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The dating circle

September 2, 2009

I’m a firm believer that boys and girls can really be just friends but only on one condition: that there is no attraction on either side of the friendship. If one is into the other, or they are both into each other, things always seem to end badly. Even if they tell each other over and over that they are just friends and they’re not going to let their feelings interfere. Even if one is currently in a relationship. It will end badly.

I know this from experience. It doesn’t always end badly in the same way, but no one walks away happy. Sometimes one person can’t deal with being just friends and tries to force the other into a relationship, often saying its ‘all or nothing’. This either ends with the dramatic termination of friendship or one party being sucked into a relationship they don’t want to be in. Enter resentment and mutual unhappiness, ending with a break-up and smashing the old friendship to pieces. Sometimes one person won’t act on their feelings because they know things will get messed up but they are still miserable and unhappy because they haven’t got what they want and the friendship suffers because of it. Sometimes one person gets over the other person but can’t see them in the same light as they did previously and things become awkward and uncomfortable, thus ruining the friendship. I have seen all of these things happen and as far as my experience goes, you can’t be friends with someone if you’re attracted to them. There will be no happily ever afters. Unless of course there’s a mutual strong attraction followed by a relationship that lasts. But if that’s going to happen chances are the pair will have hooked up already and won’t be ‘just friends’.

There is one alternative  to all of this, something that tends to happen in friendship groups consisting of both sexes with various attractions and ‘crushes’ flying all over the place. The result is different, although no more enjoyable. It’s what I’ve dubbed the dating circle. Everyone knows a group of people like this, or at least has seen them in one of those TV showes where there’s a limited number of characters but unlimited drama. Everyone in the group has been out with another at some point or another. Several guys have spent years fighting over the one girl, and they’ve all slept with her. Several girls are in a massive ongoing bitchfight because they like the same guy, usually who they’ve both been out with but broken up with. He, in turn, likes another girl, but she’s already dating his best friend. You find that the exes of all these friends are found within the one group, and they rarely date anyone outside of the group. In a strange circular arrangement, they are all dating each other, albeit at slightly different times.

It is always strange to hang out with a group of people who form a dating circle. You can never be sure who exactly is going out with who, and this leads to much embarrassment and confusion when you start confusing new couples with old. It’s a complete mess and impossible to follow unless you too are part of the dating circle. In TV-land a dating circle can be considered normal, but in real life it’s just kinda creepy.

The most dangerous part is that you may accidentally end up as part of the dating circle. One party hook-up with a friend’s friend leads to another…and all of a sudden you’re dating a guy in the dating circle, hanging out with the girls in the dating circle, and becoming attracted to your boyfriend’s friend. Almost before you realise it, you are part of the dating circle. How do you get out of it? Well, that I don’t have the answer to. But what I do know is that you can’t be friends with someone your attracted to it. It will end badly, or you’ll end up in a dating circle. So basically, it will end badly.

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