I’m single and looking. I have guy friends, but one by one, they’ve all confessed their long standing love for me. Since I’m single, they think it means I’m available for them now. I don’t like any of them that way and inevitably, although we try to keep being friends, they don’t handle the rejection so well. The friendship gets so awkward it has to end, usually with a lot of hurt feelings. I thought that men and women can be friends now. Why does this keep happening to me? Is it impossible for me to keep a straight guy friend?
I wouldn’t say it’s impossible because I’ve not only seen platonic friendships throughout my life but my best friend of five years is a guy. And yes, it is now and always has been strictly platonic. However, when it comes to trying to remain friends with people who are actively attracted to you I believe that it’s difficult and, in a way, takes more effort than it’s worth. In my experience, once I’m attracted to someone it’s pretty hard for me to act like that never happened. Especially if it was more than just a momentary crush. Of course people get over things and depending on how many feelings and fantasies were invested in the attraction it’s possible to come down from the cloud and just accept friendship.
But when it comes to people who simply will not get the idea of “never was and never will be” it can become a pain in the ass and a huge source of stress. Case in point: your guy friends. I will even go as far as to assume that every girl has dealt with this at some point and it’s a little bit unfortunate. It’s not because you are single that anyone should assume that that means you’re willing to be with them, and trying to explain that is awkward and painful but mostly annoying because it shouldn’t even be necessary.
Right now, I’m in a slightly different situation than you but with similar misunderstandings. I’m single and not really looking. After some soul searching I have found that I have no interest in a relationship of any kind, nor do I think I’m ready after the heartbreak I’ve experienced for the last while. I’m not good at this stuff, so I’ve decided to sort of build a wall and stay away for a bit. No matter how many times I tell people, in particular my male friends, that I am not interested in them… they don’t get the picture. At all. It’s become a sort of tiring game of tug of war, where they endlessly try to convince me that I actually do want what they’re offering, while I try to assert myself and gain some of my power back. Needless to say, a lot of these friendships have already gone down the drain with a few more currently headed the same way. As much as it hurts and is frustrating, I try to tell myself that I’m better off having one less friend who clearly doesn’t respect me.
For you, it’s only slightly different in the sense that you’re in a position where you have to explain why it is that while you are interested in dating in general, you just have no interest in dating them specifically. But honestly that’s where the differences end. Your friends should understand you-and believe you- when you tell them that it isn’t going to happen. Pressing the issue or acting butthurt about it only makes the whole situation more undesirable. You’d think they would see that. Honesty is the best policy and the way I see it you were being a good friend by respecting them enough to straight up tell them you weren’t interested. Many girls in your position try to beat around the bush to avoid the awkwardness or the fall out (which, by the way, doesn’t ever make this end any differently!) They are the ones who need to reevaluate their actions and the way they respond to other peoples’ final word.
I would honestly say that you shouldn’t even worry about this. Hold your head high, continue your search with the honesty you are already employing and in time you will see that it’ll become easier to accept that you can’t always make other people see things your way. You win some, you lose some. Maybe give the boys a break for the time being. If you need any girl pals, give me a shout! Good luck.
Have a question about love, dating, relationships, sex, or anything at all? Send it to Celina at firstname.lastname@example.org