Can men and women be friends?

I think yes, men and women can be friends, but I love this video from last year, which proves that while many women agree, most men are friends with women because, yes, they want to sleep with them.

Here’s a few flashing red lights I’ve run into in my male-female friendships recently.

Guy friends who will text and call you all day long, but when they are with their girlfriend, are suddenly quiet…yeah, he wants to sleep with you and is keeping you in back up position. (No, I don’t expect him to continue the texting, but being completely ignored = he’s hiding something from her. You.)

Guy friends who are ex-boyfriendsdon’t do it, and yeah, he wants to sleep with you (again).

Guy friends who have NEVER visited you, but upon hearing about your recent break up take a day off work to drive 5 hours to take you on a date…kinda obvious, but yeah, he wants to sleep with you, but on his long drive back home because you didn’t and won’t let him stay, he’s probably realizing you are JUST FRIENDS.

My grandmother is a little ridiculous and for some reason every time I see her she wants to know why I am not dating the best man from my sister’s wedding.  He’s tall and bald and kind of goofy looking like my grandfather, but I seriously don’t get why she feels we’re fated for each other, but I appreciate that she shares my theory that every man ever is obviously interested in me.

When she asked again the other day I told her that I like a man with confidence, who, when he likes what he sees, goes after it.  I’ve known Mr. BM for years, and again, assuming that he doesn’t think I’m too short with too much hair and too normal looking and kinda likes me, he’s never made a move.

I’m a (mostly) equal-opportunity dater and would have said yes and would have given it a shot, but hey, Grandma? There’s only so much “stand there and look pretty and try not to say anything too weird” I can do.

And, at this point, if he were to ask? Yeah, probably not.  He’s in the friend category. All those guy friends of mine who exhibit strange behavior that leads me to believe they want to sleep with me? Yeah, probably not.  At a certain point, A. you had your chance, so B. you’re firmly in the friend zone.

With all the ups and downs with Lucky – and let’s be honest I say this after every boyfriend because the back and forth is just what I do – I’m ready to write off any one who had a chance and didn’t see what a wonderful chance that was, whether it’s an ex or someone who’s just a friend who never expressed interest.

Mama wants some strange.


Mr. Nickname is in the Works isn’t over his last girlfriend.  This came out on date #4.  Well, actually, it came out on date #2, but by date #4 I had processed the information AND come to the realization that it wasn’t working for me, so date #4 was when I called him on it. 

I told him my theory, he muttered something about that it’s okay to still think about exes and consider what might happen if someone’s situation were to change and then told me that he thought he had downplayed his feelings for his ex (if that was downplaying, it’s a bigger issue than I originally thought) and then told me that they still stay in touch occasionally because, for example, sometimes he has questions for his business and she’s [insert awkward tribute about how smart and successful she is] so he’ll reach out to her.  OMG.

A week after date #4 he told me he had been thinking about it and it’s not an issue and he is over her.  I told him he can buy me coffee, let me win at Scrabble and we will discuss (FRIEND date #5).

Anyway, obviously I’m even more on the he’s not getting a nickname page (I should add “dating someone who’s so not over his ex in an awkward way” to my list of shit I’m too old for), but that conversation got me thinking about the excuses we make to stay in touch with people we should not stay in touch with.

I’m totally guilty of this myself, but hearing it come from someone else made me realize just how fucked up it kind of is. 

I’ve always been on Team You CAN Be Friends With Your Exes, but that’s because I’m great friends with my first ex.  My high school sweetheart and I truly ended amicably.  We became different people from high school to college.  We still enjoy each others’ company, but the qualities I like-liked in him as a 16-year-old mean absolutely nothing to me as a 26-year-old and I’m assuming the same is true for him.  So, we’re friends. 

Looking back, it hasn’t worked with anybody else.

My great exes don’t talk to me (because they are the smart, emotionally healthy kind).  One I attempted to stay in touch with for a while until I got the pity “Merry Christmas” text after sending his family a card and realized I was kinda pathetic.  He was moving on and it was a good idea for me too.  

The crappy exes are the ones who WILL NOT GO AWAY.  They are from what we’ll call, “the stage of Emjaye’s life when she didn’t realize or pursue what she deserved.”  These are men I don’t need around because they’re reminders of that stage of my life, yet somehow they are around. 

Okay, okay, I know I’m the reason.  They’re around because I let them be around.  So what are my excuses?

I emailed one because I knew he had a race coming up and I wanted to wish him good luck, which opened up a can of worms.

I occasionally email another because little things make me think of him and I want to share.  You know the episode of SATC where Miranda sees Steve and runs away from him?  Then he comes to her apartment to ask her WTF and she admits to missing him and thinking of him when things come up that she wants to tell him and he’s all, “so tell me.”  That’s all fine and good because Steve is a nice guy (until the first movie) and they end up together with a cute little baby.  This ain’t not happening with any of these toxic exes of mine.

So what I need to do, what Mr. No Name needs to do (if he’s ever going to get over this girl) is this…when you think of something that reminds you of your ex and you want to share it, DON’T.  Keep it in your pants (your phone, that is).

I had something to ask TGISWOTSD the other day, but I didn’t.  It was just an excuse to reach out to him anyway because with the wealth of information online, the answer was probably more accessible there (I forget what it was at this point, something I considered him an “expert” about).  His excuse when he recently sent me the first post-breakup text?  He threw out the vegetarian hot dogs he had bought me for his house.  I’m going to guess he could have done that without the text, but we all have our excuses.

Luckily the attempted friendship with the race guy has already blown up (it never takes long) and the inside joke guy is blocked on my email, which is our only method of communication.  Now, the trick is making them stay gone, but I feel good about it this time (which I also always say). 

I also finally cut the ties with TGISWOTSD.  I erased his number and deleted him from Facebook.  I kinda wanted his prophesy about him seeing in two years that I’m engaged to someone better looking than him and kicking himself to come true, but in two years, or however long it takes, when I’m happily planning my life with Mr. Right, I won’t give two shits that this kid FINALLY realizes what an idiot he was and having those lines of communication still open was hurting me NOW.

I’m going to go ahead and make another late resolution.  I always attempt this and always fail, but I’d really like 2011 to be the year with no exes (except for the high school sweetheart, of course).  Bam, done.