Thursday, June 1

Just Good Friends, Honest Click for more info

I read an article in The Met recently about something called "The Lunch Club". Apparently some guy in New York got bored of eating on his own and so invited some random people from a message board to a restaurant for a meal. This then ballooned into something much more organised and formal, and now there are regular lunches scheduled all over the US for random people to meet.

These lunches are supposed to be safe and, this is the important bit, innocent and non-presumptuous (since The Lunch Club claims it is NOT a dating service). Obviously things can develop, but if they do then that would be out of the club's remit; their intention is for friends and community to meet, and that's all. It's been quite the success, with many joining the thousands who are members already.

Sounds good? Well, if you have raised an eyebrow and are British then it seems that you're not alone. Apparently the same idea was spun off here recently and did quite well - at first anyway. Unfortunately the last lunch meeting only had six people and it's uncertain whether the club will carry on here.

So why didn't it work? Some reckon it's due to the inherent reserved- and shyness of the people here. I'm not sure that's quite it though, since shy people wouldn't be interested in the first place, and I'm certain there are enough interested in meeting new people for it to be viable.

No, the more interesting explanation goes something like this: that it's impossible for random guys and girls in this country to get together without thinking about "getting together". This in turn puts some people in relationship/pulling mode making the whole thing nothing more than a group blind date. In short, it's impossible for a guys and girls to look for and be just friends with people of the opposite sex.

I actually used to believe this too (stop sniggering at the back). That was till I actually met some girls, way back in college (my secondary school being for boys only). There, I made quite a few platonic girl friends and the trend hasn't really bucked since, whether they're now introduced online, via friends of friends or through the various activities I'm involved with.

Of course, I'm not closed to the idea that things may develop further, but that's not the point. I Think I've written before how I don't go into a room of strangers or to a dinner looking to pull or find a wife. I mean, that's what things like Shaadi.com, speed dating or a family introductions are for (although admittedly I seem to be better at making friends under those conditions too. Oops). On the other hand, I don't intentionally restrict myself to just friendship, choosing to see where things go naturally, if at all they do. And I don't think I'm alone in this mindset either.

However, there are some people who take quite the opposite stance. They socialise for a more specific reason, and for that reason alone. And if they don't reach their goal, then they'll move on and try something else. Not that there's anything wrong with this quite focused attitude, of course there isn't - if anything it's more conducive of a relationship than not acting this way. I just find it a shame that if these people don't get what they wanted, then they may struggle to keep the existing friendships going, or worse still, discard them altogether. "I have enough friends, thanks".

Anyway, yes, I think that guys and girls can be friends, provided that's all that they both want. And it seems to be the older generation that seem to disagree on this, with some younger people being (unfairly) accused of "being on the prowl" when that's not at all the case (and no, I'm not being defensive here. Well not that much anyway). After all, when making friends why should gender matter?

Going back to The Lunch Club, it's been suggested that platonic relationships don't work here since we've become a largely sexualised population, and that's all we think about now when meeting new people. I'm not sure it's quite that bad, but there may be something in the air along those lines. However if so, then the growing number of platonic relationships (I'm not the only one who has them, believe me) particularly within some Asian groups implies that there is a trend of desexualisation going on, or in other words these people don't actually need or want anything more than the friendships that they already have. But hey, that's another blog.

6 comments:

  1. I have quite a few platonic mates that are girls. I just tend to get on with them better. I went to a boys school till I was 18. The first girls I really socialised with were at uni. Two of my closest friends I've known since 18-19 and am always looking to find husbands for them... no luck so far.

    As for net meetings.. yeah been there done that... met a few girls and also been on 'meets' in the past where a bunch of us just met up .. I think the most ever was about 8-10 of us.

    I've made a handful of proper good friends from it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i have enough friends thanks. i really don't need to go out looking for more. sure if it happens organically, then fine, but i certainly don't need to go to a 'lunch club' looking for them

    ReplyDelete
  3. are you trying to say that new york is less sexualised than london?

    ReplyDelete
  4. The guy who set this thing up, I think he was called nizzem, well he met his girlfriend on the opening of his first store in the US. So...kerching!

    ReplyDelete
  5. bunch of freaks.

    bless.

    ReplyDelete