Be a jerk FTW?
March 6, 2006 5:15 PM   Subscribe

How can I escape the "friend trap"?

I meet a girl I adore. She's got a boyfriend so I respect that and don't pester her about dumping him for me. He treats her like crap so she eventually dumps him and cries on my shoulder. I try to date her but am informed that I'm sweet, funny, smart, caring, and amazing in every way however, "We should just be friends. Would that be weird?" Then repeat.

The other version of the cycle involves her not already being involved but instead my inability to flirt and show off what a manly jerk I can be doesn't get me anywhere.

From what I can find online the answer is to never be friends with a woman you want. Does anyone other than me think that being friends is kinda important when it comes to choo-choo-choosing someone? Has anyone been able to escape the trap once they're already caught? Can someone give me advice on how to not fall into the friend trap without feeling like a jerk?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (57 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you're solving her problems, you're her friend. You don't have to be a jerk to get women, that's just an excuse. You do have to be assertive and sexual, though, so practice flirting with girls you aren't already friends with and apply it to the ones you'd like to date. If you come into her acquaintance as a friend and try to 'step it up', though, it's indeed an uphill battle - so choose which you want when you meet someone.
posted by kcm at 5:28 PM on March 6, 2006

Well, first you have to stop being their friend.
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:30 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Be friends with women who desire you. The problem isn't the friendship. The problem is that these particular women don't want you as a lover. I would try soften the tone of next sentence but I don't know how to. If your only purpose in becoming friends with a woman is to fuck her, then you are a jerk and should feel like one.

The other thing is to avoid relationships with women who subscribe to a friendship/lover dichotomy.
posted by rdr at 5:32 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

there's a difference between being a friend and being a boyfriend. that difference is not the addition of 'fucking'. lovers should be friends in the long run, but friends don't always make lovers. turn her attention away from using you as a dumping post for her other relationships and focus it on the relationship between the two of you.
posted by kcm at 5:35 PM on March 6, 2006

The problem isn't the friendship. The problem is that these particular women don't want you as a lover.

I'd have to second this. I've "escaped" from the friend zone a couple times, through no real conniving or scheming or self-conscious action on my part. It just ended up happening.

The other thing is to avoid relationships with women who subscribe to a friendship/lover dichotomy.

I think I did this by accident. Plus, having that kind of premeditated filter to one's relationships seems a shade immature to me, like not being able to deal with the reality (and sometimes it's ugly) of human relations and emtions. Things get messed up and don't turn out the way anyone wants sometimes--deal with it.
posted by LionIndex at 5:43 PM on March 6, 2006

A friend of mine recently fell in love with a platonic friend, who, it turns out, had been pining for her forever. They are very happy. I hate them.
The point being, it can happen. And I would imagine those are the best relationships, given that they begin with friendship.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:45 PM on March 6, 2006

You have answered your own question.

Don't do that. First. Don't fall for people already IN relationships. It is a waste of time and a recipe for drama. Ask yourself why THAT is happening. It's possible your sabotaging yourself subconsciously. Why would you do that?

Also don't be the "seemingly disinterested but compassionate" shoulder to cry on. Not to people you have the hots for... nobody want's that person. Frankly - it's wimpy, passive-aggressive and possibly a little creepy.

We want somebody who is passionate about us, desires us, and has the balls to show us so. If you act inert - that is how you will be treated.

You build a friendship because the elements of friendship are there UNDER the attraction. Sure. It CAN work the other way. But not often.

And why is telling people what you want acting like a jerk? I mean your not yelling "You. Pants Off. Now." or anything.

You need to meet people not involved, one. And two you need to walk right up to the ones you find interesting and attractive and ask them out and give them a chance to become a friend.
posted by tkchrist at 5:46 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Make sure she sees you as sexual being, not just the psychic equivilent of a pint of rocky road. This doesn't mean that you should make a pass at her, but make it clear that if it's a friendship, it's a give-and-take. You'll be there for her failed romances, she'll hook you up with friends.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:02 PM on March 6, 2006

After going through the same thing and eventually getting over it, I found someone else. And I took some advice I read here on the green and gave myself completely to sweeping romanticism completely. I didn't mask my attraction. I didn't try to be just her friend at all. I brought flowers; I read poetry; I wrote letters. I got the girl.

Listen carefully to tkchrist.
posted by Evstar at 6:05 PM on March 6, 2006

I also gave my self to jarring redundancy, as well.
posted by Evstar at 6:07 PM on March 6, 2006

"Acting like a jerk" is sensitive-new-age-guy speak for anything that comes within ten yards of a woman's comfort zone.

SNAGs often believe they have to overcompensate by delving deep into jerk terrirtory when the reality is that they (or should I say we) just need to stretch a bit and risk the possiblity of making someone uncomfortable. Looking a woman in the eye and saying "You're really interesting. Would you care to have dinner with me?" is not being a jerk, even though you feel like you are putting her in a possibly uncomfortable situation.

As for the forlorn waifs you are constantly befriending -- they have already expressed their preference for men who will treat them badly. You are a nice guy and do not even appear on their radar -- you should be happy about that, not depressed. Rescuing a damsel in distress is all very nice and well, but after a while you realize that many damsels prefer it there. Let them sort it out on their own.
posted by tkolar at 6:10 PM on March 6, 2006

1) Don't worry about being a "pest," life is all about being a pest.

2) Don't listen to anyone who tells you there is a trap or that the situation is impossible. Like Kirk, I don't believe in the no-win scenario. If you hit it off with someone, all of these iron-clad rules are off.

3) Don't subscribe to the view of the world, divided up into Nice Victims and Monsters, in which you must become a bastard to get what you want. Just assert yourself.

I can testify that the situation is swingable.
posted by inksyndicate at 6:16 PM on March 6, 2006

I wish I could find a reference, but they've done studies on long LONG term relationships (40+ years and the like) and the majority of the ones that make it that long without splitting up came out of friendship. So I'd say the first thing to do is not to be so defeatest about being a friend.
posted by samh23 at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2006

"You. Pants Off. Now."

This would make a great t-shirt
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

1) per what tkolar said: stop pining after the kind of women who want to be treated badly in a relationship by a "manly jerk"

2) realize that when women go for guys who you perceive as "jerks," part of the appeal is that the jerk knows what he wants, is owning his sexuality, and is making his intentions towards a woman clear even at the risk of rejection.
posted by availablelight at 6:30 PM on March 6, 2006

Have you ever noticed that really good-looking men never seem to have this problem? Jerk or not. This whole "friendzone" thing is ultimately yet another euphemism born out of an attempt at politeness or some such in the setting of an utter lack of sexual attraction. What's more, you likely feed into it with conscious or subconscious fawning which your "friend's" egos really eat up without feeling the need to reciprocate. Compounding that, the neediness and passive-aggression of this situation is the very opposite of an aphrodisiac.

Of course not all of us can be George Clooney, so we find other ways to be sexy. Be direct, honest and assertive. There's a difference between that and being a jerk. Stop yourself from being the emotional bottom in any relationship. Be confident (and if you can't, learn to fake it like most every other guy). Work on your banter. Learn to flirt and do it almost flippantly, so that those around you sense that your advances are just in the name of good fun, and not a pledge of undying love. Ultimately, you will be seen at the very least, as a sexual being which is better than where you're at now.

And in most circumstances, I recommend strongly against flowers and poetry prior to being romantically involved. To most people that would scream desperation. But I guess there's an exception to every rule.
posted by drpynchon at 6:32 PM on March 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

In my defense (and for your clarity), I waited until after we were dating before pulling the flowers. There was a mutual attraction to begin with here. And now that I think about it, we'd been well-aquainted (not close friends, exactly) for nearly a year before I made my advances.
posted by Evstar at 6:46 PM on March 6, 2006

Roger Ebert said in a review of the dreadful movie Just Friends "When a girl says she likes you as a friend, what she means is: Rather than have sex with you, I would prefer to lose you as a friend." When I first read it I thought it was surprisingly cynical for a man who declared Babe: Pig in the City to be the best movie of 1998. Now I think he's probably right.

Women are not attracted to jerks because they are jerks. Women are attracted to jerks despite the jerkishness because being a jerk is highly correlated with a number of good qualities. Jerks are decisive, and exert a measure of control on the world around them, jerks pursue what they want. The thing to be wondering is how to be everything good about a jerk without being a jerk.

This isn't too hard, just put yourself in their shoes. If being on the receiving end an action would make you feel bad uncomfortable don't do it; If it would make you feel good uncomfortable do it. Yes men and women are different but not as different as most men (or women) imagine.
posted by I Foody at 6:48 PM on March 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

I Foody, have you seen Babe: Pig in the City? The first half hour of it is the darkest, most depressing kid's movie I've ever seen. So you shouldn't have been surprised by Ebert's cynicism.
posted by Aknaton at 7:01 PM on March 6, 2006

Jesus Christ, you're so far from jerkland that if you decided to call a girl every name in the book you'd be about 100 from breaking even. Stop being so self-deprecating and be assertive.

The rest follows, even if it means not ever dating. Because a truly assertive guy doesn't need a girlfriend to feel whole.
posted by cellphone at 7:02 PM on March 6, 2006

just read drpynchon's post about sixty times.
posted by soma lkzx at 7:04 PM on March 6, 2006

The whole "nice guys finish last" theory is crap. Women can sense needy, clingy guys at 50 paces and I'm guessing that's your problem. The solution is to raise your confidence level, but I don't have any suggestions about how to achieve that. Good luck
posted by spork at 7:07 PM on March 6, 2006

sometimes people, men and women, can be emotional whores, rolling around in the closeness without forming commitments. This is slutty behavior, even though it isn't sexual, and it is lame and dishonest. Consider yourself a used Kleenex and move on. Ouch.
posted by craniac at 7:16 PM on March 6, 2006

Actually, yeah, go with what drpynchon said, with one modification:

And in most circumstances, I recommend strongly against flowers and poetry prior to being romantically involved.


And in most circumstances, I recommend strongly against flowers and poetry ever.
posted by cellphone at 7:19 PM on March 6, 2006

I've been in that exact situation, not too long ago. At first she didn't have a boyfriend, which made it even more emasculating. My advances to her weren't met with outright rejection, she still wanted to hang out and be friends, but with a kind of "I think you're hot and we'd make a good couple but you're my friend" I figured it would just take time to break down the wall.

And that might've been true, had she not got a boyfriend later on. If anything, her flirtation and teases just got stronger, and again I thought it just a matter of time before she and this guy broke up--they fought all the time.

But in the end she disappeared on my one day. No replies to my emails, she apparently changed her number, and I actually don't know what happened to her. I had to come to the bitter, bitter realization that I was used by her. She knew I wanted to be with her, and I know part of her wanted to be with me, but she kept me at arm's length. spork hit it dead on, if you seem needy at all, girls like that will pull you in with one arm and keep you at bay with the other.

It doesn't take an evil person to use someone. Everyone engages in this to some degree. I don't think you have to be a jerk, but you should employ a strategy. Think of yourself first.

There is some really good advice in this thread, and here's one more: If she's just a friend to you in her mind, beat her at her own game. Act like she's one of the guys. When you see a hot girl on the street when you're with her, say "Damn, that's a nice ass" (or whatever level of admiration that comes naturally). Flirt with other girls in her presence. Talk about other girls you'd like to hook up with. Doesn't matter if you're serious or not, think of it as a scientific experiment to gague her reaction. She's getting off on the attention you give her, and when you turn that upside down, it (might) be like cold water in her face. She might realize what she might lose. It'd at least make her think twice.
posted by zardoz at 7:40 PM on March 6, 2006

I have to agree with pretty much everything that's been said here.

My flatmate (or roommate, for the yanks) is precisely like this, he's constantly talking to girls, running up gigantic phone bills with them, yet none of them seem have any interest in him relationship/sex-wise. They just seem to use him, and it makes me quite sad (especially as it means he has less time for his real friends), but I know there's simply no way he'll change, or even realise the situation he's in.

Like it's been said, the reason he doesn't get anywhere is because he's almost sex-less, or asexual. He definitely can't express himself, whenever I've seen him around girls, especially those he's been attracted to, his body language is very awkward, almost robot-like. If you've ever seen TV shows where they give geeky types the chance to be with a beautiful girl (beauty and the geek?), and studied the body language, it's like that.

If I were to give any tips, first off, yes relationships can come through friendship. But actual friendships are borne out of shared interests and common respect. A 'friendship' where either party simply wants something (sex, or an emotional leaning post) from the other is doomed from the start.

Secondly, girls are walking shit and piss machines (eloquent!) like you or I. They aren't delicate, dignified flowers that need to be mollycoddled to show you the love. The love will come if there's a mutual feeling of love between the both of you.

Thirdly,it's all about loosening up. No matter how many friendly hugs or kisses you give them, if you want to go further, they not only have to MEAN something, they have to FEEL like they mean something. In my experience women are far more likely to feel that you love them, than if you were to slap them in the face and shout "I LOVE YOU!" until your face turns blue.

But hey, you're half way there. I just wish I could actually meet some girls. It's not easy stuck in a university basement with just 30 other geeky guys.
posted by iamcrispy at 7:42 PM on March 6, 2006

Gotta second (third?) the advice to not fall for people already in relationships in the first place. Seriously, you are setting yourself up for drama and dissatisfaction. Doesn't matter if they're in a relationship with a jerk or a nice guy who doesn't satisfy her or whatever. Just make it a rule that someone already in a relationship is off-limits physically and emotionally. Save yourself the stress and heartache.

Now, as for women who are friends with guys. For some women, "friends" is code for "never." For other women, "friends" isn't code whatsoever -- we just like having male friends. Sometimes those male friends become romantic interests/boyfriends/etc. Sometimes our boyfriends etc. tun into just friends (eventually). And still other times those male friends just stay friends all along. Women who can have male friends that run the gamut of these experiences are more likely to be in relationships that have friendship as a solid basis, and -- I suspect -- less likely to be willing to date jerks in the first place. Despite what you may think (or at least suspect), all women do not want to date domineering jerks -- just like all men do not want to date high-maintenance princess/bitches. Plenty of us genuinely like and respect men (whether they are potential partners or not), and want men in our lives who can like and respect us right back.

I guess this is all a long-winded way of saying that being a good guy will eventually find resonance with good women. Just put yourself in the running with the right women -- those who are literally and emotionally available to you. (Psst...take note of that: women have to be emotionally grown-up and available enough for a healthy relationship just as much as men do. The girl you're pining for isn't there yet.) Turning yourself into a jerk will only get you women who like jerks -- and trust me, you don't ultimately want to be with those women anyway.
posted by scody at 7:46 PM on March 6, 2006

anonymous posted "How can I escape the 'friend trap'?"

Don't put yourself in that situation to start with. Once you're in the "Friend zone" there's no escape.
posted by clevershark at 8:02 PM on March 6, 2006

If peppering your speech with subtle Simpsons' references doesn't win her over, I don't know what will.
posted by bjork24 at 8:05 PM on March 6, 2006

I'm beginning to think that assertive, interesting women who "go for jerks" are really experimenting with men who take risks, are assertive, or are otherwise interesting. (These guys look like jerks to you because they don't conform to your definition of "nice guy." Having dated a few "bad guys" who were either actually bad or actually okay, I think I can speak to this a little.) Keep in mind: we date seriously nice guys who are not milquetoast. We date seriously guys who can hold their own. You can be a friend, but don't be the guy version of her girlfriends.

Personal antecdote, possibly worthless: About four years ago, I was within about two phone calls of moving about eight hours away from my then-location to be close to a guy who had been my friend for four years prior to that. Now, he and I had a bit of a history, and for reasons not necessarily related to his jerkness or lack thereof, something else happened, but the fact remains: Had my friend taken the initiative when he should have, he wouldn't be my friend anymore. Our relationship would have changed in a very fundamental way. This guy was very, very good at being there for me when I needed him to be, but being there in a way that was NOT like my best girl friend. It's a fine, fine line, but if you want to be her friend while you bide your time, it's the only way to be.

More concrete advice: You have to seem like you're able to have your own life. The information you provided doesn't really speak to that, so I'll just say it. There is no way that you will ever get out of "the friend zone" if you are always waiting for her to call as if you are her seventh-grade crush. Have a life of your own. It's okay if you're not always there to take her for milkshakes or whatever when she feels like Mr Jerkface Has Crossed the Line, Again. This pretty much applies to any relationship -- be happy, be your own person like and respect yourself -- soon, other people will do as well.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:07 PM on March 6, 2006

I second two statements:

1) "Be direct, honest and assertive. There's a difference between that and being a jerk."
2) "part of the appeal is that the jerk knows what he wants... and is making his intentions towards a woman clear even at the risk of rejection."

There's a difference between being "nice" and being "self-sacrificing." The former is knowing what you want and that, honestly, involving niceness. The latter is overriding your wants and needs to act nice. This rant about Nice Guys explains this point.

It's sexy when a guy is a real person there with you, one you can relate to as an equal, help him out too, etc.
posted by ruff at 8:13 PM on March 6, 2006

If none of this works, you could always get a motorcycle. ;)
posted by ruff at 8:15 PM on March 6, 2006

Are you really 'just friends' with this girl, or are you just pretending to be friends with her and care about her problems so you can get laid when she dumps this guy?

Cause usually, that's what 'nice guys' who do this to themselves over and over are really doing. You just found a girl that 'gasp' will talk to you, and she found a guy who will pay attention to her without her really having to give any of herself in return. She's using you.

Stop being the little puppy that follows girls around looking for scraps. No girl wants to date a guy they can dominate like that. Just find someone who relates to you as an equal. Seriously, it's not the end of the world if you stay a virgin for the next year or so. Just go meet more people and stop wasting all your emotional energy on something that will never, ever happen for you.
posted by empath at 8:30 PM on March 6, 2006

you can't escape the friend trap ... just accept it and find someone else

there are worse fates in life than having a friend
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 PM on March 6, 2006

Read this. Do everything it says. Lightning in a bottle for me.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:05 PM on March 6, 2006

scody--so true. I can add this. When you seem to have strong feelings of attraction right away, it can be a clue that the person might be one of those people who isn't grown up or available.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:10 PM on March 6, 2006

I have a friend. . one of my best friends, which whom I have been in this trap for 35 years, literally. . .every time I am with her, I am SO attracted to her, and I feel like we'd be good together. . .

One time about 5 years into the friendship I threw caution to the wind and said, "I want to sleep with you". . .which she took to mean just sleeping and not making love. . .so I had to be blatant, which resulted in a kind rejection. . .

She is a dear friend, and my attraction/love for her just feels like a cross I have to bear in silence. . .we are both married now, and share a lot of stuff but will never share a bed. . .

The only blessing in this is that she now lives 5 hours away.

So there is nothing for it. . . it's a hard road, and I wish you well. . .
posted by Danf at 9:37 PM on March 6, 2006

If you're in the friend trap, you're there for good. Give up. Meet some other women. She has friends, perhaps?

The only time a straight man and a straight woman can truly be friends is when neither one wants to schtupp the other.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:07 PM on March 6, 2006

The only time a straight man and a straight woman can truly be friends is when neither one wants to schtupp the other.

You mean they can only be friends if neither one wants to schutpp eachother or they're not driven entirely by base desires.
posted by delmoi at 10:56 PM on March 6, 2006

The only time a straight man and a straight woman can truly be friends is when neither one wants to schtupp the other.

Nah, not always. There have been a couple of cases where I've been very good friends with guys when there's been a frisson of sexual chemistry (sometimes mutual, sometimes one-way only) -- guys with whom I might very well have been have been in a relationship with under different circumstances. We just put it aside, and the friendships progressed. Longing and desire are certainly real and often powerful feelings, but it is possible not to be held captive by them.
posted by scody at 11:14 PM on March 6, 2006

Can someone give me advice on how to not fall into the friend trap without feeling like a jerk?

I think this advice from Paul J. Wilczynski is pretty good. Excerpt:
1. With rare exceptions, women are not offended if you make a pass at them, as long as it's done with some amount of taste. In fact, after a fairly short period of time (mileage may vary), women draw an important conclusion if you don't make a pass. And that conclusion is that you're not terribly interested in being more than a friend. Let me explain that I consider 'make a pass' to be a very broad term ... it can be something as non-threatening as putting your hand on her arm briefly and telling her that you think she looks especially nice tonight. ...
In short, something that indicates you're interested--you're making the first move--but that's subtle enough that if she's not interested, you won't be terribly embarrassed. A kiss on the cheek at the end of the evening is another possibility.

Don't wait a long time to make the first move. If she's not interested, it's better to find out sooner rather than later, when rejection will be more painful.

Consider dating more than one person at the same time. (This advice assumes that the pace of dating is relatively slow, that physical intimacy doesn't happen very quickly.) Again, this lowers the emotional stakes, so that any one rejection won't sting as much.

Getting accustomed to rejection is one of the most important dating skills for a guy. I know it seems unfair that the guy has to make the first move, but think of it as a test of your courage.

If the idea of meeting several people you'd be interested in dating, let alone one, seems ludicrous to you, consider making social activities a higher priority, i.e. doing more to meet new people. I remember reading Philip Greenspun's Travels with Samantha, back in the early days of the Web, and being amazed at his ability to talk to strangers.

For general dating advice, I'd recommend Susan Page, If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?
posted by russilwvong at 12:05 AM on March 7, 2006 [2 favorites]

It's your breath. Or your body odor. Probably both. Take care of that first, then listen to drpynchon. And bjork24.
posted by team lowkey at 12:35 AM on March 7, 2006

Everyone's basically saying the same thing: Be assertive. Prepare to make a move early on, and expect rejection, but learn from it and don't let it send you further into your shell. Oh, and whenever in doubt, brood. Practice brooding in the mirror. Look at a picture of spaghetti Western era Clint Eastwood for inspiration.

I'm so glad I'm in a long-term relationship where I can be needy, clingy, and scared
posted by Devils Slide at 2:41 AM on March 7, 2006

"I want to be friends" means "I'm not attracted to you". It's really as simple as that. It's not a matter of women being these psychotic, evil beings that only want guys that are assholes and mean to them, it's a matter of women wanting to date guys they find attractive. I'm sure you're not going around consoling the fatties, here, so stop holding them to a double standard.

All the ways that work for avoiding that basically amount to making yourself more attractive.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:11 AM on March 7, 2006

Somehow we made it to 40+ posts without Ladder Theory?!?
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 6:16 AM on March 7, 2006

NucleophilicAttack: Damn, you beat me!

Don't take that too seriously though...
posted by phrontist at 6:55 AM on March 7, 2006

Women seem to have a blind spot where they think that you really are as you come off, i.e., a non-sexual robot. If you change from that persona, especially at a time when she is feeling vulnerable and maybe needed your shoulder to cry on, she'll feel betrayed and threatened. It's not her fault, either.

It's your own fault for not presenting yourself as you really are, i.e., a normal person with normal feelings and desires.

/hard-learned lesson.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:04 AM on March 7, 2006

The only time a straight man and a straight woman can truly be friends is when neither one wants to schtupp the other.

Yeah, except of course for all those cases when one of them is attracted to the other and their friendship is meaningful as any other, or all the other ones where they're both attracted to each other but are really just friends (for whatever reasons). Are all your human relationships really that binary and unambiguous?

Remain very* skeptical of inevitable claims that that biologically nefarious/crazy woman species gets horny over "jerks".

* Ctrl+F 'Nice Guys'.
posted by dgaicun at 7:04 AM on March 7, 2006

Oh, another thing. If I were given a choice between a guy who didn't care how I felt, and a guy who only cared how I felt, I'd choose the former.

Here's the thing: a good relationship is back and forth.

If you spend all your time saying "What would you like?" in a variety of ways, that's unsexy. That puts pressure on her. And if it was at all what she wanted she'd stay at home with a vibrator, because everyone knows their own desires better than anyone else can. That's the definition of being an individual, you know?

We form relationships not because they can provide something like that but because there's an inherent awesomeness in being wanted.

You may think that trying to provide things she likes will show her that she's wanted, but that's not how it works, unless she's a prostitute. This is where you get into all that stuff about assertiveness, because it's all about this desire that you have and how you express it.
posted by dagnyscott at 7:42 AM on March 7, 2006 [1 favorite]

Its like the sexual application of Ben Franklin's: if you want to make a friend don't ask to do them a favor, ask them to do you a favor.
posted by dgaicun at 7:58 AM on March 7, 2006

Lisa Simpson didn't really choo choo choose that kid, she gave him a card because he didn't get any. (did he have any in his box?) So stop being the guy that girls give cards to out of pity. Be the guy who has dates. Be the guy who isn't sad when he doesn't have a date. Be the guy who is not slobbering all over his "friend" Trust me, you're slobbering on her, I don't even know her, but I'd bet you ten dollars to a donut that her shoes are wet. Be confident. Be you. Be perhaps a teensy bit harder to get. Don't be at her beck and call. Make dates (and by that I don't mean "romantic occassions marked by traditional trappings" i mean appointments, set times that are chosen in advance to partake in a particular activity.

And wipe your chin.
posted by bilabial at 8:16 AM on March 7, 2006

Learn to dance. Seriously. Be the guy who knows how to dance.
posted by Sara Anne at 8:22 AM on March 7, 2006

The whole "nice guys finish last" theory is crap.

So, so, so true.
posted by lampoil at 8:50 AM on March 7, 2006

"We should just be friends. Would that be weird?"

If you're friends with a woman and attracted to her, then either you've always been approaching the friendship as a possible dating situation, or you've recently decided that you're interested in dating her after being friends. If it's the latter, then maybe you can forget the whole thing by finding someone else and realizing where the friend/dating line lies. If it's the former, it's probably going to be weird. Socialize in groups, don't see her as often, do something to detach yourself from the situation in which you've become entangled.

You can be friends with a woman while flirting with her, but you can't be in a relationship without showing attraction. Be genuine yet not completely obvious -- if she's wearing a color that brings out her eyes, say it. If she's got a great fashion sense, talk about it. Even male friends don't mind if you complement something about them occasionally. Just start appreciating the people around you, but appreciate the ones you're attracted to more. Obviously more.
posted by mikeh at 8:53 AM on March 7, 2006

I think what I'm saying is that it does pay to be a "nice guy" -- too many people just break the system by thinking certain topics are taboo if they're going to continue being "nice." It may not be polite for a casual friend to breach the topic of a relationship, but that's not the type of nice you're going for. You want the relationship, so it's "nice" if you actually let her know you have intentions, and why you have those intentions, and then give her room for a move.
posted by mikeh at 8:57 AM on March 7, 2006

Hi everyone, I'm having a similar problem with "annoymous". Recently met a girl in my school, I'm 21 and she's 19. We exchanged numbers and the first day, I asked her out for a concert, and she told me she had a big test the following day. The following week, I asked her out for a dinner date, and she asked me "are you asking me out for a date?" and I replied, "Yep" and she said oh. After that I asked her whether she has a boyfriend and she said "I'm kinda seeing someone right now, but we can still be friends". Ok guys, I know this sounds silly, but I can't get over her. Is there still a chance for me? Or should I move on?
Any opinions or advice would be welcomed. Thanks : )
posted by Atheus at 5:58 AM on March 11, 2006

Atheus: my advice is to move on. Stay in touch with her--if you're looking for people to date, the more social contacts you have, the better. But I'd suggest avoiding "date-like" one-on-one activities with her--long phone conversations, dinner together, that kind of thing.
posted by russilwvong at 11:25 PM on March 12, 2006

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