when people don’t believe that a man and a woman can be close friends without romantic feelings lurking under the surface on one or both parts.
My best friend on this campus is a man. Since wresting that title from the women on this campus who used to share it, he has also managed to supersede people from home who have known me since the days of Lunchables and Sailor Moon. Not only do I never feel like I have to pretend to be anything I’m not when I’m talking to or hanging out with him, I also never feel like I can’t be anything I am–those are very different sentiments, even if they initially seem like two sides of the same coin, and I’ve actually never had that before. We can communicate with just a look, and finish each other’s sentences, and I feel like he truly and thoroughly gets me. I have this wonderful feeling of home-ness when I’m around him or talking to him that I hope never dissipates.
But I’m not romantically interested in him in the least. First off, while I recognize that he’s a beautiful man, I’m not attracted to him. Sometimes we party together and will find a section of a dance floor to dance around each other in, but I can’t imagine actually touching him while we’re dancing. I find the thought of grinding with him both disturbing and hilarious. I actually can’t even bring myself to imagine kissing him. I don’t even want to think about his dick. Even typing this has me skeeved out. We very rarely make physical contact of any sort, but I can come to him crying because my boyfriend just dumped me or because my mom is going to be in the hospital for a month and he will help me put myself back together again with just his words and the way he cares.
But when I casually mentioned to two of my former roommates that he and I had talked about maybe living together next year if he also got a job in D.C., they started making skeptical and disapproving faces at one another. I asked them what was wrong, and they both said, “Nothing.” It was obviously something, so I pressured them on it, and M finally said, “Don’t you think living with him is a bad idea?” I don’t understand why it would be, and said as much to them. They launched into this big spheel about how living together will bring feelings that I don’t know that I have to the surface and how I’ll be jealous seeing him with other girls and yada yada yada. I was listening to them spewing this nonsense and this scene from Awkward Black Girl actually played in my head:
They could have asked things about how neat/messy he is, or whether we fight about silly stuff that would get really annoying in a shared space. They could have brought up the fact that living with J almost destroyed our friendship sophomore year, which is both valid and relevant. But no, these bitches–who actually know me quite well–basically went straight to this idea that I’m already in love with him and just in denial and how living together would force me to quit playing.
I wanted to rebut that I didn’t fall for either of them when we lived together, even though we were very good friends, but Idk how much they know about my recently embraced non-heterosexuality and didn’t feel like putting my shit on blast in the middle of an already tense conversation.
I don’t understand why people assume that having a very emotionally intimate relationship with a person is, by definition, a precursor to wanting a physically intimate relationship with that person. Do I love him? In some ways, more than I’ve ever loved anyone. In other ways, not. at. all. There are countless ways to love a person, and I don’t think any of them necessitate any other. It deeply offends me that these ladies seem to think I’m incapable of non-romantic love with a male-gendered person I like to share various aspects of my life with.