Who uses it: People looking to escape a romantic relationship
What it means: "I do not want to have a romantic relationship with you, but I like you and most of all I want you to think well of me. So can you please not ask me for anything more than I feel like giving you?"
How you can use it: I'm sure you can think of something.
I foolishly put a visit counter on this blog about three months ago. I knew it was a mistake at the time, and yet I feel helpless to take it off, or to keep myself from checking my stats a couple of times a day.
It's comforting, mostly. I see frequent visits from Montreal, Singapore, Hampton Roads, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Annapolis, Cambridge, and various points in Maine, and I know exactly who those people are. I feel protected and reassured that people are checking in on me, so I won't go a week before someone notices an unpleasant smell from my apartment and my dog yowling to be let out.
But sometimes I am baffled and disturbed by the search strings that bring people here. Because my blog has "Girl" in the title, people often come here looking for girls to meet, chat with, or otherwise get to know better. People have come here looking for information about everything from mountain climbing to Katie Holmes, and I guess that's flattering.
Today's term of art is the result of one of yesterday's search strings. Someone came to this site looking for an answer to "what a girl means by just friends." Therefore, today's posting is a public service to that anonymous searcher. Do not invest any more emotional energy in that girl who wants to be "just friends;" what she means is, "I am not romantically interested in you, but please don't make me feel guilty about this, and please don't hate me."
Don't take it hard, my anonymous friend; soul mates may be few and far between, but on a planet of six billion people, even one percent is more people than you'll meet in a lifetime. Better luck with the next girl.