Just Friends 

Can men and women be just friends

I feel like this question comes up all the time. I’ve always considered myself a guy’s girl. I’ve always had a great group of girlfriends but I’ve also had an equally great group of guy friends. I think it started when I was working in a male dominated field. Of a 10 person management team I was the only female. I’m also the only girl of all my siblings. So to say I’m pretty comfortable with a group of dudes is an understatement. 

Recently I had the chance to take a quick weekend trip to do some hiking that I’ve been dying to do. One of my coworkers wanted to come along and I was happy to have the company. My coworker just happens to be a man. When I mentioned to my friends that he was going with I couldn’t believe some of responses I got. Everything from “he obviously wants to bang you” to “well, be careful you don’t lead him on”. My response of “we’re just friends with similar interest” was almost laughed at. We stayed in separate hotel rooms, which we booked separately. There were obvious, and unspoken, boundaries. We had a blast together and I’m glad he was there. As I was posting pictures on social media, because duh, I purposely left out photos of us together. I just knew it would stir shit up and I didn’t want to deal with it. I knew people would comment and ask what the deal was. Can’t men and women be just friends? 

Yes, there are times when friendships with guys get messy. When one person develops romantic feelings that the other doesn’t share things can get awkward. I’ve been on both sides of that equation and each equally suck. It takes maturity, uncomfortable conversations and transparency to navigate those waters. 

For me the positive of having guy friends out weighs the challenges. My guys have been a touch stone of relationship advice that is different than my girlfriends. They’ve been my protectors in times of heartbreak, and I can’t tell you what that has meant to me. These guys have moved my couch, fixed my car and put together countless pieces of IKEA furniture. They bring less drama and tons of laughs and I know they seriously have my back. 

So, to answer the question… Yes, I do think men and women can be just friends. I think we’re all adults and I think you can be friends with a guy without wanting to fuck him or marry him. Sometimes you really are just friends and that can be a beautiful thing. 

Just Say No

No. It’s just two letters, but it packs a powerful punch; or at least we think it does, because so many of us are afraid to say it.  For some reason people, and particularly women, are afraid to just say no. We feel the need to justify our response. We feel the need to excuse. We feel the need to sugar coat it, soften it, not offend.

Recently, I was having dinner with my sister and her fiancé. He received a text message from one of his female friends asking his advice about turning down a guy who was inviting her to go “hot tubbing”. I said, “Tell her to say no… It’s pretty simple”. It sounds simple. This woman is 30 years old, and she is afraid to say no because she doesn’t want to insult, offend, piss off, or aggravate some guy she could seemingly couldn’t care less about.  

This situation got me thinking… I too have been in like positions, and I have found myself side stepping turning someone down. I’ve lied, and lied and lied with some bullshit story, when the truth is I didn’t want to go. For whatever reason, I didn’t want to go. It could have been the guy was someone I totally wasn’t interested in. It could have been that I was tired. It could have been I had to work super early in the morning. It could have been that Netflix and Thai food sound like a better night. It could have been a million reasons, but it all boils down to the fact, I did not want to go out with this person at this time. All I had to say is no, but I didn’t.

Why am I, a 32 year old, confident, intelligent, independent person, and I am scared to say no in social settings? I am quite comfortable saying the “N” word in a professional setting. I don’t even bat an eyelash (extension) saying no. I don’t think twice, and I don’t feel the need to explain myself. So why, when presented with it outside the confines of my office, do I squirm away from a polite declination.

Retaliation… retaliation is a big reason why. I’ve had men who after I politely declined their advances completely lose their shit on me, for lack of a better term. I have been called every single name you could call a woman just because I said, no thank you. I was called an insecure c**t when asked point blank if the guy was wasting his time, and should just move on and I said, yes. That’s it. I answered his question, and it was the wrong answer. The only acceptable answer to him would have been, “Oh my Gosh! I’m so flattered a strapping, lovely, perfect specimen such as yourself would ask lil’ ol’ me out! I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend a night stroking your ego… Please, may I get you a sandwich in a French Maid outfit?”

Often times, I take the path of least resistance, which is the ghosting method. It seems egocentric men tend to take a silent rejection better than being told to their face (or phone screen). It doesn’t always work that way, but the odds are better.  

Another reason I shy away from saying no is I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Usually people I care about: friends, guys I am on the fence about, guys I really do like, family. Even when we’re not rejecting someone, the need to say no arises, for whatever reason. I can’t stand when someone won’t take no for an answer. When you stand your ground, they are upset with you. They sulk, or won’t respond to you. I find this behavior to be incredibly obnoxious, not to mention childish.  

Sometimes, they push you and push you, and you find yourself on the defensive. You find yourself making up reasons why you “can’t” do something, when you don’t have any obligation to defend your response. This whole routine is just exhausting. I find myself cutting these people out of my life, like I’m trying to cut carbs. I don’t need that in my life. No means no. I’ll just stop responding at this point if someone won’t take my initial no for an answer. I’ve finally listened to my mother, when she said, “no one ever died of hurt feelings”. She’s right, get over it people.  

I’m working on saying just a simple no these days. I’m working on not justifying or excusing my declinations. I’m working on eliminating people in my life who won’t take no for an answer. It’s freeing… Give it a try, just say NO!

XOXO,

Piper 💋

Regrets and Repossession

I was recently chatting with a girlfriend who is in the mist of a fresh, painful break up. We covered all the topics you would assume we would. Then she said something that has really had me thinking.

“More than anything I wish I could get back the dirty pics I sent him while we were together.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve sent my share of naughty pictures to men I’ve dated. And yes, I wish I could get them all back. But, if there were things I could reclaim as mine alone, it wouldn’t be pictures.

I try to live my life with no regrets, but that’s not always realistic. When a relationship ends you can’t help but question things. For me sometimes I wish I could take it all back. I wish that I could regain all the parts of me that I gave to that person. If I could take things back it would be long conversations when I opened up and shared things I rarely do. It would be the slow kisses and the quiet car rides holding hands. I wish that I could take back all the moments when I was naked and raw, tangled in his bed sheets. I wish I could erase the sound of my laugh from his memory, because honestly he doesn’t deserve to remember the sound. I want back the time I gave that could have been spent with my friends or my family or with myself. I wish I could get back all the energy I spent making it work and seeing the best in him. I wish I could reposes every moment when I was vulnerable, when I was emotional naked.

Endings are so hard and reflection can be truly uncomfortable. If you choose to be real and open in your relationships you run the risk of leaving pieces of yourself scattered behind you. It’s a gamble, a roll of the dice, every single time. These precious pieces mean much more and leave me feeling more exposed than any racy selfie I could ever take and text.

How Not to Lose a Guy

If you’re a single gal like me, you probably see lots of advertisements on your social media about how to “catch” and keep the man of your dreams.  If you’re anything like me, you may or may not have given into clicking on these pages and finding yourself on their email list. 

I think I stay on their mailing lists because I thoroughly enjoy reading their emails and instantly getting pissed off. Now, besides the point their grammar and sentence structure are atrocious, the way they depict women is highly offensive to me. If you read these often, you’ll become a paranoid mess. I don’t care how confident or well adjusted you are. These “newsletters” will make you feel like you’re a complete idiot when it comes to men and you need to change everything about yourself to get a “good” man. 

You post too much on social media, you share too much about yourself, you talk too much, you don’t talk enough. You’re too clingy, you’re not emotionally available. You need therapy (just don’t talk about your therapy). You had sex too soon, you friend zoned him because you didn’t sleep with him in the “magic window”… My head is spinning just from typing that, and honest to God, those are all articles I’ve read. Here’s the deal, if there is some magic formula for getting a man, I don’t want one. 

I want to be with someone who loves me because I talk too much, because I don’t believe in a magic number of dates. I want to be with someone who doesn’t care I have horrible taste in reality TV shows. I want someone who likes my quirks and my personality. I don’t want a man who is looking for a Stepford wife, because I can never be her. I’m not a formula kind of girl. I’m a wreck.  I’m moody, I’m a smart ass, I swear too often, and I’m clumsy. I’m a tough nut to crack, you’ll never know what I’m thinking. As soon as you think I’m going to turn left, I swerve right. I’m frustrating, infuriating even. I’m always on some crazy diet, and I’m always going to probably rock an extra 10 lbs. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m real. What you see is what you get, and if I’m with you, it’s because I like YOU.  That’s it. Pretty simple. 

Stop telling me to be someone I’m not. I’m going to post my dating blogs on my Facebook page and Thought Catalog, because they’re worth posting. I’m going to say fuck, because sometimes there isn’t another word that goes as well. I’m still going to drink too much on the rare occasion and stumble and fall. I’m going to keep rocking my fake eyelashes and contouring my face because I like make-up. I know I don’t need it. I know I’m beautiful either way. 

Let me be.  I know I’m going to meet someone who loves me, not in spite of all my flaws but because of them. You are too… 

XOXO, 

Piper 💋