No matter how well-intentioned I aimed to be, telling Kara that I had met someone else – and that I wasn’t all that interested to begin with – was painful. It always is. We had only been on one date, though, so it wasn’t a soap opera-worthy moment. In circumstances like this, I don’t think a one-date relationship warrants a break-up conversation, but she wanted answers. Fine.
She responded to my rejection – perhaps instinctually, perhaps from good-intentions – by saying that maybe we’d still be friends. Is there a statement uttered more often in the face of polite rejection than that one? Don’t think so.
And while I appreciated the sentiment, my filter for keeping my reaction to myself had apparently been shut off that night. “I’m 28. I don’t really need any more girl-friends.” Ouch!
Do I know where that answer came from? Sure; that’s my honest-to-goodness thought on the matter. But the source of my gall for speaking it out loud when I could’ve just agreed and moved on? No clue.
The fact of the matter, though, is that we all have plenty of friends of the opposite sex. And that’s cool. But do we really need more? A good majority of us in our late 20s/early 30s aren’t looking to build up a collection of ‘nice people’ at this point in our lives. For what? So we can stalk them on Facebook and mostly ignore them in real life? Our bigger objective in this life phase (at least speaking for myself), without being so results-oriented, is to find one person worth being with.
Is that cold of me? If it is, oh well. Logic and rational thinking don’t always leave a warm and fuzzy feeling in their wake. It’s not that I don’t have a desire to continue engaging with ‘good people’ as I grow older. I do. But the fact of the matter is that I’d rather focus my energy on maintaining the good friendships I already have.
It provides no utility to invest in a new friendship with someone of the opposite sex at the expense of A)Being a good friend to girls I’m already good friends with, and B)Trying to find a girl that I actually want to date or end up with.
“Yeah, but what if they’re a really nice person?! You’d really just blow them off?”
Yes, I would. And if you’re really honest with yourself, that’s exactly what you’d do, too, even if you do answer with ‘yeah, let’s be friends!’
You won’t go out of your way to check-up on them or hangout just because you obligated yourself to being friends. You’ll add them on Facebook, occasionally stalk them on Instagram, and mostly continue on with business as usual. But you’ll never really be ‘friends.’ Even then, when you do find someone, this ‘friend who is a girl’ will only make your life more complicated, no matter how pure your intentions are.