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Friending up


Kris asked me recently if I had ever friended up. The term originally took me by surprise, but I figured out what he meant fairly quickly.

When two people are in a relationship, for the relationship to work both people need to be on relatively the same level. The "same level" doesn't need to be financial (but could be for some people, I guess), but is usually the same level in terms of looks, personality, and intelligence. I guess education could be in that list, too, but I suspect being able to converse at the same level is more important than highest education level achieved.

Most people gravitate to their level. The couples where one person is higher than the other (or, sure, lower than the other), you have the situation where you think, "What is he doing with HER?" (or maybe, "What is she doing with HER?" or "What is he doing with HIM?" those could (do) happen, too). Of course, the next sentence in the conversation is usually, "Wow, is s/he dating up!" or trading up, or marrying up, or whatever.

I think what makes Kris' and my relationship work is that we both think, "Heh, sucker, I'm totally marrying up." I'm not sure why he thinks he's marrying up (must be my wit, charm and brilliantly brilliant brilliance), but I know that I'm marrying up. He's a good person, in ways that I can't even imagine being, as much as I strive to be. I want him to be proud of me, much the way I want my parents to be proud of me. I want to impress him, make him laugh, have him say, "That's MY wife!" with joy.

This makes him happy, because everyone knows, when the girl is happy, the boy is happy.

So, yeah, I married up. Had I ever friended up?

Kris continued his question when I didn't answer immediately. "You know, been friends with people that you have no idea why they are friends with you?" He went on to tell me about Weasel, a friend from college whom I had met a couple times, and how Weasel as a senior had befriended Kris who was a freshman, and spent a lot of time throwing at the beginning of his ultimate career. Weasel was Kris' first friending up.

I thought about Kris' question for a bit, and said I didn't think so. He thought for a moment or so, then asked, "How about Andy?"




Yeah, Andy is definitely a friending up. Sometimes I wonder why he's friends with me (us?). He's smart. He's accomplished. He smells good (have to put that in there). He's good at ultimate (such an understatement). He intimidates the hell out of me. He's attractive. He's active. Did I mention that he smells good? He tinkers. He's incredibly curious and willing to put forth the effort to figure things out.

Intimidates. Me.

So, yeah, totally friending up on Andy. No idea why he's friends with me.

I thought about how I felt with Andy, and realized that I felt the same way when Kris and I first started spending time with Lisa and Ben. There's an ease we have with Ben and Lisa that came with time. When we first started hanging out, I totally thought Lisa didn't like me. Kris thought I was nuts (clearly, I was). In retrospect, I totally friended up on them, too.

That's four people I friended up with. I'd have to say that makes me pretty lucky.