dinolover

Friendships with guys

12 posts in this topic

So, I've been making friendships with some people (mostly on the internet, but out of it too) and I noticed that most guys that I end up by befriending end up by falling for me/expressing sexual or romantic desires for me. I've been really angry with myself thanks to that, only now am I beginning to accept it as normal. Right now, I just really don't know how to handle it. I know how to tell someone else that I'm not interested and stopped any interactions with the ones that insisted, yet I'm mostly bothered by the feeling of guilt/shame/self hatred that I get whenever this happens. 

Do you get this kind of problem? How could I take care of it? Advice?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on both the giving and receiving end of this dynamic. It's perfectly and you have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of. There is still a strong cultural belief that men and women can't be friends without attraction arising. Consequently if there is any attraction people tend to treat it as a radical shift in the relationship rather than a small and reversible evolution.

Many of us on Shy's are familiar with and even treasure the fluidity of friendships between women that allow for blurring of boundaries between platonic love and romantic love. There is less tolerance of this in cross-gender friendships and too many people seem to see it as opposite poles. Either you view this person as a friend with a capital F and practically feel an incest taboo towards them, or you're madly in love with them and want to be together forever. 

Bringing it back to your situation, I think your male friends may think if they feel even the slightest bit attracted to you that this has to lead to a big heartfelt declaration of love. It doesn't of course, but they have difficulty imagining alternatives. When this happens, be considerate of their feelings but firm about your own boundaries. If they can't accept that and persist in making advances, that's their fault, not yours.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing wrong with me then, I guess. I'll try to remember that whenever one of them say they love me or show this in a less straightforward way. By the way, I know how it feels like to have this kind of relationship with a woman, I just have a hard time dealing with it in a male-female scenario.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way I have been able to deal with this is to avoid the situation where I meet the man concerned. I have tried telling him politely but he wasn’t hearing me. It’s about making it clear that the man is a friend and not a potential lover. I just think a lot of men have a hard time hearing this. When encountering the man a friendly and polite hello and walking on by should deliver a message, don’t engage in any conversation or exchange numbers etc; this means more to them that it does to you. Basically it means sex. I know this is not all women’s experience, some women can and do make platonic friendships with men and I envy them. This has always been a sore subject in my life but then in general I am not good at developing friendships but am learning to keep the men at bay.

Failing polite refusal .... off should get through the male ego.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I noticed that too. I try to avoid men that appear to be too flirty, but even the "normal" ones do that at some point.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, dinolover said:

Yeah, I noticed that too. I try to avoid men that appear to be too flirty, but even the "normal" ones do that at some point.

I think normal ones are worse because they tend to come off as nice guys only later in the friendship start showing feelings. I think it's best to be upfront. I befriend guys and I flirt with guys, sometimes the two are one and the same, but if you're clear really early on, they'll know and you can choose how you handle it. 

I don't think there's anything wrong with guys being flirty - I mean the alternative is they never hit on you and see you as an asexual being and anyone who says that is better is missing the point!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try to be okay with their flirting, but yeah, some of them showed signs of attraction later and I felt betrayed. By the way, I can flirt as a joke, just not as a person that seriously plan on doing any kind of sexual activity with the guy. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@dinolover I empathize with your experience. I admit I have been on both ends of this. Especially in younger years. I never had any actual male friends and I had the Disney Prince Charming syndrome, so I had trouble seeing them as potential friends, but was constantly infatuated by random boys. Later I grew frustrated when I noticed that no men took any special interest in me unless he wanted sex. I accepted it and simply seeked attention through flirting. Now I'm over all this immature mess, hopefully. I try to have respectful and equal relationship with emphasis on friendship. But I hit against the same problem as you - when I think a man wants to talk to me and hang out, it turns out he wants sex. On top of that I had men blatantly tell me variations of the following:

"I don't believe in friendships between men and women." (Says a guy I'm hanging out with, who also has a girlfriend. What am I supposed to think?)

"Men and women shouldn't hang out alone, it's dangerous and a temptation" (A dude in his twenties, a Christian)

"I always see a possibility of an erotic relationship when meeting a woman" (A dude who flips out when I say I thought we were friends)

And of course, a man you trust, see as a colleague, a professional relationship, an authority, tells you that you look good/are sexy/comments on your looks inappropriately.

So, for now, I trust no one, and don't have any good advice to give really :D

Online, try with a male name and avatar. It's a bliss.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry for the way you are feeling. You really should not have.

I also can empathize with your experience and also have been mostly on the receiving end,I also just plain out told them I wasn't interested in them romantically/sexually and although I had a sort of friends with benefits long ago, not everyone insisted once I turned them down but yeah, I thought it's quite inevitable, maybe. 

It hasn't happened in a while but now I'm a bit attracted to a male friend myself haha, less now than a while back, he doesn't know. Usually, with time feelings can pass, especially if you don't act on them and nothing happens between you and them but a good person should know how to respect a NO

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. Another honest one: I fell in love with a good friend myself. I didn't want to disappoint her and make her think It was my intention all along. I told her and she accepted it very kindly, I knew nothing was going to happen (straight) so I assured her that friendship is more important to me and that we can get through it. I don't know why I wanted to tell her. I hope I didn't come across as a "friendzoned" asshole. Actually it makes me understand those men even less, because they don't really see you as a friend. I guess :D

Edited by Stitchingtakestoolong
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Stitchingtakestoolong said:

Thanks. Another honest one: I fell in love with a good friend myself. I didn't want to disappoint her and make her think It was my intention all along. I told her and she accepted it very kindly, I knew nothing was going to happen (straight) so I assured her that friendship is more important to me and that we can get through it. I don't know why I wanted to tell her. I hope I didn't come across as a "friendzoned" asshole. Actually it makes me understand those men even less, because they don't really see you as a friend. I guess :D

This seems like a great example of how to graciously handle unrequited feelings for a friend

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know. I've met a straight girl (never told her about my feelings) and I've made my best to keep our friendship, something that sometimes I wonder if men are capable of. They're far more persistent with me than I am with girls. They should learn to respect someone else's feelings with queer women.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now