I’ve been on a couple of dating sites over the past three years. But I had not come across any men looking for just a friend and a friend without benefits. That was until about four or five months ago. Now most people of either sex would say it’s impossible to have a friend of the opposite sex unless one of you happens to be gay. My mom and daughter raised their eyebrows and thought a guy friend was strange.
Experts have written articles that eventually one of people in a purported friendship will develop feelings and want more out of the relationship.
Scientific American reported, “These results suggest that men, relative to women, have a particularly hard time being “just friends.” What makes these results particularly interesting is that they were found within particular friendships (remember, each participant was only asked about the specific, platonic, friend with whom they entered the lab). This is not just a bit of confirmation for stereotypes about sex-hungry males and naïve females; it is direct proof that two people can experience the exact same relationship in radically different ways. Men seem to see myriad opportunities for romance in their supposedly platonic opposite-sex friendships. The women in these friendships, however, seem to have a completely different orientation—one that is actually platonic.”
But I must admit I was intrigued and after five relationships that ended badly or oddly I thought, ”Why not give this a shot?” What did I have to lose? So I wrote him. And he responded and said, “Let’s meet for a drink.” We met. We had a good time and for several months have been meeting for dinner, ping pong, movies and bowling. He’s intelligent, funny, knows great places to eat and it’s been nice having a new friend. And occasionally I would think to myself I wonder if he wants more? But then he’d shake my hand goodbye and that told me, “No.” Loud and clear.
Why I like having a guy friend:
There’s no drama.
Typically men don’t get into drama. And with a male friend that is structured from the beginning as a friend without benefits there’s less opportunity for drama to appear it’s ugly head. You’re just friends having dinner, bowling or doing something together. And there’s less angst about whether you chose the right event to do together with a friend than there is when you’re trying to please someone you want to date.
There’s no pressure or obligation.
When on a date, your mind swirls with questions and anticipation on how the evening will end: good and bad. With a male friend, it just ends. You say goodbye. No romantic pressure. With a potential boy friend you wonder if they are lying when they say, “I’ll call you” or “I had a great time.” With a male friend you don’t really care as much as you would with a guy who had dating potential.
But the experts are right. And I was dead wrong.
I had some loose plans with this guy friend for Sunday when out of the blue I got a text saying basically things were over, as he didn’t see the relationship going anywhere. What? Relationship? I was confused. I thought he just wanted to be friends, as he’d made that clear from the beginning. The fact he ended most of our get-togethers with a handshake or a chuck to my shoulder told me we were friends. He said I was a nice girl but we had nothing in common and, of course, he was sorry. Whatever.
I guess Scientific American’s findings were correct and he thought friendship could lead to more. Oh, well, I learned a valuable lesson: men apparently can’t be just friends.
So, ladies, beware the guy who says he wants to your friend and only your friend. I know I will.