To Assume or Not To Assume

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I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way, but I don’t like to assume what a person’s intentions are. I usually prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt before I make a call on what they’re going to say or do. Call me naïve, but I believe that a male and a female can be just friends. They can talk and hang out without ulterior motives. If a guy approaches me and has a conversation with me, we might realize that we share some interests and enjoy having conversations with each other, so we might exchange numbers.

It’s true that there’s a stigma that a random stranger who asks for your number isn’t trying to be just your friend, but it’s possible. Of course, there are signs that suggest otherwise like if the guy continuously compliments your physical beauty or if he has a hard time keeping his hands to himself, but, until he states his intentions (or makes it overtly clear), I don’t think it’s fair to assume that a male’s purpose for getting your number is indecent.

Some time ago, I was out with some friends and I met two guys. One had just recently moved to Maryland and was trying to meet people in the area. The other was a friend of a friend. I had long conversations with both guys that night, they both had conversations with my other friends who were there, and we all shared some laughs. It was a good time, so, by the end of the night, we all exchanged numbers and agreed to hang out some time. Throughout the next couple of weeks, I was in steady contact with both of these guys where I got to know them better with my friends and I getting some invites to hang out. Again, I thought we were just expanding our network of friends, but, apparently, one of the guys had other intentions.

The friend of a friend expressed his interest in me and, when I told him a romantic relationship couldn’t happen between us, he responded with “it’s all good” and that was the end of our friendship. It seemed amicable. It seemed like there were no hard feelings. Flash forward about half a year and by chance, myself and a piece of that same group of friends run into the friend of a friend during a night out. Just my luck!

At first, he ignored me, which wasn’t too surprising, but then he proceeded to talk about the past. Awkward and uncomfortable are understatements as to how that situation felt. Not only was he about three inches away from my face to the point where I had to use my arm as a barrier, but he kept switching his attitude in the conversation. He went from questioning my morals to respecting how nice I was when handling the situation to asking for my number all over again (which he failed in getting). On top of invading my personal space and bringing up a tense topic of conversation, I was left confused as to if he was mad at me or still in like with me.

Needless to say, he wasn’t too pleased when I told him I only wanted to be friends with him, which is exactly what I don’t understand. If you claim to respect someone care for someone, and be mature, then why is being just friends with a person so insulting and blasphemous? Why can’t you respect that person’s current relationship and their feelings in general enough to not harass them about it? I understand that the friend of a friend’s feelings were hurt because, let’s face it, nobody likes it when their crush doesn’t feel the same way, but I tried my best to be nice and honest about everything.

Although he claimed to respect my feelings and decision, it still wasn’t good enough. Should I have just written him off from the get go? Should I have not allowed him the chance to be my friend only because he was a male I had never met before? Would that have been better? I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s fair to just assume anything about anybody.

Sure, my assumption of the friend of a friend would have been right, but, at the same time, I met the other guy in the same way on the same night, yet somehow we’ve beaten the stereotypes and are still friends… just friends. So, even though that was one of the most uncomfortable situations I’ve experienced in a while, I’m not going to start assuming things about people because sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong. In my opinion, it’s better to give people a chance before assuming they don’t deserve one.

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About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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