I’ma Do Me, Thanks Though

I’ve been told that grown-ups befriend their exes. In a way that makes me feel like I’m a failure for not always choosing to do that.

But there are really good reasons to not be friends.

If you still have feels, if you still live in a world where you can imagine being in love with that person, then you should not be friends with your ex, no matter what anyone tells you. You don’t need to put yourself in the friend zone. That isn’t friendship, it’s torturing yourself. You shouldn’t put your friends in the uncomfortable situation of having to help you stay there. You shouldn’t be in a place where you’re unhappy just to make someone else feel better. Ever.

So be you. And be you without this person. Because that can be a happier, better you and that’s worth everything. At least for now.

Hope, Intimacy

I Am The Master Of My Fate And The Captain Of My Soul

Once upon a time I loved someone who didn’t love me back.

I loved him and loved him and told myself that I could love him into loving me too.  That if I held on long enough and was a good enough friend to him that he would see how his platonic love for me was just a facade for his deeper feelings for me.  I could show him that the qualities he liked about me, he secretly loved about me.

And I did that thing we do where I decided that the next best thing to getting what you want is to be very nearby to what you want and watch it like an obsessive hawk.  It’s not actually the next best thing.  The next best thing is to leave.

And then he kissed me.  And it was like I was a ghost. I remember when I was younger someone told me that when you have sex with someone, you can feel how they feel about you.  That was what this kiss was like.  I could taste his lack of enthusiasm, smell his carelessness, hear the lack of excitement in his breath.

And I thought, “I’m exciting.  I’m awesome.  And if you’re not excited by me then I don’t want to be with you.”  And the moment I thought the words, they became true.

I realized that I would be happier letting go of someone who could never make me happy, than I would be if I forced him to placate me and try to love me.  I decided that his attempt at loving me wasn’t good enough and I gave up on him.  I just stopped caring.  Simple as that.  And I was freed.

Sometimes you have to give up the dream of a love with someone to make room for a reality of a love with someone else.  And that’s very much okay.

Whenever I tell this story people are sad for me.  But I’m not sad about it.  I’m not sad for what was lost because what I lost that day was something I don’t miss.  It’s not that I got tired of pushing the boulder up the mountain.  It’s that I stopped wanting the boulder to be on top of the mountain.  I took back the power that he neither wanted nor deserved.  And now that power belongs to someone who respects it.  Me.

It’s not really helpful to talk about because me telling you how wonderful this feeling is won’t help you achieve it.  I guess it’s just to say that it gets better.

It get’s awesome.

Bodies, Confidence, Deviant/Default, Friendship

Friend Zone Believers Are Not My Friends

One of my lady friends recently sent me a great blog to follow and it’s been making me so happy that I want it to make you happy too! Enter Captain Awkward who answers any of those pesky questions you’ve been having about anything potentially awkward or social.

The good Cap’n wrote something I’d like to look at for a bit.

First, I’d like to signal-boost this post which perfectly sums up everything I hate about the idea of the Friend Zone. We all get crushes, right? And sometimes those crushes are on our friends, or we get crushes that turn into friendships. If your friends are awesome, and you’re with me on the “don’t date people who aren’t as cool as your friends” train, it’s bound to happen to you sooner or later. Describing that as “The Friend Zone” implies that you feel a sense of entitlement towards that person and think they owed you something different. If it’s not a friendship that sustains itself once the possibility of getting laid/loved is off the table? Simple. Don’t be friends with people you don’t value for their own sake. [x]

This is what made me fall in love with the Captain and it relates to something else I read recently, something related but taking a different perspective, in my humble opinion, the wrong one.  This article has some VERY problematic stuff in it but it makes one point that is true.  One of the ways in which patriarchy has propagated misogyny is by promising every media-consuming little boy a hot girlfriend just for breathing regardless of if she’s really interested in him.

When the Karate Kid wins the tournament, his prize is a trophy and Elisabeth Shue. Neo saves the world and is awarded Trinity. Marty McFly gets his dream girl, John McClane gets his ex-wife back, Keanu “Speed” Reeves gets Sandra Bullock, Shia LaBeouf gets Megan Fox in Transformers, Iron Man gets Pepper Potts, the hero in Avatar gets the hottest Na’vi, Shrek gets Fiona, Bill Murray gets Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters, Frodo gets Sam, WALL-E gets EVE … and so on.

Hell, at the end of An Officer and a Gentleman, Richard Gere walks into the lady’s workplace and just carries her out like he’s picking up a suit at the dry cleaner. [x]

What I find so very problematic about the article that this originates from is that the writer later reveals himself to be the kind of guy who uses the term ‘friend-zone’ in earnest.

Believing in the existence of friend-zoning means that you think women (who you deserve to sleep with by nature of the existence of their vaginas) choose not to sleep with you only to be cruel and not because they have autonomy/desires/a lack of attraction to you or one of a whole slew of other good reasons to choose not to sleep with you.

Between his tone and his #3 rule about his penis having a brain of its own that is bigger than the one in his head, he once again shoots all women in the foot by bringing it back to how men really are the victim.  As he puts it:

Science doesn’t seem to totally understand why the “base urges” part of the brain reacts differently in men. Maybe it’s just a matter of having 10 times as much testosterone in their system, or maybe society has trained us to be like this, or maybe we’re all spoiled children. My theory is that evolution needs males who will stay horny even in times of crisis or distress, and thus cuts off the brain’s ability to tamp down those urges. Whatever — nailing down the cause isn’t the point.

I disagree, I think the cause is very important.  This is not biology, this is far away from Darwin.  Meanwhile in the post which the Captain was signal-boosting:

Women are told almost constantly—by the media, the government, and the overall attitude of society—that our bodies don’t fu*king belong to us. The mythical friendzone is just another way for misogynists to enforce that idea while getting to play the victim. [x]

Don’t get me wrong, I can go on about why patriarchy is bad for men but that’s not what this guy bemoaning his ‘love/hate relationship’ with his penis talking about.  What he means is that because he was born with a Y chromosome he is always going to want and think about sex and so women should cover up so he won’t get an embarrassing (boo freaking hoo) boner in public.

At this point I’d like to say that the next time someone tells you that ‘men are just hornier than women’ you should direct them to me so I can tell them about my female friends.  My female friends who knock very loudly on each others doors and shout ‘are you masturbating?’ before entering.  My friends who use OKCupid to solicit very scandalous things.  My friends who are good buddies with Chrome’s Incognito feature.  My housemates who, when the internet was slow, would say ‘it’s all that James Deen I’m downloading upstairs.’  Men are NOT just naturally hornier than women.

Men are told that they are allowed to be who they are including their perfectly natural sexual desires on top of the message that wanting more sex makes you more manly while women are told that they should be ‘pure’ sexless beings regardless of their actual desires on top of the message that wanting sex will make them (dare I say it) less feminine/desirable/marriageable.  Combine these things and what do you get?  A lot of men with a varied sexual libidos acting like they want sex all the time and a lot of women with varied sexual libidos acting like they don’t want sex all the time.

This is not biology.  This is the cultural kool-aid you’re drinking and brewing and bathing your children in.

People (worthwhile, mature people at the very least) do not reject other people out of spite, they reject people because they are not attracted to them for one reason or another.  Believers in the friend zone, get over it, someone isn’t attracted to you.  How fortunate that there are other human beings in this world for you to flirt with.