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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

384

Can We Still Be Friends?

So maybe you’ve read the Scientific American article that came out yesterday that basically told you that although you think we’re just platonic friends I secretly entertain the possibility that someday we’ll be more than that. Yeah, sorry about that. What can I tell you? I think you’re amazing and I like you a lot.

And I hope we can still be friends. Even if Science says we can’t be. When has Science ever been wrong? The Atkins Diet, for one. This is just one study. They can get one study to tell you that you should eat bacon in the shower every day and live until you’re 150. That’s why I do that. And I’m sure that in a few years they will have a study that will prove the absolute opposite of this one. Until then, where does that leave us?

It’s obviously not a huge shock to you that I find you attractive and sometimes wonder about what it would be like to date you. I’m a single guy. Who wouldn’t be attracted to someone like you? You’re smart, you dress cool, you are funny. The skill set for girlfriend isn’t so different than the skill set for being a good platonic friend. Maybe you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a wife or whatever. I’m not necessarily trying to break up your serious relationship. I get to hear about all the great and lousy things this other person does to you in your relationship, and maybe I sometimes wonder if I could do a better job as your sexual and life partner. I wonder this about 99% of the population, too. I’m free to entertain the possibility that anyone could be the next person I will be with. Maybe for women, sending men to the Friend Zone is like Superman sending Zod to the Phantom Dimension. You put us in a box that can never be opened. But then, sometimes, you do open that box. 

I’d much prefer to date someone who had been my friend first. Much like I’d like to drive a car for a few years before I ever have to start to pay for it. I obviously still enjoy thinking that I can do almost anything with my life. I still sometimes believe I could be a knuckleballer for the Mets. I wouldn’t want to pitch for the Red Sox because if I stunk up the joint I’d never be invited home for holidays again. And when you date someone who's been your friend, you’re already well-aware that you like this person, are attracted to them, can deal with it when they cry, are interested in them as people beyond the whole sex thing. I don’t fear falling out of attraction with people, but I do fear that point in any relationship where you literally cannot think of a damned thing to say to someone else. You start mentioning redoing the kitchen because that is literally the only thing you can think to say. “Should we become vegetarians?” “Really?” “No, I just have completely run out of other things to say to you.” I’m pretty sure this is the only reason people have children, because then you ALWAYS have something to talk about because the kid took a poo in the piano or whatever.

I’m not always subtle about being attracted to you. But I’m pretty sure you don’t mind it that much, even if you’re not attracted to me. I always make time for you, I don’t blow you off for hours, I never leave you hanging for very long. And it’s not like I’m ever going to do anything about being attracted to you. Maybe some night you’ll get drunk and call me up because a pigeon flew in a window of your apartment and you can’t get it out and we are chasing it around your bed with a blanket and we both jump on the bed at the same time and the pigeon just kind of flies out the window and we’re laughing and maybe you reach over and kiss me. Or maybe you never do. No big deal. My crushes on women might keep me warm at night, but it’s not exactly like I find it debilitating or anything. I’ll get over it if nothing ever happens between us. And I can be a pretty good friend. I don’t mind helping people move or painting things or lifting up heavy stuff or possibly making your very bad boyfriend disappear into the Pine Barrens to never again emerge. I never had a sister and I always wanted one, and I’m pretty sure I can be a very good platonic friend even if I sometimes want to make out with you. If it doesn’t sketch you out too much.

I do think sometimes my friends use me as a Junior Woodchuck Boyfriend — I'm good at flirting and sometimes I write funny little poems about adorable things you do. And I am kinda funny. I usually have a Mystery Science Theatre Worthy smartass comment on the tip of my tongue. I'm a particularly delightful travel companion, I like going to the mall. Shopping interests me. I am willing to get matching tattoos with you if you wanna. Maybe bears?

I don’t think ladies should read this Scientific American article and think Everyone Wants to Date ME! Even if they do. It’s just a terrible way to go through life. Yes, men in general want to be more than friends with you. I guess it’s just somehow we’re wired according to “Science” and “Scientists” and “People Who Deal With Inconvenient Facts That Fuck My Shit Up.” But you already know all this. There’s sometimes a weird moment when you’re taking the F train and I’m taking the J train when we try to figure out if we’re going to hug or shake hands or high five or run away to France together. There might be a little bit more than just a friendship between us, even if you are interested in more handsome men who might treat you badly. I am just never gonna do that, no matter what the doctors say. I’m never going to neg you. I’m not gonna pretend I didn’t get your texts. “Oh, my phone must have been off.” I’m not gonna do that. I don’t want to pretend I’m more self-confident than I am. I’m just never going to play that game.

When I like you I like you. Whether you want to be just friends or you want to fall madly in love with me. If you don’t want to be friends anymore, I’d understand. I don’t want that, but okay. If you were that bugged by me liking you all this time, you could have tried to hook me up with one of your friends or something. Unless you just think I’d make a terrible boyfriend or something? Is that what you’re saying? Oh yeah? Well maybe we shouldn’t be friends then! Okay! Fine!

I’m still here, I’m just kidding. I value our friendship way more than any dumb attraction. Let me know if you still wanna go pick pumpkins this weekend. I promise I won’t try to hold your hand. Unless you wanna.

Jim Behrle is the author of 'SHE'S MY BEST FRIEND' (Pressed Wafer).

384 Comments / Post A Comment

Mike Dang

I adore this.

Mariks Supreme

@Mike Dang I guess I'm one of the few that does not think Scorsese is a good director. He's a great cinematographer, he sets up shots like nobody else, and that is how he will be remembered. But as a director - nope, he has a really hard time staying focused on the storyline. The absolutely awful Hugo is a case in point - it was about 3 different movies all going on independently and the 3D effects were boring. It took Scorsese 30 years to win a Best Director Oscar, so perhaps that indicates that directors don't value his work that highly. If only he would Pokemon x e y rom descarga work as a cinematographer, advising directors on shots, that would be wonderful.

redheaded&crazy

Sometimes you say things like "You know how I feel about you" when you're a little (a lot) drunk and it sticks in my head. Even though YOU'RE dating somebody at the time!

And then years later things start to happen and you say "This could have happened a long time ago." But then it doesn't happen because "You're my best friend." But then it DOES happen because "You know how I feel about you." But then it doesn't happen because "I think you're great and everything but ..." and then it REALLY doesn't happen because you hook up with another girl in front of me.

Can we still be friends?

Nope!

In conclusion, this is probably a good moral: "I value our friendship way more than any dumb attraction." Noted.

alicejoan

@redheaded&crazy
I do not agree with it,if someone tell the truth of love someone and be reject,they are not as friend before. maybe some except!
best home treadmills

Reginal T. Squirge

So I'm just gonna... hang out in this thread all day.

Reginal T. Squirge

And that Pine Barrens line is gold.

paddlepickle

@Reginal T. Squirge MY thoughts exactly!!

fondue with cheddar

@paddlepickle Me too! Between this and the Jersey Devil link this is a very Jersey week and I'm tickled. Are you guys New Jerseyans, too, or is it just a mafia movie reference or something?

Reginal T. Squirge

There's that famous Sopranos episode but I just thought it was hilarious on its own. It could've just been "the woods" and it would still be just as awesome.

polka dots vs stripes

@Reginal T. Squirge As a former New Jerseyian and current-Sopranos-watching lady, I appreciated that line.

fondue with cheddar

@Reginal T. Squirge I haven't seen it. It's on my list of TV Shows To Watch That Everyone Has Seen But Me.

fondue with cheddar

@polka dots vs stripes Where did you live?

polka dots vs stripes

@fondue with cheddar northeast

fondue with cheddar

@polka dots vs stripes Damn. Everyone I meet on here who is from NJ is from up north! WHY ARE THERE NO SOUTH JERSEY 'PINNERS? :'(

meetapossum

@fondue with cheddar I am from Central Jersey, which some New Jerseyans would call South Jersey, but they're wrong.

Non-anonymous

@fondue with cheddar I'm not exactly a 'Pinner, but I did spend most of my childhood in South Jersey. Lately I've taken to telling people "I'm from the Boardwalk Empire part, not the Sopranos part."

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum See...down here people tend to call you guys North. Depends on your perspective. I learned the distinction from my ex husband who's from Central Jersey.

@Non-anonymous WHERE IN SOUTH JERSEY? I'm really not from the Boardwalk Empire part as I'm closer to Philly, but still...I like that distinction.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Non-anonymous
'Boardwalk Empire' makes me want to move to South Jersey! Really, I think about it a lot!

bloodorange

@fondue with cheddar Long Islander coming in to say it could mean us toooooo

Non-anonymous

@fondue with cheddar Pretty close to Atlantic City, but on the mainland. My dad's home town might be in your area: on the Delaware, between Camden and Trenton.

meetapossum

@fondue with cheddar I'm from outside the Garden State's fair capital, so I like to think it's as central as one can get.

I do, however, fully admit to using the Philadelphian pronunciation of "water."

polka dots vs stripes

@meetapossum New Jersey Pinners: Trying to Bond, Without Outing Themselves. Who will be the first to relent and give their hometown name?!

bookfreak

@fondue with cheddar I'm from South Jersey! Also near Philly (in the Clementon/Cherry Hill area).

fuck fuck fuck

@polka dots vs stripes I'M FROM CRANFORD HELLO

Jim Behrle@twitter

@polka dots vs stripes I would just like to recommend John McPhee's THE PINE BARRENS to anyone who hasn't already read it.

polka dots vs stripes

@Jim Behrle@twitter SECONDING THIS.

I should re-read that soon, actually.

Bgwee

@bloodorange YEP. We have pine barrens too!

fabel

@polka dots vs stripes HEY I'M FROM JERSEY TOO! Central/northeast. I miss this thread yesterday :( Guys? Guys?? Is anyone there?

fondue with cheddar

@bloodorange I didn't know you guys had pine barrens too!

@Non-anonymous I'm close to Camden, but it sounds like your dad might be near my mom. She lives in Delanco, which is near the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

@meetapossum I used to say "water" that way until I went to college and all the North Jersey people made fun of me. Eventually I stopped saying it that way, not on purpose but just because I was surrounded by people who didn't.

@bookfreak OMG YOU LIVE NEAR ME!!! I work in Cherry Hill, but live between Clementon and Camden. I grew up in Gloucester County but have lived in various towns in this area for several years.

fondue with cheddar

@Jim Behrle@twitter Wow, that book looks great! I grew up on the edge of the Pines. One end of my (quite large) township was surburban sprawl, the other end was pineys. It was interesting.

fondue with cheddar

@fondue with cheddar Haha...I composed that one comment in TextEdit and was going to come back and put in the name of the bridge near my mom because I forgot which one. Then I forgot to put in the name of the bridge. My mom does not live near a large collection of X's. Anyway, it's either the Betsy Ross or Tacony.

meetapossum

@fondue with cheddar hahaha, I totally thought you did that on purpose!

Non-anonymous

@meetapossum I thought it was deliberate too, and even briefly wondered what could have that many letters.

@fondue with cheddar My dad's hometown is practically next door to Delanco. He hasn't lived there in well over 40 years, though.

fondue with cheddar

@Non-anonymous Ah, my mom has only lived there for a few years. She grew up on Long Island.

Shaun Lang@twitter

I scrolled to the comments just to see who else would comment on the Pine Barrens line. I grew up right across the WW bridge from Philly!

fondue with cheddar

@Shaun Lang@twitter Hello, former neighbor!

But now come everybody moved away except @bookfreak and me? I thought for sure there would be more of us.

Bostonienne

@Reginal T. Squirge Oh hey! South Jersey native here! (My user name is to throw people off the scent, and also I now live in Boston.) Shout out to the Camden County faction, I will proudly say (on this anonymous forum) that I am from Lindenwold.

fondue with cheddar

@Bostonienne Hi, former neighbor!

Okay, I'll come clean...I grew up in Williamstown (Gloucester County) but now live in Haddon Heights. WHERE MY NEIGHBORS AT

meetapossum

I feel like I should just confess where I'm from, which is Hamilton. Mercer County, wooo. But definitely central.

noReally

Jim! I am RIGHT HERE. But maybe your age * 1.5? And how do you feel about small children? Also Portland.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@noReally Can I move in next weekend?

barnhouse

@noReally same here, except I am already married!! And blissfully, too, so forget about any Pine Barrens shenanigans. @behrle it would have to be in the next life, maybe.

barnhouse

p.s. doesn't everybody think about this all the time, men and women, like, what would it be like to be with this person? You wouldn't act on it but you think about it. So I thought the article sounded weird because it didn't take into account how men and women might just imagine things differently.

par_parenthese

@barnhouse Several of my married-couple friends play, "Who should you get with if I die" with some regularity. Morbid AND sexy!

lizardjellybean

This is deeply relevant to my interests.
DEEPLY.
RELEVANT.
TO MY INTERESTS.

birthinghips

@lizardjellybean SO MUCH

Lily Rowan

I would like to go pick pumpkins this weekend.

falafelwaffle

@Lily Rowan Me too. My first pumpkin got moldy. Sunday afternoon good?

Lily Rowan

@falafelwaffle Fab!

fondue with cheddar

"Maybe some night you’ll get drunk and call me up because a pigeon flew in a window of your apartment and you can’t get it out and we are chasing it around your bed with a blanket and we both jump on the bed at the same time and the pigeon just kind of flies out the window and we’re laughing and..."

That's very Annie Hall. :)

paddlepickle

I would like to say for the jillionth time that OF COURSE MEN AND WOMEN CAN BE JUST FRIENDS. . .

. . .and also take it a step further and say that men and women can be friends and maybe have sex or make out once or twice and still, in essence, be just friends. Like, all my friends are pretty hot and we often get pretty drunk and that has meant that at some point or another I have made out with most of them, even those of them who are not of the gender to which I am attracted. Maybe if we stopped putting Romance and Friendship in these extremely strict columns we could all just chill out and have a better time, hmmm?

redheaded&crazy

@paddlepickle I'm not familiar with this "chilling out" you speak of, but if you're recommending I get drunk and make out with some of my friends, well heck, what could go wrong! I'm going for it!

paddlepickle

@redheaded&crazie I was recommending ALL your friends actually. But you could start with just some of them!

*I should disclaim that obviously sometimes it is a Bad Idea to make out with your friends. I just don't like this idea that if anything romantic or sexual happens between anyone at any time it has to be a Big Deal and Completely Change the nature of their relationship. I advocate for less strict lines more so than making out with everybody. Although making out with everybody is great.

redheaded&crazy

@paddlepickle don't worry I understood there was an unspoken disclaimer there! That being said ... time for some make outs.

(this probably won't happen knowing me but a girl can dream)

Reginal T. Squirge

"You want to act like what happened didn't mean anything."

"I'm not saying it didn't mean anything. I am saying why does it have to mean everything!?"

evil melis

"I don't want to spend the rest of my life in Casablanca married to a man who runs a bar. That probably sounds very snobbish to you, but I don't."

"You'd rather be in a passionless marriage -"

"And be the First Lady of Czechoslovakia."

"Than live with the man you've had the greatest sex of your life with, just because he owns a bar and that is all he does?"

"Yes. So would any woman in her right mind; women are very practical, even Ingrid Bergman, which is why she gets on the plane at the end of the movie."

evil melis

*sprays Aqua Net*

evil melis

ANNE HELEN PETERSON POST IDEA let's get very drunk and liveblog our responses to When Harry Met Sally and make Nicole publish it (Edith will say no obviously we are going to have to make an end-run); I've probably quoted at least a third of the movie in the comments over the years

Dancercise

@evil melis
Obviously, you've never had great sex.

leonstj

@evil melis - Can you do "Harry & The Hendersons" instead?

evil melis

@leon s That is a ridiculous question and I'm not going to dignify it with a response.

Sam I am

@paddlepickle @evil melis I love When Harry Met Sally just the way it is (dont get me wrong, I can critique every line in the movie, but Im an unrealistic sap at heart, its what Hollywood & Bollywood have taught me to be). BUT I still think they should have only been friends in the end. Why? Bc that would have kept it real. (and yes, liveblog...go!)

slutberry

@Dancercise It just so happens that I have had lots of great sex!

slutberry

@Dancercise That scene becomes 1000000000000 times funnier in a post-Big Bang (the TV show, not the real Big Bang, obvs) world.

YOU DID NOT HAVE GREAT SEX WITH SHELDON.

whateverlolawants

@Sam I am
I just read an article about how they weren't supposed to end up together in the end, but "someone" decided that they had to.

Decca

@evil melis please please make this happen

Anne Helen Petersen

@Decca I AM IN WHERE IS MY GIN

evil melis

@slutberry nothing has ever been made funnier by the existence of the big bang theory

E
E

@paddlepickle Yes! I have a friend who was my friend all through college and we never had anytime where anything happened, but I always had a crush. He was my college roommate's ex and they broke up and stayed friends. And then years later, when I was going through a really rough patch, and he was single, I asked him if he'd be my date to a party and make out with me later and confessed my crush. And he said yes and we spent one night together and it was... so beautiful. We laughed, we had a great time, it was hot. It gave me this little glowing ember that I needed so badly. And then we romantically kissed goodbye beneath a bridge and I headed back west and we each went off to some other relationships, and he slept with one of my other best friends and she and I laughed about that. Recently he and I and she all had drinks together and then he drove me home and gave me relationship advice about my boyfriend, and it was good advice and.....and...

He's a great friend. Its complex but not complicated? I love him so much for the person who he is, who saw me and liked me back before I liked me, and for his life joy, honesty, the interesting things we talk about together, and the fact that I feel like we hardly talk most of the time, but if I ever need him, I know he'd be someone I could go to with almost anything and not feel ashamed to talk about it.

If we ever live in the same city and are both single, I'd be willing to give it a shot, but over the years I've come to see things differently. I think if we'd had that night we had together when I was 22, I would have decided we were destined to be together. But right now we're each in love with other people and maybe one or both of these things will last, and I'll be happy for us if that's the case. My heart has room to love a lot of people and I do! And most of those people aren't inside the sex circle of the love venn diagram, but some of them are, and there are smaller circles inside that from crush to unrequited to in the past.

Decca

@Anne Helen Petersen SORRY I APPEAR TO HAVE DRUNK IT ALL, FORGIVE ME THIS GINCIDENT

Reginal T. Squirge

@evil melis

Getting through airport security has been a real pain post-Big Bang Theory.

runner in the garden

@E - I think most of my female friends are people I've either boned or wanted to bone. In some cases that's still a future possibility, in others it's totally out of the question. I just watched one of my exes get married, and the only twinge of regret that I felt was really self-conscious and fake -- like "oh, this is the part where I'm supposed to feel a twinge of regret. huh."

It's really easy to get hung up on these things during periods when the rest of your life is shitty, and you have nothing else to think about. But I think as my life has gotten fuller and happier, I've gotten less and less hung up about it.

So I guess if one of your friends is mooning over you unrequitedly, the best thing you can do for them is... get them a hobby? Introduce them to some new friends? Encourage them to join a club?

tearsforaffairs

What about when you have a friend who has a girlfriend, but who you're pretty sure is somewhat in love with you, but you would prefer it if he wasn't in love with you because you will never be in love with him, and because you're not sure it makes everything vaguely awkward because it could be all in your head but also you're pretty perceptive about these kinds of things and as a result you're always vaguely awkward when you hang out together and respond to him less often than you might perhaps otherwise?

redheaded&crazy

@tearsforaffairs HAHA one possible way that scenario ends is that you receive an exorbitant spa gift card and you're like "UM WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH THIS."

(like maybe you should give that to your girlfriend dude.)

Judith Slutler

@redheaded&crazie oh dear

Exene

@redheaded&crazie Oops I'm late nite drunk commenting but just wanted to say you are en fuego in this thread. Lol after lol. Props, woman!

special_boots

This is why I basically don't even try to be friends with dudes anymore. Sorry, dudes, you are still wonderful! I've just had really bad, friendship-ruining experiences with this stuff too damn many times. I am too awkward and can't deal with it. So.

=/

evil melis

I will never kiss anyone in a room that has until recently held a pigeon. Not even you, Jim Behrle.

BoozinSusan

@evil melis Stop flapping your mouth, evil melis. You don't want to go and pigeonhole yourself.

evil melis

That was a stretch and you know it.

SarahP

@BoozinSusan You have won the day.

BoozinSusan

@evil melis I thought it was coo-l!
Oh good lord. Don't mind me, I'll let myself out.

whizz_dumb

@BoozinSusan Let me open the window first, I don't want you to get hurt.

iceberg

Yay a Jim Behrle that's not on the Awl! I really really liked this and I think it can hold true in the reverse as well. Just because you've considered it doens't mean it has to happen or even that you want it to.

BoozinSusan

@iceberg Yes. There was this guy I knew - who I really liked, actually, as more-than-friends, but he didn't return my feelings -- most of whose friends were girls. He said, "When you're friends with people of the opposite sex, most of the time you're going to have a weird moment or two at some point. That's normal. It's whether or not you can move on from that, and how frequently those moments happen, that determines whether you should actually pursue this thing or not." I like that he acknowledged the weirdness! It happens. It's normal. It's just a question of degree.

Sam I am

@BoozinSusan Yes, so right.

Jen Kiaba

Definitely want with the hand-holding

JessicaLovejoy

Always letting a pigeon do the heavy lifting. Just like a man.

Inconceivable!

If I weren't capable of being Just Friends with people I have been/sort of still am attracted to at one point or another, I...would have fewer friends?

That seemed like it was going somewhere bigger than it ended up going. Basically, sometimes the occasional crush develops in a friendship. Doesn't mean we aren't still friends, regardless of whether it goes anywhere.

redheaded&crazy

@Inconceivable! Yeah I think I ... would have more friends ... if I were more capable of being Just Friends with people I have been/sort of still am attracted to.

Teach me your ways?

SarahP

@redheaded&crazie Near-constant anxiety and general awkwardness have worked wonders for me in these situations.

Inconceivable!

@redheaded&crazie No special knowledge to impart, I'm afraid. I just have had a lot of practice with unrequited crushes, and eventually they go away, and the friendship remains.

ThatWench

@Inconceivable! I don't have a lot of friend-circle stories like this. (I find the really strong crushes come few and far between, and one of my major friend circles subscribes to the "make out with everyone all of the time" rule, anyway.)

But I do have more practice with this stuff at work. Proximity x half your waking hours inevitably leads to some hormonal surging. I find it really helps to find an outside-the-circle friend to 'fess up to. As in, "man! I don't actually want to have anything come of this, but sometimes the hormones mess with my head!"

par_parenthese

@Inconceivable! So many unrequited crushes. I also happen to be a Person Who Goes for a Type and that Type is always by me. Like, all my guy friends are skinny, disproportionately-confident nerds. So crushworthy. If I couldn't get over that and still be friends with them I would just cry all the time? And one day a couple years ago I decided I hated that and needed to be able to be friends with current and/or former crushes.

plumb-bob

@Inconceivable! I have been on the other side of the equation a couple of times, where a friend has confessed an unrequited crush on me. It's awkward for a while, and you make a bit of space from them and everyone is embarrassed for a time, but then it all blows over. I'm still good friends with my two friends, and we're all in happy relationships with other people now. I did admire their guts at the time though, because I've never been brave enough to act on my unrequited crushes ;)

Boopsy

@Inconceivable! I'm impressed! I'm such an all-or-nothing type... if a boy doesn't have feelings for me I have a really hard time being just friends with him (I mean, unless I'm not attracted to him, you know?). It makes me feel like such a hypocrite for hanging out with boys that I couldn't return feelings for.

mbmargarita

So if this study says that guys are into their girl friends so assume it's mutual, and girls aren't into their guy friends so assume it's mutual -- what does that make a girl who's chronically convinced that her guy friends are never interested in her but sort of wishes they would be?

leonstj

@mbmargarita - Get drunk, make out w/ your guy friends, let it accidentally turn into a relationship.

EDIT: Booze optional.

parallel-lines

@leon s this never, ever, ever worked for me many times over. And my awesome dude friends were replaced by awkward dude acquaintences.

YMMV.

JG3
JG3

@parallel-lines 100% word. I guess it works out for some folks, but I can't include myself in those numbers, either, based on my past experiences.

mbmargarita

@leon s Ah that sounds like such a perfect way to begin a relationship (sincerely.) I think my first step would be to acquire more guy friends though and increase my chances.

MsLady

@leon s I did this. Once. We celebrated our six year wedding anniversary last weekend.

Decca

@mbmargarita Depends if she's a leggy blonde or not.

mbmargarita

@Decca Short redhead.

temporal_paradox

My heart has been broken beyond repair (it feels) by my best friend who decided to kiss me then couldn't handle the fact that we had moved to something bigger than the friend zone to the point that now we aren't even facebook friends. Would not recommend the experience. Had it worked out, it would have been the best thing ever.

Euglena

@temporal_paradox Saddest ever. I'm in a similar spot. Worst. I recommend Jewel's "Foolish Games"

beams!

@temporal_paradox hugs for you both!

Princess Gigglyfart

@temporal_paradox Swamp of Sadness. <3

Clare

@temporal_paradox Been there. Totally sucks.

yarabollocks

@temporal_paradox -- Oof.

Maybe no fb is better? Less way to get lost in the neverending what-if black holes of photo albums?

But yeah, oof. :(

temporal_paradox

@Euglena Because I am weird, "Foolish Games" gives me happy feelings- college road trip memories. The road trip was with two football players who admitted 8 hours into the trip that they secretly had feelings for this song and so we listened to it on repeat, screaming the lyrics out the window for the next 3 hours. Sigh, happy times.

This relationship is the entire Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" album. It was our long-drive-don't-want-to-talk-just-sit-and-be CD. I can't hear a single song on it without getting a little sick to my stomach.

@beams! @Princess Gigglyfart @Clare Thank you for the thoughts!

@yarabollocks Probably right. When his sister (also a long-time and dear friend) told me that his daughter was named a variation of his nickname for me I felt like I had been kicked in the chest, even though I realize that the name might not have anything to do with me at all.

hellmouth

@temporal_paradox Also recommending "Paper Bag" by one Fiona A.

null

I just spent several minutes contemplating the idea of flying across the country to win Jim Behrle's love. Totally normal feelings about an internet stranger. JIIIIM.

Reginal T. Squirge

"I am just green with jealous rage right now!"

Jim Behrle@twitter

@klaus we could meet somewhere in the middle? Chicago! Atop the Bean?

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Jim Behrle@twitter
Like pigeons!

I just checked: the top of the Bean has been recently cleaned of pigeon poop, so you guys are good to go!

null

@Jim Behrle@twitter OK. Then we can have someone take a picture of us standing on either side of it with our hands in claw shape to give the illusion that we are actually holding a gigantic silver bean in our hands annnnnd depending on how things go *fingers crossed* use it as our wedding announcement. Thank god there was an example.

null

@klaus Um, sorry about the apparent tumor you have growing on your head. I spent more time on my hair than yours. "My hair."

noReally

Hey hey HEY.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@klaus your hair looks amazing

craygirl

@Reginal T. Squirge

Hot Rod reference?!

craygirl

@Reginal T. Squirge this shatters my entire universe

Cawendaw

Am I the only one who finds this whole thing kind of stifling and panic-making? Like social science just tried to tell you what your feelings were, and when you tried to tell social science that no, they weren't that, society in general just rolled its eyes and chuckled condescendingly, and patted you on the head and waited for you to win victory over yourself because we have always been secretly in love with Eastasia?

snowmentality

@Cawendaw No, you're not the only one. Guilt trip like whoa. Because as a woman I am clearly responsible for the feelings of all the dudes in my life, and if they all secretly have sexual tension that I do not share, then I have to feel bad for being a cold friendzoning bitch who is just using them for friendship and not paying them for it in sex like I should.

Ugh.

Judith Slutler

@Emmanuelle Cunt I mean no, you're not the only one.

Cawendaw

Sorry, still in high feeling. About to rant.
I can understand a healthy suspicion accompanying heterosocial friendships, at least at first, but I really, strongly object to the idea that after months or years of close friendship it should be unsurprising or normal (?!?!) when a guy reveals he's been secretly attracted to his close female friend all along but hasn't said anything. No! It shouldn't! It should be terrible! I would find it terrible if it happened to me! If I realized that about myself, I would feel terrible! When someone tells me they think they're doing that to a friend I try to shut it down because it it terrible! That is not what friendship looks like!
How is this supposed to be normal? Worse, how is it supposed to be a universal, unbreakable law? How can people live in a world like this?
And the whole Junior Woodchuck boyfriend thing? I found that one of my very close friends was using me as that, and guess what? I felt USED AND BETRAYED. It was AWFUL. It was awful experiencing it and it is awful remembering it. The friendship never recovered.
Also, "the skill set for girlfriend isn’t so different than the skill set for being a good platonic friend." Maybe the skill set isn't, but the boundaries and assumptions and nature of trust ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT. AND THOSE MATTER. If you start mixing the two... well, I understand it happens sometimes, but how can you think that that's totally normal and ok and not grounds to re-evaluate your sense of boundaries and the wisdom of the friendship as it currently stands? And how can keep trying to convince me that it happens all the time and not act like that says something deeply terrible about our collective emotional maturity?

Queen of Pickles

@Cawendaw
I agree. I didn't want to say anything, because I'm having a Feelings day and I didn't trust my words, but this post squicks me out a bit.

As exemplified by my favorite XKCD post.

Mira

@Cawendaw No, I totally agree with you. Jim Behrle's stuff is great but I found this piece deeply off-putting, especially this part: I’m not always subtle about being attracted to you. But I’m pretty sure you don’t mind it that much, even if you’re not attracted to me. I always make time for you, I don’t blow you off for hours, I never leave you hanging for very long.

WHAT THE ACTUAL. I also make time for my friends, don't blow them off, would help them remove pigeons etc. Because they're my friends. Not because I secretly want to get in their pants.

...but also, if a dude secretly has a crush, that's his problem. If I find out about it, that makes it my problem, and then we're going to have a problem.

redheaded&crazy

@Cawendaw I am glad you ranted about this! I think ... what I think is, my approach to things is that if I like one of my friends and that feeling has persisted for a while, then I tell them. My approach is like this: "Hey dude. I like you. I'm telling you this, for two reasons. One if you don't like me, tell me right now and knowing that, and being told to my face, will make it easier for me to nip this little crush in the bud. .... [wait for response] Two if you doooo possibly like me, maybe we could go on a date or something."

I place a high value on being straightforward (although it's definitely not as ~ROMANTIC~. This hasn't really worked out for me very well though and actually ruined both friendships, so if you do like somebody but you value their friendship, but you have a hard time moving on from things unless you get that explicit rejection ... I dunno. I guess nursing that little possibly unrequited but who really knows crush at the back of your mind is better than outright ruining the friendship? Actually I have no fucking clue.

redheaded&crazy

@redheaded&crazie Missing ... parenthesis ... driving me ... crazy!!!!

Hellcat

@Cawendaw Can I ask--what is a "Junior Woodchuck boyfriend (or girlfriend"? I interpreted it as what I refer to as a "Practice Girl," meaning that the person does not want to define/commit to/act in a consistent way to me, yet does often want to be as boyfriendish as possible. Ugh, those days...

tales

@redheaded&crazie KEEP DOING IT (being straightforward). I asked two people out in high school, got turned down, nothing was ruined, I felt awesome! Since then, I've had multiple friends tell me they had crushes on me. My response has been basically every time, more or less, "ditch that crush, if you don't wanna hang as much now, cool, but as far as I'm concerned we're still groovy". Some of these people are my best friends! I have never resented it and none of them stopped hanging afterwards.

Cawendaw

@redheaded&crazie That is a totally reasonable approach.
@Mira Actually I think it's kind of both of your problems (albeit one you're not aware of, like a diagnosis only one person knows about), because I've always thought friendship is based on trust, trust is based on mutuality, and making friends with someone while wishing she was your more-than-friend is very much not mutuality.
@Scientific American "researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab." I FOUND A FLAW IN YOUR SAMPLING METHODOLOGY, YOU GUYS.
@Hellcat I guess I interpreted as someone (in this case, a girl) using a friend as a sort of relationship methadone, someone who fulfills some of the social roles/needs a boyfriend would and with whom she can (covertly?) practice flirting and dating while waiting for an actual boyfriend to come along.

Hellcat

@Hellcat (And I am--or was--the Practice Girl in the very unclearly written scenario I've detailed above.)

Sam I am

@Mira This! Esp that last line. No need for it to be awkward for all involved.

Verity

@Cawendaw No, I did too. "Maybe you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or a wife or whatever. I’m not necessarily trying to break up your serious relationship." Well, thanks for that.

Cawendaw

@Cawendaw Wait... am I really dumb and was the whole article trying to lampoon the whole phenomenon and the presumption of its universality, Modest Proposal-style? As opposed to saying, unironically, "yeah, this happens all the time, and it's totally fine, let me write about it affectionately" as I originally read (and re-read) it?
Gah, I don't know what to believe anymore.

swirrlygrrl

@Cawendaw Yes! Can we stop assuming late teens/early 20s people confined to a geographic area with enough money/loans to be in school are representative of "humans"?

OhMarie

@Cawendaw Oh yeah, undergraduates, Jesus. I have much more stable hetero opposite-sex friendships now than I did then, in many cases with the same guys!

evil melis

@Cawendaw I think it dwells in the bittersweet spot that sits somewhere in between "full-bore sincerity" and "SATIRICAL TAKEDOWN."

highfivesforall

@Cawendaw Oh god, I hadn't read the article that inspired this post before, but seriously? 88 pairs of opposite sex friends in undergrad, one of whom is definitely in a psychology course, probably 101, and who had to convince a friend to spend some time participating in a study for which they don't get credit? That certainly wouldn't self-select for the friend that people bring along secretly crushing on them and hoping that doing this favor would help get them into their pants. Oh no, definitely not. Perfectly unbiased.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Cawendaw In addition to exactly everything you've written, the heteronormativity bums me out SO HARD. So, what, I can be friends with straight women and gay men, but never with other queer women or straight * bi men? Or just no one of any sex/gender, because hey, you never know when someone's going to come out as a little bit more flexible than they had previously thought? (And obviously, there's no such thing as trans* people, and if there are, no one can be friends with them.)

polka dots vs stripes

Anyone else not commenting because then they'd actually have to give words to feelings that they'd rather just ignore andI'vebeendoingjustfineignoringthemforyearsthankyouverymuch?

Just me? Ok. I'll be in the corner, come get me when the Bargain Bin comes around on Friday!

JG3
JG3

@polka dots vs stripes Um, yes? Maybe? I definitely think this topic hits a lot of nerves.

Kitty

@polka dots vs stripes This is my life except I'm the friend that likes the other friend. And who has been sent to the friend zone corner (although EVERYTHING WE DO SCREAMS dating! maybe just in my head though?). And now I feel kinda(very) bad and sad because I am incapable of "just being friends" and have to cut everything off.

Life. Right? :/

Reginal T. Squirge

@polka dots vs stripes

I'm worried that if I start, I'll just never stop.

Jenabeba

@polka dots vs stripes Yup.

whateverlolawants

@Kitty Oh man, I was there a couple of years ago, even though I theoretically didn't think it was good for me to live that way. He had a girlfriend but treated me differently than any old friend. It was exciting at first and I loved the rush, but then it got rough. It felt good when I ripped off the Band-Aid and just asked him straight-up what was up.

If you want to know how it went for meeeee... he said "nothing", I thought "bullshit", we didn't speak for a few days, he called me and threw a going-away party for me and we stayed friends and I gradually got over my feelings. Mentally blowing his negative qualities out of proportion for a while helped dull the sting. That was over two years ago. I unexpectedly shed a couple of tears the other day when I saw his new girlfriend is pregnant, though, but then I got over it. Better her than me.

Kitty

@whateverlolawants UGH. It IS "bullshit"... He wants nothing more than to be friends (I have asked)... no dating seriously. I can not handle that. You and Jim are better people than me because I am not capable of just picking pumpkins.

BoozinSusan

Also, I love Jim Behrle, but I'm laughing at those pumpkins in the picture. They look like ghosts with horns, or maybe Roman helmets. (I say this with only the most affection).

fondue with cheddar

@BoozinSusan Yeah, I thought they looked like Pac-Man ghosts!

Sarah Coe@twitter

@BoozinSusan Yesssss.... The figures are so well drawn but what of the Ghosts-from-Pac-Man-like pumpkins?!

fondue with cheddar

Sometimes you can be friends and sometimes you can't. HEY GUESS WHAT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

SarahP

@fondue with cheddar Shh, don't tell Science.

BoozinSusan

@SarahP This wasn't necessarily science. It was just a bunch of horny college kids. ...right? 0_0

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar I feel this is the time to tell everyone that I can't be friends with anyone, as I will likely fall in love with each and every one of you at some point. Sorry. Deal with it.

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I LOVE YOU TOO I AM OKAY WITH THIS

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar Yesssss. It's all going according to plan....

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Is this going to turn into another 'Pinners group makeout session thread?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar Probably. Just go with it.

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That's the right attitude. LET YOUR MIND GO AND YOUR BODY WILL FOLLOW

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@fondue with cheddar Let me not drive. KISS HER AGAIN

fondue with cheddar

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I LOVE THAT MOVIEEEEE

rathermarvelous

"I’d much prefer to date someone who had been my friend first. Much like I’d like to drive a car for a few years before I ever have to start to pay for it."

YES.

all the bacon and eggs

Apologies if this is already addressed upthread, but it seems significant that the study used undergraduate college students. I don't find it surprising that a bunch of 19 year old boys thought of every woman as a potential sex partner, but I wouldn't assume that all men harbor such delusions.

fondue with cheddar

@all the bacon and eggs BINGO.

acid burn

@all the bacon and eggs I laughed out loud when I saw that the study was on undergrads. I feel like the article should have concluded with "DUH!"

ThatWench

@all the bacon and eggs That is a very valid point about a problem, but it's not even "my" problem with it. My problem is that the article was written as "this unexpressed attraction invalidates the friendship! It is no longer a "pure" friendship because there is some attraction!"

When I think the point many of us are trying to make is that there can be some degree of hormonal feelings for some people and *still* be a really great friendship!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@ThatWench
Except this!:

"Males were significantly more likely than females to list romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, and this discrepancy increased as men aged—males on the younger end of the spectrum were four times more likely than females to report romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, whereas those on the older end of the spectrum were ten times more likely to do the same."

I'm not sure what to make of it!

Dove

@all the bacon and eggs YES! The entire time I was reading that article this was annoying me. Being friends with the opposite sex when you have recently been thrown into a huge new pool of people, are exploring the world of adult relationships, and have likely just left home for the first time? A little different than having an adult friendship with a member of the opposite sex.
Also, I hate it when articles like this imply that my male friends are all secretly into me even if I am not interested in them and I'm SURE they feel the same. Nope! Sorry! They want you! It doesn't matter how sure you are! Yuck...

acid burn

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Although, the "older end of the spectrum" were still college students, right? My anecdotal/gut/hopeful feeling is that after dudes get into the real world they tend to calm down with that kind of nonsense, but who even knows.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@acid burn
If the entire spectrum was college students, yeah, that would change things. I didn't really read it carefully!

MilesofMountains

@acid burn No, for that section the older group was 27-55, the younger group was <23 years old.

queenofbithynia

@all the bacon and eggs also I am not surprised that in what sounds like face-to-face interviews with scientists ("scientists") a bunch of young college women did not feel like being fully transparent and forthcoming about their secret lusts and their opinions of the opinions of their friends' loins.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@queenofbithynia
I kind of love this article about the decline effect because, after reading it, you can be all like, "oh, well, they just got that result because that's what they were looking for," and never worry about science again!

snowmentality

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll The original study's discussion says "The effect of age on attraction, in other words, was stronger for men than for women […], so much so that middle-aged men and women did not differ significantly in attraction to their cross-sex friend."

It looks like, of those who were attracted to their friend, more dudes thought it was a good thing and more ladies thought it was a bad thing. But as people got older, they felt less attraction to their opposite-sex friend in the first place. And the difference in attraction between men and women dropped off to basically zero as people got older.

There could be a whole lot of interpretations of these data depending on what cross-sections you look at. But as a Very Nearly Real Scientist (ABD), I'm comfortable in saying that the data do not prove that men and women can't be just friends, no matter what Scientific American thinks.

255
255

@all the bacon and eggs Any study and it seems ALL OF THEM DO that use college students are immediately irrelevant. Who do studies do this??

Amphora

@255 Easier and cheaper to use a captive population than go to the effort of interviewing a fully randomized section of humanity.

Megasus

@255 Because the studies are already taking place on campus and undergrads will do anything for cash?

255
255

@Megano! @Amphora Ha ha I do actually know literally why, I mean it as in WHY HUMANITY WHY? It makes the study irrelevant to me. Sorry, I rushed that comment.

baked bean

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll
Yeah I call BS on this. College students! Meeting new people! Shit. Almost everyone's single freshman year, they're trying to balance meeting new friends and meeting sexual partners, and hoping those friends will turn into partners.

When I started college I wanted like, every boy I was friends with. I was desperate as fuck. Now (3.5 years later) I don't have but a couple of (real) male friends because I got over that and got over them.

sintaxis

So imagine you go to dinner with a friend and he's all "try the steak" and you say, "no thanks, I'm a vegetarian". He says, "That's cool" and then drops the subject.

Later, he talks to you about how great he thinks steak would be for you, but that there's "no pressure" and that it's really up to you. You don't have to eat steak unless you want to, but maybe that steak is better for you than those veggies. Who knows, he is just wondering, and that's OK.

Fast forward some more, again, he thinks, "You know, I value your friendship, but I think you'd be happier if you ate steak". You are still a vegetarian, but he has so much fun eating steak around you and you have so much fun even though he's eating steak. Maybe you should try the steak.

Maybe he saw you try a few pieces of chicken once upon a time, so the door's open to getting you to eat a whole Porterhouse. I mean, you don't have to eat steak if you don't want to, but hey, he's just a guy, telling you directly and indirectly that someday maybe you'll finally come around to steak- but, no, don't worry he's not trying to say that you're wrong about your own feelings about steak... just that steak's really great, you know?

Then maybe an article on the internet comes out about men and women and eating steak and how men generally feel that everyone loves steak, so he writes a 1,000 word essay on how great steak is for you even though you are a vegetarian. So he writes this thing about steak in a shrugging, passive tone about how, hey, maybe, you really SHOULD eat steak. That is, only if you wanna.

Reginal T. Squirge

You're talking about Chasing Amy, right?

Anna Jayne@twitter

@sintaxis you are rad.

evil melis

@Reginal T. Squirge If you yell at someone long enough in the rain, they will love you.

wee_ramekin

@evil melis

.... .. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . .. . . . .
MELIS
.. . . . .... . . . .
.... .. . . . . . . . . <--- (that is raindrops)
. . . . . . . . . .
MELIS, MY TITIAN-HAIRED
POCKET WITCH
.. . . . .... . . . .
.... .. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . ...
. . . .... . . . .
.... .. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
MELIIIIIIIIIIS

evil melis

REGULAR MELIS ISN'T HERE THERE IS ONLY ME

Dirty Hands

@wee_ramekin I want this relationship for you as much as you do.

LMac

@sintaxis Perfect.

Jay Green

@sintaxis YES thank you for summing up all my feelings about this weird little piece YES

Gloria

This piece is so honest and warm that I think any lady would be very lucky to be Mr. Behrle's friend and/or lover.

fondue with cheddar

Dudes, just don't be that guy who forces yourself upon a woman who just wants to be friends, okay? Thank you.

(Not that any of you are That Guy, natch.)

lindsayishere

"There’s sometimes a weird moment when you’re taking the F train and I’m taking the J train when we try to figure out if we’re going to hug or shake hands or high five or run away to France together."

Ohmygod, that. This has happened many times, with many dudes. Sometimes it's unexpectedly weird. Sometimes I'm thinking, "Please don't like me." And sometimes it's the roles reversed, with this one in particular, who come on, he has to know, and it's totally fine that nothing will happen, but there's still this lingering undercurrent of what-if. Oof.

agreenballoon

WE Objects Also have These Feelings! But maybe we're socialized not to express them?
Also this describes every relationship I've ever had with pre-totally-Out ladies.
Dream life would be to live in a house with all of these romance/friend-mance objects and they'd totally get along but in a hilarious and adorable way. I think 90s sitcoms have ruined me for Real Life.

Danzig!

@agreenballoon Yeah one thing I wondered was "what about The Gays?" like I was reading retrospectives on gay NYC subculture in the 1970s and how freely sexual a lot of dudes were, just having no-strings sex whenever with whoever and being all NBD about it, sex was a joyous part of gay life. Did those dudes just... not have friends? Were they ONLY friends with women? Or is this study just stupidly narrow and fraught with gendered presumptions?

On a sidenote studies like this rile me largely because I feel like I'm much better friends with women than I am with men, for a number of reasons not the least of which is lingering fear, and if I can't be friends w/ women then hell, I can't be friends w/ anyone.

snowmentality

@Danzig! They specifically de-gayed the part of this study where they interviewed pairs of male/female friends -- "The research participation sign-up sheet requested that participants be traditional college students of heterosexual orientation and that they bring to their session a friend of the opposite sex who was neither from class nor a family member or romantic partner (participants’ responses on the study questionnaire confirmed that no friendship pairs were dating)" (quoted from the original study).

So, absolutely no idea how non-heterosexuality affects anything.

Danzig!

@snowmentality I didn't catch that! Maybe we'll get that particular study in the future.

agreenballoon

@Danzig!
Personally, I think the stereotype tends toward queer-identified folks (esp ladies? but dudes I know also fit this mold?)staying bffs with exes, friends of exes, just bc the dating pool is supposedly smaller. I've found this to hold pretty true in my real life, but I'm just a small sample population.

ayo nicole

I am friends with the wrong guys.

Bittersweet

Junior Woodchuck Boyfriend! Junior Woodchuck Boyfriend? Junior Woodchuck Boyfriend.

Slutface

I wish I had friends.

Danzig!

@Slutface come on over to NYC, we'll play Settlers of Catan and smoke weed. We won't listen to Rush though, that's the only rule.

redheaded&crazy

@Danzig! I really want to invite myself to this party. Can I come?

Danzig!

@redheaded&crazie Of course! BYOB

runner in the garden

@Danzig! Can we play Rock Band? (if we promise not to play Rush Rock band)

Danzig!

@runner in the garden Yeah! I'll play bass

MilesofMountains

Can I talk once again about the terrible science journalism in that article? They make it sound like most of the guys were absolutely pining over their friends, when out of a 9 point scale, the average desire to date their friend was below 5, and the attractiveness rating was similar. Basically, when asked the men said "meh" and the women said "meh, probably not" and what the writer of that article got from this is "sexual attraction everywhere!!!"

MilesofMountains

@MilesofMountains And I'm more annoyed at the similar number of guys who claimed that being friends with women is such a drain of time and effort, and that over twice as many said women friends created too much drama and stress.

themmases

I actually really enjoyed Jim's piece, but re. the original article: I find it so interesting that whenever we get "proof" men tend to hope for more, that means the men are right and the whole relationship really is not "just friends" and is actually complicated and sexual and fraught. Even though obviously in these pairs, they present as just friends, they're doing a silly (poorly designed sounding) study together officially just as friends, and there is no obvious romantic entanglement, so the clear answer is that the women are right and, right now at least, they are just friends.

If I'm just friends with a man who secretly has feelings for me, that is his private problem, and the options are a) I'm right and too bad, we're still just friends, or b) how sad, I was wrong and we are no longer friends at all because dude can't act right. Sorry to be a downer, but only in a rape culture do some dude's private, wishful feelings get to redefine an entire relationship over my public, accurate ones.

Mira

@themmases You just articulated this whole problem so much better than I could have, I wish I could give you All the Thumbs Up!

redheaded&crazy

@themmases OOH I like this response. My favourite so far re: dealing with dudes you think might like you but aren't really sure but the evidence is kinda overwhelming but they have never actually said anything so you can't shut it down without being presumptuous. it's their problem!

Same goes for, if I like a dude, it's my problem! I can either do something about it, or not do something about it, but both of those actions/non-actions are CHOICES that I am making. Because it is my problem.

MilesofMountains

@themmases Thumbs up to everything you said, seriously.

I would also like to point out that a drawback of opposite-sex friends that was of concern to both men and women was that others believe there is something romantic going on in their relationship when there isn't. So basically, that whole article/study, right there.

aphrabean

@themmases Bless you.

wee_ramekin

@themmases thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouTHANKYOU

charmcity

@themmases Let's be friends.

jule_b_sorry

@themmases It makes me kind of sad to think about, b/c I used to have quite a few male friends. And then I stopped hanging out with most of them, because sometimes we'd be JUST HANGING OUT with each other, and they'd COMPLETELY OUT OF NOWHERE lean in and start kissing me. And when I reacted with "Whoa! Where did that come from?" they looked shocked and said something to the effect of "oh, c'mon, you couldn't feel that tension between us? It was so strong!" (when I would hav ebeen thinking more about ice cream, or ponies, or what my boyfriend was up to). And then they all basically gaslit me about the fact that I must have also desperately wanted to kiss them and was in deep denial of my true feelings. Despite anything I assured to the contrary.

I do not really have an male friends anymore b/c I hated dealing with this. So, long story short, this article did not do anything but make me grimly nod and think, "See? I KNEW guys project that shit!" Sigh.

Inconceivable!

@themmases I think this is the most insightful thing I've ever read on this subject.

themmases

@all Wow, thank you! I think this is the first I've been able to articulate why it bugs me so much, so I'm glad (well, not glad) it wasn't just a shot in the dark.

@jule_b_sorry I have had that happen with guys and have even had them do the thing Jim mentioned where they somehow assume my boyfriend is a bad boyfriend and I'm not being treated well. I haven't sworn off guy friends all together (although I do have mostly women friends now, or guy friends I know through my boyfriend or who are the partners of my lady friends) but to this day there are guys in my friend groups that I just keep my distance from over this crap.

zdravo

@themmases WORRRRRD. "only in a rape culture do some dude's private, wishful feelings get to redefine an entire relationship over my public, accurate ones." yes.

I'm Not Rufus

I was curious, so I looked up the actual study. Subjects evaluated their attraction on a 9-point scale. The mean of self-reported attraction to friend was 4.94 for males (SD of 2.49) and 3.97 (SD of 2.14) for females. Self-reported desire to date friend was 4.55 (2.41) for males and 3.90 (2.54) for females.

I think this is about what I would have expected. There's a difference, but it's really not all that big. And it definitely does not suggest that it's impossible for men and women to be friends.

Ok, sorry for being the Wet Blanket of Science, you can go back to jokes now.

SouthernSatine

@I'm Not Rufus No. Thank you. I did the same thing. Just because the means of what people rate on a Likert scale are statistically significant doesn't necessarily mean that there are actually, pragmatic differences in the ways that these people act.

Also, let's not forget the specifics of this sample - 88 undergraduate mixed-sex friendship dyads. College kids at a state school in the Midwest. College is a very sexually charged atmosphere. I suspect that these differences would be significantly smaller if you replicated the study with a community sample of actual adults and not "emerging adults."

/socialpsychnerd

MilesofMountains

@I'm Not Rufus Yeah, the difference wasn't that big, and in the end neither gender was really that into their opposite-gender friends, which is supported by the other literature they quote in which a maximum of 50% of people were attracted to their opposite sex friend, and that percentage drops once you specify "opposite friends you are not currently dating".

Old Greggette

Jim, I would like to pick pumpkins this weekend with you. Let's do it.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@Old Greggette ok. But I have to help a friend move, too.

rora

ESID (every situation is different)

wee_ramekin

"....even if you are interested in more handsome men who might treat you badly."

Aaaaaand even Jim Behrle has gotta throw in just a smidge of Nice Guy™ in an otherwise charming article.

Why is it an assumption among Teh Menz that a more attractive dude is going to treat Teh Ladeez badly? And why is there always the implication that we are too stupid to weigh the two categories ("Hotness" and "How He Treats Me") and come up with a balance that works for us?

redheaded&crazy

@wee_ramekin Preach girl. Seriously of the last two guys I dated, the more conventionally good looking one treated me FAR. FAR. FUCKING. BETTER than the less conventionally good looking one. (who nevertheless attempted to impress upon me the delusional line of thinking that I would never find anybody to treat me better than he did)

eta: anecdotal data of two dudes wins the day. My science is sound bitches!!!

evil melis

@wee_ramekin Poppet, trust that Jim Behrle is playfully and cheekily tweaking that particular little nugget of culture and not blindly accepting it! YOU CAN TRUST HIM. Relax in the strong arms of his comedy.

wee_ramekin

@redheaded&crazie Here's some more anecdotal evidence: the two hottest guys I ever dated (both of whom were so conventionally good-looking that it made my head spin) were also both incredibly sweet, honorable fellows who treated me well.

I just get sick of this shitty, superficial rhetoric that occurs every.fucking.time. in discussions about male/female friendship. The end result is that we make women out to be these dumb creatures who are willing to toss respectful treatment of themselves out the window because some dude is hot. C'mon, people. Think hard about that one. Are we really going to make that generalization?

@evil melis I sure hope he's kidding! I don't know him well enough to trust him, but since you called me "poppet" (hee! i love that term), I will consider it.

redheaded&crazy

@evil melis Not fair, you KNOW I have a thing for strong arms.

evil melis

@redheaded&crazie RIDE THE PIGEON OF HIS SOFT AND SUBTLE HUMOR TO SOMEWHERE YOU FEEL SAFE

redheaded&crazy

@evil melis If the point being made here is that some humour is too subtle for me to get, well ... it pretty much went sailing over my head. so yes. I will ride that pigeon thank you very much!

Springtime for Voldemort

@wee_ramekin I once got into this fight with a guy who was a fan of this theory. Luckily, a male friend came over and started backing me up that, no, this is total shit. I somehow couldn't quite actually say that while Sexist Pig was by far the hotter of the two men, it was Male Friend that I was almost entirely sure would never rape me or whatever. I have rather purposefully avoided Hot Sexist Pig since this fight.

auxamandes

@wee_ramekin ja, this. if anything, in my *personal experience*, the less-attractive guys have a nasty "i hate women. they are superficial and don't like ME and owe me sex" side that comes out. while sadly, the more-attractive guys are a little less bitter, and more secure and decent? most madly attractive guy i could not believe was attracted to me...turned out to be the nicest! less attractive guy i had a friend-connection with, said 'what the hell' and made out with and tried to leave it at that when there were no fireworks...creepy CREEPY nasty reaction.

Anna Jayne@twitter

No one gets "sent" to the Friend Zone. People send themselves to the Friend Zone so they can feel okay about being rejected. The jerks just stay there, stewing about how nice they are and how if THAT PERSON COULD ONLY SEE HOW GREAT I AM they would change their mind. The non-jerks realize that attraction is complicated and are happy to be this cool person's friend.

Hollye

@Anna Jayne@twitter Yes this I love.

Danzig!

@Anna Jayne@twitter I hear all types of boys complaining about this "friend zone" but how come we never hear of nice guys being sent to the Twilight Zone?? Much bigger problem imo

Danzig!

@Anna Jayne@twitter Like I'm putting all this investment into a relationship with a girl expecting I'll get a little something out of it, right? Then all of a sudden I'm alone in a town full of life-sized dolls and I can never leave. Not cool, Trisha. Not cool at all. You can't seriously expect me to hone my Game on this doll standing motionless behind the counter of the town laundromat

Reginal T. Squirge

And then it turns out that YOU ARE THE FRIEND ZONE!

Danzig!

@Reginal T. Squirge Twist!

Anna Jayne@twitter

@Danzig! I did once send a guy to a planet where a giant Agnes Moorehead tried to kill him.

Danzig!

@Anna Jayne@twitter you must be one of those "feminists" I hear so much about on Reddit

LMac

@Anna Jayne@twitter Word infinity, my friend.

Amphora

@Anna Jayne@twitter Someone once summed the "friendzone" issue up nicely by saying that it ignores the fact that women have preferences.

BoozinSusan

Actually, random, but I think New Girl handled this rather well in one of their recent episodes. People start telling Schmidt that, in the wake of her breakup, Jess has been treating him as a "fluffer" (a pseudo-boyfriend who will do any errands/favors for her without the "benefit" of any romance or sex) - they say Jess is just using him. Funnily enough - and relevant to another Hairpin post today - it finally comes to a head over whether he'll construct her Ikea dresser for her.
Anyway, point is, at the end he tells Jess, I do these things for you because I'm your friend and I enjoy helping you, and I don't care what Society thinks of our relationship.
Guys, let's not let an article about a bunch of college kids tell us whether or not we can have real friendships with people of the opposite sex, without sex getting in the way. Friendships with these people are complicated because most human relationships are complicated. It's okay.

Sam I am

@BoozinSusan Yes, i liked the way they wrapped up that episode too (but it was Nick, not Schmidt - Schmidt is her roomie who had dated her model friend).

BoozinSusan

@Sam I am Oh, whoops!

iceberg

@BoozinSusan it was Nick, but also Nick and Jess definitely want to bone each other on some level. but yes.

Annie Murphy@facebook

Yes, but I still feel guilty for sleeping with your best friend.

Beatrix Kiddo

Jim, will you make out with me?

Jim Behrle@twitter

@Beatrix Kiddo Will you make out with me?

Danzig!

@Jim Behrle@twitter I'm available. I'm on the M/L, hit me up

Jim Behrle@twitter

@Beatrix Kiddo I'll be at the Hairpin Holiday Party dressed as Santa. Although I must say I'm not too sure how seriously I should take people who flirt with me in Hairpin Comment Fields. I actually emailed Mallory Ortberg after I thought she was flirting with me twice in comment fields but then I guess that kinda went nowhere. Sigh.

Danzig!

@Jim Behrle@twitter A heartbreaker, that one

evil melis

@Jim Behrle@twitter JIM I'M SORRY JIM

you deserve better than me Jim

my he was yar

Beatrix Kiddo

@Jim Behrle@twitter I'm actually not available, but this essay really made me want to make out with you and/or be your friend. There's a Hairpin holiday party?

Jim Behrle@twitter

@Danzig! I'm writing a Taylor Swift song all about it

Megasus

@Jim Behrle@twitter I sent Melis the GREATEST LOVE LETTER EVER WRITTEN and we're not married yet, the hussy!*

*Note: I do not actually think Melis is a hussy

Danzig!

I'm just gonna get something off my chest here for a minute, my apologies in advance for the length.

Danzig!

Dear ,

I was awfully deprived before I met you. It was the majority of my life, but I can scarcely remember it, so different was I. I had been convinced – by therapists, by the touch of my molester, by my parents through their chilly distance, if not their words – that I was a terrible, disfigured thing, incapable of love or intimacy. I lived in and by myself but I wanted what other people had so badly, their ease and closeness with each other. I resigned myself to numbness for many years.

I remember it was getting warm outside and a pushy college classmate of mine cornered me into helping out on one of her projects. I showed up with my shitty Nikon and there you were, with yours. I remember that we laughed because our hair was so similar. We grumbled together at the ridiculousness of the project and its lead. The day ended and we parted. I thought about your glasses.
When it got cold again that year I became lonely, as I always do, and instead of going home to my chilly family I would go to the coffee shop on the corner of campus and listen to Deerhunter, and try to stave off my sadness. I remember that you came in and we smiled and you invited me over to your table and we chatted. The conversation dropped off but you let me stay and watch you draw. I had never known a true artist before and it filled me with wonder. It still does, you still do. I saw you often there. I realized that when you weren’t there, I missed you.

I think it was one night when I was looking for another thing to do besides go home, and I went to a poetry reading, one of those slams that white kids in undergrad love so much, and your girlfriend at the time was reading, and you waved at me and I waved back. After the performance she and I and you walked together around downtown, talking about poetry and life. While I was droning on about how sad mine was, we rounded a street corner and you reached over and you pecked my cheek, like it was nothing, and you wrapped your arm around mine and held my hand and we walked back to my car. I don’t remember anyone ever being that close to me before, in a way that felt good and wholesome and nourishing. I felt all of a sudden like I was in a dream. I still feel the tightness of your fingers around mine, so solid and so wonderful.

You stayed in my life, and we learned about one another, and I changed into a better person, a more whole person. I told you I loved you one day and you didn’t hesitate to tell me you loved me back and I had never known such happiness as I felt then. I love you so much. The love I have for you is so powerful that it gets into everything, the way my revulsion toward myself used to. Whenever I see you everything around us glows with it, it sloughs off of me in great waves. Someday far in the future, some kids will meet one another where we have walked together, and the love they start to feel will be the child of the love I have for you. It humbles me every day.

The question of friendship in the face of such love baffles me. Do I love you in that way? I feel like I could lay at your feet forever and never want for anything, so yes, probably. My imagination has vividly posited the thought of your lips against mine. I may have written poetry for you late at night, and I’m the furthest thing from a poet. But of course I feel these things. To know you as well as I do, the man who still doubts whether he can really know anyone, and not love you so intensely is absolutely impossible, you wonderful thing. And honestly, we would make a terrible couple. At my best I am too staid, at your best you are still given to boredom. But I need you in my life, surely. Does it matter what inconvenient thoughts I have, when I am so far away from anyone? It does not trouble me, nor should it trouble you. You are the best friend I have ever had and I intend to keep it that way.

There is no One for me. I will find and love another woman just as much as I love you, maybe more. But if I do it’s because I was taught how, by you. There is special room in my heart, always. If I have a daughter, she will have your name, because she can only enrich my life as much as you have.

Love always,

wee_ramekin

@Danzig! That...is lovely.

Danzig!

@wee_ramekin what were you gonna type before? ;)

wee_ramekin

@Danzig! Nothing different; just that. When something makes me feel verklempt, I often get pause-y in my verbal reactions. :)

Decca

@wee_ramekin Very verklempt. That was lovely, Danzig.

Danzig!

@Decca She is a lovely woman :]

Danzig!

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Ehhh, I'm okay ;]

baked bean

@Danzig! God, I wanna be friends with both of you! It must be amazing.

Danzig!

@baked bean It's quite mundane I assure you :) We have been through some harrowing things together over a period of years, leaned on one another for affection and support, and we both recognized a need in one another that we could fill. We are very alike in many ways (which is part of why we would be so bad as romantic partners).

I hear people I'm fond of lament the lack of intimacy in their lives and I figure what She and I have is very much that thing. Sometimes we'll sit and she'll just run her fingers through my fine, soft hair, and even though we tell each other how much we love one another I feel the fact of that love, truly, when she does that. Touch is the language of love. Once we had been drinking some and I was feeling blue, and she took my face in her hands and looked into my eyes and recited "If" by Kipling from memory. It didn't really apply to the sitch and she was giggling drunk, but she was expressing her love and her hopes for me, and it lifted me up.

I feel safe with her, and happy and secure in myself, and she knows she is safe with me. There is nothing that can hurt me that she can't heal (well, there is the molestation, but she makes it not hurt, even when it persists). She lives across the country now but we make sure to talk and her voice on the line invigorates me. I become warm and I beam no matter what I felt when I picked up the phone. We make plans (and rarely keep them) but I know I will see her whenever I am able. The knowledge of her existence is a balm on my heart.

You will have someone like that, you may already have someone like that :) A lover or a sibling or just a friend, like my Sweet Woman. If you are a lonely person it will be as though you have stepped out into the sun for the first time.

Sarah Coe@twitter

@Danzig! Thank you for bravely sharing a piece of your story. This is an act of love, not just to the object of your affection and this letter, but to those like you who have felt as a "terrible, disfigured thing, incapable of love or intimacy". How generous to reveal in order that we might see that wholeness and love are possible in contrast to our terrible pasts.

whateverlolawants

@Danzig! I know this is a week old, but I just re-read this thread and really felt warmed by what you wrote. It reminds me of one special friend of mine. He's actually my ex from many years ago, but that part isn't really important anymore. (He even has fine, long hair that I wish I could still touch, but since we were a couple once, I don't, out of respect for boundaries relevant to us.) He's a dear friend.

He once drew a picture of what he wanted his life to look like, a few years after we'd broken up, and I was in it, as was his best male friend and a few others. I think there was a wife in the drawing too, and a house in the country. It made me really happy to hear about. He, too, would probably call himself staid, and I am starry-eyed and slightly frenetic, but we can talk for hours every few months and include just the right few words that the other needed to hear. I'm glad I have him. I'm glad you have your Sweet Woman.

Danzig!

@whateverlolawants thank you :) has he shown you his drawing?

whateverlolawants

@Danzig! Aww, I wish he had. I don't know if he still has it. I may ask.

jule_b_sorry

This is where I believe Blue Valentine had it right - contrary to popular belief, men are more romantic than women. Because they're more romantic, they also project that onto the women around them, thinking, we're feeling the same way, all "oh, she wants me"...and BOOM, we get the habit of men telling ladies that "all you women want is romance and love" when in fact, we're thinking "Hey, I wonder if he wants to split that chocobrownie sundae b/c it's too big for one person."

Most women I know are pretty pragmatic about settling down with a guy, kids, and/or career, whereas almost every guy around my age right now seems to be starry-eyed and thinking of nothing but finding that perfect girl, getting married, and having her get to having his babies (and being surprised when the woman he's set his sights on might have other plans than gleefully accepting the wonderful magic gift of DOMESTIC LURVE that he wants to bestow upon her).

Sorry, got off on a bit of a rant there.

baked bean

@jule_b_sorry
Yeah, I mean, I struggle with pointing out differences in men and women, but yeah, all the dudes I am friends with/have been on dates with/dated have been more romantic-minded than my female friends.
BUT, I also wonder if the females I click with are like that, and the men I click with are just nice dudes.

Anyway, my bf is way more romantic than I am. This freaks me out sometimes. And he super loves it when I say cheesey sappy things to him, more so than vice verse.

THE WORLD IS SO BACKWARDS FROM WHAT WE THINK!

klemay

If what this study says is true, one of two things is also true. Either:

A) I am somehow weird and defunct and incredibly undesirable (because none of my guy friends is currently in love with me)

or

B) I am SO OBLIVIOUS to the feelings of men that I have been friends with for 5+ years that I just can't see how in love with my they are.

I have a hard time believing either.

wee_ramekin

@klemay

Hey, didn't you get the memo? Your XX chromosomal make-up renders your Lived Experiences moot.

<3,

Science

leonstj

Why would I want to date a woman who's lame enough to be hanging out w/ me?

(JOKE THIEVERY)

Danzig!

@leon s booo BOOOO

Donovan Gentry@twitter

My own version of this is that I just don't like to remove people in my "friends" list from the "people I'd like to makeout with" list. I am open to possibilities! "I'd like to make out, if you wanted to" is not the same as "I WANT TO MAKEOUT WITH YOU, IT IS THE SOLE REASON I SEEK YOUR COMPANY". Also I guess I do limit my makeouts because I have a girlfriend and we are committed to making out with only each other, but that doesn't shut off my ability to find other people attractive.

Or maybe I am some kind of monster.

TARDIStime

@Donovan Gentry@twitter
You just said the things that I have been thinking in my brain.
Thanks!

shantasybaby

Now, I believe plenty of men and women can be friends and not feel romantic enough to actually admit or act upon it but it's pretty common for everyone to think of anyone of the gender(s)-they're- -attracted-to sexually (if only for a moment), right? Is that just me and my husband? Because, like, if there is a guy who is a) similiar in age b)fairly attractive c)I spend enough time around time around them I will eventually start to wonder what they're packin', are they freaky or vanilla? are they attracted to me? And, well, my husband will just straight up tell me what he's thinnking about various lady acquaintances (because I think it's kind of hot.) I don't think there's a lady he's ever been acquanted with who hasn't at some point thought of with lust in his heart. Are we just totally cray?

Donovan Gentry@twitter

@shantasybaby Not cray. This is in-line with my experience 100%

Danzig!

@shantasybaby Nope!

zdravo

@shantasybaby not cray; you are in fact doing it right.

Oh, squiggles

I just want to love everybody all the time, always. Sometimes I fail at that, but every day I try. And this helped me feel that way, that I could love everybody. So thanks for that.

Also, I kind of fall in love with all of my friends. Even the ones who are not a gender I am attracted to. This isn't normal?

Velvet Foster@facebook

My name is velvet foster I am from Florida my Testimony goes to mojo spiritual temple, Me and my ex breakup 4 months ago and he told me that he don’t love me any more and went to be with another Girl’s was still in love with him and need her back I try to get him back but all my effort was in vain until I reach out to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of a spell caster, I decided to give it a try and I contacted him and tell him my problem. He cast a love spell for me and guarantee me of three days that my ex will come back to me and to my greatest surprise my ex come back to me and beg for forgiveness and promise never to live me again, I am so happy my ex is back to me again, thank you ultimate Dr mojo Paul for reuniting me and my ex back together again. If you need him to help you Email mojospiritualtemple@yahoo.com

Feminist Killjoy

@Velvet Foster@facebook WELL I'M CONVINCED.

Boopsy

You guys!! But what about the boys that you date that have female friends they hang out with? I try to be the non-jealous, easy-going, WATEVZ type but I'm currently stumbling my way into my first actual relationship in like, five years... Am I supposed to get all disapproving now if he hangs out with his lady friends?

Boopsy

@Boopsy Oh but more importantly, this was a lovely article, Jim!

Danzig!

@Boopsy Nooooooooooo no no! Relax! Asking to change someone's friend group because you're in a relationship with them now is Bad News Red Flag city.

If a woman I dated asked me to mitigate my time or my feelings for the woman I wrote of above, I would not date her anymore.

Sarah Coe@twitter

Clearly I've held my standards way too low in both romantic and platonic male company. Nice to see you are unapologetic about being a nice guy. From where I sit, there is a shortage.

Elise Marie

Ohh Jim Behrle, will you be my platonic friend? And maybe we'll be attracted to each other, maybe not, but whatever happens happens? I loved this piece. Thank you.

Hailey Bachrach@facebook

So relieved to see that some other people find this article rather icky...

Jim Behrle@twitter

@Hailey Bachrach@facebook Yeah, me too

Cha dTuigim

@Hailey Bachrach@facebook Yeah.

Niko Bellic

Last night, after my weekly soccer game, I went out with some of the guys and talked about politics, economy, and life in New York over a couple of beers. I think someone should be paid to do a study to show that if you can talk to someone and have a beer with them, you can't just play soccer with them. Sooner or later you'll end up having that beer and that talk, and then it will no longer be "just soccer". Am I right, or am I right?

wearitcounts

jim behrle i want to pick pumpkins and hold hands with you. and i am a red sox fan and i would still invite you over even if you pitched lousy for them.

ehhh. well. let's not get carried away.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@wearitcounts how do you feel about "Sweet Caroline?"

wearitcounts

@Jim Behrle@twitter conceptually, i find it a little creepy. i'm a lot more into "tessie."

Jim Behrle@twitter

@wearitcounts And would you trade Jacoby in a package for Felix Hernandez?

wearitcounts

@Jim Behrle@twitter yes. yes i would.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@wearitcounts I like you

wearitcounts

@Jim Behrle@twitter yay! i like you!

another fun baseball fact about me: i was on the green monster for jon lester's 2008 no-hitter. best. night. EVER.

Jim Behrle@twitter

@wearitcounts I am falling for you now

wearitcounts

@Jim Behrle@twitter that's obviously because of Science.

i wanted to compliment you on your football haikus and post an image regarding tom brady here but i'm actually kind of terrible at the internet and couldn't make it work but it was a Leave It To Beaver black and white photo where the kid was all "dad, what's an interception?" and the dad was like, "i'm not really sure son, we're tom brady fans" and i thought you would really appreciate it so A POX on my limited wordpress prowess.

HOWEVER without inserting an image i CAN tell you that i'm planning on rehashing a halloween costume this year of thigh-high black boots and a nightgown with my sox jersey thrown over it and telling everybody i'm "fantasy baseball." good, no?

Jim Behrle@twitter

@wearitcounts you are possibly my soulmate. e-mail me at behrle at catholic dot org

Matt@twitter

Virtually all of my best friends are women, and I only kinda wanna sleep with one. I'm constantly wondering if I'm doing life wrong because of it.

Eh. Fuck science, man.

whateverlolawants

@Matt@twitter Sounds like you're doing life just fine (based on one sentence, of course.)

Bad.Uncle

Fortunately, when you get to a certain age, your penis stops making most of your acquaintances. So it is possible to be "just friends." Really. I mean it. You can just sleep here with me, and I won't touch you.

Iron and Whine

I think the fact this study used undergrads should disqualify it from being taken seriously. I'm a guy in my thirties and I've managed to cultivate adult friendships with women without wanting to bone them, and vice versa.

That being said, there was one girl a few years ago who was one of my closest friends for several years. I thought she was about the coolest person I knew, but she was in a serious relationship the first five years I knew her, and by the time she was single I was of the opinion that we would not make a very good couple - we were a little too much alike personality-wise, and we were not really each other's type. It would have been like wanting to date my sister-in-law.

Then a couple of years went by and we got to be so close (the talk-every-day-no-matter-who-else-we-were-with type of close) that I fell in love with her. She wanted no part of a relationship with me, wouldn't even consider it. It wrecked our friendship completely. Broke my heart. Another four years go by, and this summer we were back in touch again, and she told me she had just gotten re-married (first hubby was the five-year relationship she was in when I first knew her). And though it had been a few years, this came about at a bad time in my life and so broke my heart all over again.

We tried to reconcile as friends anyway and couldn't do it. She told me just trading emails about what happened a few years ago brought back some of the same guilt and anxiety she felt when we first went our separate ways. Even after all this time, she couldn't even acknowledge what had happened.

Moral of the story: men and women can be friends. But when they can't, it can punch you in the crotch as hard as any break-up.

Cha dTuigim

You know, I have many many female friends and acquaintances. And yeah, you know what, with a lot of them, even ones I behave largely older-brother with (I am an excellent older brother, maybe not such a fantastic boyfriend), I am at least somewhat attracted to them. But while that, mixed with a general appreciation for them and who they are, may be why I'm there, I'm so totally not just holding out for something 'more' to happen. That's creepy, and awkward, and even if they don't know that's what you're doing, YOU know that's what you're doing, and blah... I have opinions on this.

ijs
ijs

So men and women can't be friends because one or both is attracted to the other, and women and women can't be friends because one or both is in competition with the other. What about men and men? I think most friendships would come apart if studied. Ideal friendship doesn't exist.

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Nonetheless, men have no choice but to keep their relationship as just friends. It means the guy you know doesn't have to be your boyfriend. He is just your companion. In order to keep your relationship, you have got to make it platonic. eric judor drogue

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