„Love is not a job interview“ – Stories about (not) getting involved with someone

When I was about 14 or 15 I said: „When I get a boyfriend and tell my best friend about him, I do not want her to say: Oh! I‘ve got the same edition!“. I don‘t know if I said that to my friend or to myself, but I remember the sentence very well.

I‘ve been in love with quite different guys and the only things they had in common probably were:
- that they got my sense of humour and made me laugh,
- that I admired some of their interests, was fascinated by their behaviour,
- and most of all: that I didn‘t count them to be normal.
Freaks, artists, punks, philosophers, nerds, geeks, … tell me you find someone to be weird and you‘ll get me interested. Nowadays I‘d say I early did tend to like:
- guys who break with masculinity in some respects,
- who were not interested in the usual understanding of success,
- but who were into something.
That might be the combination to get me interested … though it changed through the years, of course, and through my involvement with feminism especially.

As different as the people I‘ve been in love with were the ways of being in love I‘ve experienced – or similar feelings that can‘t be clearly distinguished from that. In my teens I‘ve often admired a guy in a way that made him ‚untouchable‘ and impossible to approach in other than friendship-alike ways.
(Though I never only passively admired what they did/knew/were like – I most always worked to get my own skills in that area, shape my own opinion about the topic and learn from the behaviour I valued. Unfortunately, most of them didn‘t like to ‚get competition‘ in their expertise and were rather annoyed than flattered if girls wanted to cooperate with them on the same level…)

But there have been friendships that made it possible to ‚work‘/'cooperate‘/'get involved‘ on an equal level, based on trust and support; for some of these intimate friends (male or female) I‘ve experienced feelings not that different from being in love. Thus being: desire to spend time with the other person; wanting to be seen/acknowledged by the other person; needing the other person to like you; longing for getting to know the other person, enlarging the shared ground/experiences; missing them; …
I‘ve had few ‚best‘ friendships that were more intimate, respectful, long-lasting and honest than the one couple-relationship I had. Actually, most of them were, looking at it this way …
Most of the important experiences I actually made in teenage and adolescence weren‘t in the ‚typical way‘ connected with being in love: the most intimate emotional bondings, the first kisses and makouts, the crises and reunions, … almost all of this happened within a network of trust, with friends.
I‘ve never been in love with someone who I couldn‘t imagine being my friend (and far too often with someone who was my friend at that time …).

The ways of falling/being in love with someone differed through the years … I‘ve been in love with close friends, just longing to be someone special to them … I‘ve been in love with someone I had enormously much fun with and connected fantastically, but with whom there never could have been a physical-‘click‘ … there have been people I wanted desperately to get in touch with, mostly in the meaning of body contact … I‘ve been overwhelmed over and over again by affectionate heart-to-heart-talks and deep hugs … I had my heart raising by the sight of people I barely knew and wouldn‘t know what to talk about …

I can‘t always tell if I‘m in love or not. But there’s no need to. What for?

Love is not a job interview.

On the other hand, I‘ve been infiltrated far too much by American pop-culture which is just the opposite to my own ideas and realities: If I like someone, I‘m not going to make them go on a ‚date‘ with me. I like to get to know them in a context – with friends, on occasions we are interested in, something like that. Of course we can meet privately afterwards, but I‘d like to get to know them somewhat before I apply for ‚reserving‘ them for a whole evening with me alone … and I don‘t have a fixed protocol: there are no ‚bases‘ in a certain order to check and not the goal of buying them in the end. (Really, are there actually people dating like that out there?!)
I‘m not gonna apply for something I have no clue about and I‘m not gonna sign any papers and I don‘t know beforehand how I want things to be. We can talk about our CVs, but I‘ll not bring any references.

The furthest I did dare to go/think once, was to ask someone if we were more than friends by that time – it was as specific as I could imagine.

I can‘t tell. We‘ll have to work it out together.

Love is not a job interview.