The Rules Of Being Friends With The Opposite Gender

April 2, 2013  |  
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Being friends with the opposite sex isn’t impossible. But, just because of pure human nature, there are ingrained systems, thoughts, and impulses within that can make male-female friendships often confusing. So, here are a few guidelines to help you navigate these muddy waters.

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Ask yourself what would happen if you were both single

Before fully engaging in an opposite sex friendship ask yourself what would happen if you were both single? Make sure you can say with complete certainty that neither you nor him would try to change the nature of your relationship. Because, if only your current relationship status is keeping this friendship a “friendship,” then that’s not really a friendship at all.

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State that it’s a friendship from the beginning

Men need clear lines. And remember: they’re men. They have romantic and sexual ADD. Often, if you make it clear to a man from the beginning that you will never be more than friends, he’ll respect that, put you in the “Friends Zone” mental box, and look at other women to fulfill those other needs.

 

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Try to stay in groups

If you constantly spend time alone together, other guys will think you’re taken. Your friends and extended friends will assume something is going on, or is going to. They’ll often spread that word and before you know it, nobody else is asking you out.

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Be totally yourself

The point of being just friends is you can totally let loose! So take advantage of that. Burp, talk about bathroom humor, hang out with no makeup on in your gross sweats. If you put in a lot of effort to be attractive and well behaved around your male friend, he’ll think you like him as more than friends.

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Keep the touchy-feely stuff to a minimum

While it may be tempting to hold your male friend’s hand while walking down the street, or lean your head on his shoulder while watching a movie, physical touch just does stir up certain hormones between two people of the opposite sex. Things can get confusing, and for no reason. Direct your cuddles to your female friends, and your dog.

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Don’t judge his girlfriends

Try to refrain from judging the women your male friend dates, especially if the judgment is negative. If he has to choose between the woman who is giving him sex and the woman who isn’t…you can always bet you’ll lose.

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If he likes you, let him go

Should your male friend confess to having romantic feelings for you, suggest you stop hanging out for a while (if he doesn’t suggest it himself). Don’t keep him around because he’s a comfort for you. It will only hurt him, and keep him from getting over you so he can meet someone who does in fact like him back.

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Play matchmaker

Encourage your guy friend to meet girls. If enough time passes when he doesn’t get action or at least female attention, he may start to look at you the wrong way all out of pent up sexual tension.

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Don’t lean on him too much

If you feel you have a surrogate boyfriend, you may stop looking for a real one. So refrain from often making your male friend your plus one, or the person you drag around on errands on the weekends, or the person you call multiple times a day.

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Let him meet your boyfriend—often

If you have a boyfriend, invite your male friend to hang out with you two often. And invite your boyfriend to hang with you and your male friend often. Letting them both see you around one another will prove you’re not hiding anything.

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Don’t do date-like things

Avoid romantic scenarios like candle lit restaurants, weekend getaways, sharing hotel rooms, couples massages etc… Our imaginations, once provoked, can run wild. Any little situation that forces you to see him as a boyfriend for a moment, might confuse you.

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Don’t talk to him about your heartbreak (too much)

Crying to your male friend too much about your breakup gives him the wrong idea—most guys think you want them to swoop in where the last guy failed if you’re airing out your pain to them. That’s what your girlfriends are for.

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Recognize when you’re just lonely

If you haven’t been on a date in a while, out of pure loneliness or horniness, your mind might clasp onto whatever male is nearby. But realize that that’s just loneliness, not chemistry.

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Exes don’t make good friends

Don’t be friends with your ex. Just don’t. Maybe—maybe—five or more years after your breakup, when they’re not technically an ex anymore but a long lost acquaintance, you can be friends. But anything sooner than that is just messy.

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  • Jessica Murlock

    Funny, my best friend who happens to be a guy, is someone I consider my surrogate boyfriend, and we have a fantastic relationship! There are a few reasons why I choose not to date, the number one being that I don’t need a boyfriend in my life to make me feel happy or complete. A lot of guys that have shown interest are only after one thing, and it’s not a meaningful relationship. They believe that because I’m single, I’m desperate enough to date ANYONE. I’m not. I’m perfectly content on my own. I suppose the article is sort of right in saying a surrogate boyfriend will make you feel like not dating (which the author makes it seem as though the worst thing a woman could do is not date or have a boyfriend) but here’s the reason why: My best friend is a wonderful human being. He genuinely listens and let’s me go off on tangents/rants if I need to and doesn’t complain. He treats me with respect, and more importantly as his equal. We can text each other all night until the sun rises about anything and have fun doing so. We have in-depth, intellectual conversations about every topic. He doesn’t see me as nothing more than a sexual object like a lot of men do. And because of this, I do judge other guys and compare them to him. It saves me a lot of trouble because I know that I don’t have to lower my standards or accept anything less than the utmost respect I deserve. If other men can’t treat me as their equal or a human being rather than a sexualized piece of meat, then they’re not worth my time!

    To say as the author seems to imply from this entire article, that all men only want sex and will fake friendship to get it and all women are too stupid to realize this, is doing a huge discredit to women like me and the men out there that are like my best friend.

    • Rwatkins

      This guy must be gay…..and I’m not judging or even care about someone’s personal choices but for you both to have the type of relationship you’ve described, there’s no reason for you to just be friends. When you’re comparing people to him, that means you’ll never find someone better than him to date. And if you do, how will this current “best friend” fit into your relationship with another man? You’ll have to cut this guy loose or really change the type of relationship you have with him in order to make a relationship with someone else work. It really is wonderful to have a good friend of the opposite sex but the way you described it, you’re in love with this guy and only fooling yourself.

  • Steam powered snail

    Wow, I didn’t know there were so many rules to be friends with someone of the opposite sex. My one rule is don’t do any thing you’d not be comfortable with with a friend of the same gender as you. With that being said, my my most trusted friend is an absolutely gorgeous woman more than 10 years my junior (I’m in my 30’s, tall, fit and generally considered “good looking” by, and could easily date younger women) and we have violated about all of your “rules.” We know that we are friends, and even with back rubs, comfort cuddles, long tear filled nights over our own relationship failures, many dinners alone, a few very drunken nights, and even living in the same house, there has never been an inkling of sexual interest between the two of us. Maybe the readers (or authors) on this site simply don’t have the emotional or sexual maturity to not need to build huge synthetic boundaries. We never had to discuss “the friend zone” early in our friendship, even when we first met, we were meant to be friends. This is an article how to make sure you don’t become friends with guys, it’s an article about keeping fall back guys on the right length chain. Sad article madam noire, sad article.

    • Rwatkins

      If you have a woman who you can give and receive back rubs, comfort cuddles, long tear filled nights over relationship failures, dinners alone, a few very drunken nights, and even living in the same house, then good for you. But, that’s not typical and you know that. Most women wouldn’t allow their male friend to give them a back rub unless they’re really, really close with that person and if you’re that close, you can be closer. All it takes is a little effort. There’s some circumstances going on here that you haven’t shared that turned you guys towards this kind of behavior. But it’s not typical of most male/female “friendships”. Let her give you a “chest” rub while wearing nothing but underwear and see what happens; then write us back. Be honest though; need blow by details. No pun intended.

  • Akiko

    “Men need clear lines. And remember: they’re men. They have romantic and sexual ADD”

    Not, they do not. They just choose to ignore what is not in their favor.

  • Tonyoardee

    Absolutely no friendships with exes.. its just toxic

  • Keisha Samoht

    before i start is one not to tease them into like wanting to be in a relationship (dating) when u know da*m well u dont want 1?

    • Keisha Samoht

      so… 10, 12, n 14 would fit…