Can Men and Women Simply Be Friends? … questions sparred from online dating

davis and i think... we think really hard....

davis and i think… we think really hard….

With my last profile on Plenty of Fish, I made it very clear I was interested in making friends and only friends. While I did realize for some this is code for “let’s get down and dirty when I’m in town” I politely declined these offers and for those who persisted I not so politely told those mofos they were barking up the wrong tree.

So when I decided to take my profile down, because of another go at it with BlahBlah (which seems to have gone nowhere), there were a few men I told to find me on Facebook so we could still chat as friends.

One guy set up a Facebook page to find me then told me he was never on there because he finds it a waste of time and asked for my number. It was 5:30a.m. when I got this message, I was newly up and perhaps not thinking clearly because doggoneit I gave this stranger my number.

What proceeded was a ridiculous amount of text messages, followed by a 6:30a.m. phone call interrupting my yoga practice, then more texts through the morning until I got the, “What were you on POF for?” Yes, the inevitable question… and a stupid one at that. Ummm… to meet people, dolt.

“For friends.” I wrote back.

ummmm... friends go on dates????

ummmm… friends go on dates????

“Me too,” he replies then proceeded to ask me out on a date. A DATE. Ummm… since when do you ask your friends out on dates? It’s like those guys that say, cool we can be friends sweetie… how many times do you call your buddies sweetie? Seriously though.

I said, “Ummm… maybe.” I was at work, live on air and totally thrown off by not only the question but the constant messaging. Later I told him no, I only want friends so hanging out would be cool but that’s it.

Periodically I still get messages from this guy and the odd phone call and he continues to ask me out on dates although I keep saying I’m interested in friends first. Especially now as I don’t think I can go through any more heartache and the mom in me wants to protect her daughter from the same. This guy isn’t into hanging first to see what goes on.. it has to be a date which implies romance and all the expectations that come with it.

It all makes me wonder, when men and women meet as adults, is it possible to just be friends? Is it inevitable that the attraction to the other person is going to be equated into a sexual one since we are now adults and everyone is having sex? When you’re a teen it’s not the norm for everyone to be screwing so frankly it’s easier for a guy and a girl to be friends based on the fact that they have similar likes and dislikes.

friends are a good thing... but if you don't want to be friends... there's the door...

friends are a good thing… but if you don’t want to be friends… there’s the door…

I like friends. I was that girl in high school who hung out with guys more than girls mainly because there was no drama with the guys. Just skateboarding videos. Why can’t I just be friends with men now that I’m an adult? Come to think of it, when I was living in Toronto I had a lot of male friends. But not now, back in Cape Breton, a much smaller island.

*scratches head*

I would like to think you can be friends with members of the opposite sex… even as adults. And perhaps those men who can’t see this shouldn’t be my friend. (They could fall into my base level male theory which I’ll leave for another post.) But what do you think?

Can men and women meet as adults and just be friends?

It might be a mystery left unsolved in our lifetime….

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11 thoughts on “Can Men and Women Simply Be Friends? … questions sparred from online dating

  1. Q: What is Plenty of Fish?

    A: (According to Wikipedia) PlentyofFish (POF) is an online DATING site, popular primarily in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil and the United States…..

    Define friend: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

    As you can see Nikki, the two are not the same, people on POF are looking for “dates”.

    There are numerous friendship websites which can introduce you to friends, couples, people who are interested in keeping fit, and much more. While these sites can connect you to potential friends, it’s still up to you to build an offline friendship. Remember to be safe, make small talk, ask good questions, and be open to the experience of meeting new people.

    Most people that I know do not use online services to meet “friends”, they come across friends through work, social events, mutual interests such as fitness classes, music, etc. or are introduced by other mutual friends.

    By going on POF, which as I’ve said before is just a glorified pick up site or a place to develop a “friends with benefits” relationship, you are sending the wrong message if it is only friendship you are looking for. The guy who keeps calling/texting you has reason to believe that you are interested in “dating” based on the fact that you have a POF profile.

    With all due respect Nikki, I believe it is you who is “barking up the wrong tree”

    With respect as always.

    • oooohhhh.. ted… this coming from a man who told me to never have sex on the first date (perhaps wise words)

      the idea of meeting on a friendship level, which plenty of people on the dating site, including men, say they want, was a way for me to deal with the heartbreak of blah blah while slowly meeting other single people.

      it’s not that i’m not looking to date… but i wanted to start slowly, friendly meetings and then see where it goes.

      in a way i was taking your advice and trying to do things really slowly.

      with the word date comes so many connotations… the main one being that yes, the man in question will probably try to kiss me, even on the cheek, at the end of it. which is awkward and in my state of mind i want to avoid that.

      really, i don’t want to date someone who doesn’t want to be my friend, so if you can’t try and be my friend first, then why bother with the date?

      as i said to natasha, i do think POF has progressed to a site where unattached people (and some married) do look for interesting people who could be friends. most of us have been burned and that’s why we’re trying that approach…

      my thoughts… with respect as always.

      • Uh…uh…uh… Nikki, don’t try to throw that back in my face, lol… I absolutely believe that any woman who sleeps with a first date is setting herself up for failure, terrible mistake, I haven’t changed my position on that.

        My point here is that women like you (by your own admission) go on sites like POF looking for companionship first and “let’s see where it goes”. That is a very wise strategy, but I believe most guys on the site are thinking “let’s have sex first and see where it goes”. That’s just the way it is.

        I have already expressed my opinion on POF on several occasions throughout your previous blogs so I won’t bore you with it again, but let me just say this…You’ve been there, done that with regards to POF several times, unfortunately but predictably it hasn’t worked at least in the long term, am I right in saying that?

        The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result… Just kidding, your not crazy, but you get my point.

        I honestly don’t know where you could go to meet eligible bachelors other than places I have suggested before but POF ain’t it. I don’t know of anybody who has developed a relationship lasting more six months there…Hardly soulmates, ‘eh?

        I will apologize here though because I may have misunderstood your question, I thought you were asking why men on POF aren’t interested in being friends but I now think your question was can men and women maintain a platonic relationship, and I think they can until one of them gets hitched up with someone else because then the green eyes of jealousy will end the friendship especially if the friend and the girlfriend/boyfriend don’t click very well.

        With total respect as always.

  2. i’ll give my opinion. it’s pretty close to Ted’s.

    the short answer is no. If there are two unattached people, unless both of them find the other to be unsuitable, then they can’t be friends. The one who finds the other as a potential will invariably develop romantic hopes or feelings for the other.

    you are not doing any favors to someone by being their friend when they are actively looking for a partner and they find you suitable. it’s unfortunate.

    but men and women who are attached or otherwise not looking can certainly become friends. But that too can be dangerous. you can be in a happy marriage, but after many years, it can become humdrum. meeting an attractive, exciting new person can lead you to have feelings of newness and fantasies. then you have to work hard to make sure they stay fantasy and not reality.

    if you’re going to be “friends” with the opposite sex, its best if you both find each other unsuitable.

    There will be a lot of people that will disagree with this. They’ll cite they have a very special friend of the opposite sex, and there’s no attraction, etc. blah, blah. Sure, anything is possible. it’s a big world. But I think they’re either kidding themselves or not being attentive to the feelings of the “friend.”

    And I think that Ted is definitely right that the people you met on POF, will be interested in more than friends, despite their protestations. They’re looking. They think you look good. They’ll say that friends is good with the secret hope that it will develop into something else.

    • nice thoughts mike… it’s find to meet as friends with hopes of more, but if the more doesn’t happen does that mean the friendship and the like of the person has to be abolished?

      and what about the people who meet, connection on all levels but sex… they try it but it just isn’t right? can’t they still be friend?

      i guess physically they find each other unsuitable. but still, a great friendship can be had… no?

  3. I tend to agree with the above comments, in that becoming friends with someone you’ve made contact with through a site such as POF is very difficult. That’s not why men become a part of such, quite frankly. I’m afraid your serial texter is looking to be more than friends, despite what he may say.

    Outside of such it’s less difficult, but a challenge just the same, especially if the member of the opposite sex is attractive. Rick Mercer did a bit where he asked male and female university students who were friends if they would ever hook up. Most of the girls said no, almost all of the guys said yes. It was comedy, but there’s an element of truth to it. It’s the cave man in us men, the knuckle dragging DNA if you will. It’s how we’re wired!

    I also don’t believe there’s such a thing as “friends with benefits”. The closeness and intensity of sex (the good kind, that is!), whether one admits it or not evokes certain emotions that go beyond physical pleasure only. I’ve experienced such first hand. That type of relationship will often lead to heartache.

    Personally, the only female I truly desire as a friend would be a significant other.

    • interesting point shaun. love what rick mercer did, and totally reflects the responses i’ve gotten to this post on twitter and here … the majority of women said most definitely they can be friends…. the majority of men said no way… blah blah has tons of female friends… and it seemed he continued to make them while we were dating without ever mentioning he made a new female friend or that he ran into an old friend… perhaps why our relationship isn’t / didn’t work.. no open communication…

      alas, i digress.

      i agree that i want my partner to be my friend… my best friend. however, i already have a number of close male friends and i’ll keep them i think: )

  4. I’m a female and I agree with all of the above comments! I think POF is a site where people are looking to date, not to be friends and I also think that if there is any level of attraction at all then a man and woman can not be friends. Sucks but it’s true 🙂

    • i kinda think that POF has gone a bit beyond the dating thing and the site acknowledges that… sure it’s a dating site, but people go there for random sex (which isn’t dating really) and people go there to meet people… at least i met a number of men who were looking for friends to see if there was a spark… perhaps they were lying…

      however, i wonder if sometime the spark we feel from meeting someone of interest isn’t wrongly thought of being a spark of sexual attraction? perhaps liking someone for the mind isn’t necessarily that….

      regardless, i think serial texters and other men like that can’t see beyond the realm of what you look like and decide instantly that’s it.

      there is something to be said about coming on too strong.

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