Love Stories Countdown to Valentine’s Day #6:
Infatuation to friendship

Not all love stories are romantic. Can men and women be friends? Ah, the age old question. Personally, I think yes. Case in point, during my Berkeley days I had to go to the student-run “Computer Help Desk”. It was manned by students in EECS (Electrical Engineers and Computer Science) or others who were well-versed in computers. I’m a luddite, so when my computer acted up, I went for help.

Lo and behold, there was a cute guy manning the desk. But, when I told him my PC was acting up, he said “That’s because PCs are inferior to Macs,” and began to wax lyrical about the superiority of Apple to Microsoft. I literally don’t care what computer I’m using. But, I found his overenthusiasm for Macs amusing, and him even more interesting. Hmmm….but how to make him notice me?

That night I chatted with my roommate, who is also a Mac user, about how weird it was for this guy to love his Mac so much.

Roommate: You don’t understand, Nicole. Mac users LOVE their Mac.
Me: Yeah yeah, I mean, I like my computer too, but because it does what I need it to.
Roommate: No no, Nicole. Mac users L-O-V-E their Macs.
Me: Huh. Really? Interesting……….

Next came about 30 mins of trial and error as I started to insult Macs to my roommate trying to figure out which ones would get a rise. I wanted to have enough comebacks and zings to be cheeky, but avoid being offensive. It’s a delicate balance. I waited a few days, and then returned to the Computer Help Desk.

It worked like a charm. To this day he still thinks this was the first day we met. Oh, no no no, Jason, we met a few days prior. Anyway, I would CASUALLY go to the Computer Help Desk area to check my emails while on campus (there were computers you could hop onto for a few minutes). And then I would CASUALLY just chat with him.

One day we got into an argument over the Hong Kong metro system. It was about the position of the Central station in comparison to Causeway Bay on the Island Line. I insisted Causeway Bay was west of Central, Jason insisted it was east of Central.

Me: Fine, let’s take a bet. If I’m right you have to treat me to dim sum. If you’re right, I’ll treat you to dim sum.
Jason: Fine. Let me look it up!

See, here’s the problem. The moment he agreed to the bet, I had already won. Because no matter who won, we were already on a date. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Turns out I lost. Rats. But, we were in Berkeley. The dim sum place I chose was in San Francisco. A full 1.5 hours away on public transit. I basically had him for a full half day date.

We had a good time. We soon made this pact to be movie buddies, accompanying one another to the movies that no one else wanted to see. We became good friends. Then one day it dawned on me that I really valued him as a friend, and I was perfectly content that way. That was the end of my scheming. Jason seemed to date a lot more than I did. I couldn’t blame him. After all, he was intelligent, fun and NOT a player: a rare quality in a good-looking Chinese guy. Whenever he had girlfriends I would respectfully keep my distance to acknowledge the relationship boundaries. Not that it was really needed. Jason isn’t the type to cheat. Hilariously we had a conversation about this a while back:

Jason: You know, Marie never liked you.
Me: What?? She never even MET me!
Jason: Yeah, she never liked you. She thought you liked me.
Me: Well, yeah, because I did.
Jason: Really?
Me: Yeah

Men really are daft. Anyway, I’m pleased to say that Jason and I are still friends after all these years. Jason still defends the superiority of Apple. He denies it, but it’s true. I bought my first iPhone from him, as well as my second. He now teases me that I have to concede he was RIGHT about Macs now that I own Mac products. Yeah yeah yeah, whatever, Apple boi.


    This is a lovely story and I also agree men and women can be very good friends. I have some very good men friends and, as you said, I try to keep my distance from their girlfriends until they understand our friendship. One of my best friends, Jonathan, started to date a girl who I thought was a bit picky, but it was not me the one who date her, so… but she won my heart the day she told him: “If you all go on a trip, you can share the room with M., she’s your best friend and I totally trust her”. I was surprised, as I thought she didn’t like me at all (they are now married and have a lovely baby boy).
    And I’m writing this from my Mac, which is connected to my iPad and my iPhone. I’m an Apple beanie!


    Lifelong friendships are indeed underrated in the love story scene. I remember I wrote my nonfiction piece in my undergrad creative writing about my relationship with my best friend, and everyone thought I was confessing my romantic love for her.

    Nah, you can love and value someone without them being a romantic interest.


    Yes, 100% you can be best friends with absolutely anyone without any romantic notions. I’m an Apple convert as well.


    Awww, this is a delightful story! I’m so happy for you both. And I laughed out loud that you argued over the station stops in HK 🤣


    Lovely story!


    On June 20th, 2014 I sent a message to a boy on FB! I even know that it was 10:43 pm!:))
    I told him “I saw your comment on a Friends fan page and I really loved what you had written. Can I be your friend?”
    As an introvert, it has always been so difficult for me to start a conversation but I forced myself to do that and I’m so happy I did!
    Because after that we became friends and since that day, I’ve never met anyone as wonderful as him. No romance..
    He’s my best friend. we live in different cities but we talk to each other every single day. His girlfriend is a gem as well, she always says “ I admire your friendship”.. and those words are so precious for me..

    I’m happy I read about other Beanies and their friends^^