Home Advice Five Ways to Just Be Friends with the Opposite Sex

Five Ways to Just Be Friends with the Opposite Sex

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Bad idea: I have known Lisa for twice as long as I've known you, baby. | Better idea: If you have no interest in meeting Lisa, I don't understand your anger.

I doubt this is news to anyone at this point, but if asked, I typically tell people that my best friend is a female. She is great, awesome and I won’t tell you her name here, because she doesn’t really like all the attention that comes with being mentioned on the Internet. I have seen When Harry Met Sally and heard all the theories on why men and women can’t be friends. My opinion has always been that everyone has the potential to be platonic friends with the opposite sex, but it just depends on the people. For example, womanizers are incapable of being friends with the opposite sex. They try and bed women for sport.  For that reason, they fail at having platonic friendships. They will just smash for the story.

In honor of today’s post, a special throwback mix from Carver the Great. This one’s called, Nobody’s Perfect and features some of the hits that made us fall in love with R. Kelly… and a little Badu. Tracklist: 1. Down Low Remix by R. Kelly, 2. Trapped In The Closet by R. Kelly, 3. Friend Of Mine by Kelly Price, Ron Isley, & R. Kelly, 4. Contagious by Ron Isley, Shante Moore, & R. Kelly, 5. When A Woman’s Fed Up by R. Kelly, 6. Tyrone by Erykah Badu — If your job is a hater, you can download it here.



Many have asked me how I’m able to have a female best friend or a large number of female friends, and I usually never answer. Today, after seeing a few articles around the web on the topic, I thought I’d give the male version of this post. A lot of men and women don’t think it is possible, if that describes you, then just move on and don’t finish reading the post. However, if you do, or are still questioning it, I hope you take this post to heart.

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1) The first thing that will dictate your relationship with someone of the opposite sex is finding the common ground that creates the foundation of your friendship. When people ask me what brought me to being friends with a female, I always answer the same way: “Common areas and a similar value system.” Check it out— if you met a person of the opposite sex, because there was a romantic interest initially on either of your part, it won’t work. Walk away from any relationship that doesn’t start just like your friendships with people of the same sex.

2) The next thing you have to focus on is the things you will do together. My best advice is that you do things that friends do, not things that lovers do. When I’m spending time with my female friends, you will never hear us say, “Let’s get together for some major cuddle time.” No way, Jose. However, you will hear me say, “Hey, you want to go to the Nats game and then hit the bars?” Be very careful with the things you do together. I don’t personally think having a dinner with just the two of you is a big deal, but if the setting of that meal is a romantic ambiance, it’s probably inappropriate. Movies, bowling, and sports… yes. Candlelit dinners and private settings… no.

3) To date, I have never considered having a relationship or anything more than a platonic friendship with my best friend or any of my close female friends. It just never happens to pop in my head. If someone asks me, “What if you guys were the last two people on earth?” I’d probably answer, “That would be great, because then, we would have so much fun as humanity was ending.” People who have the conversation and start to say stuff like, “You know, I’ve thought about it, and we’re just not compatible” are always too far down the road to bad intentions.

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4) You have to be sure not to ignore the obvious signs that one of you is into the other. It’s not always that you are refusing advances from your friend of the opposite sex.  Sometimes you have to look deep inside yourself. We like to think we can control the way we feel for the sake of friendship. Honestly, when was the last time that really worked out for anybody? If the foundation of your interest in the company of one another is romantic, you have to walk away. If the other person doesn’t have the power to admit it and you notice it, you have to make an executive decision.

5) Last and possibly most importantly, you have to tell any potential significant others about your relationship early on. I have walked away from potential situations for the fact that the woman thinks it is virtually impossible for men and women to have platonic relationships. I know at that very moment there is no way it will work out. Honestly, at times, I am skeptical of the men the women I date are friends with. However, I do a good job of letting it be known. I think it is possible for men and women to be friends, but it’s how they are friends. It is important that you tell your significant other about your friends of the opposite sex, and let them know that they are always more than welcome to join you guys. If you build up walls around your friendship with someone of the opposite sex, it will never bode well for your relationship with your significant other.

Note specifically to women: Do not ever tell your boyfriend that your male friends are just not into hanging around other dudes. This is an immediate sign that something is going on with that relationship. Don’t do it; no matter how much it seems to make sense.

It is not easy having friends of the opposite sex. Truth be told, if you can avoid it, try and do that. It is going to be a tough friendship to hold onto. That is why I don’t think it is possible to have friends of the opposite sex who aren’t close friends. It just takes that much involvement on both of your parts to make it work. I think that these relationships are healthy to your life; they give you insight into the other gender’s mind without being romantically committed to the person. When you are romantically involved, you tend to hold your tongue and shy away from conflict.

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I guess to answer the question always asked, “Do I think men and women can be friends?” Yes, but not every man and woman can be friends. It takes a certain type of person to possess all the qualities necessary to have opposite sex friends— the real kind.

– Dr. J

Comment(41)

  1. "do, not things that lovers do"
    " If the foundation of your interest in the company of one another is romantic, you have to walk away. If the other person doesn’t have the power to admit it and you notice it, you have to make an executive decision."
    Honestly i'm starting to believe that men and women cannot be friends. Why? Well i've been falling into one or both of these traps i just quoted above smh… i've given up on ever having that but if it happens i will be quite happy about it. These ideas do make sense though cause otherwise people find themselves in situations they were never expecting.

  2. Out of my platonic female friends most are
    A. unattractive to me
    B. unattracted to me
    C. shown she’s not a wife type
    D. seriously involved with someone im cool with.

    B’s are easy (although my ego reluctantly accepts a woman not finding me attractive). D’s are as well, the key is if im cool with dude cuz i dont know/dont like him i might be tempted to say eff that ninjas feelings. That of course leaves A’s and C’s as the most trouble because the friendzone was activated on my end. While i may not see them as a romantic interest, eventually they or a nosy 3rd party asks “why not Tristan”. Once the seed is planted it grows and harvested as that ol bullshh.

  3. i actually have a different experience…most of my female platonic friends…are actually…attractive. to me. However, they're either…
    – in relationships
    – married
    – don't see me like that (do i know if they're feeling me? 80% of the time, nope, i don't even ask)

    so for me, the best way to be a good guy friend, is just assume that she's not feeling me…which probably goes to your point of treating your good female friends, like your good male friends.

    friendzone life…it is what it is. *smirk*

  4. as i was reading this post i thought NO way possible to have a relationship with a guy AND not feel something, even a little twing. then Eddie popped into my head he was a very good friend of mine for several years. he was 37 yrs older. he and i talked about everything. it was great. now i dont know if he had his eye on me in the beginning for something a little bit more, but i do know when he got to know me our friendship flourished. sad to say he passed away. thank u for letting me remember my one true male friendship.

        1. Was he rich? lol Anna Nicole over here haha jus playin……old men want young chicks too, he just was too wise to keep up the fight

  5. I agree with everything on this post. I have a few very close male friends. The relationships are platonic and they are able to give me some insight on the male species and vice versa. Great post!

  6. I know the concept works because I have friends that have friends of the opposite sex. It just hasn't been MY reality, unfortunately. Pretty much all of my guy friends have propositioned me at some point, I have declined, and they decided I was a pretty cool chick anyway & stuck around. Plus the fact that I cook for all of my friends, male or female, doesn't hurt. The only downside is I can't ever ask them for relationship advice. 🙁

  7. It's not impossible at all to have/be friends with the opposite sex. I play on a co-ed flag football team. All the women on the team I'm friends with and their husbands/boyfriends play, too. Most of them I knew the women before meeting their significant other.

    Piggy backing off of what Tristian said upthread, it's very simple how this to be not impossible. I'm simply not physically/mentally/romantically attracted to every woman on the planet. And vice versa for them on me. So it's easy to have a friendship with a woman, especially if you're not checking for her like that.

    Now, what this leads to is a discussion on what one considers to be a friend or what the definition of friendship is and all that jazz which turns into a circular conversation which I have no interest in partaking. Breaking down the level of "friend" is pointless and is only done when one is focused on wanting to be "right" in the debate. Whatever that means *shrugs*

    1. u play co-ed flag football? #suspect smh i bet you watch bad girls club and tweet about it during the show (,-_-,) i never heard of nobody playing co-ed flag football haha, powderpuff football dude over here

  8. Your #5 is 100% key. All points are actually. Its difficult to have opposite sex friends but VERY possible

  9. Honestly if im realy attracted to U & we are compatible in terms of age, level of education or social status then it wil be vry hard for me to see U jus as a friend. I hope i wil there someday.

    1. "level of education and social status"…… #ReallyMeans "What ya budget like?" smh you aint low….keep tryna come up tho baby girl, can't knock the hustle

  10. Most my closest female friends i slept with before, we just stop and chill. I would rather have it that way, instead of a chick who i'm always wondering what the grease like under the hood. A d*ck teaser that's that sh*t i don't like.

  11. My best friend since high school is a guy. Most people simply can't believe it. Funny thing is though (in reference to Dr. J's # 3) our friendship started because he had a crush on me back in high school and tried to ask me out (via a note of course lol). I never saw him in that way though (it helps that he is quite unattractive to me), and once I told him I didn't like him like that, that was the end of that discussion. Most of my closest friends are (and always have been) males. However, I do understand completely why people believe that its impossible. Some folks just aren't cut out for it.

  12. ummm my name is Mr. SD and Ive pretty much had sex with the majority of my " female friends ". That is all.

  13. Awesome post Doctor. In the words of Ras Kass, you dropped the bomb like a one-armed wide receiver.

  14. #2 and #5 are musts in my mind. I've always been very concious on the things I do w/ my lady friends. I very seldom talk to them late at night (unless they need directions or bail money), never do what could deemed as "romantic restaurants", or things like that. And most of my lady friends, I didn't just be-friend them recently. I've known them for ages. I think by the time I got through my mid 20s, I saw no reasons to be-friend new women, unless it was a casual/professional friendship

  15. "I guess to answer the question always asked, “Do I think men and women can be friends?” Yes, but not every man and woman can be friends. It takes a certain type of person to possess all the qualities necessary to have opposite sex friends— the real kind." Cosign all day.
    Doc J you and I are <<<<<<<<<<<<here>>>>>>>>>>>> on all this.
    I have several male friends. Yes a few of them are men I have been on dates with. All of them are men I was in no way shape or form the least bit attracted to. Yes they are attracted to me. However, ALL of my friends male and female are much like me in the way we think and view life and how we were raised.
    I can only deal with certain "types" of people. Everybody I meet and work with is Not my friend, be it male or female.

  16. Therefore, ALL of my male friends are very respectable and good guys. They respect the fact that I am not attracted to them and once that is established they never ever try me. These are men I've known for many years…..a few over 10 years. This is the reason why they are my friends. Because they are always respectful of my romantic relationships, just as I am respectful of theirs. They are good, decent men who have always been there for me and treated me with the utmost respect. They are good people and good friends and I'm blessed to have them in my life.

  17. When I'm in a relationship, I tell the person I'm with that they have to trust me. Why would u be with a person you didn't feel you could trust? Regardless of whether they had friends of the opposite sex or not?
    I tell my man, "if I wanted to be with this guy I would be with him and not you and you would probably never even know me." "There is no reason to be jealous or suspicious because the only way this guy is getting in my pants short of rape is if I give it up. If I don't then he gets none and you have nothing to worry about." Any man who is with me knows you either trust me like I trust you, or leave me alone and k.i.m.
    I try not to be a hypocrite so I don't begrudge my boyfriend having female friends. Typically common sense tells you when something is off about your s/o's friendship. There are signs.
    Now if your s/o has friends of the same sex and things seem off then you got a whole nother set of issues….

  18. I guy I know told me he found out by reading his ex-wife's diary, that she was gay, and in a lesbian relationship for years with the woman he knew as her best friend.

  19. Man you could've summed this up with one instead of five simply by saying: Don't chex em. That's about it.

  20. I also Always go dutch with my guy friends, no ifs ands or buts.
    Once in a blue moon they will treat me and once in a blue moon I will treat them. But I never let my guy friends pay for me when I hang out with them.
    Yeah CPT I could've just said that…..lol

  21. Most of the successful female/male friendships that I can think of are situations in which someone is not attracted to the other or both. If 2 people of opposite gender have things in common, enjoying talking to one another, etc AND find one another attractive…that's bound to become more than a friendship

  22. Yes, in any relationship from the opposite sex, FRIENDSHIP must be the foundation. I believe you can't start an intimate relationship with the opposite sex when the feelings are still premature, when you are not yet sure and most especially when you did not entrust that person to God.
    My recent post

  23. Is it difficult being opposite sex friends? Yes, if you let it be an issue. Remember, as many of the previous post suggest, it's a friendship. As long as everyone keeps their eyes on the prize (friendship), you'll make it through.

    We've been "crew" for almost 20 years now. She knows my past conquest, my dreams and my fears. She's been there for me when I just needed someone to talk to, as well as when I needed someone to snap me out being stupid. While we don't see each other often, I know that if I need her, she'll be there as I would for her. In all, she is my friend.

    BTW: She also knows too much about my history (this one, that one, the one whose name I can't remember, etc).

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  26. I’ve got a guy friend a few in fact but not a whole lot the one guy friend I made it clear to him that I don’t do group hangouts that simply put it’s not going to happen I think that if he has any respect for me he won’t make me do it if he does he was never a real friend to begin with

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