I hate that phrase “let’s just be friends.” If you’re really attracted to a woman, you don’t want to be her friend – you want to be more, right?
But lately, I’ve concluded I should make friendship with women – not relationships – my goal.
Why? Because I recently sabotaged a wonderful friendship with a woman by trying to take it a step further.
I feel like an idiot.
This woman – I’ll call her Linda – semed like a soul mate in some ways. We could talk about anything with ease and spend hours together without noticing the time.
Because of circumstances in our lives – I have a young son at home and she’s engaged in a demanding career – we knew a romance wouldn’t work. So we had the comfort of hanging out together without analyzing our relationship or wondering where it was headed.
We watched movies, dined at restaurants, cooked together and traded text messages about our day. I always thought Linda was gorgeous and would imagine being boyfriend/ girlfriend. But I had the intelligence and self-discipline, I thought, to respect the boundaries of our friendship.
Until one night.
A friendship changed forever
We were watching TV together. I joined her on the couch and sat a little closer than normal. Then closer and closer. Linda seemed to stiffen a little, but I didn’t heed the body language.
I kissed her – for the first time – and the affection kept progressing. We stopped well short of sex, but a line had been breached. And I had been the initiator.
“I can’t trust you anymore,” Linda said.
The words penetrated me like a dagger. Is there a worse feeling than violating a trust? Can trust in a friendship ever be restored?
I don’t know.
Linda is a mature, sophisticated woman. She didn’t become hysterical or tell me to get lost after I came on too strong. But I knew I had hurt her, and I wanted to hit the rewind button on our relationship.
Some people say men and women can’t be just friends. They say physical attraction – usually on the man’s part – will stretch the boundaries of friendship until it breaks.
I disagree. I think and women can remain friends and do things together – as long as the relationship boundaries are clear. For instance, no physical contact beyond a hug or peck on the cheek.
Once you open the hormonal floodgates, a comfortable friendship gets washed away in a flash.
Men, we need a reality check. Some women want to be our friends – and nothing more. Can you believe it? You should. A platonic friendship with a woman can be a wonderful thing. It complements your busy life without disrupting it with dating drama.
Stop trying to push a friendship into a relationship. If you do, you’ll likely fail and lose a friend in the process.
Don’t see a platonic friendship with a woman as a second-class arrangement. It can be simpler and far more rewarding than an up-and-down, high-maintenance dating relationship.