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 AUTHOR
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 565
Why do men find it hard to be friends?Page 19 of 44    (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44)

Again, look at the dynamics of close friendship, especially as happybunny and abelian beautifully describe. Women, IMHO, aren't really asking for "friendship" with these rejected men. It's more of an negative evaluation of the man's attractiveness and/or viability as that woman's partner. You can't really sugarcoat it, and the friendship "counter-offer" is more or less a social courtesy, akin to holding doors open, saying "God bless you" after somebody sneezes, or two teams shaking hands in the middle of the field after the game. Any guy who reads into it more than that is setting himself up for disappointment.

It isn't a testimony to his self worth - and your attractiveness to one person of the opposite sex isn't something they chose to feel (or not, as the case may be). It is what it is, but it's not anything to measure your manhood or humanity with. That's just making more out of it than need be. When a guy doesn't find me attractive, that's life. I don't feel it measures my attractiveness as a whole to all men (not that I tend to pay much attention to that anyway) or anything like that. It's just not a mutual interest. There isn't reason to feel slighted or sad or upset about it. It happens millions of times a day to a lot of people.

This is not to say that women are "bad" or "wrong" for making that offer. It's just a technique to difuse tension and soften any hard feelings that may arise, especially in the case where a woman is working with the man, or have the same circle of acquaintences. It may be a self-defense mechanism when you don't know how a strange man is going to react to the rejection.

Sometimes it is to soften the blow, but other times there are women who are naive in thinking that if they aren't attracted to a guy yet get along with him, or find him funny or whatever - that if they asked a direct question they'd get a direct answer.

I disagree totally. A man doesn't need to explain a rejection of friendship anymore than a woman needs to explain a romantic rejection.

Let's just say that men and women don't "need" to date. Trust me, I never used the word "need" as it doesn't apply to anything here. However, a romantic "rejection" as you call it isn't a choice - meaning it doesn't matter why a woman isn't attracted to you, it's not something she can control (same as a guy who's not attracted to a woman didn't choose it). A decline of friendship is a choice, actually. So while it doesn't require an explanation - I don't see the big deal about offering one. But if you don't want to, at least give her a "no thanks" (men are supposed to be clear, no?) and if someone asks why or doesn't clearly understand your no, then know it's because you didn't explain.

If I've been rejected, I'm happy to move along to the mext person. If, as you say, a woman isn't aware that offering friendship after rejecting a guy romantically/sexually is a little odd, it doesn't really matter what I tell her. She still isn't interested in dating me and she isn't going to put her life on hold waiting for a phone call nor think much about not hearing from her ``new friend.''

One would hope, sure. Still I don't see why it would be a big deal to explain it, generally.

I'd think it's more the other way around. Wanting to say ``No, I won't be your friend'' and wanting to explain it seems too much like sour grapes due to a bruised ego. I think if there's any sucking it up and swallowing one's pride, it's in accepting the rejection, resisting the temptation to take a parting shot at her for it and parting ways without any hard feelings. I'd know I'm not interested in friendship and if she doesn't figure it out from a rather obvious hint, she isn't going to sit around and fret over not hearing from me, either.

It's really just an explanation - unless you phrase it as if you were insulted to be asked, in which case yes - it sounds like sour grapes. Saying "no thank you" or telling her your attraction would make it near impossible to change gears doesn't come across as negative to me.

I find this statement extremely off base. I recall that earlier in this thread, either you or another girl said that an explanation from a girl to a guy as to why they are not interested in a romantic/sexual relationship is unnecessary, due to the guy consequently getting angry, trying to argue it, trying to prove her wrong, etc... In my own experiences, explaining why I declined the friendship in this situation has had the same consequences and worse, including keyed cars, broken windows, threats against myself and my family, new cellphone numbers, police reports and restraining orders. I hardly see where ego comes in... it is more like self-defense, and trying to claim my lack of desire to explain why I don't want to be friends with her as anything else doesn't fly. Again, she isn't interested in me romantically, I don't need to know why... and if I don't want to remain in close contact with her upon understanding this, she doesn't need to know why either. We both can deal equally.

Needing to know why someone isn't into you romantically isn't a choice - again - so the reason does no good. A guy who's not into me is just not into me, and asking why doesn't make much difference. I can't say I don't take friendship when offered by someone I'm attracted to because I can switch gears and just move on - and if I like hanging out with someone I'll continue to do so. But if I were the type not to be able to stay friends with a guy I was hot for, for me to say no to friendship that'd be a choice - and if a guy asked me why I'd tell him straight out that my attraction to him would make it difficult to see him as merely a friend. Why he'd get upset with me at that I have no idea. Seems to me it'd give him more of an understanding about it.

But if you are one of those guys that is around the type of women where you fear for your life if you don't stop all contact when they aren't into you and instead want to be your friend - then I guess you have to do what you have to do. I can just imagine what the women who are into you are capable of.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 566
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 7:43:41 AM

I don't think anyone's said it's a "violation" or a "crime against them". To be quite frank the women defending the practice seem to be the ones most personally invested in it, both in the discussion and in real life.

I didn't say anyone literally posted that, I said they are reacting to it "LIKE" it were. If I thought they said it, I'd have posted it. I don't defend or attack women who do this, I'm simply saying I don't think it's the equivalent of asking someone to lose an arm.

It's not an insult (although it's a blow to one's pride, but men generally get used to rejection); the problem is that it's a slimy way to assuage the guilt for helping to cause a situation you should've tackled long prior. A woman saying "let's just be friends" is basically acknowledging that the man wants her sexually, and that this has probably been both the case and the impetus behind the developing 'friendship' over the weeks or months or whatever. Can you imagine if a man actually said "Great! Let's do this"? Has one ever done so? What would such a supposed friendship even look like?

Where've you been? It happens daily - many have done so, and a lot the men who say yes to this obviously don't do it for actual friendship, they do it hoping to grow on a woman who's already determined there's no attraction. So that's a wash as neither means what they're saying. Therefore, no one's the only villain here.

Why is this a blow to a man's pride? That's a bit much. When dating it should be a given that some people won't be mutually attracted to you. If it's going to affect something as personal as your pride, why date? Lack of attraction is what it is. It's not personal to you - it's not planned, or done on purpose. It just ...."is". It's part of the process to allow for that - if one can't do this, dating will suck for you.
 happybunny8
Joined: 4/16/2010
Msg: 567
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:15:20 AM

Where've you been? It happens daily - many have done so, and a lot the men who say yes to this obviously don't do it for actual friendship, they do it hoping to grow on a woman who's already determined there's no attraction. So that's a wash as neither means what they're saying. Therefore, no one's the only villain here.


Yeah, I'd have to support this. I mean if a woman asks a man this and he is of the belief that women and men can't be friends, what's so hard about saying no thanks? I mean, let's be real here, some men are easily led by their penis. I'm not saying it's bad, maybe it is just the way it is; but if you come on here and continually whine about this, it starts to look silly. Learning to be rejected and rejecting others seems to be difficult for the majority of folks.

If men really want women to understand this thing, then stop engaging in the behaviour. You are as much at fault as the woman if you allow yourself to engage.

This reminds me of when men complain about used for money and women complain about being used for sex.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 568
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:24:05 AM

Uh, that's exactly my point: there is no such thing as "actual friendship" under those conditions, and a more cynical person would say girls are aware of this.

A lot of cynical people seem to think they do which is MY point. Some women don't and why the cynicism? It's dating - which should be a fun and light thing, not something people need to get cynical over.

It's not a friendship at all, and that's why it's not a genuine offer and a dishonest thing to say to someone. Men who take up the 'offer' are dim but at the same time, sympathetic; a lot of people aren't capable of reading subtext or social cues and take words at face value. Playing on their weaknesses isn't a commendable thing to do.

Assuming it's playing on anyone "weakness" (and what's that about - weak how?) is again, my point. It's SIMPLE. If you choose not to accept the friendship - say so and move on. If you choose to accept it, you probably aren't doing so for a friendship, so it's on YOU when it actually turns out to be just that. Men and women are BOTH wrong in this scenario. WASH.

Generally speaking, men approach and girls approve (or disapprove). Girls don't take as many risks, and especially not in the world of love. All people experience rejection, and it's a natural part of life, but men do see a lot more of it and that can be made harder to swallow if one has been led on, investing hope in the other party.

1. Rejection isn't the right word for someone who doesn't know you. Lack of mutual attraction is more accurate. In order for someone to reject you they'd have to know you for more than a couple minutes. Lack of attraction is usually pretty quickly determined - anything beyond that is an attempt to make sure you're not missing anything. For men who think women are too quick to dismiss, they should be a fan of the women who could but take a second look. If that second look just tells her more of what she already knew, that's not her fault.

2. One would think that the more you deal with so called "rejection" the better you should be at dealing with it. After all, salespeople get desensitized to "no", coroners get desensitized to seeing dead bodies, doctors get desensitized to patients they can't save...so the more you get "rejected" or rather attraction is found to be not mutual, the less it should bother you. This is why women tend to take it worse than men do if they experience it; they aren't as used to it. I approach men more than most women; in fact I prefer to approach rather than be approached. I deal with attraction not being returned more often because of that - and so I know it's part of the deal and it doesn't bother me. If the more you're rejected the worse you feel, it's mostly your mindset.

3. If you consider parts of dating to be a (big) risk, then I guess you need thicker skin. A risk is generally about losing your money, losing your life, causing yourself physical harm. Dating's just not that high on the risk list. If it is, perhaps it's not for you. One is attracted and wants to know if the other is as well. The other is or isn't. There's no real "risk" to that. It's just learning about another person.
 1234deleted1234
Joined: 10/8/2009
Msg: 569
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:43:46 AM
It seems that some here are going from the perspective of having an offer of just friendship after being rejected from a romantic advance.... in this case, as I stated before, its best to retreat until the romantic feelings subside.

Previously the thread angled towards why would a guy be friends with a woman he found sexually attractive, which is entirely different.

I do think though if the guy is perceptive and smooth enough, he will be able to gauge a woman's interest before allowing himself to go past the infatuation stage and well before asking her out.

Now, I'd we're talking about picking up some woman you just met... the friend offer is just a rejection method.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 570
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:45:48 AM
It's not an insult (although it's a blow to one's pride, but men generally get used to rejection);

Rejection shouldn't be a blow to a man's pride, either. If JoeBob expresses interest in dating 100 women he finds attractive, some women will completely reject him regardless of what he does, some will be attracted to him in spite of what he does and some will be more or less neutral and will or won't be receptive depending exactly on how he goes about expressing his interest. In choosing those 100 women, JoeBob implicitly rejected a lot of women in whom he didn't express interest. While one might be disappointed that a hot woman didn't return the interest, I don't see why one's pride should be affected. If Bubba approached the same 100 women, the mix of rejection, attraction and ambivalence will be different, maybe radically different. Personal preferences are personal preferences, not an indictment of a guy's personal worth. Even Brad Pitt would get turned down by some average looking woman who just wasn't into Brad Pitt.

the problem is that it's a slimy way to assuage the guilt for helping to cause a situation you should've tackled long prior. A woman saying "let's just be friends" is basically acknowledging that the man wants her sexually, and that this has probably been both the case and the impetus behind the developing 'friendship' over the weeks or months or whatever.

In my opinion, that is the fault of the guy. If a guy/girl is attracted to someone romantically/sexually, it's his/her prerogative to make that clear at whatever point he/she feels like pursuing that person further is no longer worth the effort without the interest being reciprocated. I don't have that problem. If I was interested a woman romantically/sexually, then I'm not going to waste much time determiniing whether or not she feels the same. A woman knows within a few minutes of meeting you if she could be interested in you in that way and if she's here on pof looking for dates, she should be able to make that decision the first time you meet her in person. Since I'm not keen on dealing with indecisive people, I'm not going to waste more than a few hours with someone in person unless things look like they'll go in the direction I want them to go. Online, that means a woman gets about a week, perhaps two (depending on extenuating circumstances) to set up a meeting and however long that meeting lasts to demonstrate her interest in meeting me again for the reason we met in the first place, which is to determine romantic/sexual interest.

I really didn't care what the outcome of meeting her several more times to try to develop interest would be. I'm not a patient person, so I'm not likely to get along with someone who can't make decisions because she might make a mistake. If I met a woman who didn't make her interest clear even though I might still have been attracted to her, I went home and found someone else who interested me. If I was wrong, then I assumed she would let me know. If she just wasn't sure, she'd just have to make a decision either way or make it by default. Total time expenditure: a few hours (at most) for a meeting + phone time + messages. I didn't see any point in maintaining contact for friendship with someone I barely knew. If I ``missed out'' on someone because I didn't give her ``enough of a chance,'' or because she wanted to develop a friendship first, fine. That's not how I operate and it's my time to use in whatever way I think is best. I'd have been willing to take a phone call and let her try to convince me to use my time to meet again.

If you don't want to waste weeks or months pursuing someone if you consider an offer for friendship a waste of your time, don't do that. Make you intentions clear up front and walk as soon as you feel like it's not worth your time to gamble on the outcome. If you gamble and lose, it was still your choice to gamble. Everyone has different ideas about what losses are part of the game, so decide what you're willing to lose and stop when you've reached your limit. No one can waste your time umless you let someone waste it.

This reminds me of when men complain about used for money and women complain about being used for sex.

If that's a problem, I'd suggest that a guy just pay for sex. That way no one is confused about what he's paying for and everyone involved knows and has agreed to the exchange rate.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 571
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:55:17 AM

What in the world? I never said it was a risk to one's life; my original word was "pride", which it is. I didn't make any moral claim on the matter - if anything, I'm encouraging girls to be more forthright and honest about attraction, and more cognisant of why men 'befriend' them. If they're not attracted to a guy, say so. Make it obvious. No one can tell them who they should or shouldn't be attracted to.

You used the word risk, so I assumed it was important enough to mention for you - my point is it's not THAT big a deal, and neither should it be to someone's pride. Again, dating isn't this huge deal that should shape your character as a human. It's just social sport. Anyone who gets their pride hurt, thinks it's an emotional risk, or otherwise has a hard time when it comes to hearing no may be too sensitive to be dating. Out of 100 people you approach, you have to expect 80 of them to be uninterested, same as you will find 80 out 100 that approach you uninteresting. Knowing that, it's a wonder men even discuss being turned down. It's common and more than typical of the process.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 572
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 9:51:22 AM
I'm in the same business and her analogy really is totally off the mark. In sales, every minute is precious -- you pitch to your potential client, give it your absolute best to woo them over, and use your sense of emotional buoyancy to gauge how they're feeling. If you're not getting a good vibe, you split and move on. There's just no time you can fret away when it can be spent with profitable customers.

Actually you're making my point. In sales, you have to move on and you don't take it personally when you don't make the sale. Sure you want to move the product and your company does, and you want to keep your job so you research and try to improve your sales pitch and marketing strategy. But you don't go home and wonder what's wrong with YOU because you get no. You don't stop selling and dwell on one no until you're depressed over it. You know getting some no's is part of the job. You get used to it. It's not personal to you as a human being, you get desensitized to it the more it happens. In fact, if you make it about you in sales and you let it consume you and get the best of you, you can actually lose more sales.

You're really missing my point entirely. The analogy would only work if I had the impression a customer was interested and tried to develop a relationship with them, only to find after weeks of fruitless discussion that they're just screwing around. (This happened almost all the time in my early days of business, before I tuned my bullshit detector). It's like Amboyance said: the whole thing is akin to a customer trying to get free guidance and services from me (which, again, happens all the time) without actually handing over the goods. As I've said for like the fiftieth time, my naivety doesn't make what he or she is doing something any less slimy.

The point I brought up sales (among other things) for is desensitization for so called rejection and how it should be less of an issue the more you deal with it. The point you're making we covered already a page ago and has nothing to do with that.

OT, The bottom line when it comes to the point of "let's be friends" which again is different from the one I was currently discussing is that if you say no and move on, it's not an issue in any event. Who cares what she means by it if you're not interested in entertaining it? Let's be friends, or no thanks I'm not interested, or whatever a woman says - it all means they're not considering you for dating - so if dating is what you want you'll move on anyway. Splitting hairs about how the message is delivered is no less of a waste of time than accepting a friendship would be under false pretenses. That's the same as the complaint about women who don't respond to messages here when not interested. Who cares? A no is a no. Take it as such and move on.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 573
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 10:35:41 AM
That's your opinion. Being clear about what you want is something that should be the onus of both parties.

The reason that is my opinion is because I deal with reality on reality's terms. If people don't make things as clear to me as I want them to be, I'll clarify those things for them. I apparently do not have the problems about which you complain, so my opinion has some veracity.

That's another poor analogy.

Since that is not an analogy, but the actual case in point, it can't be a poor analogy. If you pursue someone to whom you are attracted, you are gambling. You are betting that an investment of your time (pride, ego, whatever) will payoff in the form of some reward. (If it was a sure thing either way, we wouldn't be having this conversation). It's up to you to decide whether or not you are investing your time wisely. If you consider a longshot to be worth your time, don't complain if you lose more often than you win. If you want better odds, don't squander your time on longshots.

While it's true that it's your time to waste, that doesn't somehow absolve the other party of their responsibility not to take advantage of you.

If you want to be a victim and complain instead of being sensible and just dealing with what the reality is, that's up to you. You can easily avoid being taken advantage of by not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.

A common experience for men is that they thought romance would follow a friendship. In this they were incorrect.

Are you arguing in favor of repeating the experience, hoping for a different outcome? If not, then discovering that you were incorrect, should be a clue that at least one assumption you made was incorrect.

Since you said something about being in sales, I will point out one of the fundamental principles of salesmanship: Qualify your customer. That will reduce the time you waste on tire-kickers and leave you with more time to wait on people who are more likely to buy what you're selling.

As I've said for like the fiftieth time, my naivety doesn't make what he or she is doing something any less slimy.

If you just don't deal with ``slimy'' people, it won't matter what they do. The way to not deal with those people is to not make it worth their while to deal with you.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 574
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 10:55:31 AM
Aren’t you the one looking for an explanation from the guy when he declines to be friends?

Personally? Not really - I don't ask why most of the time in life because I don't care. I suggested it as a response to the title of this freaking thread, and as a response to men who have been explaining it here - why is it so bad to explain it IRL to someone?

A woman asking why a man wouldn't want to be friends. Don’t get me wrong…in sales, I want to know WHY the customer isn’t interested in my offers as well. If the rule is:
“I don’t owe you a reason for my rejection”…it should apply to both men and women, both in romance and friendship. Equality for all, right?

I explained this like three times last page. Attraction ISN'T a choice. Not accepting friendship IS a choice. Therefore it's apples and oranges. If as a man you don't want a woman to misunderstand, get angry or continue to bother you when you aren't clear about not wanting a friendship - explaining it will get YOU less hassle. If you don't want to explain, don't but don't complain when it's not cut and dry. That's all I was saying.

Alright, this is starting to go around in circles. Here's the thing: if you're now conceding that this 'friendship' is not actually a friendship, and something to be avoided -- and here we have no argument -- why would a girl make the offer in the first place?

People do what they do. Why ask why or what it means? You can only control what YOU do and if you're not interested, it doesn't matter why.

Why complain that men have no interest in friendship if you're admitting that it's not really a friendship in question here?

I haven't seen the same person complain about some men not having interest and admitting it's not really friendship. The OP asked why, not sure that's a complaint exactly. Some different opinions and discussions in the thread...sure...and most of the men are admitting it's not a friendship if they accept. I do believe there are some women who don't see the friendship offer as a terrible thing because they don't have any attraction - I don't think they put a ton of thought into it beyond that. So when a man says no, the explanation provided here keeps them from asking the question that started this thread.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 575
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 11:03:47 AM

Here's the thing: if you're now conceding that this 'friendship' is not actually a friendship, and something to be avoided -- and here we have no argument -- why would a girl make the offer in the first place?

Who cares? No one is twisting my arm to accept the offer.

Why complain that men have no interest in friendship if you're admitting that it's not really a friendship in question here?

Again, who cares? If a woman complains about that, it's up to her to deal with the problem. I'm not the complaint department. I never promised a potential date anything but the opportunity to see if we hit it off in the romance/sex department. I've been contacted by women who put ``friends first'' in their profiles and when I replied I made it a point to say, ``I don't do friends first.'' No one declined to meet me because of that. If she didn't believe that statement, there wasn't much I could do about it.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 576
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 11:49:44 AM

I actually disagreed with you about that "attraction isn't a choice" thing a page and a half ago. In addition to the detailed, "attraction can be mostly created" theory I ran with, IMHO, the "attraction isn't a choice" phrase is a more often than not a cop-out used by women, particularly in this culture, to excuse shallowness, superficiality and poor judgement. It could be construed as an insult even, to women out there who make smart, rational choices about which men they choose as intimate partners.

Yeah, you did, and I got distracted by something else and didn't respond. However physical chemistry is what it is. Thin, fat, short, tall, old, young...within reason as long as a guy is relatively normal, showers and looks presentable his head to toe package will resonate with a woman or not - that includes who he is personality wise, his swagger, his mannerisms, and his overall look. From there things may take away from or add to that, but I believe that how two people generally react to each other in the same room is physical chemistry. Phermones. Whatever. None of that is a choice, really. Getting to know someone beyond that is where the common ground, values, lifestyles, goals, family history, etc come in. While we aren't really in control over who we're attracted to, we are in total control over who we pursue based on that.

As is offering friendship to begin with.

Yeah for the other person. That's not about you - that's out of your control, so....what's the point of adding it?

W.I.P. whether you realize this or not, you're painting a pretty dismal picture of womanhood if you're saying that they have no control over their attractions and they can't handle rejection, either.

LOL...men and women aren't in control of their attraction. If you're hot for someone, you just are.

But as for you - if you can control who you are attracted to, when why are you single? You'd just date women who approach you no matter what they looked like or what they did since you are at liberty to "create" an attraction back, correct? So therefore why do any work going after anyone else?

As far as women not handling "rejection" I am going by what's been posted here - a lot of which was posted by men regarding women who don't understand this. I didn't paint anything. You do see the IF in the phrase "if", as a man in my post, didn't you? It refers to men who have posted this about women. I never declared any such thing. Please, keep up.
 Capitano_Blaugh
Joined: 3/18/2008
Msg: 577
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 11:54:45 AM

I do believe there are some women who don't see the friendship offer as a terrible thing because they don't have any attraction - I don't think they put a ton of thought into it beyond that. So when a man says no, the explanation provided here keeps them from asking the question that started this thread.


As somone pointed out earlier, I really think this issue has a lot to do with how men and women define friendship.

By a female definition, I would have many women friends. By my definition and that of most men, I have perhaps two and I wouldn't include them in my group of closest friends.

I actually accepted offers of friendship when I was in my late teens and early twenties because I was naive. The offers invariably turned out to be empty.

In my thirties I just started saying a flat-out "No" when the offer was made. A couple of times the women got quite bend out of shape and tried to talk me into accepting the offer. These were after relationships of 6-12 months in length and the women had found other guys they were already banging when they kicked my ass to the curb....

... ".... but, but, but, I think you're a really terrific guy and your friendship means a lot to me..."

... sorry, too condescending and patronizing for my taste...
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 579
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 12:52:24 PM

Again, all the things you list can be created or learned. You weren't BORN with a notion of what you find attractive. It was imprinted on your mind within via your environment, what you were exposed to, how you were raised, you relationships with parents, siblings, peers, etc.
Mannerisms, swagger, personality...all LEARNED behavior, as any good script writer, playwright, or romance novel author can attest to.

How you carry yourself, and who you become is in large part dependent on your DNA. That's what I mean when I mean we "react". If you think attraction soup to nuts is a choice, then according to you the world wants to be single because they choose not to be attracted to what's available to them. That would also have to mean that people are going out of their way to not get involved, correct? Men who go after attractive women merely choose to, and can also choose unattractive women, which may give them a better edge, but they'd rather not. Right? You can make your sex drive work no matter who's in the room...correct?

Disagree again. As YOU and other women say time and again, the decision if you'd ever sleep with a man is made within seconds of first seeing him. You can't possible learn all of those other "getting to know you" points within seconds, so the game is to dress the package up for the best possible first impression. Again, that can be created based upon the environment one's in, and who's the target audience.

Not everything is logical, and this is coming from a woman who's almost all about mind and little about emotions. My attraction to a man comes from how he looks, what he sounds like, how he walks, sure. That's where attraction starts in the beginning. What he does from there adds to or takes away from that initial attraction. If it's not there, I can't change it - suit and tie, haircut, gym membership, none of that will matter if it's not there. HE can certainly kill attraction for me if it IS there based on what else it comes with (or doesn't as the case may be). If I find a man good looking on line and he's just as good looking in person but I just don't "feel" it for him, that's lack of attraction - something that can't be measured any other way but in person. And yes, we know pretty early on if we would sleep with a guy, but that's not all we base decisions on - what we need to learn from that point on is whether or not we'd want to date him.

I'm single because there's more to just being "attracted" to somebody to build the relationship I'd like to be in. We think differently, W.I.P. I guess I don't automatically write off people as potential lovers if they don't pass all of my instant "phermone" tests, or some invisible checklist etched in my mind. She just has to be attractive enough, and that's more than just "looks". I'll leave the door open if there's something intriguing about her. You never know.

According to you attractive enough doesn't exist if you don't want it to; they are all more than attractive to you if you choose them to be. So you can just change it if she isn't. Therefore the door's always open unless you don't want it to be. Your hormones should essentially react to everyone.

Second, I'm not looking to marry every woman I find attractive. There are more than a few stops on that train ride to get off on (no pun intended) before that final destination.

Who said anything about marriage? Not sure where that came from. But if you can choose attraction, than you can find all women attractive...who they are doesn't matter. If you meet a woman who'll treat you right regardless of who she is, you can just adjust your attraction to want that woman...do I have that straight?

That's just an excuse. IMHO.

For what, exactly? I have to hear this.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 580
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 2:15:43 PM

Again...do you really understand men? There are exceptions, of course...but come on.

Ok so you're saying that men are attracted to anyone and everyone that's female (at least) and would want to sleep with them. Interesting, because I've been corrected around here a few times for asking if men had any pickiness at all.

You asked me why I was still single.

I meant in general. You can be not married and not single, you know.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 581
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 2:27:34 PM
Again...do you really understand men? There are exceptions, of course...but come on.

If there is one woman on the forums who understands men, it's WIP. Even when I disagree with her particular viewpoint where I'm concerned, I always know her explanation makes perfect sense when it comes to the guys she would want to date. She's about as bullshit free as it gets.

I believe women who use the "attraction is not a choice" line is making an excuse for making poor relationship choices. If they picked a great guy, who's a keeper, and treated them well, they'd claim full credit for their decision.

Ok, then let's assume for the moment that you are 100% correct. How does being correct improve your dating? It doesn't. All it does is let you invent reasons for some woman who didn't date you and only lied to you when she told you she wasn't attracted to you to avoid telling you her real reason. Either way, the result is the same, except in the later case, you only develop a bad attitude. Since I don't think I could be attracted to a woman by simply choosing to be attracted to her, I really don't see why what WIP is saying is even the least bit strange.

Ok so you're saying that men are attracted to anyone and everyone that's female (at least) and would want to sleep with them.

If he's correct, then I'm an anomaly.
 StevieCashmere
Joined: 4/22/2009
Msg: 582
view profile
History
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 3:00:46 PM
*Laughing at the subject line...so last century!*

~Stevie
 smittymo
Joined: 5/21/2010
Msg: 583
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 3:04:08 PM
@W.I.P



But if you are one of those guys that is around the type of women where you fear for your life if you don't stop all contact when they aren't into you and instead want to be your friend - then I guess you have to do what you have to do.


Lol, believe me... had I known things were going to happen the way they did, and that this girl was a psyco, I would have distanced myself from the onset. I have had a few negative reactions to declining friendship, but she took it to a whole new level. I would like to point out that this girl was also one of the girls who really did make me feel like I was accepting a consolation prize, should be honored to even just be her friend, etc... (Re: message# 775, paragraph 8) so at least I know I made the right choice. By and large though, most girls have been cool with it, even without explanation and we never see or hear from each other again. And that's the way I think it should be.

It's worth mentioning though, that this extremely negative experience (along with some other like experiences), has changed the way I do things when it comes to dating, perhaps even for the worse, and it kind of makes me feel like I *might* not be the right cut for online dating. Things are usually fine initially, but if I see or hear something that might be considered a "red flag," I tend to go from a "getting to know you" mode to what would be best described as "vetting mode," and not only does that tend to show, it can be hard to recover from. Usually, if I start to date someone I'm not necessarily friends with, but we already have something personal in common (friend of a friend, etc...), this isn't as much of an issue. I understand that this is my own issue, and I am constantly working on it, but it is still there. I seem to do much better in person than online anyway....

Back to the topic at hand...

 CoolBreezez
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 584
view profile
History
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 3:29:15 PM
Attraction may not be a choice but selecting dates isn't necessarily all about just that one thing either. I think everyone to one degree or another has a few criteria when they're looking for dates. I would say these play off against each other in overall selection. How much it does is pretty much up to each person. But sometimes there isn't enough personality on the planet to overcome lack of physical attract or even revulsion- and the reverse is true as well. I don't think I could warm up to a woman that pulls out a gun or a knife and tries to kill me, no matter how good she looks.

However, saying that it is definitely a rational conscious decision just isn't true either. Everyone is conditioned by their environment to some extent. I know I am selective about who I would date and may not really know why I am drawn to a particular "look" in a date or a mate. That can change as well depending on my mood or mental state at any particular time, like after I've been drinking (bad idea-lol) or had a busy day. I think many don't realize how many people that they take no notice or regard of in a given day. I think you would find that those you are attracted to is a small slice of a whole population. There are always particular things that we seek.

But overall, I think that you have a right to choose who you will have a relationship with, be that a friendship or a date or whatever. I think in both cases the conscious and unconscious helps us decide. Its what can make things interesting or challenging.

Someone had mentioned that the requesting a date and the friendship counter offer are like apples and oranges. I think a better analogy is going in to a restaurant, asking for a steak and getting a hamburger as a counter offer. At this time you can choose to accept it or reject it. Sometimes your bitin', others your not.
 smittymo
Joined: 5/21/2010
Msg: 585
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 5:45:33 PM
@Amboyace



IMHO, once you reject somebody, you assume the higher position, and it's no longer an equal relationship.


I could not agree with this more, and it isn't even gender specific. Really, at that point I kind of question what attraction has to do with it... it *may* have to do with the fact that a line has been drawn, and the person who was "rejected" wasn't the person who had the "privilege" to draw that line.

So, if this happens to you... where do you go and how do you deal with it?

I have actually found that there is slightly different way for the "rejectee," again regardless of their sex, to look at this and bring things back to a reasonable level of "equality", should that be their choice. Upon understanding that a member of the opposite sex that you are interested in express only platonic feelings and offer you friendship, I think you are actually being given quite a bit of freedom to draw the lines and dictate the tone if this friendship, provided you are assertive, know what you are doing, and the friendship offer was genuine. If I may provide a personal example:

I put my profile on here about a month before I moved to a small town about 45 minutes outside the Portland, OR area. I have friends in Portland, but didn't know anyone here. I had just been through a breakup, and I did my best to indicate that my main goal was to find a G/F, but I was also open to making new friends. So then by the time I get here, I meet some people from POF or OKC, no one I really connect with, even as friends (my apologies if any of you read this). Anyway, this one girl messages me... moving to this same small town from the same city I came from, and eventually we meet, and the tone of things is very relationship-ish. She also begins trying to persuade me to not keep commitments with some other female friends so that she and I have more time to hang out... and when I don't do this, she asked all kinds of questions about them.

Then, about a month and a half in to it, she decides I'm not what she is looking for, and tells me that she wants to continue to hang out as we were, but doesn't see us as "couple material" anymore. It really took me by surprise, so at that point, I backed out of any future plans we had made prior to this conversation, I told her that I needed a few weeks to myself, which she said she was ok with, but still sent me texts on a semi-regular basis. Anyway, I re-evaluated it and I came to understand how mutually beneficial being friends with her could be, so I got back in contact with her and told her that I was cool with hanging out as long as she understood and accepted that:

1.) I'm not usually available to hang out every other day or so... that kind of time is normally reserved only for people I'm dating. I'm lucky if I get to hang out with any one of my "friends" once or twice a month.

2.) My primary free time goal right now is to find a "partner," and since she and I had already been down that path and it didn't work, I intended to give those who I considered prospects priority, and I expected her to do the same.

3.) I do not want to hear about her dating/romantic life, nor will I talk to her about mine.

I was surprised at how eager she was to accept this, I thought she would feel like I was being too constricting and bail (which one might be able to argue is similar to making a false "LJBF" offer as a polite way to let someone down with no real intention of following though... hmmm....), but we have done stuff together in the time since, and it has worked out just fine for me.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that, should once choose to accept a "LJBF" offer, it can work without constantly feeling that the other person has the power of having made the "original rejection" over you. It just requires some tricky navigating and re-drawn lines. Is it worth it? I guess that just depends on who you are...
 CoolBreezez
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 586
view profile
History
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 6:15:59 PM

Are you that kind of guy, Deathspiral?


Sure- thats why I'm here on POF waiting for her to arrive and find me. I don't even have time for the beach.


LOL-Do men like this really exist? Must be a few someplace- far from here though. Good luck to them- frankly I wish more guys were like that- less competition the better.

When I say selective, I think I mean it in a broad sense.

More what I mean- there's 10000 people on that beach. Using some generalities,
5000 are female
3000 are adult
1000 I find attractive

Stopping there my choices are already down to 10 percent of the group. Start adding in some more filters like availability and mutual interest and your real prospects for a date diminish really fast. Even if you had time to meet them- it would be like

300 are single
100 are interesting
30 are mutually interested in you

But out of that- 25 will not work out and want to be "friends".

Boys its a tough world out there. So you have to make decisions quick sometimes- this goes for either gender. There's no time to waste.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 587
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 7:36:56 PM


I guess I don't automatically write off people as potential lovers if they don't pass all of my instant "phermone" tests, or some invisible checklist etched in my mind. She just has to be attractive enough, and that's more than just "looks". I'll leave the door open if there's something intriguing about her. You never know.


I'd like to hear your response to what I actually WROTE, and not what W.I.P. transmographied it into.

Well, I'm superficial (since I believe all preferences are inherently superficial), so my criteria are that she has to be physically attractive, intelligent, literate, have a sense of humor and be compatible with me with respect to things like sex, temperment, etc. I'm quite satisfied with my fiancee. (I wouldn't complain if she were a switch hitter, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.) If a woman was not physically attractive enough to me, nothing was going to make her any more so except becoming more attractive. I can't see anything the least bit controverial about that unless you're kidding yourself about what you really want.

My response about her "not understanding men" is the fact that there are BILLION dollar industries both legal and illegal catering to male sex drive across this planet.
It is irrefutable fact. Do I have to be explicit in my explanation as to why this is the case, abelian?

Funny you should mention that. I've participated in pay4play, my best friend is an escort who runs an escort board catering to exactly that industry. I'm familiar enough with that trade that I could probably write a book, so I'll spell it out for you. There are men with disposable income. There are a lot of young, attractive women (and older attractive women) who are willing to have sex with those guys for a few hundred dollars an hour. If it was so easy to change their way of thinking to find anyone attractive, they wouldn't pay so much money for sex. They'd just change their way of thinking and find women who would have sex for free.

Why do you think there is not much of a market for male escorts (except in the gay community)? Because (1) women can get sex more easily; (2) men are worse than women when it comes to wanting physically attractive partners. Men would go limp everytime an unattractive female showed up for an appointment. All in all, I think women are more forgiving with respect to looks. WIP is just expressing what everyone really thinks, but some are afraid to say and some are deluded about.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 588
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 7:42:12 PM

That's possible. But mind you, W.I.P. is using a strawman argument, and NOT debating what I actually said, which was:

"I guess I don't automatically write off people as potential lovers if they don't pass all of my instant "phermone" tests, or some invisible checklist etched in my mind. She just has to be attractive enough, and that's more than just "looks". I'll leave the door open if there's something intriguing about her. You never know."

I'd like to hear your response to what I actually WROTE, and not what W.I.P. transmographied it into here:

"Ok so you're saying that men are attracted to anyone and everyone that's female (at least) and would want to sleep with them. "

The response posted wasn't based on the sentence you picked, though it was part of the same discussion. But once you said "attraction is a choice" - you bet I responded to everything else you wrote with that in mind, which is why the rest of what you said turned out to be irrelevant. If you can choose what you're attracted to, the details about who you meet and what you're ready for don't matter. What does is that if you're able to choose attraction - you can pretty much be attracted to whoever you want, and make their traits desireable by you. Therefore the only thing standing in the way of you being off the market and happy tomorrow is you.

My response about her "not understanding men" is the fact that there are BILLION dollar industries both legal and illegal catering to male sex drive across this planet. It is irrefutable fact. Do I have to be explicit in my explanation as to why this is the case, abelian?

Really?

There are SOME women who are all about money, so to them looks don't matter because the money is the greater goal. They will hold their noses and sleep with the guy who has it, to get to it. Doesn't mean they don't eventually want what they are actually attracted to when they see it. There are men who react like Pavlovian dogs to attractive women to some extent because they were programmed to, but I believe even those men won't really be attracted to that woman if the physical chemistry isn't there beyond what they think their friends want them to go after.

Believe me, if I could have chosen not to be attracted to men who I thought were hot but not dating material, I'd have done so. If I could have chosen to be attracted to men who treated me great and would have done anything for me, I would have. I have been attracted to men who were good for me and not attracted to men who weren't. I have found men attractive that I wouldn't have ever thought I'd go for. I have male and female friends that have explained similar situations to me. That to me is all proof that you can't choose what you're attracted to, but you can choose what to do about it.

Someone had mentioned that the requesting a date and the friendship counter offer are like apples and oranges. I think a better analogy is going in to a restaurant, asking for a steak and getting a hamburger as a counter offer. At this time you can choose to accept it or reject it. Sometimes your bitin', others your not.

Fair enough, but make sure the restaurant you're ordering steak in isn't a burger joint. Just sayin'.

I could not agree with this more, and it isn't even gender specific. Really, at that point I kind of question what attraction has to do with it... it *may* have to do with the fact that a line has been drawn, and the person who was "rejected" wasn't the person who had the "privilege" to draw that line.

So, if this happens to you... where do you go and how do you deal with it?

That all has a power play quality to it that most of us don't associate with dating. Attraction or lack of it has everything to do with it. Why under normal circumstances would someone who was attracted to you and available to date you say no to you? Obviously it's based on lack of mutual attraction. Don't overthink it. If you are attracted and the other person isn't you move on. All that other stuff is making more out of it than it is.

When it happens to me I shrug and move on. I don't think much further into it. Most I find attractive won't be a mutual situation, and so most of the time this will happen. Big deal. Unless you're unhappy being single and you feel you have to be with someone right away this isn't a huge deal.
 smittymo
Joined: 5/21/2010
Msg: 589
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/27/2010 8:12:54 PM
@W.I.P.

That all has a power play quality to it that most of us don't associate with dating. Attraction or lack of it has everything to do with it. Why under normal circumstances would someone who was attracted to you and available to date you say no to you? Obviously it's based on lack of mutual attraction.


Ok, so in the personal example I gave, why then were we having sex almost daily? She *seemed* to think I was attractive, and she seemed at least reasonably satisfied in that regard. Indeed, she seemed to make this decision (that I now agree with 100%) after some serious religious and political differences became apparent. At this time... I am not questioning her decision, I just assumed she found me attractive because:

1.) She told me she was
2.) She SHOWED me she was

It would appear to me that she made the choice to make the relationship platonic for these other reasons, which directly contradicts the statement "Attraction or lack of it has everything to do with it." Did I date another crazy person?

Consider: the fact that I came back with terms that, from my own experience with this situation, will make the friendship smooth, was less me trying to make a "power play" and more about me feeling like I know what works. I think if everyone did this, regardless of their sex, it would render **most** of the conversation on this thread moot. Thoughts?
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 590
Why do men find it hard to be friends?
Posted: 11/28/2010 5:08:07 AM

Ok, so in the personal example I gave, why then were we having sex almost daily? She *seemed* to think I was attractive, and she seemed at least reasonably satisfied in that regard. Indeed, she seemed to make this decision (that I now agree with 100%) after some serious religious and political differences became apparent. At this time... I am not questioning her decision, I just assumed she found me attractive because:

1.) She told me she was
2.) She SHOWED me she was

It would appear to me that she made the choice to make the relationship platonic for these other reasons, which directly contradicts the statement "Attraction or lack of it has everything to do with it." Did I date another crazy person?

Ok, so you're saying that if you date someone that finds you attractive things can't crop up down the road in the relationship that make it not the best thing to continue? I asked why a woman who was attracted to you and available wouldn't date you - and you then asked me about a woman that was attracted to you and available and DID date you. You also told me why it ended. What's the question?

Consider: the fact that I came back with terms that, from my own experience with this situation, will make the friendship smooth, was less me trying to make a "power play" and more about me feeling like I know what works. I think if everyone did this, regardless of their sex, it would render **most** of the conversation on this thread moot. Thoughts?

In your case the relationship may not have been the best based on your differences. You weren't rejected, really - you got involved, you got laid and things didn't work out. Happens every day. There's no inferior or superior here. It just...didn't work out. If you can't continue a friendship because it'd be tough to do so on your part that's understandable. What's the issue here, exactly? I'm not sure what you disagree with.

As far as the post above this one goes, in the end once someone no longer wants to date, sleep with or be involved with you, they automatically become not your type, since anyone who is should want you mutually. Therefore why they end it isn't going to make much difference. In his case, he knew - sometimes you don't. If someone doesn't want you they become not an option (unless you like to torture yourself, and in that case you then really become the one who doesn't have the upper hand).
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