The Continuing Adventures of Karma’s OnLine Dating (Entry 60): I don’t want to be friends
May 2nd, 2017 by Dr Karma

I’m not on OKCupid to make friends.

I hate sounding like a reality tv personality–why are guys putting me in this position?

Have I become friends with a couple of guys that I met through OKC? Yes–some of them didn’t work out romantically, but I thought they might, which is why I talked with them and hung out with them in the first place.

They’re probably reading this now.

Hi, guys!

I’m friends with two people whom I never went out on a date with–distance, etc. was a factor. But I was interested in them as people–they had compelling profiles and so I answered when they messaged me.

Hi, guys!

And then there’s most guys. The ones with the boring profiles. The ones who are conservative Christians. The ones with no profiles. Etc. Etc. Etc.

To paraphrase:

Him: Hi.

Me: Not interested.

Him: Sure you are.

Me: So not.

Him: Okay, then let’s be friends.

Me: No.

And that makes me feel like an asshole.

But I don’t.

I’m not lonely. I’m not bored.

My social life is so full, so vibrant. I have an amazing social network.

Sometimes people express sympathy for me because I’m far from my family. And I’m like “what?” because my friends here in Cali are my family. I’m the aunt to so many kids. The emergency contact for them and their parents. And they’re that to me.

And here’s the sad thing–I don’t get to spend enough time with them. They’re busy. I’m insanely busy. There are people I love who work in the same building with me. I haven’t laid eyes on them in months. And we want to see each other.

So, random guy, if I’ll I’ve ever said is no to you, please don’t ask me to be friends. I’m not making time to have coffee with you in Folsom or wherever to start a friendship.

And yes, maybe you’re secretly awesome, and I’m missing out.

But probably not.

In fact, it’s likely that you don’t want to be friends with me, either.

You’re hoping that I’ll invest all this time in being friends with you. I’ll be swept up in desire and at least let you fuck me. Or I’ll fall in love with you and change my mind about not wanting kids, or not wanting to date smokers, or not wanting to date members of the alt-right, or not wanting to date homophobes, or not wanting to date just flat out boring people who won’t even write a sentence about themselves in an ad they’ve created to lure me in.

A couple of months ago, a guy totally gave the “friends” trick away. He lived far away–another country far. I said no thank you. He said let’s be friends. I said no thank you. He said that love doesn’t know distances and he could tell I was the woman for him, blah, blah, blah. So that friend thing was bullshit–a gambit–a trick.

A conservative Christian was flummoxed the other day when I said I wasn’t interested in being friends with him: “In fact it’s the first time in my life that somebody refuses to treat me in that categorical way.” [I think he meant, it’s the first time someone has refused him based on his beliefs.]

In my last post, I mentioned that I woke up to a few messages. Here’s how one of those conversations went, with annotations.

A guy with a shirtless bathroom selfie messages me. His profile is blank.

Him: Are you open to something casual?

I answer because my no should be the end of it.

Me: I wouldn’t need OKC to find something casual. 🙂
I’m looking for someone to date.

Him: Well thats what it would be. Its just that i live in porterville, ca and i travel to stocktob about 2 times a month. So im looking for someone to see “casually”(date). While im there in town.

See how he says “[that’s] what it would be”? As if I expressed any interest at all in him? As if he has something to negotiate here?

Me: I understand that, but I’m not interested.
Your profile is blank; you’ve only answered 5 questions, but we’re 71% enemies.
Why should I give up on what I want in a relationship for someone I know almost nothing about and who I’m probably not compatible with anyway?

Him: Well thats why we get to know each other.

A friendship could always come out of it.

Did I say, “gee, you’re so awesome. Even though I’ve shown no outward interest, I really would like to get to know you. Blank profiles are so mysterious. I long to know about the deep soul that’s surely lingering underneath your abs”?

Me: If you read my profile, you know I don’t like to answer people who have blank profiles and who haven’t answered questions.
I have to know a little bit about someone to be interested enough to want to get to know them. All I know about you is that you can’t give me what I’m looking for.
And I’m not on here for friends–I have a very vibrant social network. I’m never lonely or without something to do.
I want a partner to share my life with–that can’t be you, obviously.

My first response to another recent message was, I thought, perfectly clear: Hi; thanks for your message. The answers to your questions make it pretty clear that you’re wanting the marriage/kids package–we wouldn’t be a good fit. 🙁 

Him: I’m looking to make new friends. Cause you never know the out come.  

Yes, I do. The outcome is that you, like SO many guys before, think I’ll change my mind about having kids with you.

I didn’t even answer another guy after he suggested friendship, mostly because I’m tired of feeling like an asshole by saying I’m not interested in friendship.

He is a smoker, a sexual anarchist (no rules. about anything. ever.), and a guy who says he’s not smiling in his pictures because he has no teeth.



2 Responses  
  • Melissa Bender writes:
    May 4th, 20175:59 pmat

    Wow, Karma. I’ve had more than my fair share of face-to-face conversations with guys who are evidently not taking in my half of the conversation. Your post this week clearly demonstrates that, even when some guys have the words right in front of their eyes, they aren’t “listening,” even when there’s no subtext or ambiguity. My undergraduate students are more discerning readers than these guys.

    My experiences also tell me that guys like this are not very visually perceptive. Once, the guy who was sitting next to me at a bar, telling me all about himself and asking nothing about me, finally came up with a question. “Is she,” pointing at the woman sitting next to me, “your sister?”

    I was holding hands with the woman next to me–holding hands strategically to demonstrate that I was not available and not interested. “She” was my girlfriend.

    Now I realize that, in some parts of the world it is an accepted cultural practice for adult women who are friends or sisters to hold hands in public. But we were in Sacramento and this guy was, based on his pratlling on about himself, evidently born and raised in the U.S. Plus, aside from the fact that we are both white, my girlfriend and I bear no resemblance to one another. And she has an English accent.

    Then there was the guy who approached me with the line, “You’re sending the wrong signals with your body language.”

    My arms were crossed in front of me. After a few minutes of listening to him explain the science of body language and the art of meeting people, I had to interrrupt him:

    “Actually, my body language is just right. I was aiming to avoid talking to strange men.”

    I have to conclude that guys like this are deaf and blind to anything other than their own agenda.

  • Nicole B. writes:
    August 18th, 201712:19 pmat

    I have been obsessively pondering this “friend concept” lately. As a woman, I have spent my 20’s and most of my 30’s making the mistake of allowing men to become friends with me without making sure first that they were friend material. To me, a friend is loyal, a friend is, like you said in a post, “a person who can be your emergency contact.” I think a friend can have different values and beliefs.

    I think there are acquaintances, there are friends, and then there are significant others. They layer upon themselves, rightfully so, and how can you been a friend to someone, when they won’t even be a acquaintance first? When you don’t know them? One needs to know if the person is going to be there for you if you are there for them, and a friend can break your heart just like a lover. For a long time in American society, men and women were not usually friends, as women stayed home and were not in the workplace. I think there is a cultural backlash against married men and woman being friends with someone outside of their marriage, but I think it is normal. Which is why, as woman if I agree to be your friend, I need to know you won’t be your secret and slam my door on your face.

    I don’t think though, when pressured, a woman should have to explain herself. There will always be people that try and push another’s boundaries; but that doesn’t make it okay. Men usually know, that between each other (man to man), that friendship is something that develops naturally, and with respect to one’s word and character. Hell, there are even business rules and ethics that take these things into account. Women are taught to be nice, to laugh and a man’s jokes, even if they don’t find them funny. We teach elementary kids to be friends with each other, but maybe we should teach them to be friendly, be acquaintances and then they find a true friend, know how precious that is. I am fine with being acquaintances, but don’t expect me to be a friend unless you deserve to be. If you deserve to be, and I’m dating you, then it could be a start to a beautiful relationship.

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