Lovelies: Yesterday, I was talking about how awesome it was to have Jake Stein* along on the weekend trip--and also talking about how Jake and I went from being best friends to being boyfriend-and-girlfriend for a brief period.The question of our dating came up like this: Jake and I had gone back to his apartment for a nightcap after having dinner together ... Plus, he's very tall and quite handsome--an indubitably attractive guy (whom the ladies generally love).
But he told me he'd been mulling it over for a while, and he was serious about wanting to give things a go. And not having Jake in my life seemed unimaginably painful. Maybe incompatible phermones are to blame--who knows?At the same time, after considering it for a minute or two, I realized that if I give it a try, my reluctance could create a weird dynamic which could very well do serious damage to the friendship--maybe as much as a failed romance would. --because there doesn't seem to be much else to explain it.I also wondered if my hesitation had to do with a (lingering? Yet, the lack of sexual heat was an indisputable fact.) case of commitment-phobia on my part, rather than any real doubts about the situation at hand; maybe the supposed chemistry conundrum was just a cover for my fear of getting closer to him. (Trust me on that: About six months after we broke up, Jake said, "The sex really wasn't very good, was it?And so I decided that the very best thing I could do was to give it a shot and see what happened--in part because I also felt fairly confident, upon reflection, that my friendship with Jake was strong enough to survive just about anything. " And indeed, it was not.)Still, the break-up--understandable and inevitable though it was--hurt. After all, if I couldn't make it work with this person I cared so deeply about, and got along so well with, how in the hell was I ever going to make thing work?
It took a few months before Jake and I began to hang out again.But then one afternoon, after we'd both (independently) moved out of D. to return to New York, I was getting my hair cut at my old favorite place--Antonio Prieto--when it dawned on me that I was just down the street from Jake's new office.(We had always been in tentative e-mail, even after the split.) I texted Jake, told him I was nearby, that I'd get out of the salon around 630--and did he want to grab a drink at that point? and luckily, after that, our friendship fell back into place fairly quickly.And thank Buddha for that, because, have I mentioned I this person?(Dear me, I'm even tearing up a little as I write this.)Anyway, the experience has me convinced that BOTH friends need to feel pretty strong chemistry before they move from being platonic pals to romantic partners.Otherwise, I think the chance of it working out are slim.