Why Can’t We Be Friends?


Friendships, especially lady friendships, have been on my mind a lot lately, partly in thanks to the Guide to Friendship that Trin posted last week. It’s gotten me thinking about how few lady friendships I have, and how many more that I wish I had, and it’s occurred to me that what I have more than friendships are friend crushes.

A friend crush, as defined by me, is when there is a person in your life that you would really like to be friends with. It’s kind of like a romantic crush, only, you know… you just like them. Not like like them (I think).

Let me give you an example.

k-on cake

You like cake? I like cake too! We could totally eat cake together!

Today I had a consultation with an endodontist to see if one of my teeth needs a root canal (verdict: not really, but I can get one if I want one). When the doctor finally came in the room and introduced herself, I liked her immediately. She’s my age, she’s friendly, and we had some great conversation about my various medical conditions (her cousin also has narcolepsy! she also has thyroid problems!). She even thanked me for teaching her something, when I explained why I took a certain medication for a condition that is, in fact, not diabetes, even though doctors always assume I have diabetes when I tell them I take that drug.

Throughout the rest of the consultation, she was informative and helpful. We made jokes, we discussed things in depth, and we giggled with glee at our mutual nerdiness. Our connection was so profound, in fact, that eventually I actually began to feel a bit self conscious. You know, the way you do around a crush, when you want them to like you.

Perhaps this was where I went wrong; allowing myself to feel self conscious. I thought to myself, “We can’t be friends. She’s my doctor.” But then I kept wondering why not. Is there some rule that says a doctor can’t be friends with her patient? I don’t know anymore!

So now here I am with yet another friend crush.

This might be a slightly different situation than most, though, because there is at least a somewhat tangible barrier between us. Most of my other friend crushes are much more nebulous, but they all seem to have several similar characteristics.

  • She and I are at least acquaintances. We know (or at least know of) each other and interact with each other occasionally.
  • She and I have similar circles. We know and interact with a lot of the same people.
  • She and I have many things in common. We like the same things and like to talk about those things. We do the same activities! We both love cats! We play the same video games, and we like the same characters from the same animes, and we read the same books!
  • She and I seem to think along the same lines. Maybe not for everything, but for enough things. We would totally get along. Look how we’re geeking out about the same things and mirroring one another’s thoughts!
  • For whatever reason, she does not seem to think I am as interesting as I find her. Oh, she’ll respond if I engage her, but she never seeks me out or engages me first or responds to things that I say/post/do. She may even make plans to engage me in the future, but never follows through.
  • She keeps me at a distance. This is similar to the previous bullet, but whatever, I’m also putting it here because I think it’s important to note.

What I don’t understand is why.


Why can’t we be friends?

I promise I'm not pushy and bossy like Haruhi!

I promise I’m not pushy like Haruhi!

Am I too enthusiastic? I really don’t think so. I’ve never been the pushy sort, and I certainly don’t ever want to try to make someone do something they don’t want to do. I don’t think that I — at least I sure as hell hope I don’t — come across as needy or like “hey hey let’s be friends omg I really like you, come on, be my friend!”

So, then… Am I too standoffish? Maybe I don’t seem interested enough in being their friend, and so like me (after all, we’re so similar), they don’t want to push me into friendship, so they keep their distance. Perhaps?

Or perhaps… I’m just not that interesting? Maybe they don’t have time for more friends? Maybe I smell bad? Maybe they’re put off by my excessive use of parenthetical statements? Maybe I’m just awkward and write things like this?

I don’t know. I don’t know! But I promise I’m not a creeper. I just want to be friends. I just want to interact with people with whom I have things in common.