Can Men and Women Really Be Just Friends?

Can Men and Women Really Be Just Friends?

“When Harry Met Sally” posed the age-old question, and seemed to answer it: No. Men and women can’t just be friends. Attraction always gets in the way. But if you’re lucky, you can fall in love with your best friend.

This popular YouTube video
posits largely the same premise – men will always want to sleep with their platonic girlfriends.

And while I don’t trust college boys to teach any life lessons in platonic friendship, even science validates their claim that men will sleep with their friends. From this Psychology Today article:

“In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sapadin asked more than 150 professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Topping women’s list of dislikes: sexual tension. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships.”

Pretty predictable, but important for women to understand. If a guy is making an effort to hang out with you, it’s probably not just “as friends”. He’s merely accepting friendship, in lieu of dating you, because it beats the alternative. And what’s the alternative? Having no girl friends, and, therefore, no one to confide in. From the same article:

If a guy is making an effort to hang out with you, it’s probably not just “as friends”.


“Men rated cross-sex friendships as being much higher in overall quality, enjoyment and nurturance than their same-sex friendships. What they reported liking most was talking and relating to women—something they can’t do with their buddies. Meanwhile, women rated their same-sex friendships higher on all these counts. They expect more emotional rewards from friendship than men do, explained Sapadin, so they’re easily disappointed when they don’t receive them. “Women confide in women,” noted Blieszner. “Men confide in women.”

This all reinforces a principle extolled in my book, “Why He Disappeared”. Men don’t choose women because you’re taller, smarter, richer, funnier or more sophisticated. Men choose women because you listen to them, provide empathy and support and affection – none of which he really gets from his guy friends.

As for me, I do believe that men and women can be friends. Here are the ways in which I’ve made women friends:

1) I’ve hooked up with her already. Once we’ve gotten together, there’s no sexual tension. We either become boyfriend/girlfriend or lapse into regular friendship because we’re not mutually interested in each other.

While attraction itself is not a choice, acting on that attraction is.

2) I’m not remotely attracted to her. This keeps things simple. It’s easy to be friends with someone you’d never sleep with. Just keep in mind that men will sleep with women they’re barely even attracted to – especially when drunk, lonely, and horny.

3) I’m in a satisfying relationship. Now that I’m 100% taken, I can’t act on any crush or attraction, so I don’t even allow myself to go there emotionally. The problem is that you’re really not “allowed” to make new opposite-sex friends when you’re married – largely because of the perceived risk involved. It’s generally a good idea to avoid putting yourself in tempting situations, which is why I pretty much stopped making women friends once I got involved with my wife. Before that, however? I probably had a dozen friends that I’d fooled around with once or twice before. My wife has met most of them.

4) Finally, it IS possible for a man to be friends with a woman, but he has to be a very experienced, very evolved man. One who can say, “I’ve been down this road before, and it does not end well.” This is how I can be very attracted to someone, but not act on it. She may be a narcissist. She may be emotionally unstable. She may be trashy. She may be sad. While attraction itself is not a choice, acting on that attraction is. If you have maturity and self-control, you don’t act on your attractions and you can maintain platonic friendships.

Keep in mind that other variations of friends may be fraught with danger. The guy from work may have a big crush on you but can’t act on it. Your boyfriend’s best friend? Same thing. The guy you’ve known since childhood? He may be holding a torch for you for all these years.

So if you’re a woman reading this, check out those four bullet points. If the guy doesn’t fall under one of those categories, he probably secretly wants to sleep with you.

Check out the article here and share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    marymary

    Is it really that big a deal if men and women find each other attractive. It,s not like we,re obligated to act on it.

  2. 62
    Sparkling Emerald

    marymary, it’s not about being “obligated” to act on our attractions.  I am not “obligated” to eat a big piece of chocolate cake, so I wouldn’t keep it in the house, since I am watching my weight.  Being friends with a guy I’m attracted to, to me is like keeping cake and candy in my house constantly, and resisting the temptation to eat it.  If it’s the other way around, and it’s the guy who is attracted to me, in my experience, they will attempt to act on it.  That’s why I personally only care to be friends with gay men.  I understand that others do things differently, but in this incarnation of being single, I personally have decided to not have a friend zone. Not only am I not “obligated” to act on attractions (that aren’t mutual), I am not “obligated” be in a friends with benefits situation either.  (or even without benefits)

  3. 63
    Queenofheart

    I think it depends on how attractive is the woman. Extremely attractive younger women might find it almost impossible.

  4. 64
    Goldie

    What marymary said. If I couldn’t resist acting upon every physical attraction I feel, I’d be afraid to leave the house. Then again, I can keep chocolate cake in the house and not eat the whole thing in one sitting. I’d say, we all know ourselves and our weaknesses, so if we see we cannot resist an attraction to an opposite-sex friend, maybe it’s best to phase out the friendship. Same thing if you sense that the friend cannot resist an attraction to you. Otherwise, just go ahead and be friends.

  5. 65
    Rose Frame

    Karl R- my point is that mostly this person who acted this way isn’t really my friend. Why do I have to pretend he is? Trust is important in friendship. If you hurt someone and are aware of it, everything doesn’t have to be okay dokey because he doesn’t want to admit something happened & wants everything to seem hunkey dorey. He isn’t letting me know he had gotten married, he told me before. I congratulated him, I know this person isn’t for me & I genuinely want him to be happy. I don’t think I would know someone for so long and care about him, and not want him to be happy. I just think telling me is odd, thoughtless and possibly cruel. I don’t think its’ a nice happy thing to do to someone who put their heart on the line at one point, and is still grieving the death of a parent. I feel like it’s something done with the intent to hurt (again).  It doesnt’ strike me as an innocent act, and I know him. I don’t think he’s clueless that he hurt me. I did the “why” thing for a while. At one point in talking to him I said I was sorry for how I had reacted. He had nothing to say, except he is glad I’m telling him this. I guess he thinks all blame is mine, (it really isn’t). I’ve tried to get answers from him. It didn’t work. Instead he has badmouthed me for asking.
    I think the situation happened without giving a future a real chance. If valued a friendship with me, he would have tried to make things work after he crossed the line. Or he wouldn’t have crossed it.
    The remaining details of what happened between me and some man are not something I would want to share with the internet or strangers.
    Rose said: (#34)
    “It took me a few years to realize how bothered I was by the situation,”
     
    Men don’t read minds. I find it probable that he remained clueless longer than you did.
    I thought I was over it. I had no expections of reuniting ever. As mentioned I know he knew he hurt me because of my looking for why. However I never dealt with my feelings about what happened until grieving my dad. Mostly because it happened traumaticlly (publicly & abruptly). That is really what I meant. We hadn’t had any contact for several years, so I’m engaged was rather out of the blue.
    I personally always thought there was some not letting go in all the contact through the years. That’s what I thought (and I still wonder about why he wants to continue some contact). I’ve let go now. I’ve told him to stop contacting me. I just don’t think that keeping contact is an innocent act (with a first love who you grew up with).
    No one is required to agree with me. But I do get to do what is best for me at this point, and that means realizing this person isn’t my friend.

  6. 66
    Karmic Equation

    Friendships after relationships will be tough if there are hard feelings or continued attraction from one party. My ex-husband and I are still friendly. However there’s zero hard feelings and zero attraction, so this is quite doable. For the most part, in this thread I think we’re talking about friendships where one or both parties feel some attraction, but no romantic relationship has yet (or ever) taken place.

    In those relationships, I think that if one is feeling like they’re “resisting temptation” every time they socialize, then it definitely is better to phase out the relationship. But if the relationship has low-levels of attraction and/or one of the parties has no problem resisting or sending off the RIGHT signals so that the other person knows the boundaries, then it can work. I find that if I’m having man troubles, men are more accurate about what’s going on than your women friends may be, simply because they know how men think and should behave. If you have really good men friends, they’ll tell you when you’re being nuts…and they can be amazingly supportive if you ask them for help in the right way. It’s really good to have a straight-male perspective on relationships.

    I think it gets tricky when one party seeks out a friend of the opposite sex to soothe his/her shattered ego after a romantic relationship with someone else goes bust. Then sometimes the need to feel validated/soothed trumps the friendship and that’s when it gets messy…and unfair.

    Moral of the story is only talk about dating troubles with an opposite-sex friend who is not in the least attracted to you or whom you are not in the least attracted to, imo. Or you just have to have the self-control to not take advantage of any physical commiseration that may be offered, unless you’re ok with risking the friendship. Basically, be aware of why you are seeking out *this particular friend* for commiseration. Is it an excuse to start something? If yes, it’s ok. Just don’t lie to yourself and just be aware of your own motivations.

  7. 67
    m

    1) That every guy who hooks up with you is hurting you. There are many women who enjoy fooling around and also agree that just because two people aren’t meant to be a couple, she shouldn’t have regrets about a few nights of fun. Stop playing the victim. And stop assuming that foreplay is a promise of a relationship.”
     
    o.O
     
    EMK, it’s been awhile since you’ve written something that had me absolutely staring openmouthed from … disbelief.
     
    Whether or not Rose is hurt by a man’s actions is not an “assumption”.  This isn’t a logical theorem.  She’s telling you how she <i>feels</i>.
    “There are many women who enjoy fooling around”
    Be that as it very well may, Rose just told you she isn’t one of them.
    Any man who, when a woman tells him “I feel X” comes out with ‘You  *shouldn’t* feel that way” gets an automatic side-eye, no matter how famous and well-regarded his blog.  Nobody has the right to telll another person how to feel.
     

  8. 68
    Sparkling Emerald

    m- I’m glad you spoke up, I was left a little open mouthed to.   I doubt that this comment will  make it past moderation but here goes.  Not only was I shocked at the callousness of his comment, but I’m shocked since EMK is basically using this blog as a gateway to try and sell his date coaching.  Sorry, but now I wouldn’t even dream of buying his system.  First he tells us women that we should deal with men the way they ARE, but women tell him how we ARE, he basically says we shouldn’t be that way.  Which is why I now only read dating advice for entertainment and laughs.  Even tho the advice seems to contradict each other, the underlying message, weather the date “expert” is a male or female, is that men are the way they are, and NOTHING will make them change (one thing that stand out, is that the disappearing male trick seems to be standard operating procedure), and that women are supposed to contort their basic natures into a pretzel to accomodate, please, influence men etc.  Also, after getting back into the dating jungle, after being out of it for 25 years, I have noticed that post sex revolution men really ARE the way they are, (much more calloused and way more commitaphobic then before) and after taking a long hard look at the way I am, I am taking a break from men.  True, women can’t expect men to change, but I’m in my late 50’s and I’m not changing either.  If I can’t be part of a couple, I’m not going to settle for having “a few nights of fun” with a string of random men who don’t care how I feel.  I’d rather go out and have REAL fun with my female friends.  I never have regrets after that kind of fun, and I never feel used.

  9. 69
    marymary

     Men don’t choose women because you’re taller, smarter, richer, funnier or more sophisticated. Men choose women because you listen to them, provide empathy and support and affection – none of which he really gets from his guy friends.
    Sparkling
    i think you may have latched onto one thing that evan says without looking at the overall msg. The above is taken directly from his response to the OP. I find it immensely cheering. I nodded along to it. My boyfriend tells me often that he finds my presence encouraging and reassuring. that is special to him, and not something he can just go  pick up at the bar.
    there is a difference in men and women that more men can separate sex from emotion more easily. And I expect that around our age we are bumping up against men who have had a lot of practice at that! The advice on this blog is, don,t sleep with him until he,s your boyfriend,assuming a boyfriend is what you want. Excellent advice. Men are like this, this is how you deal with it. not by expecting them to turn down casual sex but by waiting until you are sure his intentions are serious.  He might still disappear if you wait x months, but the odds are dramatically reduced.  
    i don,t see the inability to separate sex from emotion an achievement, I don,t think it makes me uptight or weak or irrational. If someone else can, good luck to them but it says nothing about me.  here,s a generalisation about women. We tend to internalise things too much, a careless comment on a blog (maybe even this one), a survey in a paper and we are all “this says x about me, how dare they?!”.  I say, this is interesting or not, but who I am and what i think of myself doesn’t change unless I choose that. You don,t have to buy into someone,s msg one hundred percent, you can take away what works for you. 
    What I am able to do is separate physical attraction from the act of sex and from my emotions and ego. To me, physical attraction simply adds sparkle to the interaction. I feel no need to act on it. that doesn’t make me frigid, and it doesn’t make others oversexed. If I don,t find it sparkly but fraught and difficult, I am free to opt out and don,t have to explain that to strangers on the internet.
    you may enjoy evan,s videos. Blogs tend to get overheated but the videos are fun and reassuring. no I,m not on commission . I don,t have a dog in this fight but sometimes we do have to consider something different if we want different results. In other words, we have to change. I,m in my late forties and don,t consider my personal development to have halted. i meet up with women older than me and am struck by how open we are to change.  I changed myself. It didn.t change any men but it changed my choices so I picked a far better man than any of the previous.

  10. 70
    Karl R

    m said: (#69)
    “[Rose is] telling you how she feels.”
     
    Really? Read what she said more carefully.
     
    Rose said: (#9)
    “I don’t want to be friends with men who hurt me”
    “I don’t really see what the point is of trying to be friends with a woman you hurt or dumped.”
    “Especially if the guy hurt me,”
     
    Rose wasn’t describing how she felt. She was describing men’s actions. That difference is as clear as the difference between an adjective and a verb.
     
    SparklingEmerald said: (#70)
    “women tell him how we ARE, he basically says we shouldn’t be that way.”
     
    Rose (#9) wasn’t describing how she is. She was inaccurately describing how men are.
     
    When I ask a woman on a date, it’s not with the goal of hurting her. When I have sex with a woman, it’s not with the goal of hurting her. When I break up with a woman, it’s not with the goal of hurting her.
     
    Women have broken up with me. Most of them have done it as nicely as possible. Despite their best efforts, I sometimes felt hurt. That’s the way dating is. People can either grow up and deal with dating the way it is, or they should avoid dating until they’re mature enough to handle it.

  11. 71
    Evan Marc Katz

    What Karl said.

    m - you’re a broken record. Men are always wrong. Women are always innocent. If I ever tell a woman she has to take responsibility, you tell me that the problem is men.

    If Rose gets hurt by men who have sex with her but aren’t sure if they want to commit, then ROSE shouldn’t have sex without commitment.

    If Rose can’t handle being friends with a man after having sex, then ROSE shouldn’t be friends with him.

    Are you suggesting that NO women can have sex without commitment and that NO women can remain platonic friends afterwards?

    Or are you suggesting – more likely – that ALL men should KNOW that they want to commit if they sleep with you and that ALL men should take responsibility for NOT being platonic friends with you afterwards, under the presumption that you can’t handle it?

    No matter how you slice it, your take always makes men wrong and absolves women from personal responsibility for what they can handle.

    My advice gives women power and control.

    Oh, and SparklingEmerald?

    You aren’t my intended client anyway. I don’t do well with victims who demonize men and make them wrong in every way. Nor do I do well with people who contradict themselves within the space of one paragraph:

    “First he tells us women that we should deal with men the way they ARE.. the underlying message, weather the date “expert” is a male or female, is that men are the way they are, and NOTHING will make them change.” 

    Yep, that’s my message all right. And apparently we agree, since you said:

    “Also, after getting back into the dating jungle, after being out of it for 25 years, I have noticed that post sex revolution men really ARE the way they are”.

    So what exactly have I done wrong here? I told you the truth. You validated my truth. And you’re coming to my website to shoot the messenger of that truth?

    Good stuff. As long as we’re clear on that.

  12. 72
    Rose

    We weren’t having sex. There is a whole other post of Evans that talks about both men and women not wanting to stay in touch after rejection. We had the talk. We were boyfriend/ girlfriend.
    I tried to stay friends with this person. As one person to another I care about him. I honestly want what is best for him. It’s just come to my attention that knowledge of his life (friendship) is no longer in my best interest. It’s beneficial for him to stay friends. It doesn’t benefit me, so I’m not doing it anymore. I’m confident that I’m not alone in that what happened with someone I care about from the past still impacts me.
    You don’t just do whatever you want and expect a relationship/ friendship to sustain.  If you know someone is hurt and you want any kind of relationship to sustain, you probably have to do something (in grade school we learned to say “sorry” at the least).
    Do Evan and Carl stay in contact with everyone they feel hurt them? Do they feel its’ a friendship?

    1. 72.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If you can’t handle being friends, Rose, don’t be friends. Sometimes, I remained friends with exes. Sometimes, I didn’t. That doesn’t negate what I just said or what I said in #10. Just cause you can’t handle it in this situation doesn’t mean other women can’t and it doesn’t mean that men who don’t want to be with you are bad in any way.

  13. 73
    Rose

    Does it seem to me like the men are badmouthing a little? Maybe they don’t like to be called out on how their behavior effects us?
     
    It just strikes me as defensive.

    1. 73.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If anyone’s badmouthing here, it’s women badmouthing men. My suggestion that all men aren’t bad isn’t defensive; it’s factual.

  14. 74
    Goldie

    @ Sparkling,
     
    “I’d rather go out and have REAL fun with my female friends.  I never have regrets after that kind of fun, and I never feel used.”
     
    Wow, if you’ve never felt used or betrayed by your female friends, you’re a luckier person than I am!
     
    My take on this is, I see my friends, and people in my life in general, as human beings, rather than males and females out of whom I expect typical male or female behavior. Some humans are fun, some are boring. Some are loyal, some are flakes, some are backstabbers. A few people are straight evil. So stay away from those, there’s not that many of them around anyway. Some harbor unfriendly thoughts while pretending to be your friend, believe me this isn’t something that only happens in opposite-sex friendships. If they act on it, and it gets in way of your friendship, then don’t be friends with them. Otherwise, if they don’t do anything to hurt you and your friendship, then I don’t see a problem. The way I approach this whole thing is, I just try to keep the good humans in my life, regardless of their gender, and cut the bad ones out of my life, regardless of their gender. Works for me so far. If you feel something different works better for you, feel free to do it.

  15. 75
    Karl R

    Rose asked: (#74)
    “Do Evan and Carl stay in contact with everyone they feel hurt them?”
     
    In the past 7 years, I’ve had at least four girlfriends break up with me in one way or another. With three, I felt hurt. With one, she clearly felt hurt too.
     
    I don’t feel that the women hurt me. I feel that the breakup hurt me.
     
    When I decide to enter a relationship, I realize that it might end painfully. I choose to accept that risk as a possible consequence.
     
    By accepting my own choices in the sequence of events that led to the breakup, I can’t claim that I’m the victim of my ex-girlfriend’s actions (unless they actually did something worse than break up with me).
     
    Of those four women, one did not remain in contact … presumably because she found it too painful. (If either person finds it too painful to remain in contact, I recommend giving each other enough space until the pain fades … provided the specific situation allows.)
     
    One woman moved over 1,000 miles away. We made no effort to remain in touch after that point.
     
    Rose asked: (#74)
    “Do they feel its’ a friendship?”
     
    I’m friends with the two I’m still in contact with. (I would describe the other two as “friendly” the last time I saw them.)
     
    Rose said: (#74)
    “If you know someone is hurt and you want any kind of relationship to sustain, you probably have to do something (in grade school we learned to say ‘sorry’ at the least).”
     
    All of the women said “I’m sorry…” as they were breaking up. (The one who broke up by vanishing said “I’m sorry…” the first time she saw me after disappearing.)
     
    For you, it’s the least the men have to do. For me, it’s the most the women have to do. Even if I’m still hurting, she doesn’t have to keep apologizing repeatedly.
     
    I get the feeling you expect a lot more than “I’m sorry,” from the men who break up with you and wish to remain friends.
     
    Rose asked: (#76)
    “Does it seem to me like the men are badmouthing a little?”
     
    Look at the way I discuss and relate to the women who broke up with me. Look at the way you discuss and relate to the men who broke up to you.
     
    I’m trying to describe the differences objectively, but it’s taxing the limits of my wordsmithing ability to do so in a way that doesn’t sound “bad.”

  16. 76
    starthrower68

    After reading through the posts, I’m very glad none of my male friends are attracted to me.  It definitely does make things much easier.

  17. 77
    Sparkling Emerald

    EMK – My point was that Rose told you she was hurt, and you told her she made an assumption.  That’s non-acceptance of who she IS.  No one “assumes” they were hurt.  People KNOW if they were hurt or not, no need to assume.  Even if the other person didn’t hurt them INTENTIONALLY, doesn’t mean the person still wasn’t hurt.  Women are supposed to accept that men can have sex and it doesn’t mean a thing to them because that’s the way men ARE.  Many (maybe even most) women can’t take sex so lightly (that oxytocin thing or whatever) that they feel completely unscathed when it’s over, because that’s they way they ARE.  Just because you feel she shouldn’t be hurt (or you think the man didn’t purposefully hurt her) doesn’t mean she is “assuming” she is hurt.  She was hurt.  That’s the she IS. And she should be accepted for that, not told she is wrong to feel that way.

  18. 78
    Sparkling Emerald

    marymary – I switched from commenting on the one dismissal of Rose’s feeling, to commenting on dating advice in general, Sorry for the confusion.  But that does seem to be a theme in dating advice in general (including, but not limited to EMK)  The collective advice seems to be “Women, accept men EXACTLY as they ARE, and contort yourself into a pretzel and be something other that who you are”. EMK say a lot of great things on his blog, but I was left open mouthed when he told Rose he shouldn’t “assume” she was hurt.

  19. 79
    Joe

    Emerald: you’re not reading what Evan is saying.  He’s not making any assumptions, just pointing out that if Rose eschews male friendships simply because she’s been hurt in the past, she is assuming that any future men she may become friends with will hurt her.  Basically assuming guilt before proving innocence.
     
    It’s also being pointed out that since it’s likely that she’s been hurt by female friends in the past too–who here has never been hurt by same-gender friends?–would she then refuse to become friends with women in the future?

  20. 80
    Sparkling Emerald

    Joe – I was commenting on Rose’s post #9 where she said
    Quote “Personally I don’t want to be friends with men who hurt me or no longer find me attractive, if there was something there at one point. I don’t really see what the point is of trying to be friends with a woman you hurt or dumped. Especially if the guy hurt me, what does a friendship do for me?  I think by acting like nothing ever happened it’s rather insulting.  He’s not my friend.”
    Perhaps she said something after that, in another post, but I was commenting SPECIFICALLY on this post.  Everything in THIS post indicates that she is strictly talking about not wanting to be friends with someone who has already hurt her or dumped her.  I see the semantic quibbling about weather or not the guy hurt her, or the BREAKUP hurt her as silly.  Right up there with GUNS don’t hurt people, PEOPLE hurt people.   I see absolutely NOTHING in there that says she will eschew future male friendships with men she was never in love with to begin with.  I really didn’t understand EMK’s sarcastic comment “, but you seem to want your male friends to find you attractive although you don’t find them attractive. Got it.” She didn’t say that, she SPECIFICALLY said “guys who NO LONGER find her attractive” she didn’t say “I want guys who I don’t find attractive to find me attractive.”  If the guy hurt her, obviously she found him attractive. I chalk it up to male/female communication disconnect.  Not slamming males or females here, but I see it on these blogs (not just EMK, but blogs in gen’l.  )  Someone will say something, members of the opposite sex see something completely different.  
      I think Rory Raye (a female relationship coach who’s newlsetter I recieve, says much I disagree with, BUT, I totally agree with her, that if you’ve been in a relationship with a guy, and then he wants to be just friends (and they usually want benefits with that friendship) you should say no.  Just tell him you  feel more than friends feeling for him and you can’t see him on those terms.  Must be a “girl” thing, just another instance of us girls having feelings that were not suppose to have.

  21. 81
    Sparkling Emerald

    EMK – My gripe was NEVER with you telling us how men ARE.  My gripe was your non acceptance of how Rose is. I was disagreeing with that ONE particular post that you made, not making YOU or MEN in general into demons who are wrong in every way.  I am not here to shoot you OK ?  Do you think women should be accepted as they are ? 

  22. 82
    Karl R

    Sparkling Emerald said: (#84)
    “I see the semantic quibbling about weather or not the guy hurt her, or the BREAKUP hurt her as silly.”
     
    That’s because you’re completely overlooking the power people have to change their own attitude and outlook.
     
    Instead of your misleading analogy of guns/people, let’s use and example of three attitudes toward dating that we see frequently on this blog:
    a) “I suck at relationships. Most people don’t want to date me. The ones who date me end up dumping me once they get to know me.”
    b) “I don’t want to date most men/women that I meet. Some seem interesting at first, but after dating them for a while, I figure out what’s wrong with them and dump them. There’s nobody good out there to date.”
    c) “Dating is hard for everyone. It’s probably going to take a while for me to find someone who is compatible.”
     
    Who do you think is most likely to eventually succeed at dating?
     
    Three three types people are having very similar experiences dating. But their attitude completely separates them. Two of those attitudes greatly decrease your likelihood of success. One of those attitudes increases your likelihood of success.
     
    Just like your ability to successfully date is heavily influenced by your attitude, your ability to remain friends after a breakup is heavily influenced by your attitude (and the attitude of the other person). Her words are important because they show us her underlying perspective and attitude.

  23. 83
    Sparkling Emerald

    Sheesh Karl –
     
        Now I feel like I’ve been completely mis-understood, and I’m getting lectured by a total stranger on this blog who knows nothing about me, yet thinks he knows it all about me, all based on my agreeing with Rose, about not wanting to be friends with someone after a painful break up.  Just another example of a man (you) telling a woman that how she is, or how she feel is WRONG.  Some people can be friends with exes, some can’t PERIOD.  Why does one way or the other have to be WRONG ?
    I agree that   c) “Dating is hard for everyone. It’s probably going to take a while for me to find someone who is compatible.”
      is a good attitude to adopt.  That is why I take all these dating coaching advice sites with a grain of salt, and read them for entertainment only.  The pop up ads and e-mails I get demonstrate that most of these dating advice business’es for women operate on the assumption of “Ladies, you all SUCK  at relationships, but for the amazingly low price of $$$$$$$$, we’ll tell you EXACTLY what you are doing that is so horrible, and give you a magic pill that will turn you into a MAN magnet”  I keep getting these pop up ads about “The 10 ugly mistakes women make that ruin ANY chance of a relationship”  ETC, ETC.  BTW, I think EMK pretty much offers a balanced view, but I was shocked at his attitude toward Rose.  And even more shocked when he called me a “victim” who “demonizes all men”  WOW, disagree with a few thing he says and you are a man hating victim huh ?  Interesting.

    1. 83.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Sparkling Emerald, who said “Now I feel like I’ve been completely mis-understood, and I’m getting lectured by a total stranger on this blog who knows nothing about me”.

      Yeah. Welcome to my world. Fun, isn’t it?

  24. 84
    Evan Marc Katz

    By the way, you’re all up in arms about Rose’s comment and my innocuous response, which “shocked” you.

    There was nothing shocking about it. Rose has every right to choose not to be friends with a man after a breakup. I never said otherwise. But here’s the text you keep trying to defend:

    “Personally I don’t want to be friends with men who hurt me or no longer find me attractive, if there was something there at one point. I don’t really see what the point is of trying to be friends with a woman you hurt or dumped. Especially if the guy hurt me, what does a friendship do for me?  I think by acting like nothing ever happened it’s rather insulting.  He’s not my friend.”

    Naturally, Rose can feel hurt by the end of a relationship. Yet she intimates that, say, a trusted ex has not only “insulted” her by hoping to keep ties, but that their breakup completely invalidates their deep friendship. Whether you agree with me or not, Rose sounds extremely thin-skinned and bitter towards her exes. Her words don’t sound like she wants to keep a healthy distance (like I recommend to women); they sound like the living proof of “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

  25. 85
    Sparkling Emerald

    EMK –  I am waving the white flag of surrender.

  26. 86
    Cat5

    Can men and women really be just friends?  The answer is it depends.
     
    I have had exes that I am friends with (in fact my ex-husband one of my best friends), and exes that I am not friends with.
     
    For me, the key is what type of person he is.  (Disclaimer: I said he because as I am speaking for me only.  I am not beating up men, it’s just I’ve never dated a woman so all my exes are men.  If I ever do date a woman, I will be happy to provide a comparison statement between dating men and women for y’all.  But for the record, I do think my statements apply to both men and women.)
     
    If he is a person of good and decent character who treated me with kindness, courtesy, and respect while we were together and the relationship just didn’t work out, then generally I am still friends with him.
     
    If he is a person of questionable, sketchy, or low character who treated me unkindly, rudely, and/or disrespectfully while we were together, than generally I do not remain in contact with him.
     
    Whether I am a friends with an ex or I guy I’ve met, the key is boundaries.   For me, that boundary is that I do not sleep with my friends.  If you can respect that boundary, we can be friends.  If you cannot, then we can’t be.  Of course, whether a person respects another person’s boundary is all about character — good/decent character will respect boundaries; questionable/sketchy/low character will probably not respect boundaries.
     
    Just my 02 cents.

  27. 87
    amelia

    Men absolutely cannot be just friends with women.  Especially if said woman is considered attractive.  Sorry, but it’s the truth.
     
    Every single one of my male “friends” has pursued me at one point or another.  I’m not conceited nor delusional.  This has been an ongoing pattern since I was a teenager (I’m 34 years old now).
    Most recently, one of my close male friends started pursuing me quite intensely.  He confessed his love and basically made me think the moon and sun revolved around me.  The problem was that he happen to have a girlfriend who was also my close friend.
    The results of the subsequent affair could span over several different articles and blog posts. In the end, he broke up with her an disappeared from my life.  Three close friendships destroyed.
    The point is, if there had not been an underlying attraction between the both of us, we would have gotten to be such good friends in the first place.  I guarantee that.  Which, I suppose, begs the question; Can women be just friends with men?

  28. 88
    Paula

    I agree with amelia. Anytime I am a friend with a man and we are alone (usually) he will mack on me. This weekend I had a guy friend whom I had no interest, start rubbing my arm like a girlfriend. It was gross.
     
    All men are horndogs and the smart women usually ‘make’ the man stop hanging out with his female friends alone.

  29. 89
    judy

    Of course there is always the exception to the rule.  I have long coffees with a  VERY attractive man of 45.  I’m single and he’s in a relationship that as far as I know is working out.
    He finds me attractive too and often compliments me.  We share private issues.
    Why this isn’t sexual? At the risk of shocking a few people on here, maybe both of us don’t really want to go there.  And maybe we do.  Personally, I find it a huge risk and at the same time, rather funny.  How can you possibly be sexual with someone who knows all your secrets and disappointments?
    The only thing that is missing is this particular relationship IS the sex. 
    To be blunt, a man does not have to touch you or penetrate you to love you.  (And, for that matter, a woman can love very many men without touching them either).
     

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