Stage 5 Clinger

Dear Male Species,

I want to share something with you that I know at times you are vastly unaware of: NOT EVERY WOMAN WANTS TO MARRY YOU! I love my male counterparts but so often they walk through life interacting with every woman as if she only sees him in visions of being down on one knee with an overpriced piece of jewelry extended towards her as friends and family surround them cheering and clapping. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what we say they treat us like we’re trapping them into marriage.

“Wanna get together for drinks?” must mean “Should we have two kids or three?”

“I have movie passes, want to come?” has to mean “I think I’ll wear white at our wedding even though I’m no longer a virgin.”

“Are you interested in coming with group of us to Miami?” suddenly says “I’m scoping out Honeymoon destinations for the two of us.”

It’s just ridiculous to me that women have tiptoe around what they say, how they say it and how often they say it lest they be labeled Stage 5 Clinger. It’s like there is no actual friendship stage with men, they automatically put us in the category of She’s-Holding-My-Future-Hostage. I have many, many, MANY male friends and I love each and every one of them and sometimes my stomach turns and I just want to reach across the table and smack the male pretentiousness off their face when they describe their experiences with women to me.

A couple nights ago I was at dinner with a Friend and we got on the conversation of dating and the dating world and he (because he can) began explaining to me that I can come off as Stage 5 Clinger. Openly, I listened our conversation turned toward the different expectations men and women have in friendships and we compared our visions for a friendship.

Mine went something like this:

I’ll be walking in the door of my apartment wearing a cantelope-colored shirt and brown slacks. My shoes are gold, open-toed heels and I have on a few slight bracelets, both my gold necklaces and all seven hoops in my ears. My work bag is slung over my shoulder and I have on a light jacket. I pull out my keys and shift my bag slightly so I can rest the phone between my shoulder and my ear. I’m on the phone with you and I’m sharing my day with you. It’s what I do every day and as I share with you I’m laughing, listening intently, sharing openly and contributing openly to you in our conversation.There’s nothing I can’t say and there’s nothing I have to say. Talking to you is as much a part of my day as fixing dinner, writing, reading, working and playing. A day without you wouldn’t be complete, whether it’s for two minutes or two hours. You are the someone with whom I travel with, hang out going to games and watching games with, brunch on Sunday mornings, trying new restaurants, running in the park on Saturday mornings. With you I do something or nothing at all and it is the best part of my life. It’s been a year and I know you, who you are and who you aren’t and who I am for you is that person you get to be you with, completely, unfiltered, nothing between us. With you I get and give the unabridged version of life, nothing unsaid, nothing undone. I know you well enough to hear what you say and hear what you don’t say, to me you are special. I’m at my best with you whether it’s my best day or my worst. It’s been a year and you get me, you listen to me, you hear me and to you I am special.

His vision:

I was thinking dinner next Wednesday Night.

What are your thoughts? Stage 5 Clinger or just a really fantastic friend? Do men have it like every woman is trying to drag him down the aisle or is that just our perspective? Is there even such a thing as men and women being friends?

Love Always,



3 Responses to “Stage 5 Clinger”
  1. Teresa says:

    I so understand this and have had similar experiences when talking to my malel friends. Really, an invitation to a movie can just be an invite to a movie, not an invite to the rest of my life.

  2. Kelly D. says:

    I totally agree! I don’t know why a genuine (male) friend has to constantly question, “Is she falling for me???” everytime you are slightly affectionate toward them or invite them to a casual gathering! Do our female friends question our motivation when we want to catch a movie with them? Do they start to question if we are crossing the line from friendship to love? Why should this be different just because we are different sexes?

  3. While it is entirely possible for men and women to be genuine, platonic friends without ever falling for one another, the complication is that there isn’t enough communication — not just between sexes, but within sexes, as well!

    As a male, my radar *is* particularly sensitive to clingy types, particularly because gender roles in society have been perpetuated to where women are stereotypically conditioned to desire different things from relationships than men. I’m not talking sex or money: I’m referring to the level of commitment, and the level of interaction.

    Generally, men are emotional introverts compared to women. This is not to say that all men or all women are the same, but from my guy friends to myself, we all tend to keep to ourselves and have trouble communicating our emotions. This is a result of our socialization and how we’ve been taught to “be a man.” Personally, I’m better at communicating my feelings than my friends, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll be blunt and admit my feelings so readily; after all, as humans, we are all afraid of both change and rejection.

    In reference to the scenario in this post, men *do* think of such an expression of feelings as being clinginess, largely because we’re not used to people (not just men or women) communicating such feelings in such detail. Even if they are merely feelings of friendship, we’re not used to having such importance placed on feelings or their expression.

    And yes, we *do* misinterpret much of what women say because, again, we’re not conditioned to communicating our feelings, so when we assume there’s any hint of attraction, we automatically cling to that hint and never let go of that instinct. There are very few men and women who are able to distinguish attraction from friendship.

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