The Myth of the Guys Girl
By Frederick Reese for BounceBack.com
One of my best friends is a woman I have known since freshman orientation in college. She is one of the very few that have out-drunk me before (it took a beer ball to do it and I was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, but she was still on her feet when I passed out singing the theme song to Fraggle Rock). She used to be my wingman at the bars. She explained the infield fly rule to me. I lost $1,000 to her betting on the NFL. I once had to bail her out of jail for racing between the lights in a hospital zone.
In other words, she is one of my best guy friends.
At no time did I ever doubt her sincerity. I believe that she loves football for more than the millionaires running around in skin-tight elastics. I believe that she drinks beer because she loves the taste, or the cheap buzz. I believe that she was willing to serve as my wingman partly because she wanted to hook up with some young female hottie herself.
Related: 3 Sure Signs You Are Dating Your Drinking Buddy
I never doubted what she brought to the table and I never tried to change her. She was beautiful and glorious; a modern masterpiece that was neither masculine nor feminine, but sincerely her-a wonderful woman of her own mold. I am proud to have her as my friend, as she is-even if she did knock out another woman's tooth on a dumpster in an alley fight-I couldn't imagine her more perfectly her than she is.
Not so long ago, I dated a different woman who was not so accepting of differences. We met through a common friend, and for a while, things clicked. The relationship was more substantial than the fact that we both breathed air, drank water, and ate food; and maybe, the common ground we both stood on was enough. But, eventually, even that was not enough for her; she started to see flaws in me.
It started with my clothes. She felt that my ensemble choices were shabby and reflected badly on me and her. She never really bad mouthed my clothes per say, but she made sure her suggestions were heard: "Why don't you wear that sweater?" "I really like that shirt." "Why don't you give that to charity?"
This would have probably been fine, but she moved on to my friends. Mind it, my friends could sub in for the suspect line-up at the police station and no one would bat an eye, but they were my friends. I cared for them, and they cared for me…usually. So, when she started to suggest that they were not good enough for me, I agreed to myself, but I also took offense. These people were my family…sort of…and she had no right to tell me who to associate with.
But, she offered me sex on a regular basis, so I played along.
The final straw came when I had to cancel my Spring Break trip to Montreal so that I can stay at school with her. She was preparing her thesis so she couldn't go. But, even if she was free, she still wouldn't go. For nearly a year, I had to cancel an endless number of events with my friends, despite the fact that she insisted that I "hang out" with her friends every chance that was convenient. To be honest, I don't think she ever spent more than ten minutes with my friends.
I realized that she was trying to change me into what she wanted me to be, instead of accepting me for who I was.
There are people out there that have this idealized concept of what love is and what their perfect mate is. These people are so committed to their ideal that they would actually attempt to change their love interest into what he or she wants, without considering of the person they are altering. The sad part is that many do not realize they are forcefully changing someone they contend to love; their "perfect image" is that strong.
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. These words come from 1 Corinthians in the New Testament, and they are as true today as when they were written. If you truly love someone, you love her as she is and not as she could be. You love a person, not an idea. People are flawed, beautiful creatures. It is the flaws that make a person glorious.
There are no "fixer-uppers" in love. You either like him as he is, or you are deceiving yourself. Love should never hurt.
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More articles on BounceBack.com:
To Thy Own Self Be True: Be Yourself On Your First Date
3 Ways To Heal Your Heart Without Hating Your Ex
Can Forgiveness Be Forgotten?
Is Sex Really Required?
Frederick Reese is "Biological Offensive Plan Omega" for an alien invasion of the planet. No, seriously, he is a comically large man (2 meters tall) that lives in the ever-raining swamplands of Central New York State. He is a political and financial contributor for Yahoo!, a political and societal analyst for B. Coleur, a culinary bloggist, and a novelist with multiple novels in post-production. You can follow him at his FaceBook page-www.facebook.com/fdreese