How could I be so stupid? Friend or Foe…

14 Jun
Frankly darling, we don’t really want to be your friend

Intro to series

There seems to be a marked increase in the levels of romance stupidity. Reported cases of grown and independent ladies falling for silly boys, despite the fact they’re in their mid-to late-20’s are on the rise! Over the last few years, I have received calls from several female friends asking for my frank assessment of their various predicaments and I could not pass up an opportunity to open a can of “I told you so” whoopass. However as time passed, it became less about that and more about “why did you let it happen again?” Last night I spoke to a friend who had just crossed the line with a guy who she’d met a few weeks ago and thought he was going to be a friend for life. It was only afterwards when he said “Don’t pretend that you didn’t know what was going on!” did she realise her folly.

Relationships differ greatly from one to the other as the dynamics of people in each change the game for better or worse. However there are certain fundamental principles and pitfalls which form a common denominator for all relationship problems which I’ve heard. I have therefore decided to write some short and greatly simplified articles on some of the most common relationship issues I’ve been privy to over time, from friendships to marriage. I begin with this most universal of scenarios – the new guy in your life who just wants to be “friends”.

What does nature have to teach?

I feel the need to explain something to all the women who’ve not yet figured it out. When you meet a new guy who pays you inordinate amounts of attention, odds are he doesn’t want to be your friend – at least not in the short term. When I was about ten I watched a wildlife documentary in which some lions hunted and killed an antelope. It went something like this:

1.   Preparation

The lions had just brought down an antelope. After eating their fill they re-housed themselves some distance from another antelope herd. Antelopes know that lions are insidious, carnivorous hunters and antelope is a regular choice on their menu. No matter how bad the famine, the lion will never eat grass. But the lions are a distance away and they’ve not attacked – so perhaps these lions are different. Besides, if they do attack, we have safety in distance and therefore will escape.

2.   Patience and Progress

The next day, the lions moved a little closer to the antelope herd. Hmm (thinks antelopes), lions were there yesterday and did nothing, they’re behaving themselves today…they’ll likely not attack, plus there’s still decent distance between us.

3.   Pounce!

And thus the cycle continues…until the lions are once again hungry. By this stage the antelope is looking at the pack of lions as friends. ‘While they’re around the other antelope herds stay off our territory. Let them get closer if they want, they’ll probably never catch us anyway. Oh, where are they? I swear they were there a moment ago…it’s quiet..what’s that sound? Oh crap..that one has just popped up from the long grass and is heading in my direction in a very determined manner..and so is that one approaching from the south-west, and the third which is..(this is bad)…RUN!’ The last thing antelope sees are the hungry eyes of its ‘benevolent’ friend looking very intently at its neck before going for the jugular.

4.   Preparation

The lion pack eats its fill then heads off in search of another antelope herd to cosy up to for a few days. After all, this herd is now wise to their act so they’ll need time to forget.

What does that have to do with me?

These tactics should be sounding very familiar to some of you out there – because you’ve had it happen to you. (Not because you once had an unfortunate experience on an African Safari, but because the lion has demonstrated the use of strategy which men have used for centuries on unsuspecting women). Compare the scenarios:

1.   Preparation

A man has just finished a meal, sorry – a ‘relationship’. He now needs to find his next conquest. He can take his time for now though, the last conquest left him feeling full and satisfied, but it doesn’t hurt to start planning for the next girl before the horny, sorry – hunger kicks in again. So the man and his friends hit the town and somewhere along the way he buys a girl a drink and takes her number. She had seen him looking from a distance. She’d heard about this guy from her friends, he’s a player, and he’ll chew you up and spit you out. But he’s been nothing short of charming and has made no physical or sexual advances. We can be friends, it doesn’t hurt to just talk. Besides, if he tries anything, I can certainly get away.

2.   Patience and Progress

As the weeks trickle past she finds herself talking to him late at night and sharing more of her intimate secrets. He begins to earn her trust. She’s still a little wary but he seems like a pussycat right now. He has not tried anything. There is still decent distance between us.

3.   Pounce!

And thus the cycle continues. He moves ever closer and she surrenders even more of the precious space which will allow her to escape should he decide to pounce. Soon she’s accompanying him on shopping trips to be the “female eye”. They’re going to the movies together. Soon they’re watching movies on his sofa. Then one day she’s in his house and he comes out of the shower and asks her to step out of the room. She’s found herself thinking about him more and more recently and now that he’s shimmering like a sparkler and throwing his sexuality about like pixie dust, she’s momentarily relieved of her common sense. No such thing has happened with him. His senses are very much intact right now. One sense in particular now screams for attention.  He’s been slowly getting hungry for a while and now he’s famished. She did not leave the room immediately. He can sense her indecision. It’s time!

4.   Preparation

A few minutes or seconds later (depending on the man), he rolls over and holds her gently. He drives her home in silence and kisses her goodbye. She soon tires of waiting for him to call and takes the initiative. He’s a little colder and abrupt on the phone than he used to be. Something’s changed. He wonders why she’s “nagging” him all of a sudden. Oh well, that was good stuff. Time to move on to the next…

It’s not that simple…or is it?

Now I realise that I have greatly simplified things here and in reality there are many more ingredients in this particular relationship melting pot. However I’ve just cited the exact sequence of events two of my female friends were involved in recently. It’s worthwhile stating now that not all men adopt this tactic. Some men simply just want to be your friend – or get to know you. There may not always be an ulterior motive. Not all men are predators, but most men are. It’s in our nature. You’ll need to make the call on which ones can be trusted. Truth be told, most of the time, you know as soon as you’ve spoken to him for five minutes.

Feel free to leave feedback. I will certainly do my best to reply all.

The next article I will write on this is one of the most debated but most sensitive out there when it comes to relationships. It’s a question we have all asked numerous times… “How did I fall so fast and how do I get him/ her out of my mind?”

Until then.

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