"Liking someone doesn’t mean you have to be lovers; sometimes you just have to be friends."

Something my Grandad has said last year has always stuck in my mind.

“Janie is just a sociable and friendly person. She does not see people as guys and girls. She sees them as people, and if she likes their company, it doesn’t bother her if they are a guy or a girl. The gender doesn’t even cross her mind.”
 
You see, when I was younger, I was constantly dancing. I was surrounded by girls all the time, and even though they were my best friends at the time, it did open my eyes to the bitchiness and cruelty that girls are capable of.
 
So growing up, I just had friends who liked me and who I liked back; it just so happens that a majority of them were male.
 
I think that I got along with the guys better because I never mistook their friendship as anything more. I just liked their company.
 
But since about the age of 18, guys have suddenly caused me a few problems. Back in secondary school and the first year of college, I would just go and talk to guys and be confident that we are just friends. So when a guy who I considered a really good friend admitted that he liked me, I was devastated because his remark has pretty much killed our friendship. I admit I liked the fact someone obviously liked me, but then I felt that I could no longer trust him with my secrets, and I couldn’t talk to him about who I liked incase it hurt him. But when it happened, I just assumed that it was just a one off thing.
 
Until the next time.
 
Plus the time after that.
 
I started to feel bad keep using the, “I really don’t want to ruin our friendship” line. So I had to have a think. Maybe I was actually leading them on?
 
I went through many texts and many chats with my mum and my girls. Nothing incriminating in my texts at all. Both my mum and my girls said that I am just friendly and they maybe mistake my friendliness as flirting.
 
So from then on, I was trying to be careful. It upset me how I had to restrict how I acted and I felt like I wasn’t being myself.
 
Then I met my best friend. He had a girlfriend who was actually my close friend. We got chatting and we just got along, until I got a phone call from my close friend.
 
“Janie. I know you are my friend and you wouldn’t do this but, do you fancy my boyfriend?”
I was shocked, horrified and really hurt. I denied that I had any feelings because that was the truth. She believed me and said that basically people have been saying how much me and her boyfriend were talking. It then got me angry. This would have been a different story if I was actually his best friend before they got together; but it would have been a completely different story if I was a guy. I kept thinking why it is so hard to understand that a girl and a guy can just be friends.
 
After my last relationship failed due to jealousy, I kept thinking that maybe I am doing something wrong. Maybe I am giving out the wrong signals. I then kicked myself for being so naive. So then I decided to build a wall around me and show my guy friends that I just want them as friends and nothing else. But I then decided why should I lose my personality and the way I do things? So I went back to my normal ways.
 
It still gets me down when I get a friend tell me that they like me, or that they think I might be misleading. Guys and girls can be friends without any feelings being involved. I just prefer the matter of fact attitude, and the taking the mick factor. I am not a fan of the bitchiness that girls do, even though of course, I do it too.
 
I just think that people need to start seeing each other as people and not gender like me. You will be surprised that maybe your best friend would be someone from the opposite sex and that you have no feelings for them whatsoever.
 
But, just make sure that you do not lead them on or give mix signals. It officially sucks whatever side you are on.

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