Sunday, September 18, 2011

I like you too much as a friend

Today on Sunday, Sunday, September 18, 2011, Page 9, Speakeasy
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By Georgina Chang, 09:01 AM Sep 18, 2011

PHOTO: Fallen in love at first sight

PHOTO: Georgina Chang
Georgina Chang is the senior creative director for Lush and 987FM, and the co-host for Lush Mornings on Thursdays 7-10am.

I have ... several times.

Yes, I realise now that it's actually lust and not love but I do know within the first 30 seconds if I'm attracted or not. Then I choose if I want to get to know him on a "potential" life-partner basis or on a purely platonic-forever (Speculative or theoretical) basis. It's usually one or the other. Uncomplicated.

So I could never fathom it when people relate stories of how they weren't interested in each other at all when they first met but became best friends and then fell in love.

According to a survey by 49 per cent of singles were not attracted to the person but, after they became best friends, they hooked up.

PHOTO: For those who fell in love at first sight it was like meeting someone’s eyes and telling yourself he or she is the person meant for you.

If you were not physically attracted in the beginning, how do you suddenly change your mind and want to get sexually intimate? I understand that, for most women, foreplay begins in the mind. So she could eventually be drawn to his stability, humour or generosity.

What about guys though? They are generally visual creatures. If you didn't find her hot at first, how did you later decide you want to ravish her? And since I think a lot like a guy, I can't quite make that mental leap either.

PHOTO: If you didn't find her hot at first, how did you later decide you want to ravish her?
Picture of Meet Joe Black

I also wonder if it's awkward to recalibrate your demeanour (the way a person behaves towards others; conduct) to each other. Don't you feel the urge to giggle if you start feeling up your best friend's bits?

Also, one day you're confiding about that strange wound that never heals (stuff you only tell best friends about) and the next, you're making out furiously? How do you block out unsavoury thoughts about that noxious wound?

PHOTO: Do we choose our mates by smell?

Like that wound, it's all about the deep dark secret(s) you've shared as best friends. I would tell my nearest and dearest friends my worst thoughts and things I've done. Yes, they chastise or counsel me but they don't have to live with that day and night.

As a couple, you do have to put up with it. So how does one ignore those flaws and embarrassing personal skeletons? Likewise, you can fart, burp, pick your nose and not wash your hair for days in front of your best buddy with little fear of reprisal.

PHOTO: Known as "autumn sakura," for the Japanese, it was love at first sight.

But when it's romantic, surely there has to be a period of time where you're on your best behaviour? How do you suddenly stop these basal (basic) human tendencies, only to start again when you're supposedly comfortable with each other?

Then what if you realise that you love hanging out but it's just not so fun under the sheets? How does one revert to being platonic friends when you've seen each other naked? It sounds far too complicated to me.

I agree that it's wonderful to marry your best friend. I just prefer to develop that bond of trust and intimacy during the courtship and not before when there wasn't any initial attraction.

PHOTO: Heartsong Connection
"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes." Psalm 118:8-9

I do like the uncertainty, discovery and sexual tension of the wooing period. With the best friend that you've been hanging out with in an old T-shirt, torn bermudas and slippers, you can't suddenly insist that he put on a pressed shirt and take you to a place where they use real cutlery instead of disposable ones.

It's so delicious to slowly get to know the person you feel attraction for and such joy to realise he has qualities you respect and admire. It's great to be able to spend quality time together as you build your friendship and physical compatibility.

PHOTO: Sheep Love at First Sight

Now this is where my greatest worry lies: If the relationship doesn't work out, you'll quite likely lose the friendship forever too. Even if you remain on friendly terms, both your future partners won't be enthusiastic about you continuing as best friends.

Then there's the tussle for the mutual friends before the relationship started. Who will they invite to their birthday parties without making things awkward for the other? It's so harrowing.

PHOTO: Love-at-first-sight

I'd love to have a life partner, someone to hold my hand and tell me that everything will be okay. But it's more important for me to have the people I love and trust to be in my life forever. I'm not willing to jeopardise a great friendship for a physical romantic interlude that may not pan out.

I have several male friends that I've known for years and I love dearly, and they love me for the extroverted, vivacious and outspoken woman that I am. They are attractive men, but we've never crossed that line and I believe that's why we're still such dear friends now, and I know that they are my friends forever.

I don't want to risk what it is now, for what it could be.

By Georgina Chang, 09:01 AM Sep 18, 2011
Georgina Chang is the senior creative director for Lush and 987FM, and the co-host for Lush Mornings on Thursdays 7-10am.

PHOTO: The concept of love at first sight’ is thought to have originated in the classical world, where it meant an intense, passionate love delivered by the mythological character Cupid and his arrows when a person beheld the object of their affections for the first time. The Greeks described it as ‘madness from the gods’, and also came up with the idea of ‘love sickness’, a feeling of overwhelming longing and desire, arising when one of Cupid’s arrows pierces the heart.