Thursday, March 4, 2010

To Or Not To??

As you know, I've been a lonely sad sack for quite awhile now. It's during these times of drought that misplaced thoughts and bad ideas tend to creep up with more frequency. Case in point: Should you ever date friends?

I know all the magazines talk about the importance of friendship first and don't discount what's right in front of you; but I have to wonder: Is that really a good thing?
[side note: I totally felt like Carrie Bradshaw writing that last bit! God, what a nerd.]

I established the No Friends Rule after my ex became best friends with many of my friends while we were going out and then refused to give them up after we had broken up. It was awkward for quite a long time to say the least. I hoped to avoid this in the future so I said, "No more dating friends and no more introducing dates to friends". Surprisingly, this rule stayed intact for quite a few years. I never felt tempted to break it or emend it until a couple years ago. The addition to the rule was simple: You can date friends if they're not your best/good friend and/or are not best friends with your best/good friend. This allowed me to entertain the notion of acquaintances and casual friends without feeling bad or worrying about the consequences. It worked really well and I felt freer to accept what happened naturally. It also forced me to be more honest in the way I treated these relationships. If I wasn't feeling it, I had to nip it in the bud immediately or risk losing that friendship.

Now, I have to reflect on this rule again. You see, it would be easy if I met people outside of the group but you know my "stranger danger" mentality doesn't bode well for that. The other option is to encourage my friends to get attractive new friend's and invite them over more. (Why can't that work??) Otherwise, I feel I will soon be forced to address this situation head on and either make a concession or stick to my guns. Either way could end poorly.

I feel I would be remiss to deny an opportunity to have a little fun (and maybe cause my eye to stop twitching for an evening- PLEASE!) and explore; but, how do I know if I should? Is there a checklist somewhere I could use? You know how much I love lists! Is there anything that's a deal breaker? I know what kills it for me in a relationship but have no real idea what makes for a good person to date. You'd think with very little standards I'd have more offers and dates coming in! Usually I think 3 things when evaluating the situation: Are they cute/am I attracted? Do they fit the preexisting list of all potential mates (They must be my height or taller and they must be my age or older)? Do we have anything in common?

Is that enough when your treading on a friendship?

Maybe I'm over thinking and whole possible future situation is in my head. Even so, surely I must be prepared if and when it does come up. Help!


  1. Ahhh I am the worst person in the world to delve out advice when it comes to relationships, but I say throw all rules out the window. You can't rely on a list to or something to know whether or not someone is right for you...I say if you feel it, then go for it. But then again I am forever single and only have short, meaningless relationships in my history.. Except for the one guy friend who I've loved for like 8 years. Sighhhhhhhh

  2. It's usually a bad idea to date your friends. The problem with just messing around with your friends is that:

    1. You become that girl who's messed around with everyone in your group. (No, it's not that bad, it's just...I don't want to be that girl.)

    2. You risk not having the same casual feelings about the matter and making things awkward for everyone.

    I would suggest putting your stranger danger in the backseat for a little while and just...trying something (someone?) NEW.

  3. Maybe we need to start breaking off into smaller groups when we go out. I am all about meeting people out and about (especially if you're at a bar, restaurant, etc. where you enjoy hanging out, seeing as how they must also have good taste if they're there), but maybe it's a no-win situation when there are fifteen eligible ladies at play. Perhaps smaller groups (of, like, three or four) will have a better return on getting to visit with Sexy Strangers. (They're rare, but they exist and totally quell the sirens that generally accompany public interactions.)

    I would definitely try this out (assuming you haven't already, which is probably my bad) before broaching the friendship sitch. Now, if it's a friend you don't care that much to lose, have at it! But it's a gamble for sure.

  4. hum... I both love and hate these suggestions so far. I am all for smaller groups- I don't really like huge groups of ladies, in fact; I don't like a lot of ladies period so I feel this is a good idea. Nat, Shine? Ideas?

    PS- Does my past experience maintaining friendships after casual encounters not count for anything? Also, if I ever become the slut of the group please give me a gold star.

  5. After short reflection I realised all of my boyfriends were friends first, most of which were a part of the inner circle for about a year. All but one (you know who)ended badly and resulted in a loss of the friendship. However, I did not loose my other friends and things seemed ok. I can also say that there is NO such thing as casual when it comes to dating a friend. You start on the 10th date and its pretty much all or nothing.

    You make a good point about having restrictions but not any substantial things to look for. May I suggest: kindness, good humor, similar habits and similar values. If you see that in someone who you are friends with and want to make that leap: go for it! Just don't do it because you are board and lonely that week;-} Thats what is for!

  6. Oh Mer how you know me... Boredom gets me into the most trouble. I think I've decided to just play everything by ear. That is certainly a weakness for me as I try to plan and think out everything. But, as they say, you can't live life on the sidelines or no risk no adventure!

  7. I had the same rule and then fell in love with my best friend. After we had decided that neither of us wanted anything serious. Luckily he felt the same way too, but it would have absolutely destroyed our friendship had he not. But....l am a person who thinks it is better to risk everything for a possibility than to regret not doing anything for fear of it turning in to the slippery banana skin underneath your feet. So roll the life dangerously.

  8. Oh yeah, I wasn't really talking about you specifically. If you become the slut of your group, you get five gold stars.

    And I agree with Natalie about smaller groups maybe helping. Mostly, I was talking about people who have been an established part of your group for a significant period of time. My concern is mostly for one of the two people taking things more seriously than the other and making things awkward. Which is bound to happen at some point.

    I had a particularly poor experience with this, so maybe I'm just seeing it from that point of view.