Can we be just friends?
How I navigate this..what shouldn’t be awkward phase but is.
A interesting topic popped up in my feed. People have asked me my thoughts in the past. The subject has been brought up recently. Here’s my take.
I’m going to take screen shots from posts I’ve come across, FYI.
I need to start out by saying that I’m an attractive woman. I’m not prideful about it, but I’m also not going to pretend that I’m not. That isn’t who I am though.
For my entire adult life, every guy and I mean every freaking guy that I ever thought I was friends with has had different intentions about our friendship.
Now many people might consider it flattering to get attention from men, I know I was the same way in high school. But now that I’m in my twenties, I’m realizing that I don’t find it flattering anymore, but actually hurtful that I know guys aren’t approaching me because they noticed my personality, it’s because they noticed my looks. And it is extremely hurtful when a guy goes out of his way to get to know me, then finds out I’m not interested in a relationship at the moment, and drops all communication with me.
I’m not a toy that you throw away when you find out I don’t do what you thought I did. I’m a human being who craves friendship as much as anyone else. But no guy has ever taken the time to get to notice that.
As a lady who experiences this on a regular basis, I get it.
I read through a lot of the comments. A few hit me to the core.
For my entire adult life, every guy and I mean every freaking guy that I ever thought I was friends..
I’m very cautious and avoidant of people because of this. I wouldn’t say every guy hit on me, but enough of them have for me to take notice. This article on why some my guy friends keep falling for me does not help the situation.
I had a few situations where guys would “hit me up on the DMs" from grade school.
We never talked, but for some reason messaging me 100 times looked realistic. He was two grades behind me and I thought of him as silly in grade school. I would never touch him with a 100 foot pole, a cactus out in the middle of no where would be more appealing to me.
One time I was ordering Wendy’s and a guy I never had a friendship with or talked with just stared at me. He’s my classmate’s brother. He looked at me like I’m America’s next top model.
I’m just hungry and want food.
If you know me I’m the biggest foodie on the planet.
Romance is the last thing on my mind when I’m hungry as hell.
I’m like oh gosh here we go again.
Another perv having all kind of fantasies in his head, huh?
He messaged me on Facebook months ago. I have no interest in him at all, I don’t want the annoying messages to start so I didn’t respond. I don’t want him thinking he has a chance, so I don’t respond.
I have a guy friend who calls me all the time. I like him as a friend only, and I don’t want to engage him too much. He recently called me late at night. Lawdz have mercy. You already know what time that is. By responding to him during the day only from time to time, I subtly stay in the friendzone in his mind.
And many more that message me on Instagram, like I’m sitting around waiting for their message.
Fact: It does make you feel unsure about everyone. It makes you wonder about ulterior motives. It’s annoying when you think they want a piece, then the doubt goes away when they confirm it by doing stupid and silly shit to get your attention. Then people justify their behavior by saying they can’t help themselves.
I really want to be wrong and say that these guys wasn’t hitting on me…I don’t get this pleasure.
I went out on a date with an old high school classmate.
We haven’t seen each other in 10 years, and he starts to put his hand on my leg like we are long time lovers.
Why are you trying to hit base 4 when we haven’t made it past the pitcher’s mound? We are reconnecting, not going on a romantic robanbo.
He kept trying to get me to leave this expensive party/fundraiser where tickets where $200 a person. I enjoyed the gig, wanted to stay and saw old friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Keep in mind it was late at night and I would be in position where I would be one on one if I went with him, which is a huge no no in my book (read #9 below on tips).
Confession: I do hate when guys hit the fast forward button.
But now that I’m in my twenties, I’m realizing that I don’t find it flattering anymore.
Confession II : I never enjoyed attention from men. I find it degrading, disrespectful and plain weird. I hate when they sit next to me on the subway, give me some space ya creep lol. I get hit on non stop by guys and I wish it would stop. Some women would die for this attention, I’m not one of them.
I also hate when I come home to Indy, and my mom’s friends and relatives try to hook me up with anything with pants on. It makes me not want to be in Indianapolis at all.
I refuse to settle for less, and I’m not waiting around for prince charming to sweep me off my feet. I’m living my life and I don’t care about some damn biological time clock. Even if they do see me as this “great catch", go ahead and throw this fish back into the sea.
Any guy that made it to the boyfriend arena treated me like a human being. Not a toy or a piece of candy you pick up at the candy store.
And they were being themselves. They wasn’t playing a role to get my attention. No ulterior motives. We knew each other as friends. AND WE TOOK OUR TIME.
I was told that I have traits that are fetistized by our culture, and for reasons that I will not ever understand…geez.
I’m not a zoo animal, I’m interested in genuine friendship.
Tips that’s helped me…take them or leave them. (This is mostly for ladies fyi, I throw some things in here for the fellas).
- Staying away from people. My cottage in the woods is my sanctuary. If I had to I would get a trailer or RV, only to come out for groceries and to take my dog to the bathroom.
- I’ve been told I’m strict and hard on people at times. This is why as a nice person, I’m hard on people. On so many occasions, people mistake my kindness for weakness.
- Tell guys that you only want friendship and making that communication clear. NO MIXED MESSAGES. No silly giggles. No I’ll “think about it." Be direct and firm. If they keep pushing the point limit contact. What’s worse are the guys who don’t respect that and try to change your mind as if life is some kind of disney movie and that if they keep hounding you, you would eventually be attracted to them.
Movies can definitely be blamed partially for fostering an unrealistic ideal that pestering a girl can lead to her changing how she sees you, but reality should shatter that illusion once guys are adults and have experience dating in this era.-Mari Del Rio
4. Tips from this reddit is spot on. Ladies, don’t befriend guys that persue you, do excessive favors, or buy you gifts.These are courtship behaviors. Men engage in courtship behavior because they’re trying to court you. If you start out as a “date” but misconstrue it as friendship it won’t work.
5. Find guys who have a girlfriend/wife or have a lot of “girl friends". During the frat party days I bring a group of my girlfriends with me at frat parties. My guy friends became bros and I boosted their popularity at their frat houses. It works. It still works when one of my guy friends have a bar party. I bring a lot of my lady friends.
- I also tell them to bring their girlfriends and wife along to the party. I have nothing to hide and over time the SO realizes I’m just a wing woman to carry his drunk a*** home at the end of the night it’s all good anyways. He goes to his home and I go to my home. It’s made clear that I have no interest in the guy. He has no interest in me PERIOD.
Yes I have ran into several who are adult about it….
5. I have a lot of beautiful men friends from college, and from being in LA and NYC. A couple of them are beyond gorgeous, they can essentially stop cars in traffic. Simply beautiful to the point where God spent extra time on them. I told them they have smile only heaven can make. However. I have no romantic interest in them. ZERO. If I saw them naked, I tell them f**** to put some clothes on, and cover my eyes in horror. We have so much history that we can tell drunk stories on each other. The idea of any of them going to bed would be like sharing a bed with my brother or a cousin. Yuck!
I’m in the wing woman category (doing stupid shit together, not confessing feelings or being flirty and such). If I throw a gig in Vegas right now, I got my group of guys and ladies I can call. It REALLY is possible to find guy friends who really just want to be friend. You gotta check your ulterior motives at the door. He gotta check his at the door.
- Are you friends with them because are products of your romantic interest? Check it at the door. See them as a human first. Treat them like you would treat your best friend.
- Are you actively hang out with them with the constant hope or intention of being "rewarded" romantically or sexually? Check yourself. Stop expecting something for everything nice you do like you’re 10 years old. GROW UP. (This tip is for the fellas, but applies to ladies too).
- To add to that, if you want to understand the “grow up” concept better, volunteer and give back to someone who can’t repay you. No one is saying spend thousands of dollars on someone. But what I’m also saying is to stop counting the number of nice things you do, and then reminding the person every chance you get. Do something nice then let it go..be an adult about it.
Be careful about assuming all of the guys wanting to crossing the line (unless they make it stupid obvious). It takes being about the block a couple of times and having the wisdom to recognize the difference. Not every guy is in it to get one thing from you. You gotta keep looking through the glutter to get to the gold…
But it requires a pretty high degree of self-realization to know things like that...people often fail to honestly look at themselves and their motives-Reddit User
Be careful about crossing the line.
6. Here’s what I mean by crossing the line: All I can say is to not get so close to them. Don’t flirt and respect boundaries. Always keep things lighthearted, and don’t frequently contact them (meaning multiple times a day everyday). Don’t let them feel you’re someone they can open up to, and you won’t be someone they’ll be romantically attracted to (for the most part). (Thanks anon445).
Can you have a close friendship without the romance? You can but you gotta be careful. As long as boundaries are set and it is clear no romantic interests are there you are good to go. Some are adult about it. Find those. (Wise_Idiot if you need a wing woman right here brother).
I read somewhere that, in general, women form friendships around shared experiences while men form them around shared interests. If you’re interested in friendships with men specifically, you might try looking for them in places where they’re engaging in their hobbies. Go to a sports bar on the night of a game. Join a motorcycle club. Find some nerds who want someone to join their Dungeons and Dragons group. If the guys see you as someone who shares their interests, they’ll be less likely to think of you as "just" a pretty face to be seduced.-Reddit User
This quote is SPOT ON true. I have a group of guy friends (and some girls) that I only see at Gen Con every year. We meet at different points at Gen Con. Same with Comic Con. We have a shared interest, and not once do my Gen Con guys ever do anything perverted. It’s always friendly and respectful; it’s about getting to the next level of a game.
Another story or two.
At my former label, I’m more convinced now this guy had the hots for me because his friend made a comment saying “I should try to hook you two together.” Then on another occasion he kissed me on the cheek. Since I didn’t like him at all, it just creeped me the f**** out. He mentioned that he’s related to Lil Romeo and I said so? You’re still down with making your own way and not riding his coattails right? I realized that me asking him for a ride to my Sonic Ashes band performance in his eyes he was doing me a favor. He thought he was doing me a favor by providing an “opportunity” to record with him at this record label. I always kept my guard up. I told him I had a guy at the time to let him know that I wasn’t remotely interested. Holy s***, I gotta start distancing myself from him. I’ve done plenty of favors for male friends similar to this and never looked for a “reward” or romantic reward for doing something nice. Whatever happened to just being nice and going on about your business anyways like I mentioned above? Haha.
Since I rejected him, his response is to reject me in return to get back at me. He’s disappeared out of my life completely when he realized I didn’t want nothing romantic from him. As a male friend pointed out (and a similar comment in this thread). He didn’t value the friendship enough to stay friends, and with guys like that it’s best to cut ties because they will always take the opportunity to try to sway you.
It goes back and forward. Go to the actual reddit for a great read.
Which leads to #7
#7. It sucks to think that you found a great male friend to realize later that they are constantly talking strategies on how to get you in bed with their other male friends. Or they are looking for something everytime they do something nice. I have male friends that I liked and we realized later we would be better off as friends. I got turned off lol.
Several guys in my organization wanted to sleep with me before being friends.
One came to my dorm and kissed me after a night of partying. (One of my other good guy friends walked both of us to my place 10 minutes before hand.) I didn’t want it to go any further, so he slept on the couch in the hallway outside my room. I checked on him every couple of hours to make sure he didn’t choke on his on vomit. We never talked about this night again, and ended up being really tight friends after that.
Another guy wanted to go home with me and pushed the issue after an apartment party. I said no way man. At another party we talked about it and decided it was best we stay cordial but no relationship at all, no friendship either. I was cool with this.
In both of these scenarios, I wanted to be able to live with myself and keep my dignity intact.
LIFE GOES ON PEOPLE, you don’t have to fixate on someone especially if they don’t reciprocate feelings. So I asked some of my long time male friends what the deal is? Why is it an all or nothing mentally with a lot of the guys I’ve come across? This IS when it is good to have a long time male friend to give you perspective (like Lizzie McGuire’s).
P.S. Some of my guy friends have made it out the pizza hut arena! Lol. We’re in the suites. They are on the forever party list. Look at #5 for more details.
- According to some of my guy friends I’ve talked to: IF a guy liked you and you dont like them back, it may hurt them too much to be around you. Same for a girl liking you.
- You don’t have to like them back just because they like you first. It’s not your problem that they are fixated and they need to move on.
- Love can make you think irrationally and cloud your judgement. No does not mean ask later.
- White Falcon is right on another relating topic. True friends are really hard to come by. Acquaintances and friends are intertwined a lot. The people we call friends sometimes deserve to be called acquaintances.
#8. Insider tip: If you talk about other guys that you like around them, that will deter many of them. This is a harsh chess move, but this will let them know that they are in the friendzone. Some of them will still try and then you will need to tell them
Hey bud, I don’t like you romantically but value your friendship.
#9. Insider Tip II: Ladies, avoid being anywhere with guys by yourself. If you are one on one with them they will more in likely take advantage of an opportunity. NO HOTEL ROOMS unless you want hanky panky spanky. It’s definitely ok to go out in groups with guys & girls in it, but isolated places one on one? Avoid. Avoid. AVOID.
#10. One ex has promise of being a good friend. As this guy points out, it’s not my goal to cruel and cold blooded. I just want it to be made clear that I just want friendship only from this point forward. Tip: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. If you like your peace, be cautious of reaching out to exes. I have no desire for my phone to be blown up with unwanted texts and phone calls. This same guy texted me “hi" frequently for hours straight for days while we dated, so I’m hesitating to reach out again.
11. You can’t lose something that was never yours in the first place. If someone doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, it doesn’t need to ruin your life. (I’m going into my personal playbook for these tips, but these can apply for a breakup too.)
- Find a purpose or volunteer opportunity to get your mind off the person. Join a club, find a hobby.
- Have your friends take you out and get you drinks.
- Realize they don’t have to be into you because you are into them. This is worth repeating because many don’t understand this and like to try to force the issue.