Things I am Forgiving My Friends For in Terms of Dating

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As young adults, we kind of had this ‘girl pact’: if you did anything to betray your girl friends for a guy, it became automatic grounds for removal from the friend group. This included, but was not limited to, dating your best friend’s boyfriend, ditching your friends for a guy, lying to your friends over a guy, and dating a guy your friends told you not to. However, now that I am a little older, and dating is becoming a little more serious, there are a few things I am forgiving my friends for in terms of dating:

Not responding back to that guy: It used to be that you got mad at your friend when she was a bitch to a guy. Like, what did that poor, nice, innocent guy ever do to deserve the silent treatment? However, as I am learning, sometimes you just gotta be a bitch for the betterment of the guy. When you know you are not interested, and it’s not going to work out, and it’s going to be a waste of both of your time and emotional energy, it’s your moral obligation to NOT lead him on, and sometimes, NOT leading him on just means not responding to any of his messages. And, when he still isn’t getting the hint, sometimes you have to be the ultimate bitch, and just let him know you don’t like him. It sucks, but it really is for the betterment of society.

Calling that “Ex”: It used to be that you instructed your post-dumped friend, “Lose his number. Don’t call him. He doesn’t even deserve the time of day”. And, if your friend did call him, you got mad at her, because she went again your advice However, sometimes, you just have to call that ex one more time for insurance that it isn’t going to work out. It’s healthier than you just ruminating constantly about whether it would work or not. Sometimes, after you have been dumped, and after you have had time to process some of those emotions to lead to more questions, and you are still lingering about it, you have to call one last time for clarity that you were the worst possible match for each other.  Or, that perhaps you needed to know that there are indeed still some feelings involved…

Ditching me: It used to be that friends ALWAYS came first, and it would have been social suicide to ditch your friends for your boyfriend. I once went on a date in high school that I invited my friends to, because I wanted didn’t want to ditch my friends, but I also wanted to go on the date (and pretty sure his mom came to pick us all up at the end…). But, because dating is now more serious, and because if you potentially get married, you will be expected to put each other first, no matter what, sometimes your friends have to ditch you in order to be with their significant others. A couple weeks ago, my sister and I had plans to go out. Then, her boyfriend got a piece of metal in his eye, and she elected to stay home with him instead. I had to understand that ditching me was the right thing in this situation, because dating is preparation for marriage, and in marriage, she would be expected to put him first.

Dating what I perceive is ‘dating down’: It used to be that dating out of your league could also be social suicide; if I dated the president of the chess club, then how would I ever attract the star of the football team? However, the older I get, the more I am convinced that there really isn’t such thing as ‘leagues’, but rather people you get along with, and people who treat you well. While I know my friend very well as a person, I don’t necessarily always know my friend in a relationship. My friend could be the most social, awesome person ever, and in a relationship, she could actually be very insecure and very immature. My friend could be the most caring person in the world, and in a relationship, she could be very closed off and distant. Because I have never officially dated my friend, I can’t judge what she is like in a relationship, so what I perceive as ‘dating down’ could actually be dating up for her. I am not there on their first date and I am not there when my friend has those crucial heart to heart conversations and I am not there when they decide to call things off. I don’t know what they have together, so I really cannot judge.

Making mistakes: It used to be that, if you made a mistake, everyone knew about it, so you had to be very careful about what you were doing. If you ‘randomly came across’ your crush’s screen name on AIM and started chatting him, everyone would know about it. If you told him you liked him, everyone would know about it. And, if you ended up going on a date with him and kissing him awkwardly on your front porch, everyone would know about it. As I friend, I warned you against doing these things. However, as I get older, I realize that we all need to make mistakes, because that is how we learn who we want to end up with. Just last week, a friend of mine went on this horrible date. When she shared the voicemail with us, we all knew he was not her type, but she needed to go on the date anyways just to see. From it, she solidified the fact that she appreciates chivalry, she doesn’t like insurance agents, and she will never, ever go on a date again with a guy who is 20 minutes late. Sometimes, you have to make these ‘mistakes’, but, as a friend, I just hope the mistakes you make are meaningful, and not detrimental.

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