Dec 10, 2010

Just friends?

I think I have a problem.  Guys, do you all think that every girl is in love with you?  Let me assure you of something: we aren't.  If we are polite and strike up a conversation; if we're friendly, it's because we were raised right, not because we're willing to go home with you.*  Sorry to burst your bubble.  (*I mean, there are girls out there like that.  But work with me here.)

Let me exlpain.  I'm about to get all When Harry Met Sally on you guys.  This is my question: can guys and girls be friends and not let attraction get in the way?  Let me give you the back story...

I am an incredibly friendly and outgoing person.  So if I'm out with friends and someone approaches me to chat, I will.  Most of the time it's a boring convo and I'm giving my girlfriends the SOS symbol: a raise of the eyebrow, signifying "Please, PLEASE help me."  However I've been blessed with many intelligent and witty friends, so if they see me talking to someone that I am probably not attracted to, they know that they should a) come intervene and b) escort me away immediately; or, if they're a guy friend, they should come introduce themselves as my boyfriend.  See?  My friends are so smart.

I think Rachel McAdams put it ever so eloquently in InStyle when she said,

"I'm not shy, but I feel like I give off more confidence than I really have.  I get in trouble for being overly friendly at times.  Two hours will go by and I've been talking to the same person without really wanting to hang out beyond that.  My friends will say, 'We were trying to give you an out, and you wouldn't take it.'  But I was just having a nice time."

This embodies me on a weekend.  I'm having a great conversation, not remotely attracted to the person I'm talking to, don't have a desire to see them again, but I'm enjoying the chat (or not).  Then, as I'm stepping away from the conversation (for than likely darting away), I'll get asked for my number.   And apparently doing so means that I'm totally into them.  This has lead me to give out a fake number because I feel bad, but now I've gotten enough gumption to say, "I'm sorry, I don't give out my number to strangers."  Yep, I roll it all the way back to 3rd grade.

Guys, can a girl simply engage and a fun conversation and not have you think it's something more?  If you're talking to us at a bar, is it only because you're attracted, and not because you want someone fun to talk to?

Just because a girl is friendly to you does not mean she is attracted to you.  Too many of you get ahead of yourselves and ask girls out on dates and it's weird.  If you just met a girl (persay, at a bar) and you don't know her, invite her to a group outing first.  Or to coffee.  I know coffee can put people in the dreaded "friends zone," but I'll elaborate on that in a second.

By getting her introduced to a group of people or inviting her to a party, you get to know her a little bit better, which will create a stronger friendship, which will make her feel more comfortable about a one-on-one date.  If you meet her on day one and then two days later you're jumping the gun for a date, it's a little awkard and uncomfortable.  Don't get me wrong, I know there are times where people meet each other and they "just know" and things move fast and furious, but if you're into a chick and she's not recipricating whole-heartedly yet, sending flowers to her office after one date can be kind of weird. I know they are blind dates and all that jazz, but I'm talking about if you've met/seen a girl, you're interested and want to see how things progress, you need to take it slow.  Please.

Some rules of thumb, all in my opinion... there are several ways a girl will show you she's into you:
  1. Doesn't matter what she's doing, if you want to hang out/take her out, she'll cancel plans with her friends or find a way to see you.
  2. If she's willing to blow you off for friends, she's just not that into you.
  3. I would say "go with your intuition," but guys, I don't think your intuition is right a majority of the time!  This is why so many people say, "If you're not into a guy, just tell him outright, or else he'll keep trying and perpetuating the feelings he has for you."  So I would say go with you intution, but consult a sister or close girlfriend about behavioral type issues you may be having with a girl and get their opinion on it. 
  4. If you meet a girl at a bar and she's willing to leave the conversation, don't ask for her number.  She is not into you.  If she has to leave the convo but returns or doesn't leave at all, she's more than likely interested.
I'm totally not on point with what I'm trying to say here... so let me backtrack. Can guys be attracted to a girl and be just friends? Can girls be attracted to guys and not want something more? I can say that I love all of my guy friends dearly, and I think they're all great catches. Would I want to date them?  No.  I can say this because they're like my brothers. I've gotten to the point where I'm telling them things about me that I think need to improve, things I want to change; they know all my dirty laundry.  And I need them to be my friend, not my boyfriend. I need them to say, "You look hot tonight" and know that he's not trying to get all creepster on me. In the end, every girl needs a few guy friends to lift them up and to set them straight.

Now, about coffee dates.  My friend last week told me he was taking this girl out to coffee, and I might as well have backhanded him based on my response.  "SAY NO TO COFFEE!"  These dates are great, don't get me wrong, but they're considered casual.  I mean, I go on coffee dates with my best friends from home, mentors and my platonic guy friends, so if some guy I'm interested in is taking me on a coffee date, I'm assuming he doesn't want to take things up a notch (at least not yet).  So coffee dates can be a great way to get to know a girl (i.e. "I picked up this chick at a bar" type of thing or you just met her at an event or in class), but if you've been pursuing her for awhile and you think you'd want things to roll along, be a proper gentlman and ask the girl to dinner!  Or a movie!  Or something other than coffee.

I know every situation and circumstance is different, but these things apply a majority of the time.  Persistence is appreciated, but can be creepy; the last thing a girl wants to date is as guy who is a creep.  Proceed with caution, gentlemen, and sometimes you need to take things literally -- if a girl is talking to you, that's it, she's just talking.  No reading between the lines, she justs want a healthy, heaping spoonful of good conversation.

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