Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Love in the Real World: Just Friends

This  is week 4 of the series, Love in the Real World. There are so many Hollywood love stories out there that we forget what real love looks like. So over the next few weeks you will hear about what real love looks like (or doesn't), the good, the bad, and the in-between. Enjoy! 

This week I am honored to host Katie Hawkins. She is a photographer, videographer, missionary to Albania, and a hesitant dater. She blogs about Albania and you can see many of her videos there as well. Based on the links, you can see that she is all over the internet as well as the world. Click on some of those links and see what she is all about after you read this super amazing and REAL story.

Peregrine Espresso Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC

I had luck in the dating department for three years. With the same guy. Then it ended. Quite abruptly though afterwards, I saw the end coming for a long time. But it was mutual, meaning it wasn’t my choice. I realize now that it never should have even lasted three years but it did. That’s that. And I’d like to think I learned from it for future dating purposes. But maybe I needed another date to figure things out...

It hadn’t been long after I just wrapped things up with my boyfriend of three years. I didn’t want to start dating again. I needed to figure out who I was without him (yeah I had become one of “those” girls eek!), where I was and where I wanted to go. But back in the day of instant messaging of my early college career, I got an instant message.

“Hi! My name is I-want-to-be-more-than-

friends. I know you don’t know me but I’ve seen you around campus. I think you’re pretty. Would you like to go out with me sometime?”

And yes. That is pretty much a direct quote. Thank goodness I had the excuse of just getting out of a long relationship and not being emotionally prepared.

But seriously. A) If you think I don’t know who you are, don’t introduce yourself online if you see me everyday (I went to a small college). That makes you sound really creepy. B) Don’t ask me out online if you’ve never even talked to me in person and you have the chance to every day! Man up!

I said something along the lines of oh that’s nice and included the phrases “just got out of a long relationship” and “not ready” so he talked a while more then said when I was ready, let him know. Ok sweet. Bullet dodged.

Ok. Cool. I knew who he was (like I said I went to a small school). I wasn’t really interested. But I’m a people pleaser so the next time I was online he got smarter. He asked about my weekend plans and knowing I had made it clear before that I wasn’t interested I said I didn’t have any. I should have known.

He asked if I’d like to go out for coffee just as friends. Well I’m a people pleaser. I didn’t want to. But I couldn’t really say no after I told him I didn’t have any plans. He said as friends though. As friends? Yes. I asked several times to make sure and each time he confirmed as friends. So I caved, because we were going just as friends.

Turns out my friend who thought I should go on a few dates told him to ask me out for coffee because it would be more casual only she told him to ask to go out as friends and later I’d come around. As in I’d come around after we’d hung out a few times. He apparently thought I’d come around between the asking and the going.

I’m sure you can tell where this was going. I was hoping to make this as short as was socially acceptable. So he comes to pick me up from my dorm and we walk over to a coffee shop about 5 minutes away. I know I’m in trouble when we get one minute into our walk and he says, “If you want, you can hold my hand.”

Really? Really. Really? So much for going as “just friends.” So I suffer on in the super awkward conversations. Though to be fair, I didn’t exactly encourage long conversations...

We finish our drinks and I can tell he isn’t ready to leave. But I am. So I get the conversation on what dorm he’s living in next year and with who because I know he will ask me back (the conversation was that bad).

He answers and sure enough he asks me back. I tell him who I’m living with and he gets super quiet. Within 2 minutes he asks if I’m ready to go. Of course I say sure. (I was going to live with his ex-girlfriend who he cheated on. Which I already knew about. Which based on his reaction, I’m pretty sure he assumed I knew).

He gets up to pay for our $4 drinks and whips out his volunteer firefighter card to get a discount. Ok. I’m into saving money and everything, but if you are taking a girl out on a first date (especially after it was made clear it was just as friends and not a date), it’s not worth saving 50 cents. If it was a dollar? Maybe. But not 50 cents. Just let it go.

Needless to say that was the most awkward and painful date I’ve been on. And it never should have been a date! But whatever the label, from experiences like these and my previous 3 year relationship, the good, the bad and even awkward experiences have toughened me up to say no to dates as friends (for fear of them turning into real dates), to know what I want in a relationship and a guy and more importantly, the confirmation of what I already knew: dating just to date is not worth it (at least for me) while I wait for “the one.” I’d rather be alone than suffer through any unnecessary “friend” dates.


  1. Oh my gosh. "If you want, you can hold my hand." That is PRICELESS.

  2. It is hard to believe someone said that out loud. Dating is awkward.