No dude, It wasn’t a Date

Wait… Go back. That’s not actually how the conversation starts. It usually starts off with me apologising. I say “I’m sorry I disappointed you” when I actually mean “I’m sorry I hurt your ego?”. Although I never commented anything which would indicate it was a date and he didn’t make it clear either, I try to sympathize with the dude’s feelings because I did want to be friends with this guy. I was hoping we could get to know each other. Innocent me.

Note: “Friendzoning” someone is not an evil thing, it is a natural thing, as we can’t possibly be attracted to every human being on earth. Thank God! I would never have time to do anything productive 😆.

Usually, on the other side of the story, my female friends are telling me: “What did you think it was going to happen?” “You are so innocent Ana”. My bad…for believing in a world where no one is supposed to fit in categories and we can all just be ourselves without having to please someone else’s expectations. I wish everyone was as innocent as me.

This situation is even more criticised if the woman is in a relationship at the moment. Because, if a woman is in a relationship with a man, she couldn’t possibly be just friends with another guy, right? 😆 Let’s state in this article that men and women can, in fact, be friends (which should be quite obvious, but I guess it’s not). The saying “men and women can’t be friends” is rooted in our beautiful hetero normative society.

Does your male friend need a “heads up” before asking you to come to his house to watch the newest Marvel movie? “No.” Then why do I have to? If I’m into women and I schedule meeting a girl one-on-one, it doesn’t mean I am interested in her in a romantic way. That would mean homosexuals couldn’t have friends of the same sex. All this confusion might also come from the idea that people who hang out in pairs, instead of groups, are therefore romantically involved. Nonsense.

Note: If you’re in the beginning of a friendship you will get to know the other person better if you are alone with them, instead of a group vibe. However, you should get to know people in groups too. Experience has shown me some individuals have the tendency to want to be “rockstars”.

Sadly, I now have way less close relationships with men than I used to when I was in primary school. Back then, every classmate was your friend by default and, everyone was still innocent. I quite enjoyed doing “boy things” such as videogames, sports, superheroes and wrestling. Ana was also painfully unapologetic, liked to wear her hair in a ponytail and thought jewellery was pointless. After reading this description, I think you understand why I was friends with boys more. These boys are most of my current male friends today.

Regarding my female counterparts, I have friends which I remained close and met in the most random situations. Some in organisations I worked, others I met in conferences, classmates, friends of friends. As I stepped into adulthood, I can’t seem to be able to bond with men. Every time I try I find myself in the “No dude, It wasn’t a Date” situation. Can someone help me!?

My latest strategy on suggesting having non-group meetings with men is making it verbally clear I currently just want to be friends. Preventively assuming they are interested in me as more than a friend, although I know relationships and feelings are not black and white. Doing this sucks, seriously. I would rather not do it, for the fact it implies an encounter between a man and a woman is by default romantic.

In summary, the problem isn’t people having expectations for someone or something. Every human creates expectations, as much as they try to deny it. Sometimes, there is no way we can be honest about what our intentions are, for the simple fact we don’t know what we want yet. The problem lies in women being criticised for apparently leading men on, when men weren’t clear about what they wanted in the first place. You can’t be upset for someone misreading your actions unless you both talked about what things meant before. So, instead of me being accused of being a bad person, or a player, both people should recognised they read the situation differently and just get over it. “Dude”, this is not my fault, I didn’t do anything wrong and I don’t need to justify myself.

I now leave you with a weird quote from Anna Kendrick’s book Scrappy Little Nobody:

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