I got a phone call Monday from a friend — a male friend — who wanted some advice. He and I are both single and have recently decided to kind of “help each other out” when it comes to finding someone (we’re a mess when it comes to dating each other, but are finding out that the friend thing really does work for us).
This friend had met a woman and went out on a date on Sunday, then met for lunch or some such thing Monday. During the lunch this woman apparently threw up some pretty strong “red flags” which made my friend decide he’s not interested in pursuing the relationship any longer.
He initially asked my opinion on one of the red flags, and I agreed with his decision. But the advice came to be about an invitation to the woman’s birthday celebration with friends, to which he was invited. He said he planned to go, then let her down easy.
I said, “Bad idea.”
His thought was that he didn’t want to ruin her birthday and would go and “be nice.” My thoughts were that birthdays were special days and, since all of her friends would be there, he would be kind of “meeting the family” and implying that he was happy to share her special day with her.
He wasn’t convinced – not nearly as much as he’s convinced my take on relationships can sometimes be neurotic and angst-ridden.
So, without his knowledge, I conducted a short poll among my female friends. What advice would they give? I sent an e-mail out to 25 friends of all ages, walks of life, marital status, etc. Of the 12 responses I got back ALL of them were against his going to the party.
Then I told him of the poll and emailed him a copy of the answers – with everyone’s name removed. His response? “Thanks for the poll. I get the message!”
It’s just another insight, really, in why relationships can be so difficult – his thoughts on the party were valid and understandable, but as women, we knew how we would interpret his presence. And the two opinions had completely opposite outcomes.