How to be (platonic) friends with a guy

Dear Reid,

I recently started hanging out with this new guy I met, and I really like him—just not in “that way.” I know that he wants something more, but I just want to be friends.

I’ve often heard guys say that men and women can’t be friends, because there will always be sexual tension. I’m not wild about hanging out with someone who constantly wants to get in my pants, but I would be happy to hang out with this guy as long as we don’t cross the line.

Is it possible for a guy to be friends with a girl? And how can I be sure that I make it clear to him that friends is all we are?

—Jane Don’t

I know how you feel. Or, perhaps more importantly, I know how he feels. But before we get into what that is, it’s important that we establish a key difference between women and men. For a woman, a “friend” is a person she hangs out with but doesn’t have sex with. For a man, a “friend” is a guy. So, while the boundary between “friend” and “boyfriend” is fairly simple from the woman’s perspective—sex—it’s much more complex and confusing from the guy’s perspective.

As we’ve discussed ad naseum before, men are simple creatures. As such, we are very easily confused. Therefore, while a male-female friendship can certainly go on for years without incident, and there is only one key rule guiding the friendship in the woman’s mind (“Don’t have sex”), there are many more ground rules a woman must observe in that situation to avoid confusing her guy friends.

An excellent article on this very subject recently appeared on This Is By Us, a collaborative blog with a clever URL. For the sake of simplicity, I will paraphrase the most salient of those ground rules here:

  1. No hugging or kissing for greetings or salutations. Hugging is only allowed for personal tragedies or blessed events when the emotional significance of the situation blocks out the knowledge that your boobs are pressing against him. Kissing means sex. Always.
  2. No sleepovers. Men think of all women who sleep in bed with them as potential sex partners. He spends much of his free time trying to coax women into that bed, so if you get in there, he can’t help but think you want some.
  3. No seat sharing. When girls sit on a guy’s lap or next to him in a one-person seat, the proximity is arousing. A possible exception is fitting an extra person in a car that is filled to capacity. While he’ll suffer any indignity not to be the designated driver, it might not be the seat belt poking you.
  4. Try to avoid incidental contact. I can’t outlaw this since there are times when the brush of a leg or a sleeve is purely accidental, but try to be careful. You can take steps to not put your arm in his while walking or lay against him on a couch or other things like that. Those things lead to thoughts about sex.
  5. As the man said, you never give another man’s woman a foot massage. In fact, absolutely no neck/foot/back rubs or massages of any kind are allowed in a platonic friendship. That’s a lot of foreplay to waste on someone who doesn’t want the main event.
  6. No passing judgment on any girl that he dates. Good or bad, it’s the guy friends’ job to belittle and pick apart girlfriends. If a woman does this, it means she wants the guy for herself. So you think she is trashy and dumb? Well, you could have dated him but you just wanted to be friends.
  7. No judgments on any of his behavior. This could lead him to think you care a little too much about his well being. No telling him to stop smoking, drinking, or using women. If he is truly being an asshole in some situation, however, feel free to clue him in—that’s what friends do.
  8. No asking for man favors such as furniture moving, yard work, or car trouble help. Men don’t like to waste displays of extreme masculinity on women who have decided not to sleep with them. In a pinch you can bribe him to do man chores with beer.
  9. No flirting. So if you laugh at his jokes, they better be funny jokes. There is nothing that says “I want you” more than laughing at jokes that aren’t funny.
  10. No being attracted to him. He is going to be as attractive as possible in pursuit of other women, so this one may be difficult. In fact, don’t even tell him that he looks good, as that will torment him for days wondering if you’ve changed your mind about him.
  11. No confiding in him about boys. While you may not be able to grasp the difference, he is not your girl friend; He is your reluctant man friend who officially hates all men that you date now or in the future. Asking for hypothetical guy advice is okay; just don’t slam him with details about particular guys you are sleeping with.
  12. No dating any guy who treats you badly, disrespects or neglects you in any way—that’s just a slap in your friend’s face. He must truly adore you in order to suppress all those natural man urges for your friendship, so at least respect him enough to date someone who respects you as much as he does.
  13. You have to let him know immediately if you want to be more than friends. He’s only doing this to respect your wishes. If you ever want more—and he hasn’t moved on to someone else—rest assured that he will too.

Some of these rules may sound harsh, but they are imperative in order to keep the situation clear in the mind of an easily-confused man. As long as these rules are observed, he will not constantly think about getting into your pants, and you should enjoy a comfortable, uncomplicated friendship.

Please note that these rules only apply in a situation where there was initial, obvious attraction on the part of the guy. Almost all rules are moot if he never wanted you in the first place, or if you are already romantically attached to one of his guy friends. In either of those situations, you are essentially a guy to him, so be understanding of this fact if he calls you “gay” for offering him a hug or a neck massage.

Thanks again to moreanonymous from This Is By Us for first putting these ground rules into words.

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49 Responses to “How to be (platonic) friends with a guy”

  1. lippy Says:

    Why is it that these articles always assume the man is attracted to the woman and not vice versa. I have been meeting a man for coffee/lunch/dinner for about a year – and I have been very attracted to him, but not making his obvious for professional reasons. A few months ago he started talking about the fact that he has one night stands and most recently has started seeing someone for a casual relationship. I really thought there was something there between us, but apparently not, and not only this but he thinks I want to hear all about his conquests. He has also been through a phase of staring at my cleavage and body checking – the whole thing is so confusing! I challenged him about the casual sex talk, explaining that I was a woman and as such this kind of chat left me in an unequal footing in the ”friendship” (his term) – what woman could safely talk openly about having a one night stand?, although I have never admited the biggest reason his talk p’s me off: that I thought we were into eachother.
    What do you make of that then dear Reid?

    • anna Says:

      hi i have a guy friend theat i met 4 months ago we been going out and having a good time somtimes with his mates and many times just the two of u, to me he was my big brother n he called me his sis . he is married and has 5 kids. ive met them as i have been to there home and they have come to mine. lately he touches me inaproapiately and tries to kiss me and we have fallen out coz of this. i know he is attracted to me and i miss him but dont want what he wants. i told him that im not your friend anymore and heard from him since its been afew days and i feel that its my fault. what should i do

  2. Reddy Says:

    Um, how about this: if a gal don’t want to be in relationship with this guys but want to be his friend, and then: DON’T bother to be friend with him. If she wishes to not be in relationship with him, and then “Jane Don’t” is a loser and should’ve stay away from this good guy.

  3. Reid Says:

    I know how you feel. It sounds to me like he was flirting with you and checking you out, but that he got discouraged at some point and decided you’d placed him in the “friend zone.” Read through the rules above again. Doing things like this are clear signs to a guy that you want to be “just friends.” Breaking the rules will get you the response you want. Or not. But they’ll at least get you a response.

  4. shelliez Says:

    Can you analyze this the other way around. I’ve been haning out with a guy who acts sort of like a boyfriend…seeing him every weekend, going out to dinner, concerts, meeting his best friends, even getting close with laying together, sleeping in the same bed. He also met my son and family…but is saying he wants to just be friends and that I am very special to him, but saying being physical first could ruin our relationship. and if a relationship develops someday..then we’ll have a stronger foundation. to add he says he has a habit of cheating and just doesn’t want to go there with me. He puts me on a “special” pedestal – but what does this mean? Is he NOT attracted to me and just using me until the girl of his dreams shows up? or trying to build something special?

  5. Reid Says:

    Dear Lippy: I know how you feel. The reason these kinds of articles always focus on men is because of one simple fact. Women hold all the power in a relationship when it comes to escalating beyond a platonic friendship. As is true across the animal kingdom, it’s the female of the species that chooses the male she’s willing to mate with. Males are the ones who have to strut around and show off their plumage to illustrate their masculine prowess (i.e., your friend’s frequent bragging about his one-night stands), while the female must simply choose to allow the male to move on to the next stage.

    I think I’ve laid it out pretty clearly in the above post, and others. Men have no choice but to react to the signals they are given by women. A man who pushes himself on a woman is accused of being creepy at the very least, of harassment or worse in more extreme cases. If a woman, however, displays the appropriate indicators of interest, however, and allows the escalation to occur, 9 times out of 10 the man will react in the desired manner. (The 1 in 10 who don’t are either gay, shy, or clueless.)

    If you’re looking to escalate your relationship with this guy, simply start breaking the rules of platonic friendship outlined in the post above. Start with rule #1: hugs and/or kisses when you greet him or part with him. If he doesn’t get the point then, just step up the flirtation. It really is that simple.

  6. Jon Says:

    I think if you really need to inforce all these steps in order to keep a platonic friendship, I really think it’s a big waste of time effort in keeping a friendship that’s considerably so fake. Friendships are natural emotional bondings with other beings, not strategies and steps to be rehearsed and observed every time you see him/her.

  7. Analee Says:

    But what if the guy is really sensitive, hates sports, and loves fashion shows, but isn’t gay? My guy friend was raised by women, so…..would this be any different?

    • Sista Says:

      I am currently in the same situation. We have so much chemistry but he has a long time girlfriend. So far I’m trying to keep our friendship platonic because i really like him as the perfect friend but it is soo hard.

  8. Zera Says:

    this is all particulary wierd- i have a few guy friends- its true- the ones where there was attraction- hugging and physical contact seem to be awkward indeed- but others where attraction was obviously out of the question from the beggining posed no problem.

  9. Cobra Says:

    In a weird way, aren’t women subconsciously saying to their platonic male friends that they find something wrong or lacking in them?

    I mean, unless the male friend (or female friendee) is gay, coupled/ married, or age-inappropriate, there must be some reason why he was placed in the friendzone right away. Perhaps the guy isn’t a good match for a host of legitimate reasons, whether it be personality, money, station in life, etc. and I empathize with women on that count. But what I get from this thread, is that most of these platonic male friends are strictly platonic because the women don’t find them sexually attractive.

    I doubt there are many relationships on any level that could survive one party coming out and saying “I don’t find you attractive,” so I can understand why women use euphemisms like, “not my type” or “no chemistry”, etc. What I want to know is why a woman would want to spend quality time with a guy she doesn’t find attractive? Is it an ego stroke? Does it feel validating to get free positive male attention? Is it a gateway to the unattractive guy’s more attractive friends?

    What’s up with that?

    • mj Says:

      right on here. but she just might really like alot about him ei. similar music intersets, sports traveling etc but just not there sexually

  10. Belles Says:

    I accidentally found this question, and I can relate to it. I’m in a situation where I’m really good friends with a guy, and I’ve violated about half of your rules. Everyone else thinks we’re dating because we spend so much time together, but we’re not. I know he wants more. He hints at it sometimes, less subtly recently, and he has been visibly turned on by close proximity to me. He basically starts panting and sweating.

    The thing is, I’m attracted to him, too. I laugh at his jokes because his weird sense of humor appeals to me most of the time,
    and he’s not the only one turned on by close proximity. (I’m just more subtle about it.) I would be sad if we stopped spending time together because I like being around him. But I can’t decide if I really want to escalate our relationship, and I wouldn’t know how to do it.
    I know you did say how, but I would feel uncomfortable initiating hugs or kisses, and not because I dislike him. Although I’m in my 20s, I’m extremely inexperienced, and I don’t know how to take the lead. There are some things I can easily express, but my emotions are not one of them. I’m not sure if I can maintain a relationship, or if relationships are compatible with the things I value.

    To add to that, my parents think he would be a bad choice for any relationship beyond friendship. In a way they’re right. (No, he is not a drug addict, criminal, mental patient, religious fanatic, or sleazy lawyer, nor is he terminally ill.) They think I should encourage him to date other women. I would probably be jealous if he dated other women, and sad if we stopped spending time together. I don’t think he will date other women unless I wait a while or make it clear that I only want to be friends, but in reality, I don’t know what I want.

  11. Angelo Jones Says:

    Belles it is obvious you want to be with this guy so be with him. You say he is not a good choice for anything beyond friendship, well what better to base a relationship on, you are more likely to accept and care for a friend and thus have a more likely to have lasting love. You dont need to be subtle about what you want, he is your friend he’ll at least be kind if he rejects you and you can more easily have a friendship without the tension. If he doesn’t well you could have love and if thats not worth taking a risk for then what is.

  12. Demonlord Says:

    I just ended a friendship with a female friend of mine who broke quite a few of the above rules, and some more that are not listed here. I really thought she was into me since we’ve often hung out with our mutual friends and I have even invited her to my house on a few occasions. She even kinda got miffed at me for forgetting her birthday, even though we weren’t that close (confusing to me because, why would I bother to remember the birthday of someone who I’m not already real tight with, be it a family member, or one of my main homies). She had also cooked for me at one point and that is a cardinal sin if you’re a woman and you’re not attracted to a guy (the key to a man’s heart is his stomach, and my apatite for food is voracious). I’m not the best at asking out women, but I decided to put aside my pride since I really was beginning to develop feelings for this girl and was no longer satisfied with continuing a friendship with her. I asked her out and she gave me some stupid-ass excuse that she wasn’t into dating at the moment. So at that moment, I went from thinking she was into me to realizing that I was her “gay” friend. I honestly would have felt much better about the ordeal if she simply told me to f— off. Much to our mutual friends’ dismay, I had to uphold my pride as a man and cut her off from my life. If I saw her again, I barely spoke to or acknowledged her. Despite how pissed I am at her playing with my emotions, some of those initial feelings still exist, but I’m hoping I can put her behind me for good eventually and focus on other women who can respect me for the decent person that I try to be.

    I agree with Jon in that a friendship is a mutual bond between two people that has no real guidelines or protocol, otherwise it’s a farce. A man and a woman can’t be friends if they are both heterosexual and single, otherwise it’s a parasitic relationship for one or both parties. In the reverse situation, I would at least have the decency to not try so hard to be nice to a girl I’m not attracted to. It’s much easier on the person if you nip the bud of the situation before it “blossoms” into something worse.

  13. GoldenGirl Says:

    Ok, here’s my situation. I emailed an introduction of myself to a guy i had seen around several times – he had tried to get my attention and failed, then i tried to get his attention and failed. I told him the pertinents: age, status, and that i was looking for a male friend to hang out with from time to time. He emailed me back, we met, chatted, had a nice time. Only strange thing was somehow he felt comfortable enough to tell me his life story immediately, filled with tragedy. Anyway, he asked when we could meet again and we tried to figure our schedules out. We agreed we would see each other a few days later at a spot we both frequent and figure it out from there. The next day i emailed him and said i had a great time and looked forward to our next meeting. He emailed back and agreed likewise, said i’m busy till the weekend but lets get together soon. Saw each other at the mutual spot. We were both all smiley- it was a professional setting so no conversation possible- but all seemed good. The following week, with no word from him i made one last attempt: emailed him and said hoped he was doing good, that i had been super busy with work but was looking forward to meeting with him again. This time i asked specifically did he have any free time on a Fri, Sat, or Sun coming up. He emailed right back and said he would see me at the “professional meeting”, then we could get together later. Saw him at the meeting, again all seemed well in fact his whole appearance was much neater, but he was quite nervous. Since then, no word from him in a week. What’s up with that?

  14. Trish Says:

    this is very possible, i am a pretty and young girl with quite a bit of male fiends. i enjoy their company because it is not so emotional and more activity based. i follow all of the rules and make it clear that i am not interested in becoming romantic, now or in the furure. the men respect me. i believe that a woman must be strong enough to control her feelings and assertive in expressing her thoughts. of course there is sexual attraction. a man would not be friends with me if he was not attracted to me. i aknowlege that so i do not cause the guys to suffer by trying to turn them on. i act more modest around them. i get a lot in return from the friendships. men have a way of encouraging and they are never jelous of accomplishements like female friends can be.

  15. Alannah Says:

    Ok so I am not the only one confused? It helped to read the responses. So here’s my situation. I am friends with this guy. We hang and he’s got a girlfriend – she knows about me but not about the time we spend together. I date but have no steady guy. I just wonder about him sometimes as he seems to send mixed signals. When i stay over we sleep in the same bed and i have no issues with that. but the last time i stayed over it was weird. we were watching a movie and he was stroking and caressing my hand my my fingers and my forearm and biting my hand. we had been drinking so i chose to ignore it and told him i was tired and went to bed in the bedroom. he slept on the couch. next morning we both pretended it never happened. so now i don’t know what??? any suggestions?

  16. anny Says:

    i am in a confusing situation… and would appreciate some help please!
    I have been seeing a guy for about a month, and we got to a point where it seemed we may have gotten too close too soon. We had a talk about it and he suggested to be friends for a while? but he said he still really likes me.. so i dont know what to think..?

  17. confuse girl Says:

    I need a good advise. Im married with 2 kids but im working in another country and i havent seen my husband for almost a year. I met a young guy, 8 years younger than me,we easily coonected as friends coz we have so much in common and were both renting the same house.Weve been togother for 8 months and we consider each other as special. Im just confuse coz everytime he knows that there are guys who would like to date with me, he will always oppose to it saying its not good coz i have a husband.I think were in a platonic relationship but since im a tactile person, i always do hug and embrace him.
    He said im like his older sister, but im confuse cosz sometimes his very sweet and he always spend time with me than his friends. even i told him to go out, he sais his happy just to be with me. He even told me that seeing me smile and happy makes him happy also. and evrytime im not feeling okay, he also felt bad.But he keeps insisting on our conversation that im like his sister. DO YOU THINK THIS GUY LIKES ME? im beginning to fall for him because of the attention his giving me. I heed an advise.

  18. Plato Says:

    The author is an idiot. If there is an atcartions on any part, or if you have to make up rule to not have sex or be romantic then its definitly not just friends. Idiot.

  19. XOXO Says:

    I have a best guy friend that i am not attracted to and neither is he…i think. we hang out so much together basically he is like my brother. I love him so much. he helps me with all my boy problems and i basically give him all my support and love to him. There is also another male friend that i used to be friends with benefits with…(we used to like each other) a lot! but it was me who wanted to end having physical intimacy between us because i was getting too emotional and psycho about our relationship. I cant be in a relationship because of the age difference (10 years apart..[[im 25]]). So we work together…we talk wenever we can…but its hard. he is seeing and talking to other girls..and thats fine with me. i have done the same. Even though we respect each other and love to connect at times…he has pulled away quiet well. he will reply to my texts wen he wants to….he doesnt call…and hangs out once a month i believe ..even though i see him at work. i really miss our friendship…wen we do hang out…its awesome cuz we connect in a great way. it is really hard to see him at work and only talk to him there….(conversation lasts like 5-10 mins). i always intiate the convo..text him..plan things out. sometimes he doesnt even have time. this really upsets me…because i know we had a great friendship before and during we started on our friends with benefits level. :( this bothers me alot.

  20. Ill Jill Says:

    I definitely agree with these rules. I broke about 5 or more of these rules with a guy that I really loved spending time with. We started out really liking each other, dated for 1 week and he decided that he just wanted to be “best friends” with me. I was totally falling for him and I was confused by all of that. He said that being friends with me was better than getting with me and breaking up and me never talking to him again. So with that argument, I agreed to be “best friends.” I still always felt this sexual tension with him. We would always have sleep overs…no sex. When we watched movies together, he’d have his hand on my leg, sometimes caressing it. We also drank a lot together, whether it was at a party or while we hung out watching movies. I have even made advances with him about having sex and he rejected me. He would frequently talk about girls he met, or that he was sort of interested in. Or he would sometimes want me to meet girls that he was dating and it seriously drove me crazy. I refused. I think I used alcohol to get his attention, because he would always take care of me when I was drunk. He got tired of it, and I really didn’t know how to keep his attention, and I think he was still stuck on his ex-gf. So basically I became this girl who was being strung along and he was ready to get back with his ex and so he said he didn’t want me around anymore because I was always drunk. This seriously broke my heart. So I had sex with with one of his best guy friends because he was available. I know what I did was not right, and it was a social foul, but I finally had enough of his torments. The displays of interests that never unfolded, the constant rejection of not being a good enough girl. He had a chance to be with me and didn’t want to take it, and everything just went on a downward spiral. I am still affected by this because I really felt something with him and as much as I would like to still continue to be his friend…I know that deep down inside I would still want to break all of the rules above. Anyways, after he discovered the fact that I hooked up with his buddy, he just ignored me for many months and I made many attempts to contact him with no success. I think that I would be in a good position right now if I had not hooked up with his buddy, but now I think that it’s over between him and I forever. I don’t know whether I feel sadden or guilty by all of it, but I definitely have felt tormented for almost a year now by the events of last year. I truly think those lines and boundaries should be drawn right from the beginning. Guys can also make simple-minded girls easily confused.

  21. J Says:

    I have an unpopular but honest answer. Just sleep with him. If the friendship is true it will survive for the remainder of your lives, but the tension will be gone. If it was based off of one person just wanting sex, the friendship will be through, and if you were truly meant to be together, you will be. Obviously be safe, but for me this is usually the best (but like I said no one wants to hear it) answer.

  22. Network Switch : Says:

    i always get a foot massage coz i find it very relaxing and soothing-.-

  23. Mark Says:

    Hi we also broke all the rules, we met in August 2009 and had been seeing each other weekends and for 3 months we very good friends and I liked that as well,but one party at my house we stayed over as we would normally stay over at her place and sleep and shower together with no sex,then that night we made advances on each other and it happened,we had sex.We tried to stop but it happened a few times again and again. then we broke up after 6 months and then got back together again after 3 months, we did it again I slept in the spare room an then in the morning would end up in her bed,had tea,coffer with Vodka in then it happened again,and again. Now 2011 January 1st I kissed a girl open mouth and she started crying as we were not lovers but I was in love with her and she would keep her love all locked up,so thats when it happened,I slept in her spare room then she took a overdose,and I rushed her to hospital,after 4 days there me running up and down we seperated again,I contacted her on Valetines day and asked to be what we had,thats when she replied after 3 days per Email, we can be PLATONIC FRIENDS,will that work now as I am not sure. Can we be platonic friends after what we did and we both enjoyed that, Please help

  24. ogechukwu Says:

    i am a girl of 22 years.dating a guy for 6 monthws now. i love this guy but i don’t know wheather he loves me.so what do u advise i do

  25. amara Says:

    am a lady, i met dis guy on phone, after some time we get to meet each other face to face, he earlier told me he does nt have a girlfriend and later he showned me a picture on his fone saying she is his fiance, it was fine by me after den we stil went out several time which i realy enjoyed, one day i was realy depressed and i called him, he realy show concern telling me as my platonic friend i can confide in him, i was weak by dat bcs i liked him so what do i do.

  26. Jess Says:

    okay so i have a situation. I’ve known this guy for a while. he’s my sister’s boyfriend’s brother. so being this we’d just hang out all four of us. now this guy has a girlfriend for a few years. but since we started txting. he flirts with. we even kissed once. he says he likes me a lot and to be honest i like him too. but can i even believe what he says? i still want to be friends with this guy but i think i like him to much. so what i do??

  27. erin Says:

    This guy is totally ruining the friendship we have with each other! I was not aware of the rules until I read this blog. This guy is kind of my friend, and kind of not. I don’t know him that well and we only hung out once, but we talk on facebook all the time. I know he sees me as more than just a friend, but quite frankly, I just do not like him like that. He is good looking, but he seems to have a thick skull when it comes to taking hints. I hung out with him out of pure pressure because he would not stop asking me if he could come over my house so I just said yes. Stupid move on my part. If he really likes me then he should respect my boundaries, but he just isn’t getting it. I’m starting to think I should end the friendship because he won’t stop bugging me. He uses phrases like “yeah, I would ask you to hang out, but SOMEBODY is too scared, lol lol lol.” Its like “dude, I’m not scared, I just don’t like you anymore than just a friend!” He tries to act like he is just joking when I call him out which I know for a fact he is just trying to lay a huge guilt trip on me just so I will agree to hang out with him. I don’t know how else to get my point across without threatening to end our “friendship” if you can even call it a friendship at all. Clingy, needy, pushy guy friends are so annoying! Somebody please, help a girl out!. Lol.

  28. erin Says:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to add something: I haven’t broken more than two rules. I broke the no asking for help with moving furniture rule and the laughing at his jokes rule. I’m not making excuses, I’m just saying I broke rules so I’m as guilty as everyone else. Lol. Still, I flat out told him I wanted to be friends and nothing more. He says he is fine with it but he is still trying to get with me. Why do guys say things to make it seem like they’re just giving a girl a hard time. For example: he says “oh, you can be on facebook but you can’t text me back? I see how it is, hahaha, jk jk.” Then I think “oh please, you know damn well you ain’t joking.” So irritating! If he was my friend, he would back off! I don’t let him touch me, sit next to me, or have any sort of physical contact because he will just think I’m leading him on and that’s not my intention at all. He’s sweet, just not my type. I am not obligated to act like I’m interested just because he wants to be with me, but I feel like he expects me to have the same feelings he does. Its just never going to happen. Why won’t he just accept it already?! I feel like he will never leave it alone until I give in to his advances.

  29. Emma Says:

    Hi

    I googled platonic questions because I’ve become friends with someone and don’t know what I’m doing really.

    I’m appealing for someone to judge a guy’s actions for me and to judge my own totally frankly.

    I’m female, 23 and I got talking to a 43 year old man at work. We are not in departments that have anything to do with each other. I also have a boyfriend, 24, who is living about 200 miles away. I see him about every three weeks. We have been together for nearly two years, he is sexy and we laugh so much.

    I moved back in with my parents after university a year ago, and am sad to say I don’t have much of an independent life, or any friends left in the area who haven’t moved away from my crap town or are still at uni.

    I got talking to this person working late one night. I violated the rule about talking about my boyfriend, who I was angry with for not bothering to text/call me for about a week. We ended up talking about how we kinda had no where else to go on a Friday evening and had both moved back to the area. I find him unattractive, but have always felt a slight affinity towards him because he is reasonable, helpful and very kind. His kindness has got him a reputation as sleazy, as he always talks to women. I think he’s just a typical male and doesn’t know that people notice. I almost find it funny in a sense.

    I feel like we are quite similar, but definitely could not ever imagine him in an attractive way, although I did experiment with that idea since I wanted to check I wasn’t attracted. I know he is lonely and I am lonely too. That Friday I didn’t want to stop talking to him, because I had seriously not had a frank and interesting conversation with someone other than my parents for a long time. He is confident and nosey so asks questions which challenge me. After a while, he said no pressure but if you would like to go to the pub around the corner to continue this conversation as friends, I would enjoy your company you have brightened up a dull evening. He said I don’t want you to think this is a ‘come on’ or anything and don’t do it if it would make you uncomfortable. I went and I don’t know why other than I was actually having a nice time and I wasn’t bored.

    He tried nothing, he told me all about his life and his daughter who he is clearly proud of. We talked about work, we talked about our love lives. He asked for my number in such a confident nonchalant way I gave it to him like there was nothing weird about it.

    I told my boyfriend where I had been and that I in hindsight felt weird about it. He said that he has female friends and that I should just chill out about the platonic pub encounter.

    He doesn’t know that the 43 year old and I text each other now though. Never has there been any hint of sexiness. It got to the stage of ‘if you’d on your own and would like to hang out I’m here’. I went round to his house for a cup of tea. The next time I went round, we went out for dinner and then it was complicated in that truly and honestly I couldn’t pretend to be going anywhere else without my parents knowing unless I went to visit a friend further away and come back in the morning. I did. He made up the spare room his daughter uses and was very polite accommodating, told me to make myself and home and didn’t make any hints about attraction to me or touch me or brush by me once and I was relieved because I had trusted that that would be the case.

    I didn’t tell my boyfriend, but then again he didn’t call me or anything or ask what I did that day so it has gone unmentioned. But there are a few things that send alarm bells. Mr 43 finds me charming interesting and intelligent apparently. He always says that he wants me to feel comfortable and that he does not want to take advantage of me. That last bit I suggested to him that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t wish it wasn’t taking adantage and I can’t even remeember whether I got a proper answer- just words about wanting me to be comfortable to be friends. That was teh second time I saw him. Before the dinner then spare room night. Why did I go back though? That night I had a dream that I saw him at a work party and hoped he would notice me. Which confused me totally when i woke up in his house. I felt wrong really. And I hate teh fact tht it IS just friendship but I’m worried about the deceit that’s happened towards my boyfriend. I have never lied to him. Thing is, I honestly want Mr 43 to be OK in life really. We still text, usually about work stuff. I would like to hang out again if it were in a parallel universe where you could just do whatever you liked and nothing mattered. Maybe I see my home town as that place where nothing matters because my boyfriend is so far away. I don’t find 43 sexy, but I have thought that his eyes were nice. He is by traditional standards way below my league in age and looks I know most people would say. I’m not big headed but he is considered unattractive at work. Read between the lines. What do I want? What does he want? What should I do?

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  31. Hannah Says:

    I have a situation similar to this. I was friends to this guy. He told me he liked my friend so I decided to see if my friend liked him back. She said “no way never he’s in the friend zone and will always be there” so for six months he secretly liked my friend while I knew that she didn’t like him back. Then something happens and we started to hang out every weekend. We’d talk on the phone for hours and text all day. Then I started to like him. One night our phone conversation was 7 hours long and at the end of the conversation we were talking about sex and ended up having phone sex. He wanted to be friends with benefits with me but because I liked him I wanted more. So I told him that I liked him and eventually he told me that I “had him hooked” but…he wouldnt ask me out. So I asked him if he wanted to date me and he said that if it wasn’t for my weight we’d be dating already. And if later i lost weight he would pursue me. So after some time away from each other, i was mad at him, we decided to be just friends. I decided to get over him and meet new people. That conversation was almost 2 months ago and recently we went somewhere together. I didn’t really see it as anything more than friends hanging out. But the whole day he kept calling me his big sister. I’m 6 months older. He purposely doesn’t hug me anymore. He doesn’t like it when I tickle him, he’s really ticklish and I used to tickle him a lot. and all our phone conversations are all less than 10-15mins (the longest has been 63 mins). He told me recently that he likes my friend again and asked me if she likes anyone. I told him that she’s in love with this guy and is waiting for him.( he moved away for a few months for work) The thing is that I kinda still like him, though not as much. But im also getting to know this new guy and he knows about him. I’m also confused y we can’t be friends like before. I loved talking to him for hours and texting and hugging. I don’t understand why he has to be so distant with me if he likes my friend. If he likes someone else than y can’t we be friends like before.

    • Jayson Says:

      Hannah, this guy is obviously a total douche bag. I’m sorry to tell you that, but someone needs to. He said he’d date you in you lost weight but otherwise just wants to be friends? Say it with me, “Douche Bag”. Treat him like nicotine..something you’re addicted to but have to quit cold turkey because he’s not good for you.

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  35. Keisha Says:

    I don’t want to hurt his feeling, but I already did. I asked him politely that if we could be just friends. He asked me why and he just wanted to be more than that. Then I replied back, it just doesn’t feel right, I’m sorry. My other friend told me he was crying the whole night. In the first place, I never wanted to hurt him, but I knew I was going to hurt him even more because of me flirting without me even realizing it, and hurting me also for the same exact reason. The next morning he told me he is willing to give me one week for my answer, but I already know the answer. At first, people said we were dating because he told them he already asked me out and I said yes, and I was like, I did? I only thought of him as a friend, then a lover, but then a friend. I’m so confused right now, but I don’t want to be in any relationship and I’m afraid if some other person will take him away. Another of my ‘so-called’ friends who pretended to be my friend to get close to him told him, the morning he told me he would wait for a week, said that she would wait for him. I was deeply hurt, mixed with jealous too, but I just want to be friends with him. What should I say to him?

    • Cris Says:

      Why would you be jealous? you only want to be friends with him, you have no romantic feelings for him, remember?
      What’s that guy supposed to do? wait until you make up your mind. Yes life if full of tough choices, but I am sure there are many women out there who would want to be romantically involved with him. Sure you can still be friends with him, but you have to accept that some other woman or women are going to want to be more than just friends with him.

  36. Tulsi Tiwari Says:

    I have always thought about a world where there is only platonic love and sex is needed only for reproduction- not necessary for all and sundry! What a bad feeling one gets by reading rape news and incidents of “cheating” in love (indulging in sex by force).
    I appreciate your idea of spreading platonic love which I think is capable of changing the life style of people and bringing in an era of pure love on the earth!

    • Jayson Says:

      Women might be capable of a world with platonic love and sex only for reproduction, but men can’t do it. Too many hormones.

  37. ClownsCryTo Says:

    For me Platonic Friendship exists only (or in most occasions) in heterosexual friends that are also relatives ( cousins and that stuff ) .
    Lets say you are a girl and have this great ”boy best friend” .
    Do you think that he never-ever thought about getting in your pants? Even once?
    And lets say he is pretty ( BUT you like him only as a friend ) and he started dating or having conversations with you about his new potential girlfriend. How you will react? ( if you are single of course )
    Would you give him advice or talk about this subject?
    If you can handle your emotions then you are good , but most times Jealousy strikes.

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  41. rockyfriendship2014 Says:

    So my guy best friend and I are in college together and recently started working together also. He was originally going to quit his summer job because it was too much work for him alongside with school, but his boss told him he could find an assistant. He told him he knew of the perfect person and offered me the position. So now we work together in close quarters with me under his supervision.
    Previously, when eating in the cafeteria with some of his friends, he said that he did not want to have sex with me. I got upset because who likes rejection even if I didn’t offer… But then later he texted me to apologize about his lack of tact and told me it wasn’t because of my looks but because of the dynamics of our relationship.
    He was sexually involved with a girl he met through work over the summer and although they ended on good terms because she went back to school, he still talks about her. I just got out of a four year relationship over the summer and we talk about that a lot as well. I sometimes feel that I bring up not being over him to assure him that i have not moved on and so therefore could not possibly be attracted to him. We give each other advice on prospective relationships. I am reluctant to do so, but I do it because I genuinely want him to be happy, and also I feel that if I am unfair about it it will just come back to bite me in the end, he’s not dumb. When I start talking about anyone I am attracted to he will comment on it briefly and then change the subject.
    We have a lot of chemistry. We enjoy insulting each other in funny ways in private, but especially in front of other people. We love a lot of the same things and basically just act like an old married couple. When we go to parties at professor’s houses, we ask each other to refill the other’s cups or get more food– basically we just act coupley out of a sheer desire to make the other person comfortable, just because we care about each other.
    We have a lot of the same interests and career aspirations. He actually came in with a different major and changed it to something similar to mine after we met and talked about it. I haven’t asked if I’m the reason, but all evidence would indicate that I was a strong influence. This all makes for interesting conversation; something that was absent from my previous relationship because he and I were polar opposites in many ways.
    At the same time, being in close proximity to him makes me nervous and also makes me think that I may be attracted to him. When he gets too close to me I am very aware of it and it makes me uncomfortable, but I crave it at the same time. He is so polite at work and makes me feel appreciated, which is something I miss from my previous relationship.
    I am very confused and am concerned about our friendship and now work relationship.

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