I love men. I love the anxiousness of the first few months of dating and I love the exact moment in the relationship when you realize you’re on the cusp of falling in love. But as amazing as male companionship is there’s nothing like female bonding.
Within the last six years, my best girlfriends have relocated out of state. With my girls living elsewhere, I made a conscious decision to make more friends here in the city. I met Leslie* about two years ago. She was bright, super cute, funny, and ambitious and we had a lot in common so we agreed to hang out. We lunched a few times, grabbed sushi a few nights after work, saw a couple movies. We connected on the surface-you know where you enjoy the person’s company but the little voice in your head tells you to hold back on certain details because you’re still trying to get a read. And each time we hung out, I asked myself, “I wonder where this friendship is going?”
I mean, really, how many lunches, dinners, and movie dates must one go on before you have something solid? Before you feel a deeper connection. Before you can move past the casual banter of work and cute shoes and favorite TV shows, and delve into the important stuff like dating woes and sex and crazy co-workers. Or call her crying not because you’re missing the stupid jerk you call an ex, but crying because you can’t believe you’re thirty-something and still crying over the stupid jerk you call an ex.
I never got to this point with Leslie*. Seven or eight months of hanging out and things started to get weird. A few months would go by and I wouldn’t hear from her despite my texts and voicemails. The first time this happened, I sent a text saying “hey you doin’ alright? Haven’t heard from you in a while” No response. Then one day she called out of the blue; bubbly and excited, talking a mile a minute and running down a list of things we needed to do together. I hung up strangely excited to hear from her, but slightly annoyed that she had failed to acknowledge my previous attempts to reach her.
At this point, I can hear Maya Angelou screaming, “When people show you who they are THE FIRST TIME, BELIEVE THEM!!” But I gave Leslie the benefit of the doubt and we made plans to hook up. No doubt, we had a great time and blew air kisses to each other at the end of the night with promises to meet for lunch “soon”. And then she dropped off the face of the earth. Again.
Recently, I text Leslie with a question. No response. So I waited a few days and then text her again asking if she received my message. She responded. Three days later. But no “Hi!” or “Hey girl, sorry for the delay, been busy LOL, smiley face”. Nope, none of that. Just a two-word response. As a matter of fact her response was so short and seemingly distant, that I almost forgot my original question. I re-read her text a few times, and the entire time I’m frowning at my Blackberry; and then I did something I should’ve done months ago. I deleted her number. After two years, I’d had enough.
I’m realistic, I’m not asking that every friendship be like those that I have with my besties, but I am looking for a connection. A meaningful, respectful connection that has the IT factor. Because when I think about it, from the moment I met each of my girls I knew they were supposed to be in my life. I knew that we were meant to be friends. Granted I didn’t know that we would become as close as we did, there was a spark, a comfort and a trust that has existed from day one.
Someone once pointed out that it can be harder to make meaningful relationships once you’re out of college. You enter into “the real world” and your social network becomes limited to co-workers, folks you meet at networking events and gym buddies. But what I’m also reminded is that regardless of where or how you meet people, deep connections just happen. There are no set rules and you never have to wonder.
So, I guess when I think about it, if you have to ask, “Where is this friendship going?” The response is probably: Nowhere.