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 navycanuck
Joined: 7/15/2010
Msg: 2
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I am friends with all my ex-boyfriends and there is nothing more than just a friendship. I guess this stems from me serving in the military with guys that were strictly friends as we lived in close quarters and fraternizing was not tolerated. After a while; I was just one of the guys to them. I guess for civilians that might be harder as you aren't depending on that person to keep you alive. You just don't cross the line when lives are at stake.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 3
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/23/2010 9:00:30 PM
I know there are people out there that can't be around the opposite sex without them either having to be sexual conquest potential or too unattractive for them to care, otherwise they can't seem to be friends. Personally I've never understood this, I've had lots of male friends all my life, sex doesn't come up in friendships for the most part, but then maybe I don't seek out male friendships with horn dogs or those who only think of women in sexual terms. I don't know really. I just know that I don't have sexual fantasies about my male friends, I'm completely capable of having normal friendships with any gender. And I know guys who say oh that's not true all guys want to screw their female friends, well that honestly isn't true. The people who say that may think and work that way, but they do not speak for the entire male population, lots of men have platonic friendships that don't carry any sexual undertones. These generalizations speak of uneducated comments or the need to demean others. Also I'm not saying that people who have sexual feelings for their friends are wrong, to each their own, I'm saying it's not a gender thing and it's not any more common than not having these feelings.
 Smarts and Heart
Joined: 12/15/2009
Msg: 4
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/23/2010 9:15:54 PM
It seems that your buddy has never experienced a true friendship with a member of the opposite sex and that's unfortunate. There are friendships that do become life long lasting relationships that have nothing to do with sexual relationships. Not everything revolves around sex, between men and women. Such platonic friendships can survive longer than sexual relationships.
 Munchausen
Joined: 11/28/2010
Msg: 5
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/23/2010 9:17:34 PM

Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?

IMO sort of.
They can be "friends" for a while.
"Friends" is an arbitrary line of behavior rules. People usually put that line in different places (then they tend to redraw the line and relabel it based on immediate need and desire for immediate gratification i.e. emotional, physical, social, mental, spiritual, etc.).
The thing about relationship lines is once they are crossed, they can't be uncrossed. To do so would point out that the lines are arbitrary and meaningless, thereby making the relationship arbitrary and meaningless, a simple matter of mood and convenience, not to mention the person drawing the line as inconsistent. People abhor inconsistencies, it creates insecurities.

So they can be friends, until a point is reached where the other person is seen as able to fulfill what is "missing" and it's just a weeeeee bit over that line.
And since people are generally fallible and prefer what is easier, the majority of the time they are going to cross that line, it's easier to rationalize something in order to feel good than to maintain conviction and feel bad.


Now looking at this logic, doesn't a LASTING relationship start with being friends with one another??

Only in hindsight.
As in a long LASTING relationship people tend to come to similar conclusions and definitions and associations with labels and things they've gone through.
They've already learned to communicate.
So two people can look back and agree upon the definition of the relationship back then, because they have the current communication level and understanding in order to couch the terms where they can both agree, and understand them according to the perspective of the other person.

Looking forward and trying to hammer and pry and manipulate a relationship into a label because you think it's where you are supposed to start, when you are still learning what each other is even talking about, common ground, learning to communicate, then no, LASTING relationships do not start as friends, they start as two people open to each other and learning to communicate with each other, without having arbitrary boundaries.
 StarshipNarrator
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 6
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/23/2010 9:18:30 PM

Now looking at this logic, doesn't a LASTING relationship start with being friends with one another??


I don't think LASTING relationships are universally founded first on friendships. I really do think the world is much bigger than the trite expression of "friends first, lovers later".

So, somewhere RIGHT NOW in the UK a man and a woman got on the same bus, happened to sit next to each other, found each other attractive, immediately began sucking off the faces of each other like octopi and are now f-u-c-k-i-n-g somewhere in a tree while simultaneously sidestepping the "friends first" deal all in one fell swoop.

EDIT: All that happened even though they were strangers to each other too.
 kari135
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 7
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/23/2010 10:51:57 PM
^^^^^ What daynadaze said. That's been the way my life has been, too. A friendship is just one kind of relationship. Relationships are not one size fits all cirumstances things..
 AintNoDeal
Joined: 2/3/2010
Msg: 8
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 12:05:50 AM
Women tend to call people they know "friends" even if they don't know much about them at all. If your gf met someone on a bus and talked about babies, when she tells YOU the story, all of a sudden this stranger is "my friend on the bus" who is channeling the will of god between stops.

Men hesitate to call people "friends" until they've really bonded. A guy not call some stranger his "friend" or even people he's worked with for years his "friends" because they aren't. They are merely people he knows, but may not care about. Even some he cares about still may not qualify as "friends" because men hold their friends very dear.

A friend is not just a drinking buddy or "one of the guys".

...so...it is QUITE PLAUSIBLE that many women who call their Ex's "friends" would be shocked to learn that those Ex's don't consider them to be "friends" at all, merely "Ex's" whom they'd turn a blind eye to in an hour of need.

This is why men roll their eyes when women say "let's be friends". In all likelihood, they NEVER behaved as friends, only as lovers.
 Grrl NextDoor
Joined: 11/9/2009
Msg: 9
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 2:59:25 AM
I have tons of male friends that I have never had sex with, nor will I ever. They all feel like brothers to me, and I have three real brothers, too.
The first two are karate buddies:
P...known 18years, have diners at each others houses 1-4 times a month, less if one of us is in a relationship, we work out together, watch movies, talk, have dinner parties. We are friends because we both appreciate the accomplishments of others and like to entertain. We have a bit of a crowd (ex-pats) that gets together at either of our houses for dinners or snack fairly regularly.
G...15 years, we meet for coffee mostly, hang out w P sometimes, text a lot, talk about our jobs, families, feelings, personal issues. He's married and has kids now, and the wife is my friend, too. We are friends because we are a lot alike and really listen to each other. We value the each others opinion and judgment.
The next two health club friends:
D...11 years, coffee 2-3 times a month, hang out with his wife and daughter too at their summer home, once a year all night scrabble night sleepover at their house. When we get together, we talk about whatever we are interested in or reading at the moment. Brilliant guy!
M...12 years, we realized at one point our moms died about the same time, and we became orphans together. His sister died shortly after, and he took in his 17 yo niece. We all 3 have breakfasts together on Sundays, maybe 2-3 times a month. We have a mildly sarcastic repertoire that is lighthearted.
I am always surprised when people of the opposite sex isolate themselves from others; but maybe that is because I was raised in a big family.
These guys are like family to me. They don't hit on me.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 10
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 3:30:57 AM
I can only guess that what your buddy was thinking of, was that a man who SET OUT to have a woman as a mate, or sexual companion, is unlikely to be happy with, or willing to put any effort into, being just friends. That's the only statement that would make sense to me. Men and women become just friends all the time, outside of that situation.
When someone makes a serious effort to become THE person in someone else's life, and gets rejected, it's very difficult to recover a sense of value in the relationship.
I'm guessing also, that he was simply trying to quote from that old movie When Harry Met Sally, which ALSO was referencing that men USUALLY don't set out to be JUST friends with young women.
The most flawed part of the OP is the rhetorical question "doesn't a LASTING relationship start with being friends with one another?" The implication is that since lasting relationships DO tend to start with friendship, that a relationship that ACTUALLY started with a desire for sexual intimacy could ultimately succeed, if "friendship" is established as part of the attempt. If you actually INCLUDE all of the parameters in the question that you intend to be there, you see that it ISN'T a logical thing to ask at all. What you are actually asking is, "If a man sets out to be the primary sexual companion of a woman, is put into the friend zone, but sticks around, doesn't a lasting close relationship result, that could eventually succeed in becoming a sexual, mating one?" The answer to THAT is more obviously "NO."
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 11
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 4:14:53 AM
guy: if i'm good enough to be your friend, then why am i not also good enough to fuck?
girl: if we are friends, then what does sex have to do with it?
....and never the two shall meet.
 AquanGold
Joined: 11/22/2010
Msg: 12
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 4:23:39 AM
I have been friends over the years with those women i have dated and had a relationship with. We remain friends because we know each other both physically and mentally.Those type of friendships have lasted for years. The bond is cemented in time.Knowing someone in a sense where you have bonded as one and shared many private moments is truly a wonderful feeling shared only by two people!
Those memories last forever.
In the same token, I find it difficult to be friends with a women who am interested in and she only wants to a friendship. Its difficult for m to be a friend without sharing a commonality. I guess most men and women feel the same way. My attitude is i have plenty of friends, sharing the bond between a women is different and once the relationship ends, i normally like it to end on terms where we still keep in touch.

Just adding another friend for the sake of friendship isn`t what i`m seeking from someone of interest.
 FyrKrakn
Joined: 2/21/2010
Msg: 13
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 4:35:26 AM
Yes, but they can be on again off again friendships because anytime they start dating someone else, they either have no time for other friendships or the woman they are with won't allow it, or some such. I've had some that continued even through their new relationships, but these were men who never gave much attention to their relationships and girlfriends were transitory, at best, and since they weren't close to me during dating, they weren't close to me after. Little more than acquaintences on a long term basis, really.

Some literally never committed to me for reasons, that five or ten years later, they thought were really stupid reasons, and older, they look at me know in a new light. Most of my enduring friendships are with men, I work in a male dominated job, they often tell me that I "mostly" think like a guy, and I find these friendships have a pattern. They start out thinking that I am weird but fun, then they are curious and want sex, then they get brave enough to push for sex, then they give up but readily announce to others that I'm awesome or cool or the best friend someone could have, then they say I'd be the best wife possible - in front of their wives...... and that's usually when the relationship begins to struggle. This is where they want something I cannot deliver and some get a little resentful about it, butthurt, if you will. If I made the mistake of actually dating them somewhere in that cycle, the resentment is worse.

I say this because I find myself in three friendships like this, all three at the resentment stage and one being since married (as am I now) who is responding to his marriage immaturity by wondering why his wife can't be more like me. One is just plain in the closet gay and lonely and uses our relationship like a shield to avoid having to look for someone, me for weekly movie night, me for dates, no sex, but all the dating. One just will not do any work on a relationship, ever, we dated a few times. I was too weird. Other women could give him more. I had no lust for him so, that was it. Four years later, he has puppy love and he's mad because I have no bond with him. Oh, and the exbfs I stayed friends with? 1t years for one, the resentment got ridiculous, he's done. Almost 10 years with another, not close the last 6, he sometimes pulls a pity party and I would just as soon he lose my number. The third. The third, don't even get me started on him. His idea of continuing friendship and mine are no closer than his idea of a communicative sexual partnership and mine.

So, yeah, they caan stay friends with you.

But do you want them?
 TerrieLynnC
Joined: 7/4/2007
Msg: 14
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 5:26:38 AM

guy: if i'm good enough to be your friend, then why am i not also good enough to ****?
girl: if we are friends, then what does sex have to do with it?
....and never the two shall meet.


^^^^^^absolutely love this! and it's so true!
What danyadaze said also makes a whole lot of sense.............
 needitbad905
Joined: 6/21/2007
Msg: 15
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 7:31:04 AM
I think that anyone who is HONEST with themselves about their intentions can be friends. If someone wants to be friends, but is secretly harboring ideals for something more, there is no real basis for friendship, and a friendship likely isn't possible. However, if a person can realize that a friendship is just that, and that there aren't going to be any expectations beyond that, it's all good. Mostly it starts with being honest about motivations.. Are you being friends with someone because you want to be friends, or because you want to get into their pants.. the two are not mutually exclusive :)
 VacationGuy234
Joined: 8/1/2008
Msg: 16
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 7:31:24 AM


guy: if i'm good enough to be your friend, then why am i not also good enough to ****?
girl: if we are friends, then what does sex have to do with it?


That's not it. It's more like:
guy: if i'm good enough to buy you dinner, listen and fix your problems, tend to all your emotional needs, then why am i not also good enough to ****?
girl: if we are friends, then what does sex have to do with it?

OP, here's the thing, you're friends with someone, if that person is giving you 50%. If this is not the case, then you are not friends and you are not a couple either. So, it is possible two people of the opposite sex can be friends, but in reality it doesn't happen often.

On the other hand, it is much more possible to go from being friends to developing a relationship. This happens more often than you think.

As far as someone wanting more, we'll, if you want more then you are really not friends, eh? She is now a romantic interest and that is a very differing thing.

Women and Men can package and wrap this up any way they want, but as New Yorkers would say, "It is what it is".
 fastdogphotog
Joined: 5/27/2008
Msg: 17
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 8:51:24 AM
As Igor mentioned, this does sound a lot like a paraphrasing of the line from "When Harry Met Sally" to the effect that men and women can never be friends. Which, to me, is just plain wrong. But, that's just my experience and opinion. If you do a thread search you will quickly find out there are more opinions on the subject than you can count, and very little, if any, consensus.

With respect to:

Now looking at this logic, doesn't a LASTING relationship start with being friends with one another??


Sure, it CAN work that way, but that doesn't mean that it must always, or that every friendship can or will lead to a lasting relationship. In general, a friendship is an important, likely necessary, part of a good, lasting relationship, but that doesn't mean it has to be there from the start.

@Munchausen - I don't entirely disagree with your idea that people define relationships based on somewhat arbitrary rules, but I would apply that to all relationships - be they platonic or romantic; opposite sex or same sex; family or friends. And it seems to me that difficulties are quite common when one person steps over or tries to change those rules, no matter the nature of the relationship. So in that sense, platonic friendships with the opposite sex and no different than any other relationship.

@MisterDynomite - I have known some women like you describe. But I have also known some guys that were the same way. I even used to know a guy who would always try and skip paying his share of the check, but would frequently suggest going out to get some food. Inconsiderate behavior is not limited to one gender. The several close, platonic female friends I have had over the years have never behaved this way. If they did, they wouldn't have lasted as friends.
 DrummingNut
Joined: 4/26/2010
Msg: 18
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 8:55:27 AM

Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?

Sure can't speak for all men, but the one who is still my friend after our dating stage ended several years ago says "yep".
 Bfriends4now
Joined: 10/20/2007
Msg: 19
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 9:37:31 AM
- - - - - "Men can't be friends with Women if they're not dating one another" Sound like a divorce [yuck] without a marriage. My ex avoids me, sometimes it hurts.

I have been friends with two women each for differing three year periods with some time overlapping. One made it clear i should expect nothing more than a kiss, for various reasons. That was it!! But she sure!!!!!!! knew how to kiss. She was a lot of fun to be with, we talked about sharing things of our lives, and she is a very beautiful woman. It was wonderful!!! The other woman was a little crazy, maybe very crazy, we were friends as she plodded through several relationships with men that did not last [been there and done that!!]. She talked about sex a lot and how much she enjoyed it, intimated we would have it at some point in time. I was intersted but when i asked she turned me down. Very difficult woman to deal with, but we always had fun. Always cared for her in spite of it all , has had a 15 year bout with cancer, so what could i do, be an a___ole?? Finally there was a problematic issue and I gave up on her like many other guys including two husbands. The first woman dissed me, guess she found a guy she really liked in spite of the fact that her 4 kids were insistent that she stay the evergrieving suffering all alone widow.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 20
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 10:21:48 AM

Women tend to call people they know "friends" even if they don't know much about them at all.


Really? Women tend to do this? What women? A few women you know or the world over women are dumber than a box of rocks and think/say that all people they meet for a few mins and talk to a few seconds are their friends? I don't know about other women but for me that's quite the generalizing insult. I can't imagine being so stupid as to think strangers I might speak to are my 'friends'. Gawd how ridiculous.
 Rarebird76
Joined: 5/10/2009
Msg: 21
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 10:30:55 AM
I know there are people out there that can't be around the opposite sex without them either having to be sexual conquest potential or too unattractive for them to care, otherwise they can't seem to be friends. Personally I've never understood this, I've had lots of male friends all my life, sex doesn't come up in friendships for the most part, but then maybe I don't seek out male friendships with horn dogs or those who only think of women in sexual terms. I don't know really.
The thing to differentiate that many people overlook (maybe not knowing it) is that there is a difference between being friends with an ex (someone you have already had sexual relations with) and a 'friend' of the other gender who has only ever been that (yet more is often wanted). That said I don't even want to be friends with an ex because I don't enjoy torturing myself with what will never be again. If a person doesn't want me, message received but by the same token they shouldn't think I'm going to stick around as their 'puppy' when they are bored. It's funny how some women just don't understand why an ex BF wants to move on with HIS life after. It's almost like some of them don't understand that another person (besides them) is involved and also has a life with needs and priorities (which may not be in line with hers).
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 22
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 11:04:35 AM
Men and women can be friends even if they are not dating. I have several male friends--including one whom I used to date--and we are that: friends.

Some of these men have partners who are also my friends, but I knew the men first, usually through work. In fact, the man whom I dated now has a partner who accepted me wholeheartedly and we are friends.

However, some men can't "take" a woman as a "friend" only. Since I have a boyfriend now, my profile clearly states that I seek "friends only." Several men have contacted me and I have met two of them, but they either think that the boyfriend is a ruse or they think that once I meet them, I will forget the boyfriend. After meeting one, he wanted to meet again. I stressed the friendship aspect, again, and he sent another email saying that he hopes I find "what" I am looking for and he will continue to seek what he wants.

Um, I said "friends" from the first email. Friends. I wonder if he had found me unattractive if he would have been content with that status.

It boils down to maturity: mature people can accept males and females into their lives without the relationships being about sex.

And yes, OP, lasting, fulfilling relationships are made of two people who are friends as well as lovers. I was married for 25 years to a man who was my husband, not my friend (as he put it). When I left, there was no desire to keep in contact in anyway because he was not my friend.
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 23
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 11:22:54 AM
for the longest time i used to think you could be "friends" with a man. i was just like sally in "when harry met sally". now i take the harry POV. maybe you can make it work at a certain level, but men & women as "friends" comes pre-loaded with a lot of caveats and there's no way around it.

"friend" can mean anything from "not a person i whose eyes i actually want to rip out" to "best buddies who know everything about each other". i have men friends, too. for me they exist somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. yes i consider them friends, yes we stay in touch from time to time, but no they are not people i am actually hanging around with on a regular basis. it's easy for men & women to be friends if everything is kept at a superficial level. beyond that, it often starts to get pretty messy. if you have a boyfriend or a husband, would you want him going to a movie our out for drinks with another woman like he does his men friends? i think not! you can reverse the genders and that picture doesn't change.

 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 24
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 12:34:18 PM
Why not? Once you've dated, realized it wasn't going to work and moved on to other people and there's no longer interest - I don't see why that would be a problem. Then again, I don't have a lot of breakups that aren't mutually decided and on good terms...when someone's not into me it's a wash - he becomes a non-option for dating. I've always dated men who respected my decisions enough to accept when I wasn't into it, and also knew I wasn't for them if I wasn't mutually interested, so there's no way a friendship would ever not be a good thing.
 kari135
Joined: 9/1/2009
Msg: 25
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Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 1:36:52 PM
"friend" can mean anything from "not a person i whose eyes i actually want to rip out" to "best buddies who know everything about each other". i have men friends, too. for me they exist somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. yes i consider them friends, yes we stay in touch from time to time, but no they are not people i am actually hanging around with on a regular basis. it's easy for men & women to be friends if everything is kept at a superficial level. beyond that, it often starts to get pretty messy. if you have a boyfriend or a husband, would you want him going to a movie our out for drinks with another woman like he does his men friends? i think not! you can reverse the genders and that picture doesn't change.

Now I just don't get that definition of a friend. I guess I've been a lot more fortunate than I ever thought in my friends. I have some I've known for 50 years or more, though we haven't actually seen each other live in 40, some I got through work, after working with them a long time and getting to know them well, some I've known for over a decade but never met in person, though we've certainly exchanged a lot of emails, photos, and phone calls over the years. Some were men I used to date who married other women - and their wives are just as much my friends now, if not more.

I did get a laugh out of the "would you want him going ... out for drinks with another woman' thing. Not long after my husband and I got married, he brought home a woman he'd met at a bar for dinner. Not only did she and I become friends, she rented a room from us, and when she moved to the city we stayed in constant touch and always had a place to stay whenever either of us went to the city for anything. We're still friends, even though he died over 3 years ago. She told me once she'd asked him if his wife wouldn't get upset over having him bring her home, and she told me he'd said "If she was the kind of woman who'd get upset over nothing, I wouldn't have married her in the first place." And I never had any reason to question his loyalty to me.

I don't make friends easily, I'm not the social butterfly type. But when I do make a friend, it's generally for keeps, man or woman.
 eastwood969
Joined: 12/21/2009
Msg: 26
Can Men continue to be friends with Women if they are not dating?
Posted: 12/24/2010 2:28:26 PM
I could be friends with them but I'm not the lets hang out type of guy so other then having a friendly conversation I don't push the idea of lets go out and do something together but just be friends. You only have so much time to do anything and if I have time to hang out with them then I have time to go on another date with someone else.So for me the whole friendship thing is overrated. I don't have any male friends either. Never was much of a socialite.I was about 16 years old when I left my last set of friends.It's a big problem too because everytime I have to fill out an application that includes three references I don't have anyone to list.
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