The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 October 2005

Just friends

Alicia at LOOK@OKC distrusts the term:

I have decided that it's possible for men and women to be friends if neither of them want anything other than friendship. Of course this mutual lack-of-nookie & love-seekin' is rare. I spoke with an older male friend of mine who admits that many men will lurk about waiting for their chance ... yet after knowing a female for years, he finally accepted that nothing would happen. In a way, he accepted his role as a friend to her.

I have also decided that men and women can be friends if one or both of them is ugly and non-sexual. In my opinion, men find it hard to be on platonic terms with a female they'd want as a bedmate. Women may find this situation equally frustrating, but speaking from experience, there is a line one can draw between "friend" and "other" that is fairly easy to ascertain and respect.

So, I think men can be friends with women they find unattractive. And vice versa. However, once sexual desire and want come into the picture, the rules change ... as do many of the motives.

Well, maybe. I haven't run up against this particular wall, but this is only because my acceptance "that nothing would happen" usually falls within the first twenty seconds of meeting someone.

And I'm not prepared to argue, as Laura does, that "men do not have a clue how to behave around a woman"; surely some of them must, or the species presumably would have died out years ago.

Posted at 5:15 PM to Table for One


I'm one of those who used to take it not-so-well whenever a female acquaintance, with whom I wanted to be more than just friends, expressed her preference for the "just friends" format.

The scornful retort, "I've got friends," never actually passed my lips, but the thought certainly found expression enough times.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:39 PM on 16 October 2005

Most men know perfectly well how to behave around women. The whiny, petulant little girls who festoon the social landscape are a different subject.

Both sexes have their awkwardnesses, but the central problem is the same for each: coming to terms, soberly and maturely, with the fact that they want different things from one another -- and with the fact that each regards the other's surface motivations as a threat to something he values. Any analysis of why it's so difficult for singles to get mated today must grapple with this effect. So far, none do.

Perhaps I'll tackle it at Eternity Road.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 3:50 AM on 17 October 2005

Any analysis of why it's so difficult for singles to get mated today must grapple with this effect.

Based on my own experience at the time, I decided the trouble was that honesty had become a commodity -- the more valued because it was so scarce.

Seriously: everyone else was marketing themselves based on what they in their shallowness thought the opposite sex -- in its shallowness -- wanted.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:41 AM on 17 October 2005

Nonsense (that first paragraph you quoted, about only-no-mutual-attraction-possible friendships). I'm very good friends with a man who'd never disguised he's attracted to me. Even though he knows perfectly well for at least 10 yrs that I'm not.
But may be he's an exception, since I always found it easier to quickly establish friendly understanding with gay men than with straight: there is no underlying agenda, from both sides.

Posted by: Tatyana at 12:57 PM on 17 October 2005

Your exegesis is ready, Charles.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 12:33 PM on 22 October 2005