Sunday, 23 January 2011

Today I'm going to write about categories. This is something that I've been thinking about for a while. This is one of those 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus' type of things. When a woman meets a man, she'll size him up fairly immediately into a category: friend or boyfriend/fuck material. With guys, however, these categories are fairly fluid. Guys will meet a girl, probably immediately decide whether she's fuck material or not - and then that won't have any bearing on whether they become friends or not.

Having spoken to my guy friends about this, they admit quite readily that most of their girl friends they would happily fuck, although admit that it would probably change their friendship irreversibly. But if a drunken opportunity came up, as one friend put it, he's unlikely to 'be too adamant' about protecting their friendship.

Once I have a guy as a friend - once he's in that category - he's unlikely to step out of the category. Those of my friends who I would make an exception for are the ones who I've got history with already, or those who aren't that close friends. Or just the ones who are so damn hot I literally don't care how friendly we are - and in a drunken situation, when I have less control and less conscience about my desire to keep our friendship afloat without any awkwardness, I probably would. Whoops.

I think with guys, the categories are permeable: once you're in a category, you can easily shimmy through to the other category. Once a guy is my friend, however, he's unlikely to be someone I'd consider sleeping with. Not if he was a friend worth keeping.

Which is a reason why I never quite trust my guy friends. It's frustrating, but you don't want to find that you've been 'leading on' a friend, when in all actuality, it has never crossed your mind that he would be interested in you. I can think of a few guys who I am certain do not think of me in that way, and when I'm around them I relax. But it's dangerous territory.

And it's a shame.

It feels like a betrayal if a friend turns around and tells you he likes you. It suddenly changes all of the boundaries between you, introduces a terrible sexual tension and an awkwardness as you start to judge your every move in the light of, 'Will he think I'm flirting if I do this?' Last year, I lost a friend because of this, which still makes me really sad. When I didn't feel the same way, it was just too awkward and he was too wounded for our friendship to recover.

So now I'm more careful.

I make my own categories, but I try to be conscious of guys' categories (or lack thereof). I try not to be too unguarded when making new guy friends, in case they misconstrue my actions.

Or, at least, now that's what I try to do. Consider it a new year's resolution.

From here on in, I will try not to trust my guy friends too much.

Does that sound cynical?

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