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Can Guys & Girls Be Friends? Introduction
Can Guys & Girls Be Friends? Question # 1
Can Guys & Girls Be Friends? Question #2
If we are always hanging out together, will anyone else ever ask me out?
Last year I was flipping through the channels and landed on some show whose title is escaping me.
My gut tells me it was The Tyra Banks Show.
I know. I wish I couldn’t remember either.
There were two “dating experts” being interviewed. I use dating experts loosely in the same way I kind of cringe when someone refers to me as an expert. HELLO, PEOPLE! I AM SINGLE! That’s like calling a surgeon who just amputated the wrong leg on their patient “successful.”
Anyway, these older, single, cougaresque* women had written a book on dating and had come up with a term called “snacking.” They used it to describe women who kept sleeping with their exes.
They essentially said that if you keep snacking, you will never be hungry enough for an actual meal.
Unfortunately, that visual has stayed with me for two reasons.
1) I really like snacks.
2) I see this applying to male/female friendships.
As I mentioned, I like snacks. I also really like sandwiches. If I am hungry and I open a cupboard and see a loaf of bread, my mind thinks, “Oh, I shall maketh a sandwich!”
Then I see the Cheetos.
Hmmm, all of a sudden a sandwich seems like a lot of work. All that slicing of cheese and spreading of mustard, folding meat and patting down the onions and pickles so they don’t fall off to the floor of no return. (At least after ten seconds.)
Cheetos have cheese on them. That’s kind of like a sandwich. They are easy and I can have them right now.
I like snacks.
I had a friend I hung out with quite a bit. We had addressed people’s opinions that we should date. We both agreed it wasn’t something we desired. (If you doubt me and think one of us was lying, I can expand on that story sometime.) But…
…we had similar interests and schedules and found ourselves hanging out almost every single Sunday afternoon and evening and some week nights in between.
It finally clicked for me one day. We were “snacking.”
I told him my theory and he agreed. We didn’t want to be crazy and never see each other again, but we realized we were fulfilling a need for opposite-sex attention that could possibly leave us waking up at age 40 and realizing we never got to a point where we felt strong enough to be open to someone or to pursue a spouse. We could be picky and find faults with everyone else.
Loneliness, introspection, or future planning wasn’t really happening because we were too busy with our “friends.”
So, am I still friends with this guy? Yes. Good friends. But we don’t get into lazy half-hungry habits of each other as a default snack. We’ve both dated since that conversation, and sometimes I wonder if our dates would have happened if we’d kept falling into our Sunday afternoon Cheetos buzz.
A sandwich takes more time. You have to wait. You also have to prepare. And while both snacks and sandwiches are food that allows you to feel satisfied, there is a difference. One will fill you momentarily, while the other will be more nutritionally balanced.
The latter will sustain you for the journey.
So, my point?
Don’t snack too much, or you’ll never realize how good the sandwich can be.
P.S. If you are missing the analogy here, then I really must work on my writing skills.
* I know, I didn’t think I would ever stoop to using the word cougar in a post either.
Do you agree with my “snacking” theory?
What has been your experience with being in a “snacking” relationship?
What has been your experience avoiding starting a relationship with someone because you were confused by their “snacking” relationship with someone else?
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