When I try to make this with a stranger, I can't resist, I feel... as if distraction of mind is roving behind my eyes. I think, why I'm doing this- may be, I am so much in confusion; what you decide that noway depends on me, but, it is true that I have to change my views on a way to feel.
I am an authentic gentleman. I can never pretend to be something else. What I am going to tell you, you may be surprised, but I don't have any option without telling you the truth. Before making friendship why don't you face the reality?
It doesn't seem incredible, if there are few matters in this life about which it is safe to dogmatize or lay down the law. And there are, as we all know, practically no rules without exceptions. But if one safeguards the statement by this proviso, it can be laid down as a rule of life that real friendship between man and woman is impossible.
Now this statement is not derogatory either to man or to woman. It is simply a fact based upon the laws of Nature. It is inevitable. What friendship contains, we know better. And that is where the trouble comes in.
A girl who is keen on sport, for instance, finds a man who shares her tastes. They are thrown together by their common interests, and they become friends. She is the kind of girl, perhaps, whom men call a 'ratting good sort'.
There is 'no nonsense about her', they say.
And by that they mean a very high compliment. They mean she is not the sort of girl who wants to flirt with every man she meets; that she is the kind of girl to whom a man can talk without her imagining that he is in love with her; and that she is a girl who can talk intelligently about the things that interest men.
There is a great virtue, from a man's point of view, in being able to talk about things, and not people. There are hundreds of women who have no interest in a conversation unless it is personal.
Well, this 'jolly good sort' and the man whom we will also suppose is a 'good sort' become friends. They play games together and see as much of each other as they can. What happens? Well, first of all, even if they have no idea of love-making themselves, the idea is soon put into their heads by the remarks of other people. "Oh, they are always together," says one. "Are they engaged?" says another. "If they are not they ought to be," says a third. You know the kind of thing.
At any rate, the man soon realizes that by his friendship he is compromising the girl, and only two courses are open to him- either to propose to her or gradually to cool off and drift away. Perhaps, in a rare instance, both part unscathed.
But how often does this happen? In 99 cases out of 100 either the man or the woman suffers. He cares and she doesn't, or vice versa. And when, as we see is more frequently the case, it is the woman who comes to care as a result of this platonic friendship, she has to suffer in silence.
We believe there are exceptions to every rule, as these have been seen in numerous history and biography records of noble men and women who have a genius for friendship. We don't always know both sides of the story. But cases there are, no doubt.
It must be admitted that a man can feel this platonoc friendship very often for a plain or unattractive woman who has no physical charm for him or makes no appeal to his senses. If a man sees a pretty woman often and he becomes at all attached to her, it is natural that he should wish to take her in his arms and kiss her. If he has no such inclination he is something more or less than man.
When can one be sure of a platonic friendship? The answer is, Never. When these friendships do go on, apparently successfully, for long years, it is often because each sex is trying to be both sexes at once. The result is a confusion more untruthful than any convention. It is built upon pretence.
But things sometimes change more than we think. Few days ago one of my friends, a beautiful lady, wrote me a nice letter, I want to share with you.
"Friendship is a special gift given to us all. The smile of a friend is sunlight on a cloudy day, and every smile given to a friend is returned. A friend is one whom you can talk to, and listen to, without judging.
A friend doesn't ignore your faults but accepts them as part of you. A friend is a shoulder to lean on when you need support, A pat on the back when you do well, and a sympathetic ear when you fail. A friend is a person you can laugh with about everything, you can cry with without shame, and whom you trust completely. A friend is a partner in life and a part of you always and forever..."
At last, I want to tell you one thing. I very much dislike the word- 'flirtation'. However, a self-introduction to a lady can only be classified as a flirtation when it is characterised by undignified manner, by a lack of gentlemanliness. You will agree with me instantly that there was nothing ungentlemanly in my approach.
In fact, in the accepted sense of the word, there was really no 'approach'.