Hooking Up with Friends - An Beginner's Primer
January 2, 2013 1:46 PM Subscribe
I have a lot of female friends. Lately, a number of them have begun giving me romantic vibes. I have never dated a friend in my entire life - I have often become
friends with people I dated, but never the other way around. How do I pursue this type of thing? (Snowflake details inside.)
posted by wolfdreams01 to Human Relations (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I should start by telling you that romantically, I'm generally as cold as ice. Usually when I date, I don't have any feelings at all for the other person for the first couple of weeks. After I have been sleeping with somebody for a month, I either start developing romantic feelings for them (and ask them to go exclusive) or realize that it just isn't working, and break up.
Obviously, this is not the kind of thing that tends to thrill women, so over time I've become pretty good at faking emotion until the real thing kicks in. I never actually lie or tell people something untrue: instead I simply do lots of nice things for them and steer away from direct questioning about my feelings. This is probably slightly dishonest, but I think people like me have as much right to be loved as anybody else, and that is the most effective way to make it happen. This methodology works really well for me, so please understand that without more efficient alternatives, I'm not interested in changing it.
As a direct consequence of the way my emotions work, I never date friends, because basically there is no way for me to feel romantic attraction without doing the FWB benefits thing first - and there is no guarantee that the feelings will even kick in. Therefore, hooking up with friends who would be crushed by a breakup is a good way to simply lose friends, and therefore not very productive.
However, I have several friends lately who have been showing signs of interest - and more significantly, these are friends whom I think might be level-headed enough that they wouldn't be crushed by if we had to break up. By "signs of interest" I mean things like:
A) Sleeping overnight (sharing my bed) regularly whenever we hang out late,
B) Asking me to teach them what BDSM is about (by tying them up and flogging them),
C) Topless back massages,
D) Expressing repeatedly that they have "never had a boyfriend as thoughtful and considerate" or "as sensual" as me,
E) Kissing me on the lips every time they get drunk, but pulling back quickly before I can respond.
Obviously, some of this is stuff that can be ambiguously interpreted, but other stuff seems like a strong statement of intent. I don't have any difficulty finding the courage to make a move on strangers when stuff like this happens, since strangers are totally replaceable and it doesn't really matter to me if I misinterpret something and offend them accidentally. With friends, the stakes are higher, since if I screw up while making a pass at them, it could really ruin the friendship - for example, I recently had a "kissy" friend call me up in tears and curse me out because I propositioned her for a FWB-type deal, and I guess she had romantic feelings for me instead. Negative experiences like that have made me over-analyze and generally become very hesitant to act when it comes to my friendships - I don't think I would ever make a move on a friend without having a strong certainty of success.
What I am looking for here is help with the following:
A) Distinguishing which signs of interest are friendly, which are sexual, and which are romantic (so that I know which to avoid and which to follow up on).
B) Determining the best way to follow up on these signs of interest. Please don't say "Ask them on a date." When I do that, they think I am interested in a romantic relationship, and (as mentioned) that does not end well. What I am looking for is ways to hook up with them with no strings attached, but with the possibility of turning it into a romantic relationship later.