Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rejection—It Can Go Both Ways

Let’s call my friend “Mac”. Recently I saw the following status on his Facebook: “Mac is pulling back.”

I immediately IM’ed him with, “Maybe you need to tell someone to push harder.” He replied with, “Nah, I was rejected.” Then he told me how this person considered Mac as more than just a friend; Mac was his “special friend.”

Special friend?” I fired back. “What are you to him, retarded?

* * * * *

Imagine falling for someone: not only is he good-looking, but more importantly you and he clicked! just like that. Best of all, he’s available. After weeks of getting to know each other, you conclude that you and he stand a chance. After all, from all indications he seems just as into you as you are into him.

So you pop the question: I’m interested, can I pursue this further with you? He turns you down. Not only is your conclusion wrong, but also adding insult to injury is his well-meaning statement: “Let’s just be friends.”

Let’s just be friends. It’s an olive branch handed out as a peace offering, usually uttered after a flat-out rejection. Sometimes the “let’s just be friends” offer is genuine; at times it’s actually just scrap thrown to a staving dog, to avoid having the dog come up and bite them instead. But assuming for a minute that the motive behind it is genuine, the line “Let’s just be friends” is one of the most insensitive statements you can ever utter to someone who’s fallen for you but whom you have to turn down. I can accept “Maybe we can be friends?” At least that gives both parties the leeway to disengage with dignity.

The truth is, friendship is not possible while one of you still harbors romantic feelings for the other. Friendship is a meeting of equals, usually with no hidden agenda, and a genuine sharing of interests. But when one is infatuated, there is always an agenda; and if the other one doesn’t reciprocate the feelings, there is an imbalance in the relationship. So it is impossible for friendship to blossom given that situation. Once the infatuation is eliminated can a friendship stand a chance to develop.

But exorcizing an infatuation is not the easiest thing in the world. That is the one thing that Rejectors should always bear in mind whenever they crush a Lovelorn’s crush towards them. If you genuinely want to be friends with someone who has a crush on you, leave them be.

Often the Rejected will grasp at straws and cling to that statement. “At least he’ll still be in my life” is the common justification for holding on to him. But what happens is this: He gets the full benefits—and more—of your friendship (“more” is often the case; you may be consciously or unconsciously trying to win him over, so you go beyond what you usually do for your friends); meanwhile, you get the raw end of the deal. He enjoys your friendship, but you don’t get to enjoy his because—face it!—you want more. Sadly you’re just a “special friend” to him; in so many ways, you are like a retard.

* * * * *

“Be good to yourself. Get out while you still can,” I IM’ed Mac.

“Yeah I know,” he replied.

“Okay, repeat after me: ‘If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend.’”

“Hahaha!”

“He should just leave you be. And only you can determine if you’re ready to face him again, this time as equals.”

“If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend! If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend!”

“Hahaha! That should be your mantra for the next few weeks.”

17 comments:

Tristan Tan said...

"If you cannot be my boyfriend then you cannot be my friend..."

HAHAHA - this is so true. Why would I need an extra friend, I have lots of them!?!

"If you cannot be my boyfriend then you cannot be my friend..."

E said...

"lets be friends" is better than "stay the hell away from me you freak!"....

"If you cannot be my boyfriend then you cannot be my friend.." interesting statement...why is that again?...

joelmcvie said...

@E: I actually prefer to hear "Stay away from me" because at least everything's clear. And it'll be easier for you to move on.

@TRISTAN &E: Sorry guys, actually the statement should read: "If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend!" My bad. I've revised it already.

And to be fair, that statement has a caveat: "If you cannot be my boyfriend, then I cannot be your friend... for now! That is, until I get over you." =)

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joelmcvie said...

@YFFAR: Linked! =)

Aris said...

from experience, hindi talaga pwedeng maging friend ang isang ex hangga't meron ka pang feeling. pabalik-balik, paulit-ulit ang hurt.

mantra. mantra. :)

E said...

More Mcvie! More! MORE MORE MORE!! (post that is...)

palma tayona said...

"if i cannot be your boyfriend, then i'll settle for being your dog."

now THAT'S pathetic.

joelmcvie said...

@ARIS: True! Pero ang mas masakit pa diyan, hindi nga naging kayo eh. So technically he's not an "ex".

@E: Grabeh, demanding ha. (LOZ!) =)

@PAMLA TAYONA: Woof! Woof! Now you've really gone to the dogs. (Baka naman bottom siya na gustong-gusto ang doggie-style....)

Julius said...

if you cannot be my boyfriend, then i cannot be your friend. kaya, ibalik mo na sa akin ang gamit ko.... ipod, rubber shoes, psp, hahahah!!! pati yung utang mo due na rin sa katapusan.

loudcloud said...

“What are you to him, retarded?”

hahahahah.

a classic!

as for the rest of the entry i have cannot cite a reason disagree. you nailed the fine points precisely.

rmacapobre said...

> “Let’s just be friends.”

It is humane ..

joelmcvie said...

@RMACAPOBRE: I prefer: "Maybe we can be friends eventually." I find that more realistic. =)

thebaklareview said...

if you cannot be my boyfriend, sex toy na lang.

joelmcvie said...

@THEBAKLAREVIEW: Haaaay... alam mo, kung ako lang ang tatanungin, willing ako na sex toy na lang; minsan kasi sex lang, tapos ayun! Goodbye, romantic ek-ek feelings. Kaya lang andaming maarte eh. Humph. (Affected?! Hahaha!)

daemon said...

@ joel

its not really being maarte...

yeah, i have to admit that 'sex' is good...

but, at the end of the day, you're still incomplete...

* drama *

what gets to most of us, and by that i mean me, is that it could happen once or twice... but to happen three times in succession after your first serious relationship...

sampal sa mukha sobra...

actually its tiring me...

to always assume what we [the guys i like] really have...

friendship or something more...

and always end up getting the consolation prize...

friendship...

=(

joelmcvie said...

@DAEMON: Talaga namang nakakapagod, and it will always be nakakapagod.

It's how you deal with the nakakapagod that will define who you are.