Monday, May 30, 2005

Just Friends: A Scientific Study

I have moved to, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
It is only God's considerable sense of humour that can have me read about this at G's and then later in the grey area between Sunday night and Monday morning be fielding a series of calls precisely on that subject matter: the famous "Let's just be friends" speech given when budding Romeos and Juliets part ways.

Annabel and Bill, having just broken up on what they fondly believe to be cordial terms, feel that M cannot possibly wait for Monday morning to be brought up to date on these developments. M quite happily goes out of his way to be scarce in these matters because he has an uncanny misfortune of being caught in the middle of such matters. However these matters catch up with him, and in quick succession he is appraised of developments.

The blow by blow description of events I confess passed me entirely by. I was busy painting the wall with my tongue, removing lint from my sweaters with tweezers and polishing my shoes with postage stamps. I only paid attention when she said

"So we've decided that we're just going to be good friends."

Considerable painful experiences have taught me to catch my laughter just before it bursts forth at the most inopportune moments so I exercised this power and caught it just in time.

The truth of the matter, ladies and gentlemen, is that there is no way in hell that people can be good friends after they have broken up from a romantic interlude. It is complete and utter hogwash, banana oil and bull -- er -- crap. My views were enforced even further when the fact came to light that it was Bill who had shot down the plane. Being in possession of XY chromosomes I can speak with complete authority on this matter from a male perspective.

Fact: There is no such thing as "good friends" after a breakup.

To understand fully, it is in order to understand the male mind.

In the course of his duties, interactions and general existence, the male of the species tends to meet a good number of the female of the species, of various ages, lifestyles, backgrounds etc. Naturally it is inevitable that relationships will be established with the females of the species as a result of this continuous interaction These relationships can be aggregated and classified into the following groups:

EThe Third Destiny's Child You exist, but are never really noticed
D AcquaintancesThe chap will nod his head in acknowledgement when you meet in a crowded room
CFriendsYou exchange greetings and pleasantries and when you say you'll call, you do (40% of the time at any rate)
BGood FriendsYou share a connection, and are open on all sorts of issues
AMother LodeNeo may think he is The One, but he is grossly mistaken, You're it

Be under no illusions. Think of all the men you know. Rest assured that such a table is in their head and you fall into one, and only one of these groups.

Typical group membership is as follows

EThe Third Destiny's Child 50%
C Friends15%
BGood Friends4%
AMother Lode1%

Naturally, the theory of dynamics comes into play. Continuous interaction with the females in his immediate environment leads to the inevitable motion of membership from one group to another. This motion follows clearly defined, predictable rules.

  • Motion is generally downwards, e.g from E to D, subject to a number of factors, chiefly time and proximity
  • Membership movement becomes more difficult the further down the chain you go. This it is easier for you to be moved to be E from D than it is from D to C.
  • From A membership is immediately to E, or at the very best, D. Only in extreme cases can movement be to C, depending on circumstances. (Explanation follows later)
Now come the nuances
  • There exists a very grey area between A and B. This is called the Twilight Zone.
  • For a particular man X, members of his Group A are generally suspicious of the members of Group B. This is why you will find him trying to explain to "Rachel is just a good friend" to an extremely sceptical significant other. This is because it is very difficult for the Group A members to believe that Group B members are not harbouring ideas.
  • Members of group C can skip directly to A, as well as progressing to B.
  • Movement to B can be occasioned by time, proximity and continuous interaction
  • Membership in B is generally fairly lengthy, and there is a possibility of movement to A
  • Movement to B from A is a very conscious, ruminated decision.
  • It is entirely possible to stay in B for an indefinite amount of time, due to you have being evaluated and found wanting of a critical criterion that will make you eligible for membership in A. These are the famous platonic friendships.
Then come the irritations
  • Certain stimuli can occasion movement of a candidate straight from E to A. These are chiefly:
    • Ocular (e.g. meeting Halle Berry)
    • Primal instinct (the infamous love at first sight)
    • Chemical (assorted malt and chemical products)
  • Such movement is generally unsustainable, contrary to the proliferation of romance novels and TV programs. Failure rates are almost 99.99%
  • Actions on your part can also result in indecision as to where you are placed. This can be especially noted between A and B, a region called the Twilight Zone where you are unsure of where you stand and so is he. Fellows in this predicament can commonly be found staring into space.
Factoring all this in, we can go back to our scenario, where the words "let us be friends" are uttered. From a strictly male perspective, the salient facts are as follows:

If he is saying these words to you in the process of showing you the door, then you are moved from A to C or maybe D. It is a good feeling for him to believe that you are around should he in the immediate future change his mind. Of course he will generally naively fail to factor in your reactions to the dismissal.

If he is being told these words as you break up with him there can be only two outcomes:
1) You are immediately precipitated in Group E, or F. If there is no F, one will be created. No attempts will be made to entertain you, your conversation or anything about you. You will be in Siberia. This course is taken when he sees no chance in hell of a reconciliation
2) You are not moved at all. He will agree to be good friends with you, but internally he shall be strategizing on how to change your mind. Hitherto hidden charms are pulled from shelves and dusted down in readiness for a full frontal assault. He will be the very epitome of a good friend all the while pursuing his case stealthily. This is because it is not possible to be just friends with someone who makes your heart skip a beat.

There is no other outcome.

Labouring under the happy delusion that you are the exception to the case is setting yourself up for disappointment at best or ugly scenes at worst, that will manifest themselves as phone calls, drunken or otherwise, at one in the morning or requests to "try again".

This is contrary to ridiculous notions perpetuated by generations of Mills And Boon, Days Of Our Lives, Lives Of Our Days and other ludicrously unrealistic romance novels and soap operas that have polluted generations of male and female minds. Even the Neanderthal man whose advances were rejected would summarily clobber the Neanderthal Woman.

Correspondingly the Neanderthal Man who rejected a Neanderthal Woman would at best have something slipped into his roast beast that would render him lifeless or at worst have things whispered to his enemies that would have him skinned by the time the evening torch was lit.

Breakups fondly imagined to be mutual are also not exempt from this behaviour. This is because it is an established fact that in every liaison there is always the lover and the loved. Very rarely are these on equal terms.

And no, your case is not special, no matter how much you think it is.

Hopefully this will clear up this matter, at least as far as the human Male's perspective is concerned, and let me get a good night's sleep!


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