Posted in Dating / Relationships

Why it isn’t always easy to “Let’s Be Friends”

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Another subscriber of mine, bossymoksie, posted this article on “friendzoning” last week, discussing a male who she thought was her friend and after his feelings were confessed and not returned, he bolted.

I deeply sympathise with her. This man was not her friend and never was. I’ve been in that situation more times than I care to count yet each time I have gone on to have a fulfilling friendship with each of those women with, arguably, a greater level of trust.

However, there are situations where “let’s be friends” is difficult for a man (or a woman) and the “friendzoned” person might reasonably choose to break contact. In most cases friends is better than nothing but sometimes, cessation is the least harrowing option.

By the way, Ubergeek and I resumed contact a couple of days ago so this has obviously been playing on my mind. We haven’t broached the subject yet, we’ve only been over “hi, how are you” type stuff. But I’m wondering: What if she says “let’s just be friends”? I might not be able to do that even though I would be sad at the alternative prospect of never seeing her again.

We did not start from a position of friendship; we met on a dating site. We dated for a month. We flirted. There was a connection like I had never experienced before – I am deeply attracted to her and all the signs suggest that feeling was mutual (even though she went back to her ex). In this situation it is like giving a paraplegic titanium legs and then asking him to voluntarily give them up for plywood ones that would restrict his movement and tell him that his only option is to take it or leave it. He might choose to return to his wheelchair in a hope of finding titanium legs elsewhere.

I hope I have explained my position; this is not a “you’re never going to have sex with me so goodbye forever” which is the accusation so often levelled at men who are friendzoned (from another perspective, you’re right that a man is not entitled to your body but you are not entitled to his continuing friendship or attention at any point). I might find “let’s be friends” in this case too painful to continue contact purely because of the feelings that seemed to be developing so early on. I have no doubt that she was into me, the fact that she offered to break contact “if it is what you want”.

What do you think? Is it possible to remains friends before a potential relationship has fizzled out, or will sexual tension keep getting in the way?

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

16 thoughts on “Why it isn’t always easy to “Let’s Be Friends”

    1. I am only to the extent that when there is clear attraction (as my case above).

      But what about when there is not? I have female friends for whom I feel deep affection, whose judgement and advice I trust yet have no attraction for them; evidence suggests that feeling is and has always been mutual. Do you still hold the opinion that sex will get in the way when there is mutual non-attraction?

        1. I think there we differ because I’ve had close friendships with women where there has been no attraction… or at least I did not fancy them and they never gave me reason to believe that they fancied me

      1. PS: And women are the WORST about saying you are just friends and then one day jealousy blindsides them because they are not in touch with their own feelings. Especially so if they are in another relationship because they will not let themselves consciously acknowledge they have feelings for more than one person.

            1. Yeah, I like the quirky format. Kind of adds to the positive vibes I try to give out

  1. I think it is possible to remain friends IF there are no feelings involved. But from what I’ve read, you still have feelings for her..right? If anything, be friends with her after you’ve moved on.

    1. Yes I do and there is a strong possibility that she has feelings for me too. Not that I intend to wait; if her rekindled relationship lasts then I could be in for a lengthy wait. We’ll figure it out in time, I’m sure

  2. I think that we are all goal-seeking when searching for a partner. If that person doesn’t fit one of those goals, I don’t think that they will actively seek a different relationship than what they wanted. I think men & women can be friends if they can be supportive to each other’s goals, Sexual tension eliminates the let me find a relationship goal.

    1. That’s an interesting way of looking at it. The connection I felt with ‘ubergeek’ certainly seemed to fulfil that criteria. I hope I get to find out some day, but not banking on it

  3. If it would be uncomfortable for you to be friends with her, then don’t do it.
    Like you said, you two started off as dates so transitioning to friends may be difficult for you and make things complicated for her if she also has feelings for you.

    1. I know. It is an uncomfortable choice to think about – never seeing again somebody with whom I felt a deep connection. The natural instinct would be “friends with somebody I think is awesome and thinks I’m awesome is better than no contact”. Going our separate ways because we can’t be together – that sort of crap only happens in Hollywood :p

      But I know there’s nothing I can do right now as she’s in a relationship. I’m sure that bridge will around some day.

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