Whether or not guys and girls can be just friends is always an interesting debate. The answer truly varies with each person and their experiences.
My close friends can vouch that I am a big proponent of being friends with the opposite sex. I’ll admit that sometimes it is not so simple. Here are some different scenarios that might come up.
What if I’m attracted to them?
We all know attractive people, but that doesn’t mean you like them or would cross the friend boundary with them.
What if one of us has feelings for the other?
This is when the relationship gets confusing. When feelings are involved then it’s really not “just friends.” That’s not to say that feelings can’t be put aside to value friendship. However, it’s up to both parties to decide whether it’s healthy to continue to make contact. The more you see or talk to someone- the harder it is to stop thinking about them. If you like them, you have certain expectations and wants- can you keep it platonic? Only you can decide that.
What happens when one person starts dating someone?
Obviously, when they start dating someone then their time gets divided even more between the significant other, friends, family, work, leisure. They can’t dedicate the same amount of time to you because now there is a whole new person they are paying attention to. Unfortunately, sometimes you will be completely cut off. Is that how the cookie crumbles? It has happened to me and it’s not the best situation. If their significant other is uncomfortable with how close your relationship is, make an effort by getting to know them to ease their doubts.
How do I tell if someone sees me as more than a friend?
Many times people confuse friendly behavior as flirting/interest. I think each person is different. Some people are naturally very flirtatious, whether or not they intend to be. Here are some of my general observations:
- They are not affectionate (hugs are ok)
- You usually hang out in group settings
- No banter or flirting
- He/She will discuss their love life with you
- He/She treats you like a bro/sis
More than friend behavior:
- They break your personal bubble (Read the body language! He/she sits very close to you, leans into you when you talk, loooooong hugs, hand grazing)
- He/she is giddy around you. (SUPER smiley, googly eyed, can’t wipe that dopey look off their face)
- You notice they get nervous around you
- You notice they treat you special vs. their other friends
- Your friends think you two are dating
- They get jealous when you talk about other people you’re interested in
- They make an effort to talk with you AND spend time with you (while doing the things above)- especially alone. Note: frequent texting does not necessarily mean interest. If someone is not making plans to see you in person then they probably are not interested.
Can friendship turn into a romantic relationship?
It’s a possibility- you can’t control how you feel about someone. People say timing is key. Maybe when you met that person it wasn’t in the cards to see them as more than a friend, but things can change. Plus, you always hear that the best relationships stem from friendships (“I’m so lucky that I married my best friend”).
Can exes be friends?
Initially: probably not. There are still residual feelings after a break up. After some time when both parties have moved on and processed the relationship- then yes.
How do I tell my friend that I’m interested?
Ask them out on a date!
- NOT “hey, do you want to hang out this weekend/do you want to get dinner tomorrow?”
- It’s too vague. Friends hang out and get dinner all the time. If you’re ready to make a move then commit to doing it right.
Instead, use the word “date”
- “I want to go to this event on Friday. Will you be my date?”
- “Do you want to go on a date and try out that new restaurant with me?”
Using the word date sends out a red flag that makes the other person think: this person is interested in me or this person wants to see where this could go.
This is how I would interpret the following responses:
- I’m busy, sorry. = not interested
- I’m busy, but maybe next week = open to the idea (so try again!)
- Yes = mutually interested
- Ignores you = they are a jerk. Move on and don’t waste your time.
How do I tell my friend that I am not romantically interested?
Sometimes it is hard to be bluntly honest because you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings, but it is important to get the point across because you don’t want to lead your friend on. It’s probably not best to use the line “I’m not looking to date anyone” when it’s not true and you probably will be in a relationship the next month. Instead, reaffirm that you care about your friend. Try saying “I’m glad that we are friends or I value your friendship,” which should usually do the trick. Throwing around the word “friends” should clarify any confusion that person may be having.
Hope that helps!
Comment below if you have questions you want me to answer!