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Why wont men try and be friends with women they are not attracted to?

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Question - (25 September 2012) 5 Answers - (Newest, 25 September 2012)
A female United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I saw a question on here that made me think, and made me want to ask one of my own. Why is it that women will try to be friends with men who they aren't attracted to, but men won't try to be friends with women they aren't attracted to? I know this can't be true for all men, but I've noticed it a lot in my own experiences. All the men who have ever talked to me have wanted to be more than friends at some point, but the men who have not been attracted to me just ignore me, even when I talk to them. And on top of that, they wind up thinking I like them, so they avoid me even more. Can anyone give me an idea of why this is? It's not like I say anything to make them think I like them, I just try to make small talk. Are some men just so conceited that they think if a woman talks to them, it must mean she likes them as more than a friend?

It's not like I'm a kid, either. Back when I was 16, I thought things would change when I grew up. But I'm 24, and grown men my age and older still act like boys. I've never been able to figure out why men treat me like this. Why am I not good enough to be friends with? I'm only good enough to talk to if they find me attractive. Then it gets awkward because I don't return their feelings, and they stop talking to me once they realize I'm never going to date them. This is difficult to deal with, too, because I overall have more in common with men than women. So it's not like I can just say to heck with men and befriend women instead. I've tried already, and had no luck. I'm gay, but I've never told anyone I know. I hope to one day be with a woman, I just haven't met any who have what I'm looking for. I also tend to fall for women who are straight, so that doesn't help. I have also tried being with some of the men who have wanted me, but I always wind up rejecting them sexually, because I'm not attracted to them at all. They then stop talking to me all together.

Anyway, if you are a man who does this to women, why do you do it? Why do you only talk to women whom you hope to date (or have sex with) one day? And why won't you talk to women you don't find attractive? Why not just treat her like one of the guys? It's not like she wouldn't be any fun just because she's unattractive. And lastly, why do you assume that the women you find unattractive want you just because they talked to you?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2012):

as a gay female, i have experienced this very thing. but not directed at me. rather, my very "straight-looking", very feminine girlfriends. they would meet a guy at work or anywhere else, and tell me they were being really nice. i immediately would warn them that their intentions were not to be just their friend, and that they were trying to get into their pants. they would always be like "nooo, that's not true. he is just a nice guy." which they very well may be. but nice or not, i knew they still wanted in my gf panties, lol. and without fail, every time, it would turn out that the guys always did want to get with them. i've explained it to them a million different times in a million different ways. men just aren't nice to you without finding you attractive. even telling them right off the bat that they're gay, men still believed they could "convert" them because their mentality was that they couldn't possibly be that feminine and still be completely gay. which is a very disrespectul mentality, but true nontheless. anyway, my very straight-looking girlfriends of the past or present have never been able to have real male friends. they've all just finally given up on that concept.

as for myself, on the other hand; i make great friends with men. i dress and act like one of the guys. it's obvious i'm gay based on appearances and i don't fall into the type men typically go for, which i'm thankful for. therefore, it's purely platonic and no sexual tension. my best friends are men. so basically, the moral of this story is if you're a pretty, feminine female, you're never going to have legitimate guy friends. it just won't happen. shallow or not, it just is the way it is.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 September 2012):

I think you should try being more open about your sexuality with men you want to be friends with, I found it from my own experience that it makes thigs much less complicated to know where one stands in that matter. I am bi, but have identified as gay for a while, and in that time I found my relationships with men to be much easier, once I came out to somebody he would know how to approach me and where we stand.

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A male reader, doublejack United States +, writes (25 September 2012):

"Anyway, if you are a man who does this to women, why do you do it?"

OP, the honest answer is very simple - men have guys to hang out with or talk to if we want friendship. A majority of the time it is easier to hang out with other guys because there is more common ground and we can connect easily in a friends-only way. Everything guys like to do, from watching a football game to working on a car to playing a video game, is an activity we can easily share with other dudes. We talk the same language and get along very easily. I'm not saying we don't have common ground with women, it just isn't the same.

So, what that means is if we have guys for friends, then what we are looking for when we pay attention to a woman is something else.

"Why do you only talk to women whom you hope to date (or have sex with) one day? And why won't you talk to women you don't find attractive?"

These two are really the same question. OK, so I established that if a guy wants a friend, he is going to turn to another man a majority of the time because of various reasons. So, that leads to the conclusion that if a guy is going to spend time getting to know a woman, it is because he is romantically interested or wants to get her into bed. Is a guy going to put that effort in with a woman he isn't attracted to? Nope. So this one is easily answered.

"Why not just treat her like one of the guys? It's not like she wouldn't be any fun just because she's unattractive."

Why not? Because she isn't one of the guys. Women have a vagina and men have a penis. So that means there is likely to be sexual tension on some level in opposite sex friendships. Many relationships start out that way, and casual sex / FWB situations are also quite common. I can't tell you how many times I have heard of opposite sex friends "hooking up", even if it is a one time thing. Things like that don't "just happen", they are generally a long time in the making. That attraction just didn't come out of nowhere. In a lot of cases, one or the other (the man or the woman) is harboring a crush.

If a guy isn't attracted to a girl, and she becomes friendly he might distance himself so as not to lead her on. If he returns her attention, he is afraid he'll be sending out the wrong signal... that he's interested in her romantically or sexually when he isn't. So that's why guys don't treat a woman like one of the guys, even if she is unattractive to him.

"And lastly, why do you assume that the women you find unattractive want you just because they talked to you?"

The answer is because men have been conditioned that way. Women come on to us, and while we may be flattered by it eventually we learn that it is best to nip the situation in the bud before it even starts. So if a woman we are not attracted to is friendly, we are conditioned to think that she maybe wants more, and because we aren't attracted to her we don't let her get close. It's that simple.

As a final bit of advice, I think you would have a much easier time finding platonic guy friends if they knew you are a lesbian. That will immediately take you out of play and allow guys to see you more like "one of the guys" who can talk about attractive girls with them. However, who and when you choose to share that information with is totally up to you. You should only do what you are comfortable with.

Best of luck!

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A male reader, Cerberus Ireland +, writes (25 September 2012):

Cerberus agony auntOP attraction is a form of interest the same as any other, it just so happens it's quite a strong motivator for us guys. Studies show we will pay attention to an attractive woman a bit more than women we don't find attractive for example, it's kind of a biological trait.

This is not your main problem though OP. Your problem is you're living like a secret agent and hoping to make friends with people while being your double and not the real you. How do you expect people to treat you in an honest way when you hide who you are from them? Why would you think that you can be someone you're not to them and wonder why they don't click with you?

I don't know your reasons OP but I would advise setting yourself free and presenting your real self to the world. These guys wouldn't befriend you like this with an eye to boning you if you were open about your sexuality, you'd also be able to immerse yourself in your local scene and get to know girls you'd like to date, make like-minded friends with lots of things in common instead of hetero-hornballs that you assume shouldn't want to shag you.

"Anyway, if you are a man who does this to women, why do you do it?"

It's just a form of interest, the same as if a person was wearing a Nirvana t-shirt and you instantly were interested in them because they have great taste in music.

"Why do you only talk to women whom you hope to date (or have sex with) one day?"

We don't, we talk to our mothers/sisters, colleagues customers, you name it. You're just living in a box OP, unable to express who you are freely and actually spend time doing your own dating and building a social circle of people within your dating pool.

"Why not just treat her like one of the guys?"

Because you're hiding the fact that you're one of the guys from us and the world OP, you have yourself advertised as fair game when you could just be you and be straight with guys from the start and avoid all this messy complicated crap because you can have a common ground to which to start a friendship by completely cutting off any sexual or romantic undertones straight away and being able to talk about a guys favourite subject, women, with him on somewhat the same level.

I have lesbian friends who are as "one of the guys as you can get", they check out girls, hand out advice and play wing man or compete for girls with you.

"And lastly, why do you assume that the women you find unattractive want you just because they talked to you?"

The same reason girls do OP, the usual superiority factor and presumptive ego boost.

OP honestly you have no right to complain about relationships and friendships not forming well when you're trying to live life as someone else. When you're hiding a fundamental part of who you are and probably completely alienating yourself from your most fruitful social/romantic hunting ground the LGBT community.

I'm a rocker, so I spend my time socializing with other rockers, go to gigs and make friends in social circles according to a fundamental part of me. How you're trying to live is like me going to an opera house trying to form long lasting friendships with people by pretending to like Opera.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (25 September 2012):

chigirl agony aunt"Why is it that women will try to be friends with men who they aren't attracted to, but men won't try to be friends with women they aren't attracted to?"

Because some women can be quite gullible and think "oh, he's just a friend", when instead he's a love sick lap dog that she enjoys keeping around for entertainment purposes.

Men don't try to be friends with women they aren't attracted to for the same reason women don't try to be friends with men they aren't attracted to: we don't need to want love sick lap dogs. We anticipate that they'll fall for us sooner or later, usually because that's been the tendency. I've given guys I'm not attracted to a chance to be a friend over and over... and they wind up falling for me, or crossing the line with me in other ways (sexual advances).

I'm pretty sure men have the same experiences as me when it comes to that. It's just that I, unlike so many other people (especially other women) can easily see when a man thinks of me as more than "just a friend". Whereas other women love the attention and try to tell themselves that "he's just a good friend" whenever he drives 2 hours to be with her, or goes shopping with her, or runs errands for her.

Then again, this doesn't go for all men and all women. People are different, and there definitely are men who will seek friendship with women who they aren't attracted to, just like there will be women who seek out friendships with men they aren't attracted to.

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