Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Where is this going?"

That's what I naively asked my first college "boyfriend" after we had been "hanging out" for a couple months. Big mistake. Huge. (Did anyone else say that in a Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman voice? I hope so.) He totally wigged out and didn't talk to me for a month. And that, my friends, set the precedent for our two-year rollercoaster relationship. (Hello, red flag!) I later learned that I had opened the floodgates to having THE TALK. I had no idea it was such a big deal. Geeze.

There are so many stages to dating—I just gets exhausting. The "talking" phase is the trickiest. You like someone, they like you, you have fun together, so why is it so gosh darn hard to make that next step? Well, that's exactly how I feel about making new friends as an adult.

Gone are the days you proposition someone with a lick of your ice cream cone or just flat out ask them to be your friend. (Btw, if anyone wants to be my friend, the ol' ice cream trick will TOTALLY work.) It's frustrating because I have a lot of friends in NYC that I'm in the "talking" stage with, but I just don't know how graduate to the let's-hang-out-in-our-yoga pants-and-watch-movies-on-a-Sunday-night type of friend.

Or, am I just being greedy? I do have lots of friends here, and a few that I know will be in my life forever, but I'm still constantly searching for more people I can truly connect with. I used to be embarrassed to bring this subject up (I mean, who wants to admit they want more friends?), but I'm finding more and more that it's something lots of people want and struggle with later on in life. Take Rachel at MWFSeekingBFF for example!

So what's your advice for me readers: How do I turn casual friendships into the real thing? I know I can't just flat out ask "WHERE IS THIS GOING?!" but oh, I really want to. And where are you on the friendship-o-meter—are you happy with what ya got or do you wish you had a few more pals? Oh and does anyone have a good story about busting out the "talk" with a guy?


  1. Haha...I have no idea, but you know how there's that awkward moment when you're first dating someone where you have to introduce them as "my _______"? Haven't you totally had that with friends, where you don't know how to describe them? Like -- do I say "my really good friend" or "my bestie" or "my best work-friend" or "my friend I talk to all the time on Facebook but never in real life" or....

  2. Who knows? Either you wait and find out (read: they always say 'yes' when you want to hang out in yoga pants watching a movie) or take a chance and ask. I don't think there is any simple risk-free formula.

    More pals? Even though I only have a couple of freinds; having more sounds exhausting.

  3. I never took much time to think about it, but you're right! It totally IS hard to move from acquaintance-friends to good-friends. I never actually make this move myself - it ends up being the other party who does the inviting. Usually it's a "So-and-so and I are planning on movies and maybe drinks at my place on this night, wanna come?".

  4. i don't know about REAL friends vs. those you just talk to when you run into them. i have alot of the latter at my work place. don't know them that well. don't get invited to their parties. i'm not sure how you go from okay friends to LET"S CHILL AND GIRL TIME IT UP!
    don't feel embarrassed. it's totally cool to want to have tons of friends!

  5. Friend dating is so awkward sometimes! I've moved around a ton in the last few years, and feel like I've been through this over and over...you meet, you hang out a few times, and then...? I totally agree that there's no way to bring up that next level without sounding like a douche.

    Even worse than friend dating is couple dating, though. "Do we like them? Do we want to have dinner with them again? I liked the girl, but you didn't like the guy?" It's just a clusterf*ck of awkwardness. Ugh.

  6. I hear you...I always feel like sometimes I am friends with someone in my head before we are really friends! haha! Honestly, I have found as I get older (and now that I am married) the whole hang out with friends seems to not be as prominent as it was before. I mean I have girls night and we do dinner and movies but at the end of the day the person I go home too is my husband and the person I want to hang out with the most is my husband. Cheesy...probably. But a truth I have accepted!

  7. I wish I knew the answer to this question, but honestly I think sometimes it's just up to fate. I've seen random people end up together and there's just no explanation as to why.

  8. I love all of my friends and feel like I have made a lot since moving to NY, but I always want to meet new people and have more friends. Sometimes I feel like I'm not choosy enough either. I just think all different types of people are so interesting to be around....so I have all of these different friends that I touch base with every few months or so, but no bff that just comes over in yoga pants to watch netflix. I have no idea how to get there either. The main thing I have issues with is making really close girl friends. I don't exactly know why either. Most of my friends that I feel the most comfortable around (other than my sister) are gay guys. I want more girl friends in my life!! SO badly!!

    I guess the best way is to just straight up say "hey, I don't think I'm in the mood to go out tonight, but my roommates and I are gonna watch movies and drink wine in yoga pants if ya wanna join" haha. Something along those lines.

    I could tell you my horror story about attempting "the talk", but its really just the same as every other naive girl. Scare the guy away before he's even consider the relationship idea=) And looking back, its probably better that I did scare that one away in particular;) haha

  9. People friends are overrated. Get a dog. Get several!

    When I was a kid and someone wanted something from you (a Twizzler or whatever), they wouldn't just offer to be your friend in return, it was BEST friend. Always said in a specific way, as if it was an evolutionary instinct designed to increase Twizzler-gathering success: "I'll be your best fRIIIIEEEEEENNNddd..."

  10. First of all, many thanks for the link love! I love hearing that other people have had the same experience. Like, what happens when I see a girl in Barnes and Nobles reading the same book as me? She looks like total BFF material, but how to say "want to grab lunch sometime?" without sounding like I'm trying to get in her pants??

    Taking the sorta-friend to the next level is equally tricky. "Are we like, friends? Or best best friends?" Oy. I feel like I am in third grade again. But I'm totally going to figure it out and then blog about it and let you know. I must say, so far, I've been surprised to see how many women are in the same boat. Sometimes I think blatant admittance of girl-crush is the answer.

  11. Friending is always alkward in the beginning. after some time, if it sticks, it sticks. I can promise you that if you over think it you will probably ruin it. The same goes for dating. I always obsessed about every detail when i was younger and I don't think it ever really helped me. Don't worry too much about what to wear unless you are going out. After we moved in, our new neighbors invited us over for a movie one night and we said "We'll be there in our pajamas" They loved that! and wore theirs.

  12. i love this!! i started hanging out with a guy and i wanted to know what was going on with us, but didn't want to have the talk. so one night we were at the bar and i had some liquid courage and just said "you are my boyfriend now" and he said ok. sooo...maybe we should do the same with girl friends! just be like, ok so let's hang out sometime. sorry to be so weird." (i find i have to end a lot of my conversations with that sentence)

    as awkward as it is, it's worth it to put yourself out there. my bff is someone that moved to new york for a summer and got in touch because (brace yourself) her sister's fiance's mother is good friends with my mother. we hit it off right away and it wouldn't have happened if she hadn't made that awkward first step

  13. Ohh yes, Kara, that is the WORST. I actually had terribly long, drunk conversation with my ex's mom (the one I referenced in the post) explaining how exactly to define our "relationship." Awkward!

    You're right, Lee, I just need to go for it. But feeling rejected is just the worssst!

    "Girl time it up!" Haha, Trayn. It would be hilarious to see you at a slumber party :)

    Ohh Eatdrinkrun, GREAT idea for a future post! And yes, couple dating is tricky too...there's more pressure involved for sure!

    Yeah, MHP, I think the reason I probably don't have as many girl pals as I want is bc I do also love hanging with my bf! I think it might just be a NYC thing...you know, the need to find people you can relate to. I don't know if I'll feel this way forever.

    Very true, Sunehra. Sometimes there's only so much effort you can make!

    Ha, good advice, Beth--think I'll try that approach! And um, when are WE going to hang out?! :)

    Lol, Scott! I'll be anyone's friend if Twizzlers are involved!

    Of course, MWF! Keep us posted if you come across any good "friend dating" tactics!

    You're totally right, G-Dub. It should just happen organically. And I love the PJ neighbor party! Too bad my neighbors just give me an evil glare when we pass in the hallway. (Ok, so sometimes I like to play Taylor Swift a little loud in my apt. So sue me!)

    Wow, your success stories are very inspiring, MA! ha

  14. I appreciate all the comments everyone has made here but, to be honest, in terms of "friends" this stuff just happens naturally. It actually happens naturally in dating too but we as a society have so over thought and over complicated things that it's now almost impossible to date without needing therapy. Last girl I dated, there was never any conversations about where and what, we just talked as two people who enjoyed each others company, we both mutually made plans to spend time together and that was that. If not for the long distance between us we still might be together. Even now we remain friends and talk almost every day via e-mail or phone. Just relax, if these people like you they will ask to spend more time with you or respond positively if you ask them for a wine and movie night or whatever.

  15. Such a cute post and SO true. Honestly, I still talk to my college friends, but I can already tell how much harder it is to stay in touch. I simply view my boyfriend as my best friend and take anyone else as a bonus.

  16. i love this post! something i'm starting to learn is that one person just really needs to take initiative in the beginning of any relationship, whether it be making plans, or sending texts when someone just serenaded you on the subway and you need to tell someone, or calling about that last minute pedicure. i think most people are looking for closer friends, they're just self-conscious about seeming too needy. those relationships can happen naturally if we just put ourselves out there. (this is all in theory, of course).

    clearly, i think about this too much, because my 2 closest friends moved very far away last year (one halfway across the country, one halfway across the world), so i am always looking to meet new people. friend dating is hard, but you've got to have the girls in your life!

  17. Not sure if anyone's still reading the comments on this one, but I wanted to write another one anyway. I see what you're saying, Jaguiar, but I do think it is all a bit circumstantial. Like, if you're living in a big city where it's easy to get caught up in your day-to-day life, sometimes it really does take effort towards making a friendship. Everyone has their own thing going on, and as much as you like someone or they might like you, it doesn't always just happen naturally...you have to work at it a little, just like any other type of relationship. Plus, since I do have a bf, I've also had to kinda teach myself (bc I've never been in a serious relationship before) how to make time for everyone! I do think there should be a certain comfort level there, but I have yet to have a friendship in this city that didn't take some degree of conscious effort.

    Ketchupdiaries, I love the way you seem so content with what you've got. I need to be more that way and just be appreciative of what I DO have.

    Yes, you are so right, Leslie about putting yourself out there. If you do that, everything else will/should fall into place. Friend dating SEEMS harder than normal dating, but I'm sure plenty of single gals would argue with me on that one!!