self needs to get back to questioning and theorising and whatnot.

My two older sisters have gotten married in the past three months. It’s been so incredibly beautiful and moving for me to observe and share in all the love at both of their weddings. It has also been a pain in the ass, because I’ve been repeatedly put in situations where people, with the best of intentions, have attempted to set me up. I need people to realise this isn’t a buy-two-get-one-free kind of deal: I’m only 21. Can I please graduate before I get married off?? For real, I need my relatives to focus.

Anyway, one thing in particular I love about my sisters and their husbands’ relationships is the fact that they are so obviously the best of friends. Their whole banter, the ease with which they interact with one another – goodness, it almost makes this cynical girl fantasise about hand-holding and all that excellent shit. Almost. Anyone who knows me well is fully aware that I am not a romantic person. I don’t believe in “love at first sight” (although lust at first sight is a completely different story). I think the “average” romantic gesture is a largely mass-produced silhouette of an emotion whose real meaning is lost behind a generic bunch of twelve red roses. I also firmly believe that a real relationship is best started when the couple are friends first, rather than “romantically” attracted to one another.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a lot of male friends. I’m used to relating to dudes on that watch 24/play beer pong/shower together after playing basketball tip. I’ve even acted as wing woman for my guy friends, however ineffective that may have been. Now, this doesn’t mean that I want to be “just friends” with every dude who steps my way, or that’s necessarily the way it plays out. But I’m just more likely to consider dating a guy who I’ve gotten to know well on a platonic level. Basically, I need to be certain that we can be lovers and friends (shout out to Lil Jon). I got my reasons for this:

a)      It’s the relationship model I observed growing up. My parents are boys without a doubt – the way they talk to each other and generally chill shows that they are the best of friends. And they knew each other pretty well before they started dating (they were family friends). And going about a relationship that way led to a marriage that’s approaching a thirty year anniversary. Parents might not understand everything, but I think mine at least got the relationship thing figured out pretty well. Ditto my sisters. I reckon this method is tried-and-tested, and makes for a relationship built on a strong foundation – when you know a person that well it’s unlikely that you could be in a bad situation you couldn’t work through.

b)      It’s a trust thing. I’m slow to trust at the best of times, and being a relationship for me is the most vulnerable you can make yourself. If I’m going to make myself all exposed and raw for a motherfucker, I’d best be certain that it goes both ways. And, from my perspective, that’s best done when the person is your friend first. You’ve seen each other at your best and your worst and know all the ugly/sad/weird things about each other up front. There’s no need for that awkward phase when you’re trying to impress someone you want to date and can’t venture before them unless you’re primped within an inch of your life. Basically, I need to be sure that both of us can be completely ourselves with each other before we commit.

c)      If it doesn’t work out romantically, you’ll probably still have an amazing friend at the end of it all. And it’s a recession. We all need as many job connects friends as possible.

I asked a guy I know how he felt about this issue, and he took a different stance. He argued that being best friends can also cause crossing the friendship boundary a little difficult and awkward, and that when you’re not close friends to begin with, there’s the thrill of learning more and more about someone gradually while you’re in a relationship. Basically, you’ll end up best friends anyway, plus there’s more room for growth in the romantic relationship.

While this makes sense to me, I’m still a little sceptical. I’ve tried this latter approach, and it’s pretty much backfired. I think if you launch into a relationship because of a physical attraction rather than building a friendship first, you’re asking for way more shit than you’re prepared to handle, because if it fizzles out you may still be attracted to them, but at the same time you want to smack them with a baseball bat. And that how folks end up on the Channel 5 news. Also, when I say I want to be friends first, I’m assuming that it’s a given that there’s a mutual attraction between the two of us. So it’s more waiting a little to move to another level as opposed to crossing a boundary.

In summary: I’m going to stick to my guns and say the friends-first method is the way forward.

Different opinion on this? Let me know.

P.S. I went old school with the title – shout out to Biz Markie.

P.P.S. This is completely unrelated, but Jay-Z and Big Jaz’s respective flows on “Jigga What, Jigga Who” (which I was listening to while writing this entry) are ridiculous. The video’s kinda hot too. Check it.

 

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6 Responses to "“You got what I need…” – Dating in College, Part II"

I don’t think that there’s a tried and tested method to dating. Some people get together for hooking up purposes only and end up dating for years, and sometimes, being friends first just makes things more difficult, especially if the relationship isn’t going the way you want. And for some people, it is really love at first sight: my parents knew each other for like two years before they got married – 30 years and still going strong. I think you have a point, but I also agree with your friend in that sometimes you become good friends in a relationship – in fact that’s almost the point of it: to become really good friends with someone.

Yeah, being good friends with someone really makes crossing the boundary to dating or hooking up hard. As a dude who has close friends he is attracted to, i can tell you that out of respect i dont hook up with them even though i might really like one of them.

[…] 22, 2009 · No Comments So I am going to bite the subject of this post, straight off of TheYoungAndDisenchanted whose blog posts I found while tag surfing.  (Keep doin’ ya thing girl! Just added you to my […]

You know what, I feel you. I am currently making that transition from being friends to being in a relationship. I like it tho. Im able to hang out with him and his homeboys, and everyone is still comfortable. This is my first time dating someone that was originally in the “friend only” zone, but its better than anything I’ve had before,

The thing about the friends-first method is that sometimes it can backfire on you too. If everything blows up in your face you might end up mourning the relationship, AND mourning the friend you once had. (who you now want to smack with a baseball bat).

Dating is pretty much touch and go. I don’t think there’s any tried and tested method. It’s like the whole virginity thing. Some people waited and it worked out for them, and some people slept with everyone that came their way and have better marriages than some other people who waited and vice versa.

hey girl i saw ur comment on VSb’s recent post and noticed you are Nigerian too. Holla! Where are your folks from (sorry but I don’t hesitate to initiate the Niaja connect, lol).

Anyway, just saying hello.

My blog: http://www.breathe005.blogspot.com

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