Don’t be afraid to tell him you want to be friends.
Establishing a platonic relationship with a man can be sticky.
Men want to have sex with women. But sometimes a woman wants to enjoy a man’s company—without having sex—but she doesn’t know how to balance dating and friendship.
How then does a woman juggle dating and friendship with a man without fumbling the entire relationship?
You need confidence in yourself to turn a date into a man friend.
My girlfriend Linda has an assortment of successful, attractive, engaging men friends. She plays golf with them. She meets them for cocktails and dinner. She goes to parties and events with them. She even travels with them, paying her own way and staying in separate bedrooms.
I, on the other hand, would go out with a new man looking for a romantic connection. And when he didn’t meet up to my expectations (my shopping list) my lack of enthusiasm for him doused his initial interest in me and then I would never hear from him again.
And when he disappeared, so did his amusing texts, yummy restaurants, interesting conversations and escorts to parties and events.
I listened to Linda’s tales of outings with her men friends. I envied her enjoyable dinners with unique male conversation, lively happy hours, exciting trips and having a man accompany her to the theatre, but more than that, I longed for a man who asked me out strictly because he enjoyed my company.
I had to wonder, Why am I unable to maintain a pleasurable friendship with a man?
I adopted a new outlook on dating.
Instead of looking for a romantic connection, I consciously went out with a man with the expectation of making a new friend.
More times than not, when I went out with a new man, sitting next to him in a restaurant, my critical inner voice would say, He’s too short. He has age spots. His clothes are not stylish enough. And I immediately quit enjoying his company and dismissed him from my world.
STOP! I screeched at my negativity. He could make a good friend. We can go to dinner together. He can escort me to a party or maybe he’ll want to ride horses with me. He could help me unjam my kitchen disposal. And I can enhance his life by being a supportive female friend.
All of sudden, I began to enjoy his company and I imagined us spending more time together as friends.
It requires confidence to take charge of a potential relationship with man.
Women often don’t know what to say or do to discourage a man’s romantic pursuit because she is too nice and insecure to express her honest feelings. She doesn’t want to hurt his feelings or she's afraid she'll run him off if she tells him that she only wants to be friends. (Or she is totally self-absorbed and she could care less about having a mutually beneficial relationship with a man friend.)
And so, she takes the weak-sister way out: she gives him the cool shoulder, she avoids his phone calls and snubs his invitations, and the man is, of course, hurt by her unexplained rejection. And the woman loses the enriching experience of having him as a male friend.
The 5 Do’s And Don’ts That Keep A Man As A Friend:
Be upfront. Tell him on the first (or second date) that you enjoy male friendship.
I learned to share my true thoughts with men: (1) I don’t want to get married again, and (2) Let’s promise that we will at least be friends and have fun together. I was astounded at how receptive they were to the idea being friends and not lovers.
Don’t send mixed signals. A woman who is flirtatious, dresses provocatively and is touch-feely (sitting next to him, she lays her hand on his thigh), will lead a man to believe she is open to a sexual connection.
If you continually allow a man to pick you up at the door, pick up all the tabs, and even accept his gifts, he will feel he is courting you and he will expect a physical connection. If you want to make him into a friend, treat him like a friend.
Share in the expense. Go dutch on a dinner. Buy the movie tickets. Alternate who picks up the tab or show him you’re a big girl and pick up the entire check occasionally.
Paying your own way is empowering. It demonstrates and validates that YOU are in charge of your life. It proves to you (and to him) that you CAN take care of yourself and that you bring something to the plate besides a pretty face. I promise you, he will think you are amazing and he will want to go out with you again and again.
Don’t sleep with him. Some guys will scoff at my theory of keeping men as friends. They say, men want sex with a woman—not friendship. And while that is undeniably true, older men often don’t want their lives complicated by a woman’s financial and emotional requirements and are therefore quasi-content with a platonic relationship. Moreover, 50 to 60 percent of men in their 50s and 60s have mild to moderate erectile dysfunction and they are secretly relieved when a woman announces, she doesn't want to jump between the sheets.
Be authentic. Telling a man (who you’re not romantically interested in) that you want to be friends allows you to be true to yourself.
Paying your own way is empowering. This empowerment builds your confidence and helps you to be genuine, transparent and vulnerable. Authenticity tells a man he can trust you, he can relax and be himself around you and enjoy the time you spend together.
Be genuine when you offer to share the cost of an evening; e.g.: act like you REALLY mean it. Men know when your offer is disingenous (you fumble with you wallet). But if he insists on treating you (he looks a little insulted and he emphatically pushes your credit card back at you), accept his gentlemanly offer and and graciously thank him.
Want to be friends with a man, while leaving the door open for a future intimate relationship?
Tread lightly when telling a man you want to be friends. Men have delicate egos and if you bruise it, he will renounce you.
Tell him, your life is extremely busy (fill in the blank: your career, your children, etc.); you don’t have time for a serious relationship, but his friendship is important to you.
Tell him, you really enjoy his company but you’re slow when it comes to committing to a serious relationship, and smile warmly.
If he keeps pushing you towards the bedroom, tell him straight up, you value your friendship but you’re not ready for sex.