Hey Boy! Your Best Friend is a Girl? Never Mind, You’re not Alone….

Need to share something exciting?? Looking for a shoulder to cry?? Want to confess, share or simply bitch? If you’re a guy or a girl, there are high chances that shoulder extended is that of a person from opposite gender. Rules of the game are simple for boys and girl alike. You want to have fun, enjoy, hangout etc. you may do it with your gang of boys or girls. The moment you feel the need to talk “Serious” issues impacting your life, you go to a best friend, most probably not the same as your gender. This is also referred to as ‘Platonic Relationship‘. According to wikipedia,

Platonic love, in its modern popular sense, is a non-sexual affectionate relationship. A simple example of Platonic relationships is a deep, non-sexual friendship, not subject to gender pairings and including close relatives.

What intrigues me about platonic relationships are two things – why we do it? and i-kid-you-not, what are the best practices to follow? 🙂 simply put, why boys and girls gel more and what steps to follow to keep it just that – platonic. Making whole affair spicy is the popular belief that best friends make best of lovers. Indeed, I am available to testify that anyday ;).. So how and why do we get along with opposite sex so much? Here are my top reasons:

## They are better listeners than similar gender friends…afterall which guy would be interested in knowing what’s happening in other lad’s life??

## Cos they listen better, they empathize better…hence are closer to heart…

## There is huge curiousity about the other sex…Whats in their mind, how they react to situations, how to impress them, or simply what works and what not…completely unchartered territory to be explored..

## Some Insider tips, advices or suggestions on how to go about winning someone over…

## There is no competition… with same sex, you are always bound to be comapred on appearance, intelligence or skills…no such competition with opposite sex :)…

## Attention never seems to cease from the opposite sex…Get loads of it all the time…:)

## You can shamelessly ask for any number of favors…and get your work done…

## You can simply bitch or complain about anyone under the sun…even about the one you love…on a serious note, there are some things you dont even share with your someone special, no holds barred here…:)

People have thier own opinions on platonic relationships…Some argue that a guy and a girl can never be ‘just’ friends…while others are of view that people can be friends without getting the angle of love and sex involved in their relationship. Fair enough, both sides put their arguments in a manner which do not have a right/wrong answer as relationships come with lot of  subjectivity involved. Even though it is good to have friends, there has to be priorities defined on how do you want to treat people in your life. There is a whole lot of effort required along with great restraint from both the parties involved. Here’s what I think are the things we shouldn’t forget if we are in a platonic relationship,

** Draw your limits on what to share and how much to share. I guess there should be check on few things personal, which you would rather prefer sharing with someone special…

** Don’t believe just because your comfortable talking to your friend, you would turn to them in every situation…be wary, especially in emotional situations….The support extended at these situation brings you closer to anyone in record time!!

** Be focussed. Don’t create if’s and but’s scenarios with your best friend in mind…trust me, its gonna be disastrous, and you would probably end up on losing side..

** Flirt, but again, need to show some restraint. The love emnates from the flirting and becomes too much to handle…

** Never ever give priority to you friend over your love… You would be doing great injustice to them. Always remember your love has the first right on you…

** Never compare the two – your friend and your love. Both are individuals, bound to be different. Respect the same. period.

** Being protective is good. But only if  its your love interest. Don’t try to be protective and poke your nose too much in their affairs. Alongside, don’t take or force your decisions on them. You ain’t god controlling the life of mortals…

** Its good to be available for help sought by your friends…but on expense of your own life, personal engagements etc.,  No way!. if you draw a line for yourself, make sure your friends do that too.

 I understand, we are all humans, always ready to err. Don’t do this, do that, may never help. I suppose, what I have written is tending towards ideal or perfect. But, all of this would make sense if you try and see your friendship being in your lover’s shoes. How you would feel about the relationship then? I am sure the limits, focus and priorities would come by themselves, without any great effort. Afterall, what if your friend has a love and they start keeping tab on the relationship with you. Exactly! sooner or later that has to happen.

However, if you/your friend fail to do all this, get ready to propose your friend…A good, strong relationship is in store for you…;)

 

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Be The Change You Want To See….

Mahatma Gandhi said this to people to self – empower themselves rather than cribbing about things being bad or not how they should be. Everyone, yes, everyone around wants things to move in the way they desire. They want other people to adjust to their whims and fancies, buses/train/traffic to move according to how they want, work to be over as they wish, want their favourite sports person/ team to perform as per their standard…etc. etc. Does that happen? The chances of all this happening is next to never…Still, people would proclaim…’my way or highway’… Till now, I thought this statement is useful in evaluating any system (political/social/education etc.)…However, when I twisted the cube, I found it is a very potent statement when applied to relationships.

The-way-I-want-to-see-you-behave-and-react forms the biggest form of expectation and cause for relationships to survive or succumb. It all starts with finding common behaviour in early stages of the relationship. After the relationship is stable, the commonness remains, and you are single-handedly after the uniqueness of the other person… You want your partner to speak, behave, react, laugh, cry, expect, imagine, dream, spend, save, invest, interact and conduct exactly the way you deem appropriate….quite a recipe for disaster I must say…

Why do we do so? Why we become less tolerant of other’s unique abilities and their method of reacting in a situation? Why cant we simply accept that two people will never react in a same manner to all the situations. We are just too engrossed to change the person’s behaviour and identity in the name of love…Here’s what I think why we do it,

Comfort Zone/Status Quo: People just don’t seem to bother to come out of their comfort zones and would like to have everything on a platter… They don’t make an effort to understand their partner’s personality, Instead they want their behaviour superimposed on them, so that they can live an easy life…

Additionally, most of us love uniformity and symmetry….everyone who does not behave/react in same manner as us/maintain certain acceptable norms, is labelled as too random and unstable…Its difficult for us to change rather than asking someone else to change…and we always try to go for easy path..:)

Ego & Conflicts: If two people are put into a situation, they will react in their own manner resulting in conflicts. Many amongst us are not game for a healthy argument… We avoid getting into confrontations with our partners. Even if we get into one, we want to force what we want on them, so as to justify to their egos…”Why do I bend and forego my habits…Why should I change if he/she are not willing to change?”…

Dominate and Dictate: People wish to dominate and dictate how their relationship should move ahead… They derive a certain kind of power kick out of this…They set the relationship rules for the other partner as their personality is overpowering enough… They become the ‘Atlas’ carrying the mantle of the relationship on their shoulders…soon, the dominant partner decides everything in the relationship…. Actually, if you look deeply, you will have a dominant partner in each relationship… I feel sex and age have nothing to do on who will dominate….

Prince Charming/Dream Girl: We all nurture dreams of landing that dream girl (DG) or being rescued by the prince charming (PC)…some people go a little beyond and also decide how they should behave….:) But, life is not utopia, where we get ideal matches…imperfection is reality… To give shape to what we think, we start our quest to improve our partner’s imperfections…and try to decide the right/correct way to behave…

Case of boosting self esteem….may be…

Comparison (True for People with or without PC/DG): Just because your friend’s boyfriend/girlfriend act in certain manner, you expect your partner to behave like them…’Look at them, so lovely they are….’ you say…underneath, You think…Wish I had a boyfriend/girlfriend like that…You know that can’t happen (or can it!!!)…so, you issue diktats for your partner….and start chasing an Image and forget to appreciate the qualities your partner has…

Previous Relationship Experience: Relationships end, expectations remains…We often carry the experience of previous relationships (Not only love relationships, but other relationships like with parents, friends etc.)…and expect an encore….We expect the same or more respect, attention, right etc. in the new relationship as we used to enjoy in previous one…so, when we don’t see that happening, we try to bring the same magic in our existing relationship…

Well, tolerance is what is eluding us…We have our opinion on everything but if some one has different opinion, we find it difficult to take it in right spirit…If all of the above is done to save the relationship, why not try to change your self to accept the person the way he/she is..Why take the easy way out to see what you wish to see…

A little more tolerance please…

What We Have, We Don’t Want…What We Want, We Don’t Have….

Once upon a time, there was a boy – Hans. He was a poor boy who left his mother and worked for 7 years for his master. After 7 long years, he wished to see his mother. He said to his master – “Master, my time is up; I must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me my wages and let me go.” The master gave Hans a lump of Silver as big as his head. Thus, Hans set off on a long journey back to his mother. While travelling, he found the lump of Silver to be heavy and exchanged the Silver for a horse to complete his journey. The horse was too wild for him, so he exchanged it for a cow. The cow was old and stringy, and gave no milk. He exchanged the cow for pig. That pig was a stolen one, so he exchanged it for a goose. In the end, he exchanged goose for a grinding stone to start earning afresh – as a knife grinder. As the stone was very heavy and he unable to carry it, dumped it down a well. Hans returned empty handed to his mother.

This is a summarized version. you can read the full story here.

Hans kept exchanging his possession to get the things he didn’t have. He always was in awe of what other’s possessed. Its paradoxical as whatever he wanted to have, as soon it became his, he set his eyes on a new thing which he did not possess.

Don’t you think there is a little bit of Hans in all of us? We are chasing far too many desires and wants. As soon as they are fulfilled, we stop caring for what we have, and create a new list to possess. Think about it – after getting that coveted job, MP3 player, Mobile phone, laptop, Car, Clothing etc. (list can go on and on…), have you ever told yourself – this is it. I am satisfied with this and I don’t want an better/expensive version. There are two schools of thought working here –

First school of thought says that, well, this paradox of wanting-having- wanting is the prime cause for dissatisfaction in our lives. Its a materialistic race that we are getting ourselves into. All the marketing by sellers/media is creating hollow dreams of possession among common people.  Often, possession is linked to status in the society and friends circle. Those who caught in this web, will keep hoarding things and would not ever be satisfied resulting in inferiority complexes and mood swings.

On the contrary, other school of thought says that wanting is the prime objective of human kind. People seem to get a direction and keep setting fresh, harder goals for betterment of their lives. The phenomena of desire is what keeps them ticking. There is nothing in comparison of a goal/dream achieved. That is how people have done inventions and discoveries. Without, this ‘want’, many of us would not live a lifestyle we afford today.

I don’t wish to be preachy and take side of any school of thought. I would leave it on you, wise people who understand what is good/bad, right/wrong for them. I just wish to say that from experience, that most people (including myself), almost 99% of them, start with being the first kind and end and end up being second. That doesn’t mean being first one is wrong and the other is right. It is just that standing  at a given situation, we all use previous experience and some gut feeling to decide between appropriate and not so appropriate. We all wish to become ‘been-there-done-that’ personality and gain respect from those around us looking at us in awe with their mouth wide open…

What will you choose to become is entirely on you…After all, Hans could have taken home all his Silver and would have lived happily ever after….

If only, life was a fairy tale….

The Expectations Conundrum: I am here, where are you?

It is expected in a relationship that both individuals understand the unsaid demands and expectations of one another – some sort of mystical bond which helps you gauge what the other person would be comfortable with or agree to.  If sometimes people can’t see through, they need to be told or explained in words or any other form of communication. It is an imperative to express your desires/expectation, get understood and vice versa. To Simplify, let’s take a peek into life of X (the guy) and Y (the gal)…

Expectations and desires change with time – Today, X wants this, tomorrow he expects that and so on…. But, most of the time, X wants Y to guess what he desires or expects from her – as if she gets a relay of X’s thoughts in her mind…If X does not see that happening, X talks to Y about what he wants, sulks and make huge issue out of it…..As a result, either Y fulfills these expectations or they keep arguing on the same and fall out…This is what we would call ‘important expectations’…

X has some desires and expectations which are ‘good-to-have’, but ones which X can do without… we would call them ‘good-to-have’ expectations…These are things which X desires, communicates and then either he forgets/accept the status quo or simply move on. This is where the whole confusion starts.

Y, who has been all the while listening to X’s ‘good-to-have’ expectations, is deeply dented/moved by her inability to gauge X’s expectation and do nothing about it… Thanks to all this, Y gets fixated at that point in time. It’s like a time warp, where Y is standing still and X has moved on.

Y then thinks of fulfilling those ‘good-to-have’ expectations for X, and it becomes a mission of sorts for her. She puts in a lot of effort, makes sacrifices, learns new things, embraces change and does everything possible… Small price to pay for a stronger, better relationship – She thinks.

And when Y is ready, she surprises X and gives him what he always expected…but, he doesn’t find the fulfilled expectation amusing or anything great about it. Y is heartbroken and confused – what did I do wrong? Isn’t this is what he always expected?

That’s the whole point – to understand the expectations. No one in a relationship can discuss A to Z of their lives. What’s necessity for you right now… may not be a thing of use to you tomorrow…It’s difficult keeping current with your own expectations, let alone that of the other person..This is because experience changes people’s perspective and it is different for all individuals…

I guess only way to come out of this situation is to keep asking your partner about what they would like to do….But, need to do this in a subtle manner…you would not want to spoil the surprise part of this whole exercise…

Keep current with their expectations….otherwise all your effort will go down the drain…