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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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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