I write to you today not to pound on a familiar drum, but to provide some insight into the same beat we've been hearing for a while.
Can men and women be friends? Straight-up, no strings, no caveats, full-on, platonic friends?
Ladies, if a single guy wants to be your friend, that is normal. If a single guy wants to be your friend, calls and texts you as much as your girlfriends do and frequently asks for one-on-one hangouts, that's not normal.
This guy wants more than friendship.
Have you noticed, sometimes, you meet a man, are very friendly with the hopes of becoming friends, and suddenly, within weeks, he treats you like you've been friends since elementary school?
You immediately jump the heap and are now one of his closest friends. He wants to hang out every weekend. Did he have no other friends before?
Now, let me clarify, because it appears like I am downing the guy. I'm not; I am a guy, and I have been there.
Say a guy meets a girl he finds attractive; they hit it off and become friends. Now, there is attraction and chemistry. What man would not be interested in pursuing this person as a romantic partner?
It is actually the opposite of being shallow. Why would he say, "Well she's beautiful, and we get along great, but I don't want to date her."
The difference is, women can do that. It's an anomaly I don't care to look into, but it exists.
Women can have male friends they find attractive and enjoy, but simply don't have romantic feelings toward them.
It's weird and men have been pondering this conundrum since the beginning of time, usually alone in their bedrooms.
I think there was a Vertical Horizon song about it.
Now ladies, again, I'm addressing you specifically.
Have you ever had that moment when you were hanging out with a platonic male friend, and then he "got weird?" This can include making a move on you (and usually blaming it on alcohol).
Has he ever gotten oddly angry when you talked about dating other men? Do you ever feel like you can't be fully honest with him about men because he will get jealous?
This is not normal in a friendship. I don't get jealous when my best friend Emile hangs out with his girlfriend.
I don't "not talk to him" for three days because he told me he thought my coworker was cute (that was hypothetical -- don't get mad, Emile's girlfriend).
That leads me to my next beat: single men hanging out with their female friends who have boyfriends. Often, the boyfriend will get jealous.
Women will defend, and rightfully so, that they should be trusted. They say even if their guy friend were somehow interested, they would never be unfaithful.
Understandable. I agree. Concur. On board. The problem though, is the chipper. The chipper is the guy friend who slowly, meticulously picks away at the foundation of your relationship.
Then, when you are having issues with your man, is it really your guy friend's best interest to help you repair? Could there possibly be some ulterior motives and some biases to what he tells you?
And if so, isn't that a problem?
When I ask my friend Emile (sorry Emile, I keep bringing you up) advice about my dating life, I know he will give me his honest opinion.
It might not be helpful, but it will be genuine.
I know this does not speak true to all, which is why it's a "personal experience," but I had a girlfriend who told me when we started dating that she had a best friend who was a guy.
She told me her last relationship suffered some setbacks because her boyfriend had trouble dealing with this fact. I asked, “Has your guy friend ever professed his love for you?" She replied, "A couple of times."
A couple of times?!
How am I, her new boyfriend, supposed to feel comforted when my new girlfriend is spending a late night alone, maybe having some drinks, chatting about love and life with this man who she has a deep and long foundation with, who also is madly in love with her?
Now, if this gentleman were a real friend, he would accept that she is not interested and accept her new boyfriend. The second part to this story comes when her guy friend was having a party and invited her.
She asked him if I could go. He said something along the lines of, “Well we already have too many guys here.”
What?! I would never not invite my best friend (Emile, did I mention that?) to a party and tell him his girlfriend couldn't come. Also, that means my girlfriend at his party was just contributing to the amount of "women" who are available.
Keep in mind, ladies, the whole "shoe on the other foot" situation. It hardly ever happens, which is why we seldom have to talk about it.
But, say you have a boyfriend, and one day, out of the blue, he tells you he just made a friend who happens to be a gorgeous girl, and they get along great.
They hang out all the time one-on-one, and they’re just so freaking cute. Every once in a while, people will mistake them for a couple.
Now, through some set of circumstances, you are sure this woman is totally all about your man. You just know it.
You approach your boyfriend; you tell him how you believe his female friend likes him and how you worry about the two of them hanging out alone.
Your boyfriend responds by telling you you're being insecure, jealous and that if you trusted him, you would know there was nothing to worry about.
You would feel…not good. There is a reason men are jealous of their girlfriends hanging out with single men. It is because we are men, and most of us have been the well-intentioned "friend" who wanted more.
Homework: Women, choose one of your guy friends and try to make out with him. If he reciprocates, you'll know I'm right.
To test the control of this experiment, I will go try to make out with Emile and see what happens.
Keep in mind, I make assumptions and educated guesses based on my experiences and research. I am not so naive or closed-minded to think I have accrued all of the knowledge at this point in my life to know the answers for sure.
If you take issue with parts of my article, please don't yell at me; educate me.
I'm trying to have a conversation with you, not preach to you. Your comments or personal emails are more than welcome.