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lpdal
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Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:08 pm

Let's just say for the purpose of discussion that you are a decently attractive male who is neither on the "model" or "ultra unattractive" side of the spectrum, and you just broke up with your partner or even a spouse. Said person still wants to maintain a "platonic" (only friends/not romantic) relationship despite the tumult and/or drama, not involving sex or intimacy. What do you do?
I'm interested to hear if a good majority of people have grappled with this problem.

EDIT: No, I am not dealing with this situation at the moment.

EDIT 2: Clarified some portions.

-LPDAL

[Edited 2014-09-12 09:42:13]
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AeroWesty
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:15 pm

If I'm reading this right, after some bit of drama, a woman you were involved with says she still wants to be your friend but have sex with some other guy(s).

Dude, if you don't walk away from this, you're destined for the snow globe. Just. Walk. Away.
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pylon101
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:23 pm

It depends on many circumstances.
Most of all, the chemistry of the previous stage of relations.
Usually one of two still has some sort of sexual gravitation; while another one does not.
It might be an issue.
However, if the two have common interests, or obligations, or special interests - it is worth of trying to build something.

Obviously, if there are no issues with "sex in the past" - it is much easier.
But my experience shows that the sex factor remains present.
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compensateme
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Of course it's possible, but most intimate relationships end with one or both persons having hurt feelings and it's usually difficult to move beyond those - especially if one person still has feelings toward the other. Imagine how you'd feel when you find out she's sleeping with one of your closest friends, or hooked up with a well-endowed man of color she met at the club last night...

And FWIW, looks are irrelevant to the issue.
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vikkyvik
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):
Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Of course they can, but that's not representative of what you're asking.

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):


Let's just say for the purpose of discussion that you are a decently attractive male who is neither on the "model" or "ultra unattractive" side of the spectrum, and you just broke up with your partner or even a spouse. Said person still wants to maintain a "platonic" (only friends/not romantic) relationship despite the tumult and/or drama. What do you do?

Depends totally on the situation, and what you're comfortable with. I would say that in general, it's easier to be completely separate, at least for awhile, but there's no one way to handle this.

Simply put, if you're comfortable around her, feel free to be around her. If you're not, then don't.
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Asturias
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:39 pm

Well, since the relationship is over, it's a question of what you want and are comfortable with. In most cases it's best to let go completely, there are literally thousands of millions of women out there.

Not all in your neighborhood, but you get the idea. Spending time with an ex girlfriend isn't necessarily the most productive thing a person can do.

So I'd say, move on, unless you want to be her friend *and* are comfortable with that situation.
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ER757
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:49 pm

Well, it worked for Jerry and Elaine  

If you start out as "just friends" you can likely remain that way - I know I have several female friends that are that and nothing more. But if it's a romantic relationship and then you're asking if it can go to "just friends," I think that's hard. I am sure people do go that route, I'd have a hard time with it.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:11 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):
Let's just say for the purpose of discussion that you are a decently attractive male who is neither on the "model" or "ultra unattractive" side of the spectrum, and you just broke up with your partner or even a spouse. Said person still wants to maintain a "platonic" (only friends/not romantic) relationship despite the tumult and/or drama. What do you do?

While it is possible and possibly fine the bigger thing to consider is if you are truly interested in meeting other partners/potential spouses/friends (w/benefits?), how will it affect you're being able to do that?

A) There is the free time aspect, this "old friend" will tie up your free time that you could otherwise spend meeting new people (though it is possible the "old friend" could help you meet new people, the dynamics of the situation more often create roadblocks).

B) There is how will another person react? If someone likes you and wants to do more, how will they react to you wanting to still be friends with your "old friend"? There are many issues that can jump in here from jealousy to thinking you just haven't moved on yet and are stuck so they won't even bother.

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 2):
However, if the two have common interests, or obligations, or special interests -

This is really the only real reason why adult men and a women can be friends and nothing else. But they they don't go looking for reasons to spend time together, they just happen to be in the the same place because of what they do, who their friend group is. It is a fine line and many people doing it lie to themselves but it is possible.

Tugg
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ANITIX87
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:24 pm

My opinion, based on personal experience and on the experiences of those around me, is the following:

Any two people can be "only" friends until it develops into more than that. Once you've passed that line, I think it's impossible to go back. Two people who develop a physical relationship (regardless of gender or orientation) will never achieve the same level of friendship if it ends.

Can you be cordial/friendly/involved in that person's life? Sure, if you go about it in a healthy manner and make sure there's time to heal and move on. But there will never be the same level of unconditional trust and certainly never be a total absence of jealousy or feelings.

I got out of a 4-year relationship last September - I have not had a single word of contact with my ex-girlfriend in the past year, and I never will again. I just couldn't go back to having her in my life with how things ended - it would hurt me too much and I could never handle seeing her with someone else, even though I've moved on, realized I am better-off without her, and am not looking for new, better relationships.

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lpdal
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:27 pm

No, I am not involved with a situation like this at the moment though I and I'm sure a substantial amount of other males have had to deal with this problem at one point. Since posters have been surprisingly open I'd figure I would share what happened, how I resolved the situation, and what happened afterward...For better or worse...

1. I began dating a woman in early 2013 (I would say late February or early March) and broke up with her before Spring was over. She insisted that we could possibly date again in the future, and we all know where this is going....Well, in October 2013, I had enough with her beating around the bush and confronted her to see if she was being truthful about desiring to date me in the future. She told me that she never had any intention of dating me and was leading me on for months! I replied why would I want to be have a "friendship" that consisted of more fighting and drama than a near-divorce couple on Dr. Phil, not to mention the outright deceit and lies...Then I proceeded to block her on all communications, as well as her family members, and all of her BFFs.

Now when I break up with a woman I block her and related persons on every method of communication possible. The drama has stopped, and it's pretty funny how quiet my life became after a good portion of the drama was eliminated.  and I never want that "paparazzi" back again.

-LPDAL
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pylon101
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:28 pm

Our young friend asked a good question.
But there is immeasurable number of answers to this seemingly simple question.
Say, when we say "millions of males/females out there" - it is nothing more than a synecdoche.
In reality, the circle is limited by many factors. Not the least: never-ending search of another version of "her/him."

Oh, and those tactile senses....
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vikkyvik
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:34 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 9):
She insisted that we could possibly date again in the future

Shoulda stopped seeing her right then. You're not good enough for her to date right now, but you might be later? That's BS.

Also, that's a fairly different situation than you asked about originally. Staying friends is different from staying friends because one of you may want to start dating again.
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lpdal
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:44 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 11):

I am relatively younger than a lot of the adults here, so I still have a lot to learn and I'm not just talking about dating. So for me, I prefer to talk to older adults and late 20-something's rather than people my own age for advice.

-LPDAL
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:45 pm

I for sure think you can just be friends. My best friend in the world is a woman and theres nothing complicated about it. Like others mentioned issues arise when there is a sexual attraction or after ending a relationship. I think even an amicable split makes it difficult to remain friends immediately. My best friend split up with my guy best friend. They tried to be friends but it took a long time for them to get past it and be friendly again. Now they hang out occasionally, but it's mostly when I'm around. I think it's awkward otherwise.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 9):
She insisted that we could possibly date again in the future, and we all know where this is going.

She had you on the hook. I don't know if you've ever seen the tv show How I Met Your Mother, but they had a good episode on just this thing. The girl kept telling Ted "I can't be with you, right now."
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Rara
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:36 pm

In these situations, the Internet (TM) really only knows the "walk away" line of advice. So it's quite unnecessary to ask, because you know what the answer's going to be like from the start.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:00 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 12):
I am relatively younger than a lot of the adults here, so I still have a lot to learn and I'm not just talking about dating. So for me, I prefer to talk to older adults and late 20-something's rather than people my own age for advice.

I didn't say you should do otherwise.   

But anyway, like I said:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 11):
Shoulda stopped seeing her right then. You're not good enough for her to date right now, but you might be later? That's BS.
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 13):
She had you on the hook.

  

Quoting Rara (Reply 14):
In these situations, the Internet (TM) really only knows the "walk away" line of advice. So it's quite unnecessary to ask, because you know what the answer's going to be like from the start.

In the situation as described in reply 9, I would advise walking away in person, too, not just on the internet. You don't want to be strung along because someone says they might be able to date you at some later date.
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:00 pm

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 3):
Imagine how you'd feel when you find out she's sleeping with one of your closest friends, or hooked up with a well-endowed man of color she met at the club last night...

I'd feel done with her... And then make it so.

Quoting Asturias (Reply 5):
Spending time with an ex girlfriend isn't necessarily the most productive thing a person can do.

Yes to this. There's really no good that can come of that. Nothing new to be learned, except perhaps for how boring it was in the first place. Add to that, she'd know all your flaws, and likely feel free to point them out as able/needed.

If there's something genuinely of value to be gained (professional relationship, child support, etc), then I'm all for it. But typically, yeah, sooner or later someone gets emotionally bruised and I've never personally been one to want to fix all that.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 7):
B) There is how will another person react? If someone likes you and wants to do more, how will they react to you wanting to still be friends with your "old friend"? There are many issues that can jump in here from jealousy to thinking you just haven't moved on yet and are stuck so they won't even bother.

It's a valid point, but I'll say this. For me, if that other new person displays jealousy or discomfort at my ex's presence, it isn't a matter of what I would have to worry about, but one of what she would. Her being jealous of an ex is, of course, irrelevant, but her being jealous at all indicates an unacceptable deficiency, and she too would soon have to be ok with being an ex. Life's too short to put up with all that.

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 10):
But there is immeasurable number of answers to this seemingly simple question.
Say, when we say "millions of males/females out there" - it is nothing more than a synecdoche.
In reality, the circle is limited by many factors. Not the least: never-ending search of another version of "her/him."

Very good point. And even so, we have to remember that we can only have what we rate. Fortunately that's somewhat subjective, but the fact is that someone with an unattractive physique, poor hygiene, modest income, and dramatic tendencies doesn't have "millions" of options, no matter how many women he comes into contact with.

And even someone who has it all together still only gets what he can "connect" with, after having weeded out undesirable choices from his point of view. Yes, indeed, the pool of qualified applicants is always smaller than we'd like it to be. But on the other hand, same's true for them.... So there's that I guess...
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tommy1808
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:11 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):
Let's just say for the purpose of discussion that you are a decently attractive male who is neither on the "model" or "ultra unattractive" side of the spectrum, and you just broke up with your partner or even a spouse. Said person still wants to maintain a "platonic" (only friends/not romantic) relationship despite the tumult and/or drama, not involving sex or intimacy. What do you do?

Easy. My ex-gf and i broke up 5 years ago, after a 15 years relationship, and we went back to being friends w/o any problem. She gets along with my new gf just fine and so do i with her new bf.
Unless a relationship ended on really bad terms, and assuming during the course of the relationship you actually have been friends and not just a shared flat, bed and bank account, i don´t see why not.

But if you hope to get her back, or think she hopes to get you back: run - for both your sake.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 9):
She told me that she never had any intention of dating me

Funny enough, a while after the relationship above ended i pretty much fell in love with a very good and close friend. I tried to date her quite a while and she consistently said "no". At some point i got over her and along the way everything between us was just peachy. About a year later i met my current gf, and the moment i told her, after hearing from her for a at least 2 years that she hopes and would be so happy if i founds someone to fall in love with, things go strange. When i told her my, at that time not yet gf, would come to visit me to live together for a few month to see if we could be something, it got stranger. The day my now gf arrived in Germany she just flat out stopped talking to me, all i heard from her since was a birthday card, saying "Happy Birthday - although you probably don´t care". Since it came with a present, a nice one too, i did write her back however that i do care and that her thinking about my birthday made me very happy and a few other nice things.... no reply, no nothing.

Reminds me of "you never lose a friend, you only find out who they are".

best regards
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Aesma
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:28 pm

Walking away always seems like the smart move, even if you do want her back : that could incite her to come running.

However in practice, it's not always that simple, feelings get in the way.

For me such a situation almost ruined my life, and that was in high school ! I don't even blame the girl or anybody, it's just life.
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lpdal
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:05 am

Well, I think dating women is a lot like the struggle to get a job; you fill out one hundred applications and you get one phone call from the least desirable job you applied for. In the same vein, you may go through the motions to ask out 100 women and 99 of them say no, and the one that does say yes is in cahoots with another man and using you as a backup plan.

I'm not intrested in playing games, performing mind tricks, or doing any of that nonsense to have a woman. I could go through the rigamarole of manipulating a woman into dating me very easily, but what is that? A relationship built on lies and deceit? No way am I ever doing that. Maybe I'm just too nice and I'm not enough of a "challenge" for women, and if that's the case so be it. I'll just wait in the hope that one day these childish games will stop....

-LPDAL
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4holer
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:40 am

Some women, if you look in their pantry, have some things on the back of a shelf like an old package of ramen noodles, some pumpkin pie filling, or Jello mix, none of which ever really have any hope of being used by her ever again, but that she just likes to have on the shelf in an absolute emergency. NIt takes no effort to keep it on the shelf there, and it's only ramen noodles and doesn't take up too much space....
Don't ever be someone's back of the shelf ramen noodles.

Additionally, my ex and I are cordial and all. Almost entirely driven by her. And I know it's just because it relieves her of some burden of guilt if I don't hate her because of how she failed in the marriage (putting it nicely). I allow it because I don't care enough to be bothered by it. Other men may not be so easy going about maintaining such communications...
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Braybuddy
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:28 pm

She sounds like an awful bitch. Good riddance to bad rubbish . . .
 
aa757first
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:42 pm

A man and a woman can definitely be just friends. It's way trickier, though, when there was a romantic relationship first. Most realistically, it needs time to "devolve." That means waiting a few months with no/minimal contact and maybe after someone starts dating someone else.

However, I definitely think some people are poorly suited for a romantic relationship, but could be great friends.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:18 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 21):
She sounds like an awful bitch. Good riddance to bad rubbish . . .

LOL, I adore the way you distill things down to their absolute essence, in such a concise manner.
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Braybuddy
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 5:30 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 23):

Words fail me sometimes Westy, words sometimes fail me (as do tablets: apologies for the incomplete quote)
 
Maverick623
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:39 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):
Said person still wants to maintain a "platonic" (only friends/not romantic) relationship despite the tumult and/or drama, not involving sex or intimacy. What do you do?

Funny answer: Run away, as fast as you can.

Serious answer: Run away, as fast as you can.

And ask yourself this: how many male or female friends (that you have no intimate or sexual connection with) did you choose to be friends with?

And then ask yourself why this one should be a choice.

Quoting LPDAL (Thread starter):

I'm interested to hear if a good majority of people have grappled with this problem.

Everybody.
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LH707330
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:48 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 9):
Then I proceeded to block her on all communications, as well as her family members, and all of her BFFs.

Now when I break up with a woman I block her and related persons on every method of communication possible. The drama has stopped, and it's pretty funny how quiet my life became after a good portion of the drama was eliminated.

Sounds like a bit of an extreme reaction. I have plenty of friends that I've met through exes, and my mom is still good friends with one of my exes. Just because one relationship between two people changes, doesn't mean any other ones need to as well. As you date friends of friends, this will become important.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 13):
Quoting LPDAL (Reply 9):
She insisted that we could possibly date again in the future, and we all know where this is going.

She had you on the hook. I don't know if you've ever seen the tv show How I Met Your Mother, but they had a good episode on just this thing. The girl kept telling Ted "I can't be with you, right now."
Pat

You beat me to it...

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 16):
Quoting Asturias (Reply 5):
Spending time with an ex girlfriend isn't necessarily the most productive thing a person can do.

Yes to this. There's really no good that can come of that. Nothing new to be learned, except perhaps for how boring it was in the first place. Add to that, she'd know all your flaws, and likely feel free to point them out as able/needed.

Depends. I split up with someone because we needed different things out of a relationship, but we still have a bunch of common interests and remain friends.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 19):
Well, I think dating women is a lot like the struggle to get a job; you fill out one hundred applications and you get one phone call from the least desirable job you applied for. In the same vein, you may go through the motions to ask out 100 women and 99 of them say no, and the one that does say yes is in cahoots with another man and using you as a backup plan.

I'm not intrested in playing games, performing mind tricks, or doing any of that nonsense to have a woman. I could go through the rigamarole of manipulating a woman into dating me very easily, but what is that? A relationship built on lies and deceit? No way am I ever doing that. Maybe I'm just too nice and I'm not enough of a "challenge" for women, and if that's the case so be it. I'll just wait in the hope that one day these childish games will stop....

If your batting average is 1%, you're either going after the wrong crowd or you're not marketing yourself well. It's important to keep in mind that you're "somebody else" to everyone else, here's a good article on that.

I'd recommend you work out what makes you unique, and then think of how others relate to those attributes positively and negatively. I do this all the time. In my experience, most women don't want me to explain the difference between a two-spool and three-spool turbofan (miraculously, I recovered that date), but they find it attractive that I'm knowledgeable and dedicated to a hobby.

Next, make a list of people you've been attracted to, and try to figure out what they all have in common to tease out your underlying preferences. Enlist the help of some friends to make it more objective so you don't just end up with "smart and good-looking." Next, think of what types of people this demographic likes, and find the overlaps with your attributes.

Then just go play ball. As Wayne Gretzky said, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." The only regrets I have are from situations where I didn't gamble. Over time you'll get to know yourself better as a subject and make better decisions.

Lastly, don't be afraid to ask "taboo" questions that you want answers to, you'll learn a lot from it. Ask "what do you find attractive about me," "Ok, this didn't work out, why do you think so," etc. Worst case scenario someone won't answer. I think a lot of dating dysfunction comes from the fact that you're supposed to "figure it out" without any information or instruction. Invariably, most people waste their time doing the wrong things.

Ok, that's enough armchair quarterbacking for an afternoon, good luck out there.

Quoting 4holer (Reply 20):
Don't ever be someone's back of the shelf ramen noodles.

Too true. Once you've detected it, bail.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:53 pm

Interesting thread. Actually yes you can be friends. My bestie is a woman who I never actually dated even though I really did have feelings for her. She actually moved into my house as a roommate after she sold her house. She had her own room and so did I. She lived there for 2 years and we occasionally slept together when one of us was in need of some lovin. But she absoulutely did not want us to have a relationship as she had been married several times before and she felt us having a relationship would ruin the friendship. She finally met an awesome guy who treats her like a queen and they married and I couldn't be more happy for her and we are still best friends to this day.

[Edited 2014-09-14 14:55:17]
 
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seb146
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:50 am

Quoting pylon101 (Reply 2):
It depends on many circumstances.

Yes it does and for all relationships.

For example: when I first happened upon a.net, I had been dating a man for 3 years. We broke up a year later. We are still friends 13+ years later. My current brosband (not quite a husband but oh, so much more than a boyfriend) is still on speaking terms with his ex. I do have one ex that I never ever want to see again period. It all just depends on the people and their relationships. I see it in hetero couples as well.
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Can Men And Women Just Be Friends And Nothing More

Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:12 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Dude, if you don't walk away from this, you're destined for the snow globe. Just. Walk. Away

Excellent advice IMO.   
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"

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