Just like in Kindergarten…. Back when we didn’t care where you lived, who your daddy was, what color your skin was, where your momma bought your clothes, or if you ate your boogers.
Well, scratch that last part; eating boogers has always mattered, even in Kindergarten.
Life was at its best in Kindergarten.
It’s pretty much been all downhill since then, starting in Fifth Grade when our eyes were opened and we realized the cool kids had Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and twist-a-beads, and the not-so-cool kids didn’t, and we began being a tad more selective about who our friends were.
That was the beginning of the end.
Then came middle school, where strict unspoken rules governed who you could be friends with and who you couldn’t. And being friends with everyone never got easy again.
Or even possible.
The rules become even more complex when we’re talking male/female friendships.
There was a time in my life when most of my ‘friends’ were male. I was a huge believer that men and women could be JUST. FRIENDS.
Until almost every one of my guy friends, at one time or another, tried to kiss me.
ALL BUT ONE, my best guy friend in college.
And he got a girlfriend and ditched me because he fell in love and his new girlfriend was hogging up all his time. It hurt at the time, but we’re all Facebook friends now and I’m proud of how happy and in love they are, married something like 14 years now, and I get it. Finally.
At the time, I didn’t. I thought *I alone* was above all that petty jealousy stuff and that friendship should matter more than a silly girlfriend.
I don’t think that anymore.
I think, back then… I never cared enough about another person to feel so passionately jealous for them.
I think being in love changes you forever in that way.
And I no longer think men and women can be just friends…at least without one of them wishing it were more, or it becoming more at some point.
I used to inwardly make fun of people who shared a Facebook identity. You know who I mean… their Facebook name is MattJennifer or James n Kristie. So silly… I used to think.
Now I get it.
I used to inwardly make fun of husbands who wouldn’t let their wives have a Facebook account, or men who refuse to add female Facebook friends. Ridiculous… I used to think. We’re all adults here.
Now I get it.
I recently heard a statistic that 40% of all divorces now involve Facebook. That’s scary… but so very believable.
So I get it.
If I had a relationship that I valued, with someone I loved, I too would want to protect it from anything that has the SLIGHTEST POTENTIAL to ruin it.
And as much as I love Facebook, and it pains me greatly to say it…. I hope I would give up Facebook for that person if it were important to him. (Ouch). I hope someday I love someone enough to consider… (sigh. I’m struggling here to get this out)…. that I might… even…. give up my iPhone. I hope it never comes to that, mind you; just sayin’… but I’m using those two things as a hypothetical because I love Facebook and my iPhone only slightly less than I love my children.
At least that’s the way I see it, with the wisdom and perspective gained from sitting here alone in my apartment with nobody but 58 cats and the Lifetime Movie Network to keep me company.
Trust me, I’ve learned THE HARD WAY (hard being an understatement) that good relationships are a rare thing.
Love is hard to get. Relationships are fragile.
If you find a person you love, and have a good relationship that is valuable to you, you should guard it at any cost. They fall apart too easily.
Trust me; I know.
I’ve been surveying my friends about this subject lately. Can men
and women be just friends? Are you ok with your husband having female
friends? How about if YOU had a male friend… would your
husband be ok with that? Would it be ok with your spouse for you to be friends with someone with whom you once had a romantic past?
With the exception of ONE FRIEND, everyone else answered a resounding NO. Not just no, but [insert profanity here] NO.
No, no, no to all of those questions, and complete bewilderment that I would even ASK.
It’s not JUST ABOUT trust: every one of these people has a marriage I would envy, and trust their partners explicitly… but that’s just it. When you find a relationship that rare and special… you want to guard it.
Case in point: One friend mentioned that her husband saw his ex-girlfriend at WalMart. He waved ‘hi’ to her, and my friend felt an irrational jealousy that he had SEEN her… THOUGH HE HAD. NOT. EVEN. TALKED. TO. HER. If he had HAD A CONVERSATION WITH the ex, she would have been LIVID, BLOOD-BOILING, FURIOUS. And these two have one of the best marriages I know of, and they trust each other…
…But love each other enough to guard their relationship like a bear guards her cubs.
And apparently that’s not so crazy: My married friends agreed that they would ALL. feel this way. So would their husbands.
It’s not about trust… It’s about jealously protecting something very valuable to you.
Love is fragile, and the cost of losing it is far too steep.
Trust me; I know.