Thursday, November 19, 2009

How a boy feels...

Realized last night, after posting, after being texted by Mr. Pseudonym Pending, that I'm hypersensitize to my male (platonic or sexual) friends.

This year has been, not exactly a nightmare, but a frustrating tangle of my guy friends admitting, in one way or another, deeper feelings for me.

Feelings I have not returned.

And, sure, you're sitting there, all logical-like, saying, "Well, so what? You can't force yourself to have interest for another person. You didn't lead them on or anything."

Guys love to try to white-knight me. I know this.

They feel incredibly special and close to me when I talk to them about the things going on inside my head, my conflicts, my vunerability. They think that we're bonding more than I bond with others, that I'm sharing special things, that I'm showing trust in them, that I'm seeking them for advice, that our friendship is deepening.

What they don't realize is that I'm not sharing special things. They're things I discuss with multiple people. I'm not opening up. My walls are immense. The bonding they're feeling is created inside their own head because other girls don't act like I do. Other girls don't do this. Something must be special, something must be unique.

And I'm incredibly physically affectionate with my male friends. I express myself through touch. So it's not unusual for me to curl up in bed with one of them, to put my head in their lap, to press my thigh against theirs when we sit next to each other, to rub their backs when they twist something, to walk with shoulders rubbing, touch them when I want to show them something, hands on their shoulders or lower back when I want them to move.

I touch a lot.

So I end up creating this male-female relationship where I am very physically affectionate and comfortable with them, where I'm revealing "secrets" and "vunerabilities" and, in turn, they are revealing actual secrets and vunerabilities while attempting to "fix" me, doing shared activities, going out to movies, meals, clubs, concerts, and it becomes this near inevitable thing where I'll get a phone call, a text, an email, or be stopped for a "serious conversation".

And then I feel horrible.

I feel like I haven't laid down enough boundaries.

That I should have brought up the men I was sleeping with more.

Or made "you're such a good friend"-type comments.

Because I'm the aware party. I know what I'm doing. I know that I'm triggering these things. I've seen this before, done this before.

I'm the responsible one in this situation.

For not just laying it down as soon as I see those signs start cropping up. The probing questions about my relationships, the physical contact that isn't casual on their end, the attempts to save, the insulting of the men I sleep with. Tiny of dozens of little fractures that they make in an effort to break the shell of the platonic friendship I have enforced upon them.

It makes me feel like I'm committing emotional statutory rape.

Because they don't know what they're doing. They don't have the experience. They're children.

When I got that text message on Saturday for the DP, that night I went out with my clubbing friend. The one who made me the mix CD of songs he could see me dancing to. The one who guest-lists me at the clubs. The one who I run to when one of those guys at the clubs will not leave me alone so I press up against him and whisper in quick panic "grab me, act like you're my boyfriend, NOW" so I don't have to spend the next few hours dodging those men who can't read my body language. The one who I talk to when I'm upset, the one who tells me about his family, his life, his issues, his female problems.

He's expressed interest in me. He's asked my friends about me.

He's warned others off me. Not aggressively, but enough.

So I just dumped the DP on the table. Like it was just another day in the life of me. Which it kinda is. I left the club early, hugged him goodbye, he knew where I was going. Left shortly after I did, actually.

I hate having to build these walls.

I hate the barriers.

I hate worrying that I'm going to end up hurting yet another of my friends.

I hate the body language, the behaviors, the predictable words.

The sinking feeling I get in my stomach when I realize they're going for it, my mind racing to figure out a way to verbally cockblock them without embarassing them, without damaging our friendship, without insulting them or rejecting them outright.

This is something I loathe.

I hate rejecting men. I hate the damage it does.

I hate feeling like it's entirely my fault.

But what am I supposed to do? Completely change my social behavior? Never express myself with them? Never be truly affectionate? Keep awkward, physical walls in place? Declare the minute I start hanging out with a man regularly on a social level that I'm not going to date him ever, so-please-don't-even-think-about-it-thank-you?

Who am I supposed to talk to, if not my friends?

Or am I only allowed to talk to my straight female friends so this doesn't occur?

There's got to be a better way to handle this.

I don't like these feelings of guilt that crop up because I have knowledge and awareness that these men do not. Amusingly, if they did, I'd find them desirable.

Which makes perfect sense.

It happened earlier this week with the text I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm still trying to stop the slow descent with my clubbing friend, one of my oldest friends told me on Tuesday that he loves me as much as he loves his girlfriend of four years. I know, I've known for a long time, that he has been in love with me. I did not realize the level.

Then there was Redding, who went so incredibly wrong. Near obsession. Near stalkery, even when I flat out told him no, never. Near begged him to get over it.

And all the other little incidents that I've had to stop, gloss over, with others.

It's no wonder I don't respect most men.

You'd think I'd be a pro at this by now.
You'd think I'd have the zen by now to know that this happens and there's nothing I can do about it so I need to stop worrying and watching for when the next one starts to go.

Apparently not.

I hate rejection so much, I squirm when I reject others.

Another thing to address.


  1. I think perhaps you should make it clear to male friends from the outset that your behaviour is not specific to them or you could save yourself some time and direct them to this post!

  2. It's funny, because I have. Repeatedly. And, somehow, it just makes it worse.

    Actually, I know why it makes it worse. Which is what makes so funny and sad at the same time.

  3. Try being far less physically affectionate with them. Save that for your male friends you get sexual with.

  4. Anonymous,

    I have been, with some of them. Looks like I'm going to have to keep reigning it in. And I hate that. I need to touch.