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The DM Revelation #1: Let’s ignore the dudes I date for a second…

March 29, 2011

Alright ladies and gents… Here is Simone’s first real post from the Dating Moratorium. And I want to mention first that I think Simone is a wonderful friend. She’s not one of your garden variety I Disappear Into Relationship chicks. Which, to me, makes this all the more interesting…

Revelation of the DM #1:

What friendships have I given away, taken advantage of, or never even began because of dating??

I know this sounds like a standard question.  “Bros before hos, man!”; “Sisters before misters!” Sure.  And, I agree.  There are reasons these things are cliché.

I want to delve a little deeper, though.  I have never thought of myself as one to abandon my friendships for a relationship.  In fact, my favorite relationships in the past three years have been with guys who happily introduce me to their friends, and vice versa, so we can all go out together. Or with guys who have a serious independent streak. I learned something from them.  It is okay to continue your life whilst beginning a (potentially) new one with someone else.

This, however, has not stopped me – I’ve now realizedfrom not being the best of friends. I have two examples:

Example 1:

About a week or so into the DM, I ran into McRockerPants at a bar near my house.  This threw me for many reasons that aren’t relevant to the story, but for one that definitely is.

He showed up with one of his good friends & tour manager – the person I met him through.  Let me digress to tell you that this woman was one of the most important role models of my early 20s.  I had just turned 24 when I got to know her – she was 34. I was a few months out of a serious relationship, about to go to grad school, but struggling with all career!/family!/baby!/successful! pressures that can start in one’s early 20s.  Except, conventional ideas of career!/family!/baby! weren’t sitting right with me…

Then there was H. She was smart, funny, grounded.  She had beautiful, rockin’ tatts (that she still rocked at 34 – that was ground-breaking at the time  (p.s. I’m seriously cringing at my 24-year-old self right now)).  She still worked as a bartender to support her new but burgeoning massage therapist career, while also still working as McRockerPants’ tour manager when appropriate.

She had a conglomerate career; a non-traditional career path.

But she was clearly happy.

This blew my mind.  I didn’t have to go the route that I thought I had to.  I could do whatever I wanted.

I know this sounds small.  But it wasn’t. And I think we were pretty close; we got along really well, and I think both looked forward to our Saturday nights together at the bar (I barbacked for her).

Yet… fast-forward to now… and here I was… seeing her for only the 4th time in over 3 years.

How did this happen?

Why did I spend so much effort keeping in touch with and “getting-to-know” McRockerPants … while giving so little effort keeping in touch with H.?  Why could I not see what was important to me? Or, maybe more realistically, that that was important to me, too?

Why do we take friendships for granted? Why do we assume these people will be there “when we come back”?

H. certainly isn’t “there” anymore. I tried to reach out to her via facebook when I had this realization… and she never responded.

I blew it.

In the long run, even though I had less, in terms of literal time, of a relationship with H., I’m finding the loss of her friendship matters much more to me than the fact that my “relation-friendship” with McRockerPants is pretty close to extinct.

Example 2:

During my run-in with McRockerPants, he insisted that, I “let him know when [I was] free” so that we could “hang out.”  So, I did.   On day two of  two such free nights, I was at the bar with two of my close friends. They wanted to continue to hang out.  I said I wasn’t sure because I was supposed to meet a friend, but wasn’t sure.

Of course, this vague phrasing has become synonymous with “I might have plans with McRockerPants but he is notoriously flaky and has no follow through” (followed by friend insinuation: nor does he treat you with very much social respect).  Immediately one of my friends says, “Invite him to come hang out with us.”  He insists.

And then, angrily, continues: “It makes me really upset that we’re your good friends and we’ve never met a dude who has been such an important part of your life.  It hurts my feelings.

Needless to say, I was flabbergasted.

I see these dudes all the time, I listen to their problems, I (very rarely) turn them down to hang out and never stand them up.  I call them on their bullshit.  I let them into my life & share with them.  I am a great friend. Right?

Sure.  But I also came to a realization: when you don’t include a guy in your life, I mean really include him, not just verbally (he knows about your friends, and knows about all your shit), but physically

How much of a relationship can you have or do you have with him?

Moreover, continuing to have a relationship with this person – where you don’t include him in all aspects of your lifeSHOULD be offensive to your friends, regardless if the reason has nothing to do with “being embarrassed of them” or something like that.  Keeping someone that’s special to you to yourself basically tells your friends that you don’t trust them with your valuable things.

Essentially, you are saying: – to your good friends – “hey, thanks for offering to watch my house for free while I’m away but I don’t trust you to not really fuck it up, so no.”

[Nikki’s side note: Or, “I don’t trust this not to fall apart at the drop of a hat so… I am handling it with kid gloves… at your exclusion and expense.”]

Yeah…that’s shitty.

(P.S.  I did invite McRockerPants to hang out with us that night and… as I suspected he would… he declined.  That’s a whooooolllleee other story – the dudes that won’t hang out with your friends…but not for this post which is about my side(s) of the fuck ups.)

[Nikki Notes: It took the DM for Simone to start looking more closely at how she treated all of the important relationships in her life. To start to wonder how she was handling the people most important to her. To explore what she had been overlooking or taking for granted…

Even if we feel like we live by the whole chicks before dicks/bros before hos thing… Even when we think we’re doing a good job of balancing our relationships and our friendships… How are we really doing? What do we let slide because “they’ll still be there when we come up for air?” What do we keep from our friends, what do we exclude them from? What are our priorities, not based on what we think they are… but in how we act? What we make time for, make sure to include, where we put our effort and our energy? ]

“In these bodies we will live
In these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love
You invest your life.”

~ Mumford & Sons
“Awake My Soul”

12 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2011 10:36 am

    It sometimes takes the loss of a friendship to realize how important friends are. We take the people around for granted too often, at least I know I have found myself it that situation previously. When you realize it and it is too late … it seriously sucks.

    When meeting a guy/girl and wanting to have a relationship… it is important to know that without friends life is not half as good. If the person that you are in a relationship with doesn’t get it or even want to meet your friends ..well then it is not the right person.

    • March 29, 2011 2:24 pm

      I think, with friends, the thing of it is the really good ones make it seem effortless, so it’s easy to take them for granted. Doesn’t mean we should.

      Yep – dating someone who has no interest in your friends is a pretty big red flag. However, I know (from chatting with her) that Simone really wanted to focus on her fuck-ups – not how the other person was at fault. She had never thought about how distancing someone special from her friends, for whatever reason, hurt her friends. How she was *actually* excluding them – even if she didn’t mean to. And that’s not really ok. Whatever that says about the person you’re dating, it also says a lot about the way you’re behaving, too.

  2. March 29, 2011 10:55 am

    I am so glad that Simone is seriously looking at herself during this time of introspection. After all there is very little that we can do to change others so to have any kind of change that is going to work it has to start with one’s self.

    Relationships with friends are important as are the dynamics that fuel them. Bravo Simone for realizing that what you put into them is what you will eventually get out.

    Wishing you more epiphany moments along your journey!

    • March 29, 2011 2:25 pm

      Thank you Bob! Yes – she’s definitely not been idle… and I’m not talking about using battery-powered, uh, appliances!


  3. March 30, 2011 1:05 am

    It’s true, especially with women, the man takes precedent over EVERYONE and not just her girlfriends. I see women pick dudes over their own kids.

    I have a couple of girlfriends I know I can count on and have never ditched me for dudes. I extend them the same. And I’ve always been highly intolerant of the bitches who do that shit.

    As far as “H”, sometimes people just move on and forget. I’ve had that happen countless times as well. We all have our own lives to tend to and it’s hard enough to keep in touch with the people closest to us. We get busy and shit happens, but I’m sure “H” still thinks of you fondly. 🙂

    • March 30, 2011 8:59 am

      Hey Feisty!

      I have a low tolerance for women who disappear into relationships too. I can be patient, hell we’ve all been in that place where we get sucked in completely for a bit, but if it becomes a pattern or if the chick doesn’t seem interested in re-establishing old friendships, then I move on.

      The point here, however, is far more subtle than that, you know? It’s about the ways in which you prioritize people you’re dating in ways that are less obvious and straightforward, but still aren’t the best. Simone is definitely not one to disappear into relationships but…

      As far as H: Simone’s point is the amount of effort she put into keeping up with McRockerPants, at the expense of her relationship with H. She looks back and realizes she could have put some of that effort into staying in contact with H. Further, she has also discovered how much more important, in the long run, H. was and could still be in her life. And she lost that to pursue a dude that wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t an active ignoring… but she just didn’t pay attention to where her effort and time was going. She could have been better at balancing that.

      And, yeah, in the long run? The dudes that make us work the hardest will probably be the ones who don’t deserve it at all. And the friends we ignore while we put in that work? Will never deserve that either.

  4. permalink
    March 30, 2011 1:52 am

    would love to grapple….
    A girl called “Nikki”…

    I would offer my pulse……

  5. March 30, 2011 4:18 am

    It took me losing a few good friends from my old town after I’d moved to the city before realised that actually? I’m not that great-a friend sometimes. I tend to get so caught up in myself I forget to check in with friends who aren’t in my immediate vicinity.

    Then when I head back to the old town for a break, and contact the old freinds I’m essentially saying “Oh, I’m ready to be your friend again now, but only for the three days I’m in town, just so I’m not bored!”

    Ish. Not such a great message to send to people who I care about!

    • March 30, 2011 9:03 am

      I hear you. It’s hard to maintain friendships sometimes. Distance makes it more difficult, your own life as well.

      I think the key is identifying the ones you don’t want to lose and putting your effort there – instead of trying to keep up with EVERYONE. I’ve learned that much. That doesn’t necessarily mean calling every weekend – some of my best friends and I can talk whenever and not miss a beat. But. You do have to make the decision not to let something fade. And sometimes there are choices involved there. That’s ok, just a part of life.

    • Simone permalink
      March 30, 2011 12:42 pm

      I love your comment, leafprobably! I’ve had those same revelations (outside of dude-land) myself! Sometimes it takes more work than we think to stop thinking about ourselves (even in a “normal, non-selfish” kind of way)! I also think, too, as I’ve gotten older, that I have a better sense of who the people are who really do mean a lot to me and those who it’s okay to just maintain light accquaintance with.

      To bring that back to “dude-land,” how many dudes do we date (or put lotsa effort into) that should just have remained light accquintances? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell, of course, just like it is with friends but I think in the end a bigger scope to my revelation is that I want to try to be a better person – in general – toward and for the people I care about…and that in the long run will lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships everywhere.

  6. March 30, 2011 11:47 pm

    A Denny DelVecchio dating moratorium has another name:

    Refractory period.


  1. Personal Krubner » Blog Archive » Romantic side effect: The way we ignore our friends

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