Be the Cat's Meow

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Posted on: 07/28/2010

I miss the days of being five. A time when it was acceptable to approach an unfamiliar face of the same age and ask, “Do you want to be my friend?” Generally, the answer would be, “Yes” and then you two could go on with your day as though you had known each forever.

Flash forward 20 plus years later and the scenario changes. Ask somebody the same question and most likely you will be laughed at. Then your ego turns to mush & the feeling of rejection sweeps over you. I have never asked this question, but I can only assume that is what would happen and how I would feel. Maybe I am over-thinking the situation…I tend to do that…but back on track here- why does this have to change with age? Why is it deemed desperate if you directly ask to be friends? It seems much easier than the game of absurd conversation, some flattery thrown in and then the typically awkward, “Hey, if you like ____ we should go do____.”

I feel being a girl makes this even more awkward. It is hard to gauge when other girls are approachable. Some girls are laid back and open to chat with strangers, but then you have the “mean girl” breed that look down their noses at you if you happen to breath in their direction. Guys are an entirely different story. Sorry to generalize, boys, but more often than not if a girl approaches a guy it is assumed it is out of sexual interest. Uh, no. Naturally, sometimes yes, but why can’t a meeting start on a platonic level? Hmph, we will never know.

I only started thinking about all of this, because I have been networking with different groups lately. I love meeting people with similar interests, but it is hard to gauge how warm someone actually is. First impressions always stick, which makes me super self conscious since I tend to be awkward. I’m not saying only when meeting new people, but I mean in the sense I am a klutz & embarrass easily. So maybe part of the problem lies within me, but I know for a fact it is socially unacceptable to cut the b.s. and blurt out, “let’s be friends!”

But alas, societal norms won’t be changing anytime soon. Meeting new people will continue to be somewhat of a game whether we like it or not. At the same time when you meet someone that disregards the game rules and just says hey, “You’re cool, let’s do something,” then you know you may have stumbled upon a genuine person.

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  • saracfry: Good post. Thank you. I think that you might appreciate an article I just wrote titled "The Purity of Love"
  • fullblather: Ugh. I'm happily married but I really hate Valentine's Day and the way it feels so forced. I also hate how people make it seem like something is "wron
  • matt: Be the right person, instead of looking for the right person.

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