Thursday, March 16, 2006

I quarreled with my mom and my sister yesterday. Mainly because it was 2 am in the morning and I was talking to a boy on the phone.

My reasons?

1) He's my friend. A rather good friend in fact.
2) He was feeling very down.
3) He asked me if he could call me, after which I missed his call twice and out of guilt quickly called him back.

Their reasons?

1) A girl cannot go out with a boy after 10 pm.
2) A girl cannot talk to a boy after 10 pm.
3) A girl should not even be close friends with a boy- it is just wrong.


Now my mother thinks that I am a flirtacious creature who enjoys giving mixed signals to boys by breaking all these supposedly unspeakably obvious rules that both sexes uphold. That aside, she thinks that Alex is my boyfriend just because I've been going out with him to watch movies and what not on and off from last year until now.

What makes me laugh even more is the fact that if I were to go out with a girl after 10, or talk to a girl after 10, it would be completely normal and acceptable to them.

I felt really indignant because that's not the way in which I define friendships. I don't compartmentalize girls and boys and treat them differently as friends just because of their gender (what conservative world do we still live in?!). I think it's ludicrous and totally absurd. If I'm willing to show some concern for a female friend because she is feeling down, and it just so happens that it is past 10 pm, then I am willing to do the same for a male friend as well. Why? Because they are all my friends. It's really that simple.

Besides that, I am really sensible enough to know when to draw the line. Goodness. If I know that you like me, obviously I wouldn't pick up your call in the wee hours of the night, or even go out with you. But how would I know? I just do. I am usually very observant and sensitive to the words and actions of others, and most of the time, I figure out their intentions way before they reveal them and am given the opportunity to cease or allow such intentions to persist. Furthermore, I've observed that at our age, once a guy likes a girl, they really can't keep their liking a secret for long and will have to resort to hinting or confessing it sooner or later in some form or another. I could say the same for girls but I digress. I sound so arrogant. Haha. Okay okay, in other words, what I really mean to say is that I am melodramatic and quixotically idealistic and prone to thinking too much, thereby coming up with a billion thoughts which influences me to respond to people very differently.

Anyway, the male friends who I go out with or talk on the phone with, all know very well that we have an absolutely mutual platonic friendship free from any romantic or sexual inclinations and desires involved. This level of common understanding is made through honest and direct communications and truthfulness. (Or have I just been assuming this all along?)

But this whole thing (and it's not just my family but my friends as well who have been bringing this issue up) makes me think of:

1) Where do you draw the line between that of a friendship and that of a romantic involvement?

2) Is it right for a female and a male to be close or even best friends? And what happens when one gets married or when one gets involved in a relationship? Can such a friendship still be appropriately allowed without arousing jealousy, envy, and a subsequent sense of distancing on an emotional level?

3) Can a female and a male even be close or best friends without one side or both sides having the tendency to like the another amatively?

4) Have I been sending out mixed signals to the male friends around me? And if I have been, what kind of signals have I been sending out to the female friends around me and what exactly must their perception of me be then?

I think I'm just too naive and socially inept. :/

4 comments:

estelwen said...

Can a female and a male even be close or best friends without one side or both sides having the tendency to like the another amatively?

haha... possible... but difficult... even if it's completely okay with e both of u, the rest will just think rubbish...

e world is just full of perceptions...
stupid stupid...

haha... haf fun talking to tt guy :)

Miao said...

Is it right for a female and a male to be close or even best friends? And what happens when one gets married or when one gets involved in a relationship? Can such a friendship still be appropriately allowed without arousing jealousy, envy, and a subsequent sense of distancing on an emotional level?

It depends on the amount of trust and faith you have in your relationship. It is natural to feel a tinge of jealousy/envy, but I suppose if you have enough confidence in your partner then it is OK. But even if you don't mind, it is also important for your partner to be sensitive to your feelings too, because if she/he ends up showing more concern for her/his friend(s) of the opposite gender than she/he does for you, then the jealousy would slowly accumulate and eventually erupt into a quarrel. After all what differentiates a platonic friendship between two good friends of opposite sex from a romantic relationship is not just the, err, physical activities you participate in (e.g. hugging, holding hands, etc.), it involves making the other person feel special. If you treat a good friend of the opposite gender on an equal basis as how you treat your partner, then it is only natural that your partner feels 'unloved' (pardon the ambiguous/generic/inaccurate term). Of course there is a difference between platonic love and romantic love, but when you're involved in a romantic relationship usually it wouldn't occur to you that, "Oh, they are just very good friends", your first instinct would be to feel jealous if you sense that your partner is showing too much concern for her/his friends of the other gender.

And anyway, the answer to your question is still 'yes', because I'm sure those boys in 'Brokeback Mountain' wouldn't feel jealous even if their partners are good friends with members of the opposite sex, unless their partners happen to be bisexual (OK OK crap).

Aiyah don't be upset lah, at least I know there's nothing between you and Alex ^^

Miao said...

sensitive towards* Oops typo >.<

Anyway I guess it's natural for people to assume that a boy and a girl are in a relationship when they are seen to be alone together too often. I mean, I'm usually prone to making this kind of assumptions too despite my awareness of such fallacies.

Hmmm. Well I don't know; I certainly don't think you're flirtatious, I just think that you're someone who is hyper-friendly (if such an expression exists lol). It's all a matter of perspective dear, you can't please everyone :)

lost said...

Is it right for a female and a male to be close or even best friends? And what happens when one gets married or when one gets involved in a relationship? Can such a friendship still be appropriately allowed without arousing jealousy, envy, and a subsequent sense of distancing on an emotional level?


Hey, u know i have a CLOSE female friend right.. ah.. there you got it. MAle and Female having a close or even best friend relationship. In fact i consider she and i best friends. hmmm , give it some tot.. Best friends simply means v close friends regardless of gender, habits and preferences. AT least that's my opinion la.. So long that you know, he/she know, that the two of you are just friends and nothing more, it's okay. If either one has any thots of going further, but one of them is attached, then they got to define their own boundaries so as to remain just close friends and nothing more than that.

Parents always have such restrictions.. You are not alone. In fact, many parents of my female friends have this kind of restrictions! lolx. ya, i have too, but is when parents realised that it is a girl i am speaking to and that it is real late and they suspect it is mine GF and they will start "noise pollution" in a bid to get the caller to hang up the phone.. haha. anyway...

Back to topic. Even when 1 of them is in relationship, such a friendship still exist. Unless 1 of them has a fondness for the other, jealousy and subsequent sense of distancing on an emotional level wouldn't exist. As for envy, it depends on individual. Envy as in just glad for the other person? Envy as in wishing to be attached as well? I just in different character, there exist different form of envy..

Lionel