Lets just be friends.
April 28, 2005 7:08 PM   Subscribe

How should a woman make it clear to a man she has just met that she is interested in being friends, even good friends, but not interested romantically?

This is a question asked of me by a friend and which I find myself unable to answer satisfactoraly, and so I turn to AskMe.

How should she be friend-friendly without seeming girlfriend-friendly? How can she avoid misleading boys while still being warm? Is it tactful, if she has a boyfriend, to mention him right away? If she does not have a boyfriend, how can she make it clear she's not looking? Obviously the confusion between warmth and interest is pretty common. Is this (mistaken intent) something that sociable outgoing women have to learn to just sort of deal with?


I had expected this to have been asked before (and I think I kind of remember it) but I couldn't find it... apologies if it is in the stack somewhere.
posted by cmyr to Human Relations (42 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's a lost cause. Even if she comes right out and bluntly says it, an interested guy will always think he has a chance to change her mind. Always. It's interesting that the shoe is rarely on the other foot.
posted by crunchland at 7:16 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


Mention her boyfriend matter-o-factly in everyday conversation.

If she does not have one, say "you're just like my brother..." or something along those lines matter-o-factly in everyday conversation.
posted by ruwan at 7:20 PM on April 28, 2005


Hmm. She might wait until he makes a pass and then decline graciously. You know...lest she look as if she has an inflated sense of her own worth.
posted by felix betachat at 7:20 PM on April 28, 2005


You CAN'T be good friends with him.

He will always think about what it would be like having sex with you.

Every time you are with him, he'll be pining for you.
End the torture, get a boyfriend, and some "girlfriends" to fill the friend void.
posted by phredhead at 7:31 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


I had expected this to have been asked before (and I think I kind of remember it) but I couldn't find it...

might just be some other questions that touched similar issues...

I think dropping mention of a SO is something one should do sooner rather than later, just so everyone's on the same page, and if you're in a reasonably serious relationship, it's not like it takes much effort to fit your partner into the discussion. So that seems simple enough to me, i.e., I don't see the down side.

The problem that's harder to address is when you're single but just not interested romantically, and I think that you end up relying on body language a lot - basically the 'anti-flirting' signals, like not maintaining eye contact, inviting other people into the conversation, leaning away or back into yr seat, making it obvious that you're equally friendly with lots of other people, maybe mentioning people you have crushes on (even if it's just johnny depp or whatever, just to differentiate your reaction to Hot Date from your reaction to Good Buddy)
posted by mdn at 7:35 PM on April 28, 2005


I would advise your friend to check out the flirting thread from the other day and then do the opposite. Seriously. No long looks, no touching, no leaning in towards him, be cheery as opposed to suggestive. How does she behave towards her female friends?

And phredhead, as a woman with mostly male friends I find your attitude vaguely insulting. Then again, maybe cmyr's friend is considerably more attractive than I am so I'm just not running into the problem. Eh.
posted by cali at 7:36 PM on April 28, 2005


"say 'you're just like my brother...' "

Nope, that won't work either. Straight-up honesty is the only answer, and even that won't necessarily kill the lust factor. For some guys it just says, "I'm playing hard to get."
posted by mischief at 7:37 PM on April 28, 2005


(This answer based on my personal opinion. Will not apply to all guys or all situations.)
I tend to agree with crunchland, or as Chris Rock says, "Guys don't have female friends, just girls they haven't @#$%ed yet."
That being said - just tell him. I would rather not be lead on, however unintentionally. If you plan on dropping hints, keep in mind he may not get them. (I know I am terrible at picking up hints/allusions/innuendo either way.) And the longer before saying something, the worse. If she's just met him, there should be no concern over losing a good friend, no matter how well they may seem to get along now. If she's up front and just right out and tells him, and he has a problem with that? It would have been a problem later anyway, better to have it out of the way now. I think most guys will compensate for any ego bruising by telling themselves that they've avoided pursuing someone they can't have, leaving that time free to pursue someone who is available.
posted by attercoppe at 7:41 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'd say, as with all games humans play, it's all about the give and take. Is he testing the waters to see if she's interested? If so then casually mentioning her boyfriend, in a conversational way, is a quick and acceptable shutdown. Comparing someone to a brother or father is at best a hit or miss. Some may take the hint but some may be emboldened.

Some men will stop at nothing short of a savage beating by male relatives of a female before getting a clue. These cases are more a function of the male's ego than the female's behavior so we'll skip them since nothing the female does is relevant.

Felix is probably right, presuming interest and attempting to shut it down, at least verbally, is probably a bad idea. I know that if early in my friendship with various female friends they'd said: "This is nice but I don't want you to get the right idea, we're just friends." It would have generated an awkward pause and perhaps a complete rethinking of my desire to be friends with the woman.

You're best bet is body language. Take a quick look at various body language guides on how sexual relationships start and avoid the obvious. The flirting askme from earlier has some references on body language. The big one is the touch. If you're one of these people who are very physical you may be putting out mixed messages, at least early in the relationship.
posted by cm at 7:48 PM on April 28, 2005


Most of these are good suggestions and most emotionally normal men can pick up on the "anti-flirting" cues, but your friend should always be ready for the guy who will refuse to acknowledge even outright statements that she isn't interested in him.

That being said, a guy may intellectually understand that the woman is not dating material, but he will always feel deep down in his limbic system that one day he will get to have sex with her.
posted by Falconetti at 7:59 PM on April 28, 2005


Okay, to tone it down a bit from what phredhead et al are saying:

There's no reliable way to do it. However you act, if you hang out with guys, a lot of 'em are gonna get interested. It's not like there's a special button in men's brains, labeled DO NOT DATE THIS WOMAN, that you can press and be done with it. (This is just a side effect of the fact that men have free will too. You can't control what they think.)

That said, I really am a straight man, and there really are female friends of mine — good-looking ones, even — who I don't feel any attraction to. Not many, but some. So it can be done.

The key, I think, is a little ruthlessness. Don't just send signals that say "I have a boyfriend." Send signals that say "...and even if I didn't, I wouldn't date you." Make that clear from the get-go, otherwise they'll be jockeying to be next in line when your current guy goes home. And if a guy does get the wrong idea and won't drop it, do him (and yourself) a favor and stop hanging out with him. You might be tempted to tell yourself he'll get over it. He won't, and you're just stringing him along.

Think of it as quality control. If you hang out with enough guys, you'll meet a few who don't want to sleep with you. Ditch the rest of 'em and hang out with those couple of guys.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:17 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


Introduce him to a cuter friend. That should do the trick.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:34 PM on April 28, 2005


That being said - just tell him. I would rather not be lead on, however unintentionally

Except you really don't want to make a spoken assumption that he's thinking otherwise. Until he makes a move, you really have to go with hints. Once he's made a clear move, then tell him straight up. And yes, some men will not take hints. And one reason for that is that some women really do play hard to get, or really do change their minds. So the rest of us have to deal with unfounded assumptions that we, too, are flaky and convincable. I can think of at least two women I know who ended up dating someone they at one time swore they would never date, who they told outright to leave them alone.

Now, neither of those relationships worked out well, so I think at least I can say to the guys, if you do convince a lady to be "more than just friends" who is initially not interested, you will probably just be exploiting a period of loneliness, not tapping into some deep source of love for you she just didn't know was there, or whatever.

So, point is, be aware of signals sent in both directions; if you really feel he's flirting with you and your anti-flirting vibes aren't getting through, try saying something sort of neutral about being uncomfortable with flirting between friends - leave him room to just have been playful, not actively pursuing, and clarify that you think of him non-romantically. If he says or does something blatant, then you just have to tell him that it's nothing personal, but it's not gonna happen (nothing personal the way a straight guy can be friends with a gay guy but not feel attracted). Whether or not he fully accepts this "deep in his limbic system" is kinda not your problem. If he makes you uncomfortable with comments or body language, address it, but you can't do anything about the fact that people can think about you with or without your permission :)
posted by mdn at 8:37 PM on April 28, 2005


Is this (mistaken intent) something that sociable outgoing women have to learn to just sort of deal with?

Yes, yes it is. I've never found a good way to completely avoid misleading guys, but I have gotten good at saying "I won't date you" and then not giving mixed signals after that point. I think the key to this problem is consistency and making sure that the message is not just sent but received. There will always be men who said you led them on when you thought you didn't. I have seen this go wrong a few ways

1. Thinking that because you gave the guy the "let's be friends" talk that it's okay to then be extra-comfy flirty with him, sleep over his house "as friends" cry on his shoulder about your current romance etc. Once you tell him, you still have an obligation to act "just friends". Line-crossing can make it seem like you've changed your mind.

2. Thinking that sending "just friends" signals discharges your obligations w/r/t mixed signals. Unless you tell a guy straight out "I do not want to date you and I can't see ever dating you" [or some basic variant] you can't assume they will magically get it and leave you alone. Being direct is good. Mentioning a boyfriend, though clunky, does get the message across. Of course this goes both ways, unless the guy makes an obvious pass at you, there's no reason to assume he's more into you than you are into him and he has the same obligations as far as sending the right messages.

3. Thinking that turning down an obvious pass with something situational "No, not tonight I have to go home and feed my cat" is the same as saying "No I don't like you like that" Situational is situational, be direct if you want to get the point across that you are saying no now and you'd say no any time.

Some gals seem to never want to have the talk and want guys to magically understand. Some guys don't want to pick up the signals and will hold out hope that the message will change. Some gals send mixed signals because they'd rather get flirty come-on attention from guys than no attention. Some guys, once they're given the "just friends" talk, will walk. I don't think you can avoid misleading people in a general sense all the time [most women who travel alone get a certain amount of male attention just by doing normal things like riding the bus, not much you can do about that except not mind it] but you can learn from what hasn't worked in the past and try to make it work better next time.
posted by jessamyn at 8:37 PM on April 28, 2005 [2 favorites]


Like cd said, set him up with someone else, successfully. He's pining because he wants to be with someone. Fix that and you'll really be his friend.
posted by alms at 8:46 PM on April 28, 2005


I would advise your friend to check out the flirting thread from the other day and then do the opposite. Seriously.

Serious seriously. As if the guy is wholly physically repugnant to you.

She might wait until he makes a pass and then decline graciously. You know...lest she look as if she has an inflated sense of her own worth.

Indeed.

The key, I think, is a little lot of ruthlessness.

Bluntness with conviction. "Date? Oh, good god, no, what a horrible idea. You're just so not sexy, my god, no."

If you really are friends, he'll deal with the rejection quietly and without involving you any further. He'll probably make up stories to himself about how he is a stud, and you're just looney.

And if he can't deal with it, you quit being friends, because obviously his head is all in the wrong place.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:48 PM on April 28, 2005


There's no way that's tactful. I'm presuming this is the not uncommon situation where mister not-the-one is exhibiting sings of obvious infatuation - without pulling anything direct enough to justify an unambiguous no - and being or at least acting oblivious to the broad "I'm not interested" signals. Hell, I've had an unsubtle hint or two dropped on my head in my day (although I took them, not all will).

Some people I think conciously or unconsciously want to keep it in that limbo state as long as possible because they know on some level there is no chance and they don't want to lose the fantasy and possibilty altogether. Some people are just genuinely dense. Some people figure you think know but if you really knew how obsessed they are with you you'd come around to yes. You can throw tact in the shitter and say listen, Jack, I can tell your interested and I just want you to know I'm not. Romance will never happen between us. This will not absolutely deter the real hard case but I think it would cool of the vast majority of unwanted would be suitors.

Stuff that won't absolutely work, in my experience -

Having a significant other.
Talking about not wanting to date anyone.
Talking about wanting to date someone specific who is not them.
Talking in the abstract about how hooking up can ruin a friendship (that's such a cop-out anyway, I hooked up with with my best friend and we liked it so much we made a tiny human being together. The actual truth is simply: I don't want to hook up with you because I have no romantic interest in you).
Stopping absolutely anything with the slightest hint of bordering on intimacy cold.

The truly pathetic piner will find a way to hope around these signals.

I dunno... if there is an obvious one-way attraction there, as unpleasant and uncomfortable as it is, from my own experience of having pined for a couple of friends in my day, blunt tactlessness might almost be the most merciful option.

The downside is the friendship may not survive. Some people cannot take it, and some people, sadly, are only really such good friends when they have the inspiration of the secret crush.
posted by nanojath at 8:48 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


My wife told me she didn't want to date me for months.
posted by bh at 8:52 PM on April 28, 2005


ooh, I just reread and realized cmyr is a guy who a girl asked this question of...

And I figured out the perfect method. Just look him straight in the eyes and say "tell me pal, how should a lady go about telling a guy she has no romantic interest in him?" And while he's fum-fuhing, sort of give him a sad smile, shake/nod the head, and start pointing at him and mouthing "you. it's you."

Alternately, cmyr, just email her this link and have her email it to dude in question. It should clear that little problem right up.
posted by nanojath at 8:54 PM on April 28, 2005


In my experience, body language trumps anything you say verbally.

I've tried the "think of you as a brother," "would never consider dating you," "in my mind, you're penis-less, smooth like a Ken doll." But unfortunately, with male and female friends alike, I'm a physical, intimate person who tends to send flirt signals to almost everyone.

When I complained about this phenomena to a female friend, she told me she got over it simply by not having single male friends. If they were nice, fine, they could hang out in a group setting, but she wouldn't be one on one with them until they got a girlfriend. She still gets the "But you want to sleep with me, right?" thing in one out of five single male friends on that one occasion where they're only together despite her scheming.

I don't think it has anything to do with how hot you are (I've been called a tease with no makeup, in sweatpants and an oversized O'Reilly PERL shirt) or if you have a boyfriend or not (as other people have said, it adds to the potential for some guys, "If she were only single...").

If you are emotionally, intellectually and physically compatible with someone that's a potential mate, why should they think you're off limits? (Not logically but in the lizard brain) So stop helping them think that there is a deep connection there beyond the basics. Don't talk about problems with your boyfriend. Don't talk about being lonely. About sex. About the future. About what a great girlfriend you are. And certainly don't offer random backrubs.

(That being said, I'm in love with a guy that I told all the smooth-like-Ken, Love-you-like-a-brother lines to over and over again ten years ago but he stuck in there anyway, so I'm certainly not helping the cause.)
posted by Gucky at 8:59 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


I really feel for women. Having to invent a way to mention one's bf must be difficult. The "my boyfriend" mention does come across as forced, sometimes, and that can feel presumptuous, even insulting. Literally, sometimes I am thinking "damn girl don't flatter yourself." And it can have quite the opposite effect that your friend desires: it reveals to him that she senses sexual tension between them.

I guess I would say: what exactly is the need to massively pre-empt the process and ward him off? If he asks you out on a date, say no, sorry, you have a boyfriend and aren't interested.

And if the boyfriend naturally comes up in conversation before such a time, great. But don't worry so much about "leading him on" by *not* actively warding him off. I guess there are guys out there who form crazy wistful marriage fantasies about any woman who will speak to them, but I don't think it's always your responsibility to bend over backward to set them straight.

If he hasn't done anything forward, like ask you out, then relax. Be yourself. And if he does do something foward, you can handle it head-on without any fear of offending him. This head-him-off-at-the-pass behavior can actually damage a budding friendship where the guy might not even have any illicit intentions. I mean, after all, I have to assume, from the question, that he hasn't overtly done anything yet. If he had, there wouldn't be a need for subterfuge in fending him off. If he hasn't - give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm speaking with a man's bias, but that's what I say.

A pre-emptive "I'm not interested" message can be as harmful as a respectful "no thank you" once he actually asks you out. Any guy who thinks he's been led on simply because some girl was nice to him has his own problems.
posted by scarabic at 9:05 PM on April 28, 2005


Alternately, cmyr, just email her this link and have her email it to dude in question. It should clear that little problem right up.

I strenuously disagree. Romantic issues should be handled in person whenever possible and never passed on via email or other online methods.

And I side with those who have mentioned that the right course is to consciously adjusting body language and flirting issues to send the "not interested" message. Otherwise, wait and let the guy make the move, then firmly and unambiguously shoot him down. But don't be the one to bring it up first.

And never use someone you've previously shot down as a cry pillow. Never ever ever. That's just wrong on so many levels.

On preview: Dammit scarabic, now you're making me want to delete my post!
posted by DaShiv at 9:10 PM on April 28, 2005


I like scarabic's answer. I hate when I met someone, and they're like, "Oh, MY GIRLFRIEND," like I was so interested. Even if I was, I don't like them assuming they need to let me down. I'm a grown-up; I can handle myself.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:18 PM on April 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


I's just funnin', DaShiv. Don't email this thread to your pathetic male sycophants, ladies.
posted by nanojath at 9:20 PM on April 28, 2005


He will always think about what it would be like having sex with you.
[soapbox]
Grrrrr. BULL. SHIT. As a guy, this attitude from both sexes pisses me off to no end. In high school, I was that guy who was just friends with the girls, nothing more. But, now that I'm finishing up my fourth year at college, the only thing I've learned is that people take this misconception way too seriously. And it sucks because I don't get along with guys very will in the first place. I don't want a serious relationship right now. Even if I did, being just friends is far from a problem. Really, just tell me you want to be friends and I get it. Belive me, some guys do understand this concept...not all, but some. Don't stereotype all guys leaving some of us in the dust based on some people's actions.
[/soapbox]
posted by jmd82 at 9:56 PM on April 28, 2005


Let me make this clear. I have female friends. Several of them. Some of them very, very close (shit, I live with one).

But, the fact of the matter is, I would willingly sleep with all of them whom I find attractive. I don't actively pursue, and don't expect, to ever have anything other than friendship with any of them. But, I'm still jealous when they kiss somebody else; I still hope I can have more.

Every male I've talked to, regardless of sexuality, has felt the same way about the gender of his preference. You cannot turn off the fact that men consider all women possible mates.

If you'd like to understand further, read this site. It will illuminate you.
posted by Netzapper at 10:02 PM on April 28, 2005


She should sleep with him, and get it out of the way.
posted by jonson at 10:33 PM on April 28, 2005


I also agree this is something you'll have to deal with. Even lesbians have to deal with it. Some people cannot take a clue. All she can do is turn off as much flirtatious body language as possible (make hugs quick, don't sit too close, etc etc), clearly state the facts, and bring them up again if things get awkward.
posted by schroedinger at 12:30 AM on April 29, 2005


Er, she'll have to deal with.
posted by schroedinger at 12:30 AM on April 29, 2005


I can only think of one thing that would work: go out to a bar with him, and then hit on, pick up, and leave with another man, without apology or awkwardness. "Hey, it was good to see you - I'm gonna go home with that guy - catch you later." It's something any man would accept from any male friend of his, but never from a romantic or sexual prospect - our egos would implode.

If you have a boyfriend, then stage this with him playing the role of your pick-up. (Extra benefit: hot role-playing one-night-stand-quality sex with your boyfriend!) Because, really, letting a man you're hanging out with know that you have a boyfriend won't dissuade him but a little bit. (I say this as a man who was making time with some poor guy's fiancée in a bar not two hours ago. And I'm a pretty nice guy!)
posted by nicwolff at 3:43 AM on April 29, 2005


Gucky, I'm in the male side of that boat. This thread is starting to make me feel dirty, even in my three and a half year relationship.

Anyway, I second all the approaches in this thread. This is the type of situation where you have no right answer because, as the posters themselves have demonstrated, people are very different. They may be looking for and dissuading the very same things, but they'll go about it all different.

The main thing I'd add to that is that your friend understand that she is in control of the situation, has the final say in anything and her comfort and well-being trump the feelings of others and her relationships with them.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:16 AM on April 29, 2005


I'd tell her to treat him exactly like one of her girlfriends (assuming, for the sake of argument, that she isn't interested in females). She should say exactly the sort of thing she says with her girlfriends. She should discuss guys, for example, in woman-to-woman fashion. She should look right past him to check out other guys and follow up with whatever comments (perhaps "I'd like to...") she'd say to a woman. She should fart and belch and curse and scratch her crotch and pick her teeth, if that's what she'd do when there are only women around. She should make it clear that, as far as she's concerned, he's not a member of the opposite sex, he's a friend. If that doesn't take the romantic edge off his view of her, he's odd. And if he vanishes, she'll know he wasn't her bud after all.

If she does otherwise -- if she acts like she'd act around potential romantic partners -- isn't she being a bit false and treating him more like a potential mate than like a friend?
posted by pracowity at 6:05 AM on April 29, 2005


"She should sleep with him, and get it out of the way."

Spoken like a true jonson. heheh
posted by mischief at 7:32 AM on April 29, 2005


Great answers, thanks everyone. My friend was logged into my account to see the results and thought 'mark as best answer' was a personal option, so I apologize for the flood of grey above.
posted by cmyr at 8:08 AM on April 29, 2005


I advise directness and simplicity.

If neither is romantically involved with others and one, in this case the female is not interested in a romantic relationship, she should say, "hey, I really like you and want to know more about you - but to keep things above board, I don't see a romantic relationship developing. Is that how you see things, too?"
posted by cptnrandy at 8:14 AM on April 29, 2005


I's just funnin', DaShiv.

OK, one more time: This is not the place for that. If you have a helpful answer, provide it. If all you have is jokes, snarks, or other forms of noise, go back to MetaTalk where you will be, if not necessarily appreciated, at least not blatantly violating the rules. And jonson, mischief, that goes double for you. Knock it off.

As for the question: Yes, the seek-and-fuck impulse does seem to be hardwired into most males, and can often be hard to maintain man/woman friendships, especially in those early hormone-drenched years. But it's not impossible. The woman needs to be aware of the difficulty and not make it worse by thoughtlessly acting sexual around her male friend, and of course the man needs to stifle the occasional "let's take this to the next step" impulse (especially when alcohol is involved). I have as many female friends as male, and have since grad school days, but it hasn't always been easy. I ruined one such friendship when I got a little too close to the edge with a woman I was very attracted to but knew wouldn't countenance anything romantic (she was happily married), and I had a hard time when a close female friend came over for some serious drinking (she was having romantic problems, as will happen when you're attracted to young musicians who look like Jesus) and wound up spending the night -- I managed not to do anything I'd regret, but it took all my willpower. Bottom line: all your friend can do is take the excellent advice here and hope for the best, but being aware that with some guys (the crunchland-phredhead contingent) there's nothing you can do -- you just have to write them off (and wish their girlfriends/wives luck).

On preview:

My friend was logged into my account to see the results and thought 'mark as best answer' was a personal option, so I apologize for the flood of grey above.

Surely your friend is the person who should be marking the best answers here?
posted by languagehat at 8:21 AM on April 29, 2005


I'd tell her to treat him exactly like one of her girlfriends (assuming, for the sake of argument, that she isn't interested in females). She should say exactly the sort of thing she says with her girlfriends. She should discuss guys, for example, in woman-to-woman fashion. She should look right past him to check out other guys and follow up with whatever comments (perhaps "I'd like to...") she'd say to a woman. She should fart and belch and curse and scratch her crotch and pick her teeth, if that's what she'd do when there are only women around. She should make it clear that, as far as she's concerned, he's not a member of the opposite sex, he's a friend. If that doesn't take the romantic edge off his view of her, he's odd. And if he vanishes, she'll know he wasn't her bud after all.

OMG, mark that as the best of best answers. That is exactly how my best friend behaves. I am her best "girlfriend" and it's a hoot! Plus, it works perfectly: it somehow makes the idea of sex repugnant.

There is perhaps nothing less sexy than talking about the Diva Cup, getting the tubes tied, and big, hairy-chested bikers as sex toys.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 AM on April 29, 2005


I second what ffff just said. pracowity's answer is the only one that makes any sense. It also brings up the double-standard: If part of the reason she wants him around is to feel "desirable" by having a man around but not one that she wants to pursue in anyway then thats not being fair to him.

I'm a fairly sensitive guy but the only true female friends (i.e. not pursuing) I have are also ex-girlfriends who, some time after the breakup, we realized we still had stuff in common, just not romantically. So, the tension is in the past and the sexual curiosity was appeased.
posted by vacapinta at 10:29 AM on April 29, 2005


"She should say exactly the sort of thing she says with her girlfriends. She should discuss guys, for example, in woman-to-woman fashion. She should look right past him to check out other guys and follow up with whatever comments (perhaps "I'd like to...") she'd say to a woman. She should fart and belch and curse and scratch her crotch and pick her teeth, if that's what she'd do when there are only women around."

This won't always work either since it describes a level of intimacy that many relationships eventually evolve into. Instead of saying 'let's be friends', this says, 'let's pretend we've been married for years.'

lh: ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:37 AM on April 29, 2005


Once informed of her disinterest, he may totally "get it" but prefer to keep flirting anyhow. Particularly if he knows she is attached -- it might seem extra fun because it's "safe"... like holding babies and pretending they're yours, knowing that you get to give them back after a minute or two. If she can determine that the guy is not pining for her but just having fun, then she can decide whether she can tolerate the flirting, or ask him to stop.

Of course, if she's single and chooses to tolerate the flirting, then other guys might think that this guy is her boyfriend anyhow.
posted by xo at 12:13 PM on April 29, 2005


I'd agree that I pretty much want to fuck everything that moves - as long as I find it attractive.

But when I don't, it's a completely different story, everything from completely blank-not-registering to cringeworthy repulsion. And it's not always clear-cut what's attractive and what's not. Someone bony and unremarkable who says something really funny can go from faint blip to glowing cockthrob. And someone with a really nice face & body who utters bigotry or eats with her mouth open will instantly go from sex goddess to bipedal sow.

So it's not much use generalizing wildly about whether "most" men want to fuck "most" women. It's not true globally, though it can be true locally, but there's a world of variance in-between.
posted by scarabic at 1:41 PM on April 29, 2005 [1 favorite]


My friend was logged into my account to see the results and thought 'mark as best answer' was a personal option

Yeah, no wonder my "introduce a cuter friend" option wasn't tagged. Clearly the tagger has no understanding of the male psyche.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:50 PM on April 29, 2005


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