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Show ALL Forums  > Dating and Love Advice  > What does Friends First really mean?      Home login  
Joined: 12/23/2008
Msg: 2
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What does Friends First really mean?Page 1 of 12    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
Once again, it all seems to boil down to sex...

I think friends first means you should recognize that you have something to talk about besides the fact that you'd like to be boinking each other...and that you like each other's emotional tone. But there should be sparks right away. Whether you ACT on those sparks is a matter of restraint...wait for the third date, then, if those sparks are there, ravage each other, jump each other's bones!
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 3
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/9/2009 9:03:32 PM
I think it means not to expect sex.
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 8
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/10/2009 10:24:58 AM

To me, it doesn't make much sense to start a relationship before you have a good friendship with someone.

To me, you don't have a relationship until you've also developed a deep connection with someone. Friendships take a considerable time to develop... you don't "instantly" become a friend any more than one would "instantly" become a relationship.

In the context of this thread, I would think friendship means "a relationship without sex" and "friends first" means let's date and get to know each other, but don't expect it to be sexual... at least not right away. 'course then there is the "how long it not right away?" question... with widely varying levels of comfort zone.

IMO, we should quit worrying about labeling something; quit worrying about what it IS or isn't. Just get on with relating with each other, if you're compatible and relate well, it will grow on its own. If not, it'll fade all on its own.
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 9
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/10/2009 10:41:40 AM
Ahhhh, the dreaded "friends first". It's a TOTAL cop-out, but many people are not necessarily using it as such. It's a horrible phrase to use, because why put "friends" into something that's more than friends, if you don't have the "more than" included?

Here's the thing -- it's an escape hatch. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Like someone else said in here, it's a saftey net for the frequent times that lack-of-interest is right around the corner. Nothing is drummed up, nobody gets hurt.

Oh, but others will say "I want to know them as a friend first". Well, when you go out on your first meeting/date or two, who DOESN'T get to know each other the same way as you would a friend? That's obvious. It being a real date or kissing going to give you amnesia? You're going to befriend each other, no matter what the situation is (whether you're not into relationships or you're marriage hunting), in the beginning, and it develops no matter what. Hence, the phrase is totally unnecessary! If you take it as being more than just friends when you meet someone, why call it "Friends First"? lol Insanity, I tell ya...

If someone wants to take it slow, they should say "Take it slow at first". Why? Because some people -actually- want to be just friends first! And they are totally warranted on using "Friends First" lingo -- moreso than other people's meanings. Because that's what the phrase says: "Friends FIRST" -- first, before what? Something more than friends, right?

Basically, if it's a friends-first, that SHOULD mean it's not a date when you meet them. However, life isn't that simple with silly cliches and phrases people use that can have silly meanings behind them... so you basically ignore the term and ask them what's up if you can't read them clearly by other means.

The "friends first" debacle can bring confusion to folks -- some people mean friends-with-maybe-benefits-first because they love being single, others will mean just taking it slow (or too slow) in the beginning, and others will mean JUST friends at first because they can't date anyone right now, but maybe some day (separated, going to break up but want options available, recently hurt bigtime, etc).... and for some others, it can mean "I dont know what I want". They could want a quick fling to an LTR -- so they want to keep it on a "neutral field" (or 'friends' level) before they decide!
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 10
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/10/2009 1:22:32 PM

I totally agree. The friends-first thing is a false label, unless you really did want to be friends-only first ("first" in the phrase means 'only until something more').


men seem to think they will end up in the "friend zone" if romance doesn't happen right away.

No, men seem to think they will end up in the "friend zone" when a gal says she wants to be a "friend first". See the connection? ;) Yes, if there is no "romantic" situation (no sexual tension, no mutual flirting, etc), then yes -- you're playing the role of just friends and that leads you right toward the friend zone.

A guy doesn't need romance right away -- he, like girls, don't want to be in the friend zone if they really are "that interested" in the other person. If things go toooo slooowwww, like say people pen-paling for a while before meeting, then going out several times after that without even a kiss, yes, you should be damn worried that you're in the friend zone! That route is a one-way ticket to friend-zone, that's why...
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 12
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/11/2009 5:28:27 PM

Men seem to have a very negative reaction to a woman saying friends first. Why is that? What is wrong with taking time to get to know someone before you jump into bed with them? In your experience, hasn't something that started out a friendship turned into something else?

Not a guy, but from what I've heard it's because of reasons guys have already stated here.

Just how does 'friends first' differ from dating?
Joined: 10/1/2008
Msg: 14
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/11/2009 7:19:35 PM
start with a friendship to me is code for "if you dont turn me on this isn't going to happen"
If that is the case you will not have to worry about who pays for what because you will never see him again anyway.
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 15
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/12/2009 11:51:32 AM

Men seem to have a very negative reaction to a woman saying friends first.

Some, including myself, do. I don't assume anything bad about the girl though, if in a profile or conversation she makes it very clear what she wants instead of that modern-silly-cliche.

What is wrong with taking time to get to know someone before you jump into bed with them?

Absolutely nothing wrong with it! But do you have to be just friends to avoid jumping into bed? lol That's pretty extreme. If you take it down to a friendship level, then he and you have ever right to grab a guy or girl's # when you're out on your non-date-as-friends. More-than-friends want to at least have a kiss after a first evening meeting/date. Friends don't mind if the other person picks up someone, they cheer them on.

If you honestly, by desire, want to be just friends first, and not at all more-than-friends off the bat, then you're not that interested and you're just giving yourself or someone "a chance" at maybe developing any sensible interest. Hey, there's no commitment at all to more-than-friends. It just means the understood setting is that you're not just friends. Otherwise, games... Just stick to those who you would desire kissing after a nice first date, k? ;) Friends don't give a goodnight kiss, more-than-friends do!

hasn't something that started out a friendship turned into something else?

Rarely. That's going from the Friend Zone to the Dating Zone. There are certain situations where you knew of someone (co-worker, friend of friend) and in a group setting hung out and you're considered 'friends'... but then you finally asked them out. And guess what after you asked them out and she accepts? You're more than friends!

I think most women need time to get to know someone before we take the next step.

What's the "next step" after friends at first? An evening dinner date? A good night kiss?

"Friends first" may be a lie coming from some men/women, but

It's a lie if your intentions are more than friends! Why put "friends" in there? Do you understand that those who do -not- lie are the ones who are really looking for -strictly- a friendship first?

Don't go with buzz words, if you're just wanting to indicate that you're looking to take it slow. Don't put "friends" into something that's more than friends. It's unnecessary and causes confusion. Just call it "taking it slow at first", if that's what ya mean. If you really just want to be friends at first with a possibility of it maybe turning into something of the more-than-friends variety on any level, then sure, call it "friends first".
Joined: 12/24/2007
Msg: 17
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/12/2009 5:24:55 PM
My feeling: when a man says "friends first" he doesn't plan on courting a woman. He just wants a casual low-key contact hoping for a shortcut to sex.
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 18
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/13/2009 1:24:52 AM
Frau Blucher,

My inner Captain Obvious tells me that if there is a connection, we will become friends; romantic best friends.

Very well put! Awesome point...

Your goal is a life mate and you think it's silly. I'm not particularly wife-hunting, and I think it's silly, too. It's totally an escape hatch in case they're not interested in you and can say "Oh we were just friends" to soften any blow... or for folks who've had too much drama and gives them a cushion of comfort, which is an illusion anyway (unless they REALLY push for 'just friends', then that's just weird).

I liked your point... and my food for thought appending to it is that whether you're on the hunt directly for a soulmate, or you're taking a laid back more open approach to dating, you're still going to develop a romantic friendship. One saying they want to begin slowly by being "friends first" in order to get to know someone implies that hitting it off romantically means you don't get to know them. Weird... one slows things down by not jumping into bed or meeting the parents too soon... not by role-playing as 1st cousins in the beginning.
 ThievesInThe Night
Joined: 9/17/2008
Msg: 19
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/13/2009 6:21:05 AM
I interpreted to mean that we can act as friends and if I sufficiently like you we can potentially move on to a relationship but if I don't like you, I can simply say "Well, I only see you as a friend" and you are just supposed to accept it. It's a cop out. It is basically leaving the relationship to the whim of the woman. I would also assume that a woman would say this if she did not have sufficient initial attraction to me and wanted to see if I would grow on her. I cannot imagine a woman being really attracted to a guy saying that they wanted to be "friends first". Most likely, they would want to move into a relationship. It's a waste of time, imo. It's basically being with a woman for months without the guarantee of it ever becoming something romantic. It's a gamble.

And if you are concerned about being used for sex or want to take the time to know someone before getting intimate, you can tell the guy in the beginning "Look, I'm attracted to you but don't want to become sexual intimate so soon. I would to get to know you before we take that step" or something along those lines and proceed to date as normal. At least the guy knows that a romantic relationship is progressing and he not going to remain a friend. You don't have to be a person's friend to get to know them better. That's the whole point of dating, to get know a person to decide whether to pursue a romantic relationship.

How I start a relationship is usually how it stays. I don't wake up one morning and decide to date my female friends. The attraction is there or it isn't. If both parties are attracted to each other in the beginning I don't see the point of being "friends first". And if you date and decide that, despite the initial attraction, this person is not for you, you can end it.
Joined: 8/5/2008
Msg: 20
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/13/2009 7:08:58 AM
I think friendship means the same whether online or not.
I also believe that the gentleman should cover the expenses of the date (friendship) meeting.

Just my thoughts
Joined: 7/27/2006
Msg: 21
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/13/2009 7:41:47 AM
You may want to check out the ladder theory to understand a guys concept of the friends thing..
Joined: 9/14/2006
Msg: 23
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/14/2009 5:44:04 PM

When you tell a guy, or when one person tells another, "let's be friends first," or, "let's explore friendship first," what you are saying is that you've labeled the relationship already, or the relationship will progress, according to your associations, definitions, and expectations alone without considering the other person as an individual.

So instantly, here, the other party has the upper hand in the acquaintanceship. For what misguided reason should one assert control of the interaction from the onset? That's as ridiculous as a guy asking his date for sex on their first meeting. If we haven't even gotten to know each other yet and you're ALREADY about control, what does it say for any future between us?

"Friends first" is as much of a red flag as seeing "separated" in a profile. That is, unless you want to "date" someone for a few weeks only to find out somebody better came along. I can think of better ways to waste my time.
Joined: 7/6/2008
Msg: 24
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/14/2009 6:30:58 PM
when you meet online and you say "friends first" it means I am NOT flying to your place by airplane to sleep with you.

You can, of course, fly here, and if we're friends THEN I'll sleep with you.
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 26
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/15/2009 4:34:36 PM

I'm glad it is eye-opening for ya. If you think about it, it's common sense, actually. Friends-first by it's wording doesn't mean or imply taking anything slow -- because what are you taking slow? If you're merely friends at "first", that means there is NOTHING outside friendship, before anything more than that may or may not result. Taking IT slow means whatever you are IN goes at a slow pace. If you make what you are in from the outset be a just a friendship -- do you take the friendship slow? Then once the friendship (development came first) then -changes- into something more than a friendship, do you take it fast? There's two different gears -- just a friendship (friend zone), and more-than-friendship (dating zone). Reasons people have problems with this is because if someone wants you as a "friend" at first, they aren't THAT interested in you, whether that be your overall attraction as a person to them, they're dealing with a lot of issues, or they feel they need to go out and date and you're fine on paper and need to get the ball rolling.

Real attraction isn't going to make you want to be mere friends at first -- but not necessarily bf/gf either. You want to be more-than-friends, right? Doesn't mean you want to go thru with sleeping with them off the bat -- but geez -- you don't want to REALLY be just friends at first either!

Ladder theory is based on how guys and girls deal with the opposite sex. In a nutshell, 99% of the time, guys can't be "friends" with girls without having a desire to engage sexually with them. Doesn't mean a huge crush, it just means, yeah, they "like" you. For the same of clarity, let's just count all parties being single. Theory goes like this (which I disagree on some details, but overall it's on par):

Guys have one "ladder" -- which is a list of ALL women they know and deal with, in a sense ranked, if you will. They're listed in their minds of how desirable the girls are, on these ladder steps. There is no real "friends" ladder.

Women have two "ladders" -- one is a Dating Ladder, and one is a Friends Ladder. Women place guys they get to know on either ladder, depending on how they feel about them. They have a ranking of how much they desire the guys on one (Dating Ladder), and have a ranking of how close of platonic friends they are on the other (Friends Ladder).
- At the bottom of both ladders is an Abyss, where if a guy tries to take action and JUMP from the Friends ladder to the Dating Ladder, and doesn't make it (which usually happens), everything will be ruined.

Friends Ladder vs Dating Ladder is about how she feels about him and her desire, not what she would call the situation (whether she likes it or not) between herself and a guy.
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 27
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/19/2009 4:17:09 AM
I have to agree with Mycroft, friends first means just want says friends and nothing more. And no it does not boil down to sex, i have many female friends that i do not want to have a relationship with. So if i ask a woman out she has to know there is a romantic interest in her and no i do not mean just sex. Ladies get over yourself not every man who asks you out is just after sex, or if he takes you out on a date he wants sex.

Ladies if your honest with your self how man friends do you want to date? Or if your friend says "Hey lets go out to diner", does he pay for you?

Its should be a given that i want to get to know some one before i even get intimate with them, so no i do not go for that friends first crap.
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 28
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/19/2009 4:28:36 AM
The ladder theory is this, or how i see it.
Initial emails

One we talk on the phone
Two we talk some more on the phone
Three we go out to lunch or coffie (feeling each other out)
Four dinner or romantic date
Five start dating
Six what ever we want we are adults

But once the threshhold of intimacy is broken no more dating other people. Then you discuss where the relationship is going, which you should have done before you got intimate.
Joined: 1/20/2009
Msg: 29
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/19/2009 11:01:07 AM
To me, it means getting to know someone before actually jumping into something. I'm too used to rushing into things head first and seeing the aftermath later on. At least, in my experience, I'd like to get to know someone before actually taking the next step.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 30
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/20/2009 10:58:35 AM

But when you meet someone online, what does "start with a friendship" mean? Who pays when you go out, what sort of contact (hand holding, hugging, kissing?) does a friendship entail? How long should the party who wants to start a relationship wait...

Friends first means no relationship type stuff, ie hand holding, french kissing, sex,etc etc. A hug , or peck on the cheek would be acceptable. As for who pays, it should be dutch all the way, or who ever does the inviting should be prepared to pay for the date. Establish the playing feild upfront, that way no one gets surprised.
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 31
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 3/20/2009 11:07:43 AM
Yeap! That is right. Even when you then cross into the romantic circles, soon enough she will say, sorry, I just can't develop any other feelings than just friends.
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 33
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 4/21/2009 2:23:40 PM
I've been given this a few times, and out of pride I usually just don't take it, and I wish the person good luck in their pursuits.

I've noticed that I often get this from women who have been hurt badly by someone in the past. In which case, this is a sign that they are not secure enough in relationships yet to feel loved or to love someone else without the impending fear of being hurt by someone.

I also see it as a desire to, as mynamesnotjesus said, to define something before it has even begun. Why do people need to put labels on something? Why can't you just hang out with the person and enjoy their company and if there is a spark there, something will develop, and if there isn't, then you will just naturally be just friends

Unfortunately when you tell a guy, "I just want to be friends first and see where that goes", a guy doesn't even understand this because this is not how attraction works for most men. If I am hanging out with someone, and I am having fun with them, I tend to know very soon if I might want to possibly pursue them romantically or just as a friend.

It's not always about sex ladies, we just don't want you to label us something before there has even been a real chance for the relationship to develop somewhat naturally. IMO if he pushes for sex early on, then you should just not see him anymore. If he is a smart, mature guy he will realize that he needs to get to know you first and you need to trust each other before you start sleeping with one another.
All in all, Just don't give him the "friends first" cop out, because many guys don't want to risk developing feelings for someone, only to realize later that that person just only sees you as a friends. Let things develop naturally, and what will happen, will happen :)
Joined: 2/24/2007
Msg: 35
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 4/24/2009 2:43:52 AM
"Friends first" is something I would do only with someone that I could see being more than a friend.

That's why I'm a "friends first" kind of person. It doesn't mean I'm insecure or deceitful at all! Just that it takes me a bit of time to warm up to someone. Even when I am fond of her, I don't want that really fast, exponential slope upwards, I want more of the inverse--a slow gradual build where we hang out, find out lots about each other, all the time aware that "the question" is coming but we are okay with figuring it out gradually, together. I think certain types of people are more like this, and others less so.

I think if someone tells you this (that they want to be "friends first"), especially someone you are interested in, it is important to figure out what they MEAN by it, and that can only be accomplished by asking them. Even if you are completely head over heels, it is common courtesy to take things slow if the other person requests, as long as you can be reasonably sure they want a relationship.
Joined: 6/10/2008
Msg: 37
What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 7/25/2009 5:31:08 PM
It means the person wants to actually get to know the other person before anything intimate happens.
Joined: 12/23/2008
Msg: 38
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What does Friends First really mean?
Posted: 7/25/2009 9:31:48 PM
You both pay for yourselves when you go out. Hand-holding OK, kissing is not, if you're just friends.

Look, if you have a sense of humor, let the thing develop organically. Go on a couple of dates, be affectionate and share a few laughs. By date 3, you should both feel comfortable enough to know whether you just want to be friends or if you'd like to go further.

Yes, I agree that we end up in the friend zone if moves are not made quickly. But that's not to say that being friends is a bad thing--it's just bad if one of you wants to go further and the other doesn't. But, gotta keep it light...
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