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Pop Op: Why can’t we be friends?

I have a problem- and it has everything to do with my boyfriend, or more specifically, the fact that I have one. You see, I’ve pretty much been single since I came out. I’ve dated people here and there but this is the first time I have really seriously felt like a relationship was going somewhere and it’s led to an awkward new situation. It seems like the planets have aligned in such a way as to make every guy I have ever thought was cute now throw himself at me. Now I am stuck asking the question… why can’t we be friends?

Over the summer at the gym…
Last summer I met a guy named Eddie and he was pretty damn cute. Fortunately for me we had similar workout schedules and I would see him everywhere from the weights to the pool. Unfortunately neither of us would do much more than smile at one another. Eventually I grew a pair and was able to say hi after I had met Nick. It’s amazing how when you’re in a relationship you become a lot more confident because the fear of rejection is gone. Long story short, I suggested we work out together since we were always at the gym at the same time (not to mention that a workout partner is a very valuable commodity).

What I didn’t take into consideration, however, were the ulterior motives…

Same bar, different town
Whether you’re in San Diego or Los Angeles you can always count on things getting out of control at Fiesta Cantina. So during the week between Christmas and New Years (when everyone in LA seems to be off work) we decided to go drinking on a Tuesday night. As typical, our small group of friends expanded as we met more and more people who were reveling in the freedom of being off work. Before long I had my blackberry out and was drunkenly updating my facebook status, posting new pictures from the night and sending friend requests to my new drinking buddies.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized my mistake when I had an angry email in my inbox that said, “I was looking at your profile, you never mentioned you had a boyfriend last night!”

Best intentions
“Am I a cock tease?” I asked my friend Hunter the next day over lunch at Pink Taco. I was enjoying lobster enchiladas while he was drinking his lunch, a pink margarita.

“It’s all about managing expectations,” he said taking a drink. “Don’t be too flirty, don’t be coy, just drop the fact in casual conversation that you have a boyfriend or you and your boyfriend did this…”

“And this has worked for you?” I asked.

“Don’t be silly,” He added. “I don’t have boyfriends, but when I hear that I start working the three way angle.”

Working things out
Despite the source- I reluctantly took Hunter’s advice and casually dropped that my boyfriend was going to be in town for New Year’s to my workout partner during our first session together. I thought things were going to be great when he replied that he had a boyfriend as well. However, a series of text messages later that night that culminated with “I know you have a boyfriend and I have one too, but I can’t take my eyes off of you at the gym. I can’t wait to workout again tomorrow!”

Of course I ran into the living room to tell my roommate about the text and see what he thought. The first words out of his mouth were, “How did you respond?”

I held up my phone and showed him the message that said, “Do you want to work back or arms tomorrow?”

He proceeded to roll his eyes at me.

Setting the record straight
So this whole having a boyfriend thing is new to me and I’m figuring this thing out as I go along. To assume any guy is talking to me because he is interested is pretty arrogant and as long as I am not on a bender at Fiesta Cantina I am not going to be leading anyone on. The fact of the matter is that I am enjoying learning how to be in a relationship- and when you have a boyfriend as amazing as mine it’s pretty easy to want to make it work. So as far as I am concerned I can still make new friends, I just have to set the record straight from the start!