Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Friends: most overrated and overused word!

Have you ever considered the fact that calling someone your "friend" may not necessarily be a good thing? We already know that the interpretation of the word is subjected to the perceptions of the listener as well as the speaker.

Hmmmm..friends of the opposite sex may view the term really differently and should be explained thoroughly.

Take for instance this scenario:

Guy: Hey, Sally! Thanks for coming out with me tonight! I had a great time!
Gal: Awwww, thanks, Billy. I had a great time too. *gentle kiss on the cheek*
Guy: I'd like go out again with you....soon.
Gal: Me too! I think it's a wonderful idea! You're a "nice" guy. I'm glad we're friends!


It is at the very moment that the definition of friend needs to be emphasized! Dude is trying to get with ole girl and she's placed him in the "Friend Zone". Or has she?

The problem is that dude doesn't know what kind of friend he is to her. Is she open to the advancements? Will she be surprised if he hits her with the"I want to be more than friends" line? But, on the other hand, does she realizes that "nice guy" term generally means the kiss of death to dudes? probably not!

In other instances, people use the word to describe some acquaintance of theirs. Perhaps someone they exchange pleasantries with more than once or twice in a social setting. Even someone that they grew up with.

*note to self*-just because I've known them for 20 yrs, doesn't make them my friend

Here's my questions about the friend label:

Men-Women relationship
1. What does friend mean to you if there is romantic interest in either party?
2. Does the label of friend change to dating because you had sex?
3. Is there a way out of the "Friend Zone"? other than sex, of
4. What do you expect them to do as your friend? Be more creative than "just be there for me" whack a$$ line
5. Are there any words that are synonymous that can be substituted for clarity?

Same Sex relationship
1. What is required for them to lose you as a friend?
2. What makes you think they are your friend? Is it based on not having any problems with them after several weeks/months/years?
3. Is there a system of merit/demerits?
4. How do you determine "best friend(s)?
5. If there is no test of loyalty, do they just remain your friend forever?

Just a few questions. I'd like for us to be creative. Either add more questions or answer questions. I think in the midst of all the chaos regarding relationships in general, the missing ingredient is effective communication. We can start right now!!!! Someone could have saved me from embarrassment, just by telling me that friend really meant.."no..we can't do that..we're friends"...but you're a great guy/gal!

Who is up for the challenge?


Shai said...

I am too wired on coffee now to pontificate on your questions right now. Maybe later. LOL.

I do want to say the loose way "friend" has been used is just an underlay for the overplay. FWB=Friends with Benefits is just a lame azz way to avoid the responsiblities of the relationship and reap all the "benefits."

CapCity said...

DC, I'm doing cursory readings - cuz i really should be back in the real world;-), i stopped at "overrated & overused word" -
MOST of our language is used far TOO liberally without much thought! look at the slang that is slung around casually (& yes, I'm referring to the N word) why stop at the misuse of the word friend, my "N"???

dc_speaks said...

those were still good comments to start with..even though one of you was too busy and the other one was too wired....LOL

we're making up ground already!!

thanks for the already debatable usage of the "N" a liberally strewn about word topic , Cap!

JustMeWriting said...

DAG DUDE....LOL. of course you KNOW I had to respond to, where do I start.
1) I don't use the 'friend' term for strangers...friendship is earned in my book. There has to be a reason I'd even want to give a person that much space in my time. Romantic interest or not...I don't call them friend, a friend is someone I expect not to go anyplace anytime soon.
2) that response should deal with all the other questions too. It theres a 'dating' interest...I just call him...some guy I'm kicking it with...and I don't even epect him to act like my friend...because he's JUST getting to KNOW me..and I he. lol.
3) For the most part I expect my REAL FRIENDS to listen to me..and care about what's going on with me...caring enough to want to help and be honest when I call on them.

JustMeWriting said...

OH... GREAT POST.. I loved the lil skit you had going on... lol.

KIKI said...

First let me start by saying I define the word friend as someone you have shared with or who has shared with you their intimate thoughts; someone you genuinly care about and have concern for. With that being said, here's my take on things...

Romantic relationships: no such thing as friends, unless you were as kids or maybe went to school together. Other than, until it becomes a commited relationship we're just f*ck buddies. What gets me are the men who want women to do the "relationship" things (cook, clean, etc.) but then tell the woman that they're just "friends" and don't want a serious relationship. I dont cook & clean for my friends and I sure as hell don't sleep with them. Feel free to call a maid or a prostitute...friend lol.

Same sex realtionships: No everyone you know is not your friend and just because you know me doesn't make me yours. And what I really hate are the ones who only consider you a friend when they need something. They say that you only have 2 or 3 real friends in your lifetime and I firmly believe that. There are only a handful of people that I would consider a true friend and those are people, again, whom I have shared intimate details of my life with or vice versa and we have been able to trust each other with the information; they have (sorry DC, but had to use the phrase) been there for me...listened when I need to get some shit off my chest, took me to the grocery store when my car broke down, loaned me a few dollars when I fell short on a bill, etc...

A friend is someone you can count on in your time of need and someone you dont mind being there for when they need you.

Excellent post!

JustMeWriting said...

AND another thing. The whole friend thing is USUALLY started by MEN. Everytime a women says she's not interested...what's the first thing you here..."well, can we just be friends and say where things go".
sorry....I forgot to say that the first time.

Khoney330 said...

I agree with what's being said. Friends are people who got you on all sides. Don't mind listening when you need them to, hanging out when you need to get away. I have a couple good friends and quite a few aquaintances. Dating is dating. We can't be friends until we get to know each other well enough to use the term. Bill should definitely find out which category old girl put him in. LOL

dr. Girlfriend said...

Provocative and Great Post D!
I agree with you D; communicating well is essential to the viability of any relationship same sex and opposite sex. I have thought of friend in the same context as Webster-a favored companion or an individual attached to another by affection or admiration, or esteem.

Keeping it creative and fun but perhaps a bit long winded I thought I would address several questions posed in the post via the following framework:
Introducing someone to another person is often quite telling. I like to use the following nomenclature-(this is what I think we all do to some degree without thinking about it)
Using the following scenario of introducing someone I think makes this easier to follow:
“I would like you to meet…
.... an associate of mine":unshared business or social contact
…………….."a colleague of mine":shared social/academic/business contact
……………"acquaintance of mine": a recent or short lived contact with limited exchange that exhibits goodwill
……………."friend of mine": favored companion male or female with more than one exchange and conversation is not unidimensional or transcends more topics than the weather, news or sports
………….."dear friend (my girl, my boy)of mine" a friend that is prioritized within the top percentage of a friend circle
…………"best friend of mine"-prioritized as the top confidant within friend circles may include same sex friend, sibling, parent or spouse
…………"special friend (romantic interest, dating or boyfriend/girlfriend)of mine"-prioritized as a friend with romantic interest, consideration, or involved in monogamous committed relationship
………."significant other" (husband, wife, spouse)–prioritized as a friend in a committed relationship married or living with someone
with romantic involvement

My expectations for my definition of friend includes the minimum criteria-to give respect, to have regard or consideration, to be a good listener.

Yes, I do remember this is your blog D, hope you and the blogger family forgive the dissertation :)

Emanuel Carpenter said...

When I was single and wanted to meet an attractive woman, I let her know right off the bat that I found her sexy, good looking' or just plain wanted to get with her. To loosely quote the movie "Swingers": "If you start off talking about puppy dogs and ice cream, of course you're gonna end up on the friendship tip."

Now that I'm married, friends of the opposite sex had better be just that. Ms. E don't play. I've had my share of friends or fans of my writing who tried to test the limits before I had to give them gentle reminders that I'm happily married to a beautiful woman I've known since childhood and we have two handsome sons.

Sometimes people who once knew each other as friends may have to get to know each other again after some time has passed since they've seen each other. Others can easily just pick up where they left off if the bond was strong.

There's also a thin line between co-workers and others you may only know a bit when it comes to calling them friends or acquaintances.

I even have online friends whom I've never met but I know if I meet them in person not much would change between us.

Guess it all depends on the people.


Girly_Girl said...

Everyone on this blog always has so much to say.

It's like this with me: I call very few people 'friends.' I have a ton of acquaintances, but very few true friends. Friends are something very rare which I am having trouble defining.

dc_speaks said...




IYMS said...

My best friends are those that I've known the longest and gone through the most with of the years. I have confided in them with my deepest secrets and experiences and trust them a great deal. They have indeed stood the test of time. If we don't talk for a while, we pick up where we left off. Unfortunately, we reside in (4) different states. However, with email and unlimited long distance -communication in time of need is not a problem.

In regards to your question about having sex with a friend and it changing the relationship. I think it is very important that people DTR (define the relationship). Of course, you can still be mislead, but at least you made a conscience effort of knowing. Honestly, things have changed so much that alot of people can have sex and it not develop into a serious relationship. This is unfortunate when you think of it from a public health perspective since they are probably having sex with others at the same time.

Well, I have more thoughts on this but, I'll stop while I'm ahead. Great topic!

dc_speaks said...

sorry ladies,
@just me...I see you had a lot of relevant points...i'm glad you shared them..not sure i totally agree on the men being the first to throw it out there but i do see your point..I liked it!

@dr girlfriend...whew..girl we have got to get you a blog are holding in some great comments that could be shared amongst the peep. feel free to leave a comment of any length..although i initiated it, it is for US...not just me!'re keping it real and to the point. I appreciate the way you personalized the topic and brought it know you my Nukka!!!

@khoney..i am definitely gald that you came on into the fold...keep on coming's a lot of good people around these parts!! we always are long winded on this know how we do, MF!!!

dc_speaks said...

oops..u came in while i was typing the other comment IYMS...

very very very to keep it safe! I appreciate that comment straight up!!

DTR--thats always the best way to handle any relationship..good comment!

Lo said...

RE #3 under the section "Men-Women Relationship"...

Who says sex takes someone out of the "Friend Zone"?

Just asking. ;-)

California Dove said...

A friend is someone who got you back no matter what.

If you need to 'ride out'-you know who to call

If you want some 'quality time' without the strings- Call him/her up.

Why make the easy things difficult. Dont use titles.

dc_speaks said...

Lo....ur funny! That's just what I heard...==whistling===my input data came from some men and women that say once they's changes everything..

CA Dove...very interesting comment. I love what IYMS said about defining the relationship...but like you, I really don't like labels.

This is cool feedback!

Shai said...

I find when folks avoid labels or defining a relationship it leaves room for messiness. Too much room for interpretation when it is so easy to say this person is a friend and what kind. If it is too hard to define or label then something is definitely wrong.

CortneyGee said...

When Im out with a lady and she says we are just friends it's the most infriendly shit that she can say to me .. their sholuld be a date refund when they realize that they think of you as a friend... well there should be a refund if they went in knowing they weren't trying to be more than friends . Just so there is no questions of my intentions I normally let it be known look I would like for this evening to end with me nestled naked next to you in orgasmic bliss ...

Women normally know if they are going to break you off a piece in the first 5-15 minutes of meeting you .. two things happen to change that .. One men we talk our way out of the opportunity or Two someone or something comes into their life that they have been pursuing and you become an after thought.

I'm sure anyone on this blog that thought to be MY FRIEND has put me on the do not do list long ago so I write freely

KIKI said...

I'm with you, Shai...tell me what's really what, that way there are no misunderstandings down the road as to where we satnd with each other. I hate the guessing game!

dc_speaks said... the comment Cortney Gee!

Lance said...

sorry, i'm late in this mug....great post & comments, my bad...

til next time...

dc_speaks said...

never late're always welcome!

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