Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Laws of Attraction

We are all human. I don't care if you are single or been married for 50 years. We are all going to meet people that we just seem to click with and find attractive.

There is nothing wrong with that. I think it is a good thing to have people or a person in your life that you can joke around with or flirt with or even have conversations with that just give you a different view.

As triathletes, in particular, we have a lot of opportunity to meet people. I've met people through masters, through open water swims, at races, through my Coach, through other athletes.

It is my favorite part of triathlon. I have male friends and female friends. I think it's the nature of triathlon that we tend to share probably more personal information than any other sport. It's hard not to laugh at yourself when all your good and bad parts are on display in soaking wet material that is less than a millimeter thick.

Because of that, these relationships tend to blossom.

The reason for this post is that I have been watching a couple of relationships over the past months. I'm not here to talk about them. I want to mention the "other" side of it.

I don't know how to say it in a nice way, so I'm just going to lay it out there.

Relationship #1: Female/male friendship. They've been friends for awhile and have recently gotten closer. The woman has recently started to blast women athletes. She has even said that men are so much better as friends. This is a really ignorant statement. If she's having problems with female friends, then maybe it's time to find new friends. However, I think the scale is fairly balanced with male and female assholes. There are just conversations that I can have with my women friends that I can't have with my male friends. DUDES....do you REALLY want to know our various mechanisms for carrying tampons during a race? Come on, not even our spouses are really interested in hearing about that. On the other hand, I've never really seen a guy have a problem with talking about boobs.....so, I guess there's that.

It's really sad, but all she is doing is alienating her female friends. She rips on us for going "long". (Yeah, even me who hasn't done more than an oly in YEARS). She rips on women for running marathons. Yet, all the guys who do the same distances are "inspiring".

Honestly, I think there's more going on here. I know she is easily intimidated by women who work hard and have goals and dreams. I also think she has found that the guys offer a "safe place".

Women are going to tell her like it is. Men are going to go soft. I've talked about this before. Men and women communicate differently. My experience is that if I want the truth, I'll go to my female friends. If I want warm fuzzy, I'll go to my male friends. (I'm NOT talking about being motivating or pushing each other in races. I'm saying that if I ask a female friend if I should work on leaning down....she'll give me an honest opinion. A guy will say, "No, you look great".)

This "female" acquaintance.....criticizes women for doing the same thing that men do.

Nothing makes me me more insane. Women need to support other women. We don't all have to get along but tearing each other down IS NOT the way to make friends.

Relationship #2 
Female/male relationship. I believe that men and women can be close friends (even when married to other people). You can even be attracted to each other and both be adult enough to not take the relationship into the cheating realm.

This one has my attention because at first, I couldn't figure it out. They either have their shit together or they don't care what anyone thinks. I'm not kidding when I say that they act like a couple. In fact, I would say that they are "triathlon spouses". They argue. (I have been on long rides in which these two are actually yelling at each other. It's quite funny.) They make up. They do races together. They travel together. No, they don't hang all over each other. Other than the incidental hugging, they don't even have physical contact.

Seem weird? I've gotten to know them and have traveled with them. I really think they are on the up and up. Cheaters tend to hide. These two don't try to hide anything. They talk and joke and goof off like "friends" do.

I think that's really cool.

Relationship #3
Female friendships. For me, these are the best. I know my girlfriend's PRs and can't remember my own. I like intelligent and funny women who don't take themselves seriously, but take their sport, their work, their relationships seriously. These are the friendships where nothing is off limits. You can be in a bad mood or cry for days at a time or be reflective, and they just listen or give you shit about it.

We can be competitive; yet supportive. We can push each other, but be there when a day doesn't go our way. We know when to push and when to back off. We talk about everything with no inhibitions.

Not all female friendships are like that (see #1). There are women who are petty, who have major food issues, who lack confidence on a daily basis and some who try to fill their voids with endurance events. But there are men like that too.

Let me sum up.
I'm not making any point. I'm just writing about things I think about when I'm swimming, riding or running long. When I do those long workouts, I always seem to think about the people who really make my life more interesting.

With friends,it's not always easy to find the good ones. Yet, in triathlon, the opportunities are there to meet some really great people. The really great ones make it all worth it.

2 comments:

Carolina John said...

I know what you mean. I've always felt more comfortable making friends with women, maybe because there could be an attraction there. That's just how I learned social interaction, by getting girls to go on dates with me. Guys always picked on me or bullied me for being too skinny, girls told me I was cute and gave me kisses. Now after 15 years of marriage, I still gravitate to the female coworkers, try to keep a "work wife" at every job, and don't know how to act around male triathletes without seeming too competitive. Good post.

Stefanie Frank said...

John that sounds like me in a way. At work I was always WAY closer with the guys than with the women. Mostly because they made me laugh. I had a work husband who was awesome -- he made the work environment bearable.

I think also the fact I was raised with three brothers and no sisters has a lot to do with it. For much of my life I just felt more comfortable around guys. It was the way it was and I didn't care to question it.

As I've gotten older it has evened out. Now I work from home and my close friends are about 50/50 split. Although my best friend is a guy. He's 74. Tea has met him.