It is about hypocrisy. Widespread among young people, but often found among the not so young – common knowledge and a truth that often dares not speak its name. With most relations, there is a dynamic based on physical attraction. It can be between a man and a woman but many other colors are available for the discerning customer. So, what about them? Well, in the relations between friends or acquaintances there is (very often, if not always) a level of attraction that goes beyond the friendly. Let’s look at possible configurations, using the man/woman setup.
(a) He fancies her, she fancies him
(b) He doesn’t fancy her, she doesn’t fancy him
(c) He fancies her, she doesn’t fancy him
(d) He doesn’t fancy her, she fancies him
(e) She is not sure (well, no, since you ask, I haven’t met any man who isn’t sure if he finds a particular woman attractive or not. I do accept the statistical possibility, but I haven’t met anyone yet so I won’t theorise about them)
Now, the problem arises from the unspoken starting point that all non-romantic relationships will go under (b) which as everybody with more than a quarter of a brain knows, is not true. Still, options (a) and (b) are the least problematic. “What if one or both parties are in other relationships?” I hear you say. Well, (a) and (b) are still the least problematic because they exist on a basis of equality and any transition from the default position is likely to effect both parties in the same direction (even though admittedly not necessarily to the same extend). (b) is unconditionally unproblematic if true and (a) is likely to result in either or both of the two people expressing their feelings to someone who feels the same way about them. This is not bad, even considering that it may, in the worst case scenario, endanger marriage/s based on …hypocrisy. Yeah, we all know how these marriages go, but be my guest and listen to your mother who is telling you you should stop thinking like that and look after your marriage. I’ve got shares in a company that produces anti-depressants, so on this occasion you should listen to your mother.
Which leaves us with options (c) and (d).
On both these the balance is problematic. What do you do if you are either attracted to someone or you see they are? Ok, if you are the attracted party in (c), it is the simplest thing. The other party doesn’t find you attractive enough. If this makes things intolerable, tell the other person and take a distance. Don’t go out with them as friends, and if this person is your only friend, join a society or a club of something that interests you and change that. Do you really want to be going out with someone who a) doesn’t find you attractive and b) will leave you alone when Barbie comes along with her pink toenails and high heels (change this last bit as appropriate, for example Ken with his tanned looks and convertible car, or his Harvard doctorate etc). What? Barbie wouldn’t look at your guy twice? And how does this make things better? He’ll leave you for the plain looking girl that either has ‘talked to his insecurities’ or he doesn’t find plain. Great!
Which leaves us with (d). Right. Tell them. You have nothing to lose. Tell them that you actually fancy Barbie, Ken, Fabricio or Dorothy and they will work out the ‘not them’ bit, unless they are idiots and something needs to be said about you who goes out with idiots. Tell them that it is this particular thing that you like about this person. “Oh, I love Ken’s broad shoulders” (author masterfully avoids mentioning the attributes of Barbie that could be mentioned here :-). It obviously doesn’t need to be a physical aspect but it gives a clearer message if you want to let someone know.
Ok, I fully realise all of this is purely theoretical and an action counts for more than 000’s of words. But there is one thing that I think people should avoid because it smells trouble. If you are the unfortunate party in (c) or (d) avoid, at all costs, people who won’t ‘talk attraction’. They usually have an agenda and this agenda is taking advantage of you in one way or other. You should ‘put it on the table’ and talk about it, it will be very enlightening. If you don’t like what happens, you know you can do much better than that with your time (…said the guru). To be continued …here