There have been a few people with whom I flirted or had sex. There was excitement in the beginning because I suspected there was something, but I realized it was going nowhere and called it off. I would tell them I just wanted to be friends. Or sometimes they would say the same to me. Either way, it was a lie.
What I meant was that it’s easier to let someone down when you say you wanna be friends. But in my heart, I know I was only making room for these people if there sexual or romantic potential. I don’t need another friend.
Before I might have thought that line of thinking crude, but now I know it to be true.
And when someone says they want to be friends with someone who is rejecting them, they more often than not mean that they hope things will change if they stick around. I know that, too. I’ve been that person.
But there’s more. Saying you want to be friends makes it less awkward, even when breaking up from a long term relationship. Otherwise, it just feels like you’re just ignoring or denying the fact that someone’s existence has suddenly been revealed to you, perhaps along with their hopes, dreams and other intimate details. What do you do with that knowledge when it’s time to part ways?
At least if you’re friends, you don’t have a vault full of knowledge about a stranger. It doesn’t feel quite so wrong or dirty or whatever-it-is-that-rubs-me-so-wrong to know all those things. But sometimes we may need to forget those things about a person, and that means we can’t be friends.
Which is okay. I didn’t want to, anyway.