How to Lose A Friend in 10 Days

30 Apr

Day 1: Maintain a friendship with your childhood friend, despite the fact that you no longer live in the same state. Tell her you love her like family and that she is like a sister to you.

Day 2: Like friends do, share your secrets and fears. At the moment, because you are both approaching 40, talk about your frustrations about not being married and wanting to start a family. Talk about how the lack of prospects has led you both to rekindle and revisit past loves.

Day 3: Listen intently as your friend talks about her man problems. She is hopeful. There are two men she is interested in, both out of the state, one from high school, the other from college. You remember the one from high school. She seems excited about him and plans to go visit him soon.

Day 4: Listen to your friend tell you about how much she likes the high school crush and is focusing all of her energy on him. When she visited they reconnected. They laughed. They made love. They made plans to see each other again. She is hopeful.

Day 5: (Be)friend your friend’s high school-turned grown woman love interest on facebook.

Day 6: Flirt with your friend’s high school-turned grown woman love interest on facebook (Ish, it’s not like they are “together.”)

Day 7: With the support of your friend, make plans to visit your own lost love, who just so happens to live in the same city and state as hers.

Day 8: When your plans with your long-lost fall through, call your friend’s crush and invite him for drinks. Utilize information you are privy to about your homegirl (and conversations she has had with him) to convince him that she is untrustworthy. Tell him that she is also dealing with someone in another state that she knows from college. Tell him all of the things you know about their interactions together. Don’t tell your friend.

Day 9: When confronted by your friend about reaching out to someone she is interested in (he tells her before you do), don’t apologize or recognize your bad judgment, instead get defensive and say hurtful things to her to try to make her feel undesirable.

Day 10: Call your friend, tell her that the man she has recently slept with and was interested in doesn’t want to be with her, he wants to be with you! Let her know that you are planning to move to his state so that the two of you can be together. Then ask her if, after some time passes, you can (all) still be friends?

#Truestory. Not mine, but my homegirl’s.

When she told me about her friend’s betrayal I was partially speechless. I wondered if her friend knew the code, friends don’t hook up with friends’ exes… especially when they know their friend still likes them. Where they do that at?

But when I asked heterosexual black women their opinion about man-stealing, there were varying views. Most women said that it depended on the circumstances. For example, how long they had been together? How serious was the relationship? Was she in love? Some people think that if enough time has passed between one relationship and the next, then it shouldn’t matter. Still others said that if a man is interested in someone else, who happens to be your friend, and they fall in love—who are you to stand in the way? And other women think it is about age. They said it is easy to have the “I saw him first” rule when you are 16, but as we get older, and the pool of eligible and dateable black men diminishes, you have to get in where you fit in.

Luckily, for me and my friends, we are never attracted to the same (kind of) man, so it has never been a problem. And since most of my friends, and I, are so visually and fundamentally different—we don’t tend to attract the same (kind of) men or be interested in the same (kind of) men.  Still, I like to think that if there was a man that I was interested in, that my homegirl saw first, had first, etc., that her feelings would be my priority and her previous interest would be a dealbreaker for me. I like to think that I would choose my friendship (over a man or lay).

Yet, I don’t know how to judge women who approach dating like crabs in a barrel. I mean I get it. Regrettably I have been a crab in the past—judging, scratching, and clawing my way to a man on the neck of another woman. I never saw it as that but as my homegirl described her former friend’s ambitions for a man at her expense, I thought about the women I may have (knowingly and/or unknowingly) disrespected or disregarded for a chance at love. Granted, it has never been a friend of mine, but it has been a woman, who, no different from my homegirl may have saw or loved him first.

All this has me thinking…what is the new standard?  Can we reverse the misogynistic male rapper mantra of the 90s, M.O.B. (Money over Bitches) which made it sensible (common sense) for men to never choose a woman over a friend (though, of course, these were the same men who “shared” women… “ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none”) to a new millenium B.O.M. (Blackwomen over Men, by the way, not bitches over money) stance?

What do you think?

24 Responses to “How to Lose A Friend in 10 Days”

  1. Cheryl April 30, 2012 at 8:01 AM #

    I love your phrase “Where they do that at?” It made me laugh, and is so very appropriate. The word that comes to mind (straight out of my 1990s vernacular) is “trifling.” That’s what the “friend” from way back is. You know, Michele Wallace wrote about this in 1974’s “Anger in Isolation”–heterosexual black women’s jockeying for the love, attention, etc. of black males at the expense of one another. (There is so much more in that magnificent piece.) I’m was a late-bloomer, and am gay, so I saw and experienced less of this than my heterosexual friends. But I did see and experience it. I have a friend who has said to me and others “Don’t leave your man around me.” Trifling, but I take her at her word, and I love her like a “trifling” sister. She’s a single mother, one year from forty, and would like a little love (and help) in her life. I get that, but it doesn’t excuse the behavior. I’ve said to her time and time again, “It hurt when it was done to you. Why would you do that to another woman, and in particular a friend?” Therapy is needed. Self-respect is missing. And trust between (all) women is tenuous. Just some thoughts.

    • rboylorn April 30, 2012 at 8:09 AM #

      Cheryl, thank you! I will definitely check out the M. Wallace you reference here. I am definitely a fan.

  2. Cheryl April 30, 2012 at 8:02 AM #

    *I was a late bloomer (lord, editing is a must)

  3. Chiccola April 30, 2012 at 8:05 AM #

    I firmly believe that if my friend has been with, in any way, date, kissed,or even been emotionally attached to and individual, then it’s hands off. No matter how much time passes,that individual is off limits! They’e plenty of fish in the sea take time to go fishing with your own pole, and bait, and see watch you catch…

  4. donnadara April 30, 2012 at 8:11 AM #

    Not cool. No way to treat a friend and she is inviting bad karma. And besides if the man finds out the lengths that you went to steal him, he won’t trust you anyway.

  5. angie w April 30, 2012 at 8:13 AM #

    Wow! this is completely sad and pathetic. News flash this girl was not her friend at all. She was desperate and the man involved was an ass. She should be glad to be rid of both of them. Sorry she wased her sex on him but there’s a lesson in that. WAIT to see someone’s character. he isn’t the same little boy you knew in school he’s a grown man now. One you DON’T know anymore. Clearly.

    • Karyn May 1, 2012 at 7:05 AM #

      “desperate” – exactly! Putting aside how shady it would be to treat someone like that, if you are truly that desperate that you would do anything to get a man, then you have some serious self-esteem work to do and need to wait on getting a man until you get yourself in check!

  6. Tanesha April 30, 2012 at 8:25 AM #

    This story is mine. When this happened to me the betrayal cut deep. Very deep. I have been a person to never get involved with someone’s current/past/future love especially one of a friend. It’s just an unspoken rule that I thought all women abided by. To go out of your way to contact your friends interest is hurtful and disrespectful.

  7. Relando Thompkins, MSW April 30, 2012 at 8:27 AM #

    The story you’ve relayed here sounds like a horrible experience! I was pretty speechless myself for a moment after reading it.

    Still, to me, I think the whole notion of someone “stealing” a person implies that the “stolen” person did not have a choice in the matter. While there are some cases in which that is clearly the case, it seems from what I’ve read here that the “stolen” man had oppurtunities to make his own choices as well. It takes two to participate, and while I feel that the friend in the story definitely needs to answer some tough questions, I think the same, if not tougher examination needs to take place with the man thats been “stolen” in this scenario, especially after considering his position of having unearned male privilege, and the misogynistic socialization that some men experience that makes it “ok” in their minds to play the field. your comments about the rapper mantra were spot on, and I think we can reverse it one brother at a time.

    Grace & Peace,

  8. Carey Mastre April 30, 2012 at 8:29 AM #

    unraveling patriarchal BS one friendship at a time

  9. Marlena April 30, 2012 at 8:52 AM #

    Your friend should be thankful that Ol’Girl and that Joker revealed who they were when they did. (Although I’ll put money on this not being the first time that Ol’Girl showed how trifling she could be). Enjoy the weekend with that Joker for what it was, a weekend of fun and find a way to move forward.

  10. tribecalledzo April 30, 2012 at 9:29 AM #

    Reblogged this on BLACK Consciousness in America.

  11. Jondrea Smith April 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM #

    Better to find out early rather than late. It sucks that sometimes you have to go through things like this in order to see the real nature of your ‘friends,’ but it’s better to find out now than it is to wait till the fire gets hot and they pull some fuckery like this. Not saying that either of them did you any favors by screwing you over, but they could’ve kept up the facade of smiling in your face and carrying on behind your back until you’d made a serious commitment to one or the other, and then shit would’ve really hit the fan.

  12. Sage April 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM #

    Trifling does seem to be the word, Cheryl. And not that it makes it any less trifling but this type behavior seems to be par for the course in the gay male world.

    • adelletruth April 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM #

      LOL, dont forget the lesbians

  13. Anna Renee April 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM #

    It’s all about female ego, basically. Some of us want to test our “power”; to see if we can steal yo man (or woman) because we greedy like dat. The best thing is not to go online and brag (or even mention) what your possessions are or your desires, to people you dont even know (from school 20 years ago).
    Long ago, Salt & Pepa rapped about it. It’s not new, it just something some of us will do, because we think we can, we’ll just take yo man.

  14. Not You (@HeadyHeathen) April 30, 2012 at 2:55 PM #

    Eh, though I don’t believe in love, who am I to try to limit who a friend can have a connection with? My exes are exes for a reason: they were completely and utterly wrong for me. If one of my friends wants to explore something with an ex, I will be all for it.

  15. adelletruth April 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM #

    “When she told me about her friend’s betrayal I was partially speechless. I wondered if her friend knew the code, friends don’t hook up with friends’ exes… especially when they know their friend still likes them. Where they do that at?” Really like this part….It appears that these friends have different boundaries and “codes”. My 2 cents ; don’t do to others what you know would hurt you. Some females have a way of excusing their behavior through elaborate stories and then wonder why they are alone. An ex of someone I have considered a friend at some point is off limits. If I am that desperate that have to prove I can get “him” or “her” or if im so desperate that I will start dating someone in the midst of a breakup then its clear that I have no respect for myself. This post should be read by many females that need to be held accountable. And the guy is equally as trifling if he is aware that they knew each other.


  16. @aliciafiasco April 30, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    I am beyond astonished that this happened to involve two 40 (plus) year old women. I mean, you kind of expect trifling behavior like that from someone in high school, maybe even college, but damn. That is crazy. Anyway, I couldn’t imagine befriending anyone and then turning on them to pursue a man they are interested in. If you are my friend, I trust you with my life and expect the same trust. In fact, it is hard to find a good man, but it’s even harder to find a real friend as you grow older. Something tells me this woman will get what she deserves for stealing a man from someone who trusted her to be a friend.

    I have been in a similar situation before, however, I befriended the guy before I had ever known my best friend. We were in high school, it was my first heartbreak because he eventually chose her over me. She and I lost touch for a while and then reconnected. She had no idea I had feelings for him until it was too late and they had begun dating. But she made it clear to me her feelings for him and I couldn’t refute that. We are friends to this day and we will be friends for life. Any other man is off-limits to us. That’s the code we live by. It’s all about respect.

    Also, the slogan is “Sisters Before Misters” and it certainly applies in this case.

  17. Hannah April 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM #

    I would say that it all depends on the situation. The woman in the story was triflin for multiple reasons: her friend was currently interested in and dating this guy; she got in contact with him because of his contact with her friend; and she didn’t have the respect to tell her friend she was interested in the same guy. If two exes are totally over each other then it shouldn’t matter, date away! And if you’re worried you go and talk to your friend, make sure it’s not a big deal or crossing a line. Like everyone said, this guy was weak anyway, if he knew they were friends and hadn’t cut anything off with this first woman he shouldn’t have crossed the line with the second.

  18. Anita May 7, 2012 at 1:22 AM #

    I’d like to share my story of betrayal and hope to get some insight. I had a similar situation happen to me. I was best friends with this girl (X) since high school. In my first year of university I was kind of desperate (I hate to admit it) and started seeing this guy in my biology class. I was so excited about him and introduced him to X. They got along really well and I was really happy about that. I had only been dating him for about a week or two when he broke up with me. I was devastated because I thought it was going great (although there were signs, I now realize). I asked him why and he said because I wasn’t a Christian and his parents were against that. Well, he had known I wasn’t Christian before we started dating so I didn’t get it. After a few days, he finally confessed to me that he was seeing X and he was in love. I was really upset but luckily had my room mate there to comfort me. Anyways, I decided to forgive them. I eventually started dating someone else and we decided to do the deed, we were (and still are) in love after all. I confided in my best friend and she eviscerated me and then told me that *he (my ex) thought I was a slut. I continued the friendship until my current boyfriend helped me realize that it wasn’t worth it. I started talking shit about X in my circle of friends (same circle as her) instead of confronting her directly. I know that was a mistake. She eventually blocked me off her facebook and I have a feeling it has to do with the rumors. I feel horrible. I feel like we might have been able to salvage our friendship if I hadn’t smack talked her. I was just as bad as her in that moment. I’ve given up now and my life is probably better without her but I can’t shake the feeling of guilt.

  19. Hello May 12, 2012 at 12:28 AM #

    Kiss my ass if you don’t like what I have to type, but black women are some notorious man thieves. This is coming from a black woman. Black women don’t care if they are married, engaged, have a baby on the way etc, they will take your man in a second. “It depends on the situation.” That’s typical of us. My thing is, if he cheated on her. He’s going to cheat on you. Is dating a cheater truly worth your friendship?

    • Hello May 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM #

      As for the person who wrote this post. I don’t know what you’ve done to those other women. But those chicks were not your friend. I say, if it is not your friend or family member that is interested in the guy then you have the right to pursue the man. Just make sure you’re ethical about it. For instance no fighting, lying, or dating another woman’s man.


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