Ok, just blogging a bit cause, well, feel like writing shit out, not caring if people read it, and don't want to waste any paper. and maybe, just maybe, I subconsciously want people to read it, and send me support by confirming my thoughts and ideas. or by tell me I'm full of it. I'm sure my subconscious will be able to separate the good from the bad.
I should have assumed, straight from the start, that there was already a bf. That's what we have to assume these days, right? Otherwise we can get into a hell of trouble, and it makes it all so much more valuable when we find that one person lacking in a partner. But as it seems, I'm not at that stage yet, and I still hold out that hope whenever I get to know a nice woman (as i believe she is past the girl stage already. Nevertheless I will probably from now on refer to females as 'chicks' or 'girls'), and begin to think that maybe my feelings go beyond simple friendship, that's she's going to be single. Who am I kidding? Myself obviously. Nice girls aren't single. Nice girls that I'm attracted to both physically and mentally are never single. Pretty much a rule that I'm gonna stick to from now on. Although I'm happy to admit that there is a very small percentage out there that are truely nice AND single, but the possibility of me meeting one of those let alone liking them, is very very very utterly slim indeed. Also, I must admit, those girls that already have bfs were once upon a time asked out by said bfs. So unless the laws of physics have been broken within the last, say few minutes, that means that at one point in time every partnered chick has been single. My fears are for nought! All women are single at some point in time! All I need is a time machine to travel back to all those individual points in time and PRESTO (sp? PESTO?) I've got a million or so dates. Kidding aside, I will be more wary from now on in my quest for partnership and the righteous act of spooning.
So I didn't even ask this chick out, I simply asked if she wanted to go to lunch. This'll be more important later in the post.
Actually, my biggest fear when dealing with exposed feelings is that this person will shy away from any contact from me now that she knows I may have feelings towards her in addition to those of friendship. The last thing I ever want is to lose a good friend, although I have come to realise THAT risk specifically is a nasty part of life. As a good friend of mine informed me not long ago, an arguement similar to mine occurs in his mind that makes him stop before he says anything. That the possible negative outcomes outway the positive possibilities. And I think he's partially true. It is my mind trying to stop me from saying things that I might regret later, but I also must accept that there are concequences to things I say, and to take that into account when I am preparing to say the words, and then to take the risk. because what is life but a set of timed risks, and what the hell, something good might eventually happen while I'm tripping over all the bad.
It of course doesn't help when (in my case) the person is from a foreign culture, bringing in a whole range of new issues, ingrained social norms that throws everything into whacked-out-trippy-time (and not good whacked-out-trippy-time but the confusing type). Even if I have lived in that culture for an extended period of time (which i have), and do know and have been witness to numerous examples of social norms from the society, it doesn't mean I understand them. The biggest one I fear keys in with the last paragraph's point. An obvious social norm of this girl's culture is one of separation. Gender-wise. At least in my experience, females - once partnered - rarely spend time in the presence of other males (individually or group), even if they are friends. In groups yes, when the bf is there, but never separately. Whether this is historically ingrained from a lack of trust on the male side of the partnership in the culture, I don't know, but seems to be a likely possibility. From this comes a weird social pattern that has the separation of friendships by gender. I rarely over there experienced seeing a female who has a bf have close male friends, and spend time with them. Although its slowly thawing out, to my senses there still seems to be a norm in place that forbids partnered females from having male friends. It simply doesn't seem to happen. From a girl's perspective, a guy is either your bf, or nothing (or possible future partners). Something like 'they are all possible partners, and as such while I am with this partner I cannot in any way show feelings of any kind towards a member of the opposite sex'. It comes across like this, and I can't figure out any other explanation. Obviously there are deviations from the rule, and the line seems to gray a bit after highschool age. It still shits me to tears, and is hard for me to understand. I have really close female friends in this country, who i see often, and a majority of them have boyfriends. Added to this a majority of my friends are female (what can I say guys, they tend to be smart, better looking and don't make weird noises e.g. they make better friends). I don't want to start a relationship any more complex then our friendship with most of them, although some of course I have additional feelings for which lean towards future possibilities (problems too, most likely). But in the end the concept of friendship between genders is so different between cultures due to social norms in both countries, its hard to deal with when they cross over.
Now, to finish off about why I decided to blab on about this. I really like hanging around and chatting with this girl. She has something about her that makes me feel good simply being in her presence. In hindsight (the worst kind in my opinion), I would have simply continued being her friend, seeing her around uni every so often, catching the sunlight every chance I could get. Unfortunately, it seems I had to tighten my belt a bit and take that big ol' bite out of the risk cake that it seems I won't be doing for a while now out of fear. I asked if she wanted to go out to lunch. No big deal right? well, I hit the brick wall = she brought out the bf card that I should have seen sticking out of her back pocket, and my world crumbled :P well, it wasn't that bad, but it was surely a dissappointment. It's obvious our definition of 'friendship' is different, as I am more then happy to have lunch with a girl that I am not going out with and that has a bf, something she seems to have problems accepting as normal social behaviour. Did I tell her that I enjoyed her presence and that it'd be cool if we could catch lunch on the weekend? Yes, I did that. Did she then tell me that she's usually busy on the weekends with her bf (out of the blue brick to the head), and that we could ALL get together for lunch sometime? Yes she did say that. Oh well, I suppose one on one lunches isn't the hip thing to do these days. So I made some lame comment in responce in the hope that our friendship would remain to some extent intact, in the already tiny space where professional acquantances meet. So what can I get from that short yet remarkably complex parcel of communication. She reacted to my voicing feelings above and beyond what a male friend should show by telling me she had a boyfriend and that it was never going to be possible for me to have lunch with her alone. Was I surprised? not really, I knew it was a possibility? Was I annoyed? Yeah, totally, thought she might have learnt something about Australian (and to some extent Western) concepts of friendship and used that knowledge to attempt something then utter shutdown. Unfortunately that didn't happen, and I've received a cultural bitchslap in my own backyard, one I am still smarting from.
What should I have done? she's a beautifull (no lie), intelligent, creative, funny, honest, modest, caring and nice individual; someone who I am more then glad being friends with, if only we shared the same understanding of what friendship is. Alas, I fear she will bow to her home society's social norms (which, I might add, is not her fault) and I will have little contact with her during my remaining time studying other then for pre-alotted groupwork. I will try and help her to understand my (and this country's) way of seeing friendship, in the hope that she will do what she came here to this country to do: learn.
Hopefully that was a little less angsty, and a little more, I don't know, enlightening a post.
Love is a mutual affair. An intense like from one of the pair, if met by an equal or greater intensity of 'liking' will kickstart what we know of as love. Unfortunately, and more often then not, the intense liking only occurs from one subject to the other, and is not returned. If the pair can deal with the excess 'liking' on the one half, then a friend-filled truce may be possible, where although each knows the other's level of feelings, they can still continue to exist at the level that the person with the lowest level of liking exists at. It is up to that person whether they can deal with the knowledge that the other person has had, and still may have a far greater set of feelings towards them then they do back.
Wow, I could write an essay :P