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Read Letter

My Friend Is Behaving Strange

Dear Jack,

Proximity breeds thoughts about the possibility of a relationship. If you’re very close to someone the thought will cross your mind at one point or the other. You view your relationship with your lady friend as pure because there’s no “ulterior motive”. But the woman is asking herself: If we get along this much and you feel this comfortable around me, why isn’t I The One? She’s in a “reverse friends zone”.

It’s the vision of a prize that is nurtured but taken away by someone else. That she’s helping you plan your wedding to another woman doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you! She HAS to help you plan your wedding. That’s what’s expected of her. She’s supposed to be happy for you. She can’t back down without looking bad. Her amity benevolence can’t be curtailed. But in private all sorts of emotions will collide in her. She’ll even compare herself with your bride statistically. She may feel rejected, feel used, become sad and angry. She’ll worry about what others will be thinking. And that’s one of the reasons she’ll get very involved in the wedding plan. She doesn’t want to come off as disappointed. She may be jealous of your bride, wondering what she has SHE doesn’t have. And she’s known you longer! Of course she’ll never admit any of these to anyone, not even to herself. It’s called denial.

She’ll then go extremely out of her way to plan the nuptials. She’s compensating, flushing out disappointment by exertion. If you take time to look back on some of her actions and statements you’ll realise she’s always wanted you. Look back. She might have snapped at you on one or two occasions for taking out other ladies. And that physical comfort – how she’s so free with you may indeed be an expression of interest. She might have asked you to help with a zipper or two, a necklace or hand chain – you know, clasps. A zipper helping is a fellowship of intimacy. The clasp request is an “innocent” expression of romantic desire. You think she can’t clasp her neck chain herself? How did she manage in your absence? She’s been telling you something but you failed to decode. You’re clueless aren’t you!

In fairness those statements might have been drowned in express denials of any interest in you. That’s why you can’t understand her “strange behaviour” after you chose your bride. She may cut off from you or even show hostility to your bride after you get married. Happens! It’s a natural reaction after a long and drawn out drama of disappointment. She can’t even understand herself. Things are never going to be the same again. Nature demands that. Your bride will not allow. She dropped you many hints on her connubial availability but you failed to pick up the clues. And you failed to pick up the signals because what she was saying was contradictory to what she desired. Her acts said I want you, her mouth said I want you not. This you read as sisterly friendship. And you misread her protectiveness; and those moments she spoke on your behalf, choosing purchase items for you.

The lesson to learn from this is that women communicate desire in penumbra. And that’s also because sociological convention dictates against the express communication of desire for a man. Communication is thus carried out through coyness, niceness, availability, physical freedom, generous presents, etc. Without a high degree of relationship probability, explicit communication of desire will not come. She may even tell those who dare insinuate a romantic liaison, “Oh, we’re just friends!” She says these contradictory stuffs to protect her PR – so it doesn’t seem she went after you.

But your friend wanted the right of first refusal. It’s a very complicated code, a sophistry even experienced men struggle with. And so the man says, “Nah! She’s my sister!” when his friends rib him about his unusually close female friend. Men aren’t wired to deal with communication sophistry. Unfortunately women don’t know men aren’t wired to deal with communication sophistry. It’s why the guy is more likely to go for the woman who likes him and let’s him know she likes him. One who doesn’t say contradictory stuff, is not worried about others knowing she likes him and makes herself available.

Men are simplistic in their emotion decoding capabilities. If they’re not players they get confused with games. They understand coyness. That’s simple enough. They even understand invitational “rejection”. But once the plot becomes too thick or too convoluted the signal gets lost. They lose comprehension. Signals become too complicated to decode when there’s too much calculatedness. “I want him but I don’t want anyone or even him to think I actually want him” is convoluted PR calculatedness.

Some women extremely go out of their way to masquerade their desire. So much so the man they want is clueless! This is made possible because the woman is conversing in three layers in her head, all at once: She’s expressing her desire to herself. She’s enacting scenarios with the object of her desire. She’s blocking off society. The third requires a lot of pretentiousness. The first two requires a lot of imagination. I do hope this helps explain your lady friend’s “strange behaviour”.

Tell your friends to take another look at their close female friends. To take time to read signals. Just a few questions: Is she possessive of you? Does she get annoyed when you take someone else out? Does she drop marriage hints? Do her marriage plans eerily fit into your circumstances or what she thinks you’ll want? Does she sometimes compare herself to your girlfriend? Does she imagine herself in your scenarios? Is she worried you’re moving too fast with a new relationship? Did your last girlfriend feel she was in a contest with her? Does she make purchase decisions on your behalf with authoritative quotes of your preferences? If it’s a yes to many of these questions you may have a lurking affection sitting down somewhere.

If you see the signs and you’re interested you may want to consider strategic lateral maneuvers. If you’re not interested then be sure to know what you’re doing!

As for you Jack, I wish you the best with your forthcoming nuptials.

Your mentor, LA


©Leke Alder 2014

Tags : Dating, Friendship

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