Recently I was doing an interview about MWF Seeking BFF, the book (coming soon–December 20!–to a bookstore near you. Shameless plug. Whatever.) and the interviewer asked me “Would this work for a guy?”
What I thought she meant was: Would this type of search work for finding a boyfriend?
What she really meant was: Would a guy be able to do this type of search and find a friend?
I answered the wrong question, which was fine because she corrected me and we went on our way. But it launched a debate with a friend. Because my answer to the former question was basically: “I don’t know! This is the closest I’ve ever come to dating.”
As I’ve mentioned, Matt and I met freshman year of college. We went through our fair share of 19-year-old (and 20-year-old) drama before settling into a normal, healthy relationship, but I’ve done very little dating in my day. So I basically told the interviewer that to find anyone—best friend or boyfriend—you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs, so to speak.
But in one sense, I claimed, friend dating is much tougher. Because women aren’t embarrassed to announce they’re looking for a man. We’re still embarrassed to say we need more friends. So while dating etiquette and expectations are pretty universal, the friend-dating code of conduct isn’t quite so clear. It’s harder to establish a desired relationship when all parties aren’t on the same page.
When I told a friend about this misunderstanding, she told me, in not so many words, that I’m crazy to claim that friending might be the more difficult option. She’s single and much more experienced in matters of courtship. She’s the man-dating expert, and I’m the friend-dating expert. We could start a service!
My pal’s argument: While you have to put yourself out there for both friends and romantic partners, the latter is more of a pressure cooker. There are sleepovers involved. Sleepovers alone amp up the fear factor. (I’ll give her that.) There’s more risk, she claimed. (I’m not so sure–friend breakups blow.) Less pressure and less risk make a person act less crazy, and acting crazy is one of women’s greatest romantic undoings.
I see her point. I feel lucky to be out of the dating game. I would be horrific at it. Seriously. Some friends and I were talking about the dating game over the weekend and I mentioned how uncomfortable I’d be on a first date. Matt looked at me and said, “oh yeah, you’d be so awkward.” That’s love.
So, let me open the debate to you, readers. What’s harder: Finding a new BFF or finding a partner? It it tougher to friend-date or romance-date?