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Trey Songz dropped his fourth studio album, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Tuesday and I still haven’t gotten pass the second radio single, Can’t Be Friends. He most certainly hit the nail on the head with a topic that most people have experienced at least once. No cosign?
With an ugly face, pouted lips and raised hands, I’ve found myself singing the song as if I penned the lyrics myself. I’ve most certainly been there. I’ve been the friend that gave in and ultimately wished we never ‘did it’ because when it was all said and done, we could never get back to the friendship we once cherished. We both fell too deep, too fast and when we finally came up for air it was apparent that nothing would ever be the same again.
It’s one of those situations when you know you shouldn’t go there but either the curiosity is too intense or the other person guarantees you that “it” would be different. So you roll the dice and when you wake up in the morning you glance over at your friend and hope nothing changes. After all, lovers should be friends first. Right?
Sure. But friendship or no friendship, it always changes! Sex changes everything! Emotions change everything. And just as in a court of law, verbal agreements between friends never really guarantee anything because someone is going to re-nig on their promise to not change, get caught up or catch feelings.
I’d be lying if I said I never thought about my former friend and often wished our situation had ended differently. I haven’t found a friend like him since. I miss laughing about our inside jokes and hanging out. Yet on the other hand, I’d be lying if I said I never loved what we became. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy when a crush became a chance to drown in a bottomless ocean of love.
But eventually we discovered that being lovers was harder than being friends. The effort, time and responsibility was completely different and we finally realized we weren’t ready for that kind of commitment. We tried to shift back to friends and found it almost impossible.
So we called it quits. It took years to recover. It took years for a ‘just because’ text or happy birthday message to not lead to something else. And while after many years, we ‘ve learned to be cordial, its certainly apparent that we’ll never be friends again. At least not like it used to be.
Trey is definitely right. We can’t be friends. Maybe next lifetime.
I stood outside a D.C. restaurant a few weeks ago wondering if I were really ready to face three former friends. Walking away would show that my pride was still stronger than my love for them, walking in would hopefully show that I was finally ready to bury the hatchet. I walked in.
I was nervous and a bit uncomfortable but when I saw the three of them sitting at the bar I realized how much I missed them. After all, I’ve been through it all with these girls; high school, college, careers, men, vacations and everything in between. We have stories, pictures and memories for days.
In the prime of our friendships I thought nothing was strong enough to separate us but with time we began growing as women, liking different things and even different people. Then ultimately our differences began to influence our lack of tolerance for each other and then as they say “all hell broke lose.”
This person couldn’t be in the same room as that person. One large group became two small groups. Some acted better than others. Others turned and twisted conversations so much that by time it got around the group, people who were once ‘like family’ couldn’t stand each other. What followed next was nothing but drama, scandal, foolishness, betrayal and hurt people.
That night as we talked over dinner, it was apparent how each of us had been hurt. The more we talked about the things that occurred it was also obvious that each issue had a cause and effect. An action and a reaction. I realized that if a hurt person isn’t immediately tended to, that hurt will cycle itself and form a social and emotional virus that will spread within the hurt person and the people around them.
Its true. One friend was hurt by a comment that she heard I made. Had she called me on it immediately, she would have known that the comment was taken out of context. But she didn’t. Instead, she reacted in a way that once it got back to me—hurt like hell. My disbelief and shock that she was capable of treating me the way she did, hurt me so much that I couldn’t find it in myself to call her. So it took us months to clear up something that could have been resolved in a matter of minutes.
Hurt people hurt people. Even if it isn’t intentional. Even if it isn’t direct. It still hurts and an unattended wound can damage a body or in our case, a friendship.
One thing I credit brotha’s for—they can argue and be normal again the next day. Women take a lot more work. We’re a lot more emotional and vulnerable. We have a higher level of expectations in our friendships which is why one bad move can cause so much harm.
Like any relationship, friendships take work and in my case—courtesy calls. My friendsdhips and connections with people should be strong enough where I have the courtesy to call them if their love and loyalty has come into question.
What I’ve learned in life is that some friends are phases and with time and maturity you’ll learn to let them go but others are lifelong commitments that you have to learn to work through.
I’m glad I walked into the restaurant that night. It’s not an overnight process, but each day I grow closer to the women I want to be and she is one who learns to forgive, trust and love even when the odds are against her.
Believe half of what I say and all of what I do.
It’s as simple as that. Isn’t it? Yet for some reason we allow ourselves to be woo’d by the power of wordplay so much that it blocks our intuition and clouds our judgement. It’s the fact that we trust and love each other so much, that the simplest words that come from our mouths can be enough validation for a temporary relief.
But temporary is just that, it’s a quick fix.
You know the quick fixes. The things we say to shut each other up. The things men tell women when they don’t feel like hearing her nag or the things women say when she’s over dealing with an emotional man.
“I love you baby and I’m gonna change!”
“I will never do that again, I swear!”
“I will make more time for us, I promise!”
“I will never cheat again, I’m forreal!”
Haven’t we all heard or said these things before?
And maybe things did change for a few weeks but in most cases they slowly shifted right back to the problem.
That’s because we know exactly what people need to hear and when. And sometimes we have every intention to act on our verbal promises but our actions just don’t agree. And other times we tell you what you want to hear just because we don’t want anyone else to have you.
So what do you do?
You always believe an action over a word. When a person’s words do not match their actions, it’s the most obvious red flag and reason to run. Don’t wait around for the two to match; that may never happen.
People will tell you what you want to hear, so instead of always demanding the verbal truth, hold yourself high enough to expect it in actions.
You want someone who will love you by thought, word and deed. After all, aren’t you worth it?