Jun 3, 2011

308. That’s What Friends Are For


I met David next, an American programmer, happily divorced, with an 11-year-old son he clearly adores.

He is very friendly to everyone, we agreed just to be friends, so we met and became friends very quickly. But after he realized he could never get more than friendship from me, he suddenly lost any interest in being friends anymore.

What he doesn’t know is, I am not only picky on boyfriends, but also very picky on friends.

Many westerners here in Tokyo are used to the royal treatment from the Japanese. They take advantage of the kindness of the people here shamelessly. I call them the “users”.

I let some of my “friends” use me, because I met them long time ago when I had no ideas about the users, and over the years they have become a habit. They are very happy when I remember their birthdays, and some even expect me to, but they will never ask when my birthday is.

Dumb as I am, I’ve learned my lesson and now I avoid the users.

Harry is also American, a professor in a well-reputable university here. His wife lives in the States with the kids. He doesn’t really want a divorce, because he thinks he might get back with her one day.

At least he is honest. He basically told me everything and asked for a special “friendship.”

I know many Japanese women would go for it, but I also know a user when I see one now. So I told him of course we could still be friends, and he cheerfully agreed. And then of course we never stayed in touch.

Friends, such a confusing word.

My definition of a true friendship is an equal and genuine caring relationship based on common interests, and mutual understanding, trust and respect.

Friends enjoy doing stuff together, but can also just hang out and do nothing in particular. With your friends, you feel safe to bare your soul because you know you won’t be judged. And you also know you will always be there for each other.

I don’t call many people friends, but I stay true with the few I am fortunate enough to call my friends. 

I believe real friendship is the purest form of love, and a loving relationship should start with friendship.

Having said that, I would hate to have a roommate-like partner. So I think partners are simply best friends who can’t keep their eyes and hands off each other.