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Monday Man-Day: Guys As Friends

April 18, 2011
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Here’s the scenario:

You’re at work or at the gym and strike up a random conversation with a guy you’ve never met. He seems nice and you’re always up for making new friends. Then the guy asks you to grab a casual lunch one day or invites you along when all of his friends are going to a bar. In your head this is great! Meeting new people and having potential fun friends is awesome. It’s totally innocent to you because you have a boyfriend and you’re not interested in anyone else.

But then you start to wonder…what if this guy doesn’t see it that way? What if he is interested in you? Can you still go hang out with him? There is no smooth way to bring up the fact that you have a boyfriend. It’s always going to be awkward. Plus you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself by assuming that this new guy is interested in you when maybe he is just looking for a new friend also. Heck, he may even have a girlfriend!

source

So what’s the right thing to do here?

I think it comes down to two things:

  1. How do you nicely approach the topic of having a boyfriend to a new guy that you meet?
  2. Is it even okay to try to make guy friends when you have a boyfriend?

MALE READERS: Please weigh in! What would you want the girl to do in this situation? Are you ever just looking to become friends with a girl?

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Recipe Time! Julie’s husband loved the eggplant lasagna she made and said it tasted “meaty” even though it was vegetarian. Try it out!

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2011 2:08 pm

    thanks so much for the shout out! 🙂 now i want more lasagna!

  2. April 18, 2011 2:39 pm

    I’ve been in this scenario many times before and from my experience guys don’t just want a friend to hang out with. They always look for something more and like in my case I wouldn’t feel comfortable having lunch with some guy and I just met and my bf would not think it was ok. If it was an old friend then it’s different. I try to bring up something that would involve mentioning my bf so that there is a boundary established and they know you’re not on the market 😉

  3. April 18, 2011 2:42 pm

    I have been in this situation a few times, I don’t know how I keep getting into these akward situations… but it always turns out the worst way.

    In my cases it has turned out that they wanted more than a friendship and than I felt like I was leading them on, which in no way was what I intended to do. It is such a tricky situation and it is hard to approach either way. After it happening a few times, I decided it was best not to start anything. But I am not single, so dont have to worry 😉

  4. April 18, 2011 2:54 pm

    All of my male friends have slowly but steadily disappeared over the years as I became serious with my boyfriend (who I’m now married too!). He’s my best friend and I don’t have any desire to make new male friends. It feels like it would be playing with fire. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if he were to go grab lunch with a female friend. And I doubt he’d feel differently if the situation were reversed. We respect each other and trust each other, but when it comes to having friends of the opposite sex we’re all each other needs.

  5. April 18, 2011 3:01 pm

    A guy friend (har-har) once told me guys and gals can never truly be friends – the only caveat being after having some sort of sexual tension and getting over it or acting on it and remaining friends or if they are both in a realationship. Otherwise he says the guy will always be wondering if a making a move is possible. I mostly agree.

    And in a land where saying Hi is appearntly flirting I’ve become cautious about being friendly – which is sad. I miss the right coast where when a guy says hi he is being friendly and when a guy says ‘hey baby how you doin’ he is flirting (and yes that did happen in a wawa).

    Also have to share a story of how not to make friends: carrying sushi, large purse and shopping bag at the sushi stand in the mall before christmas. Man helps me pull out a stool at the bar to eat your sushi. I say thanks, and start in on my dinner while I get some christmas shopping done. He strikes up a conversation about the holidays, shopping, etc. Gives a compliment, I say thanks – gesticulating with my left hand – ya know the one with the wedding ring on it. He says oh your married, all the pretty ones are. I smile and just say that will happen. His response – so are you happily married? I about spit spicy tuna roll on him – ewww.

    Sorry for the uber long comment

  6. April 18, 2011 4:02 pm

    I always assume if a random guy approaches me, it’s not for friendship. If the man in question is a colleague or something like that and asks you for lunch, it very well could be simply for friendship. But even so, I’ve found that more often than not, the man has a different idea.

    Best bet, I think, if you want friends of both genders and are in a relationship, you make friends with THEIR friends. Either way, as I’ve grown older I’ve learned that it is really hard (read: impossible) for a man and woman to just be friends. Unless the man is gay, and then you have the best of both worlds.

  7. April 18, 2011 4:08 pm

    I haven’t been in this exact position, but the majority of my best friends are guys who are also my boyfriend’s best friends. I guess it helps that they are mutual friends we’ve both known since freshman year of college. But I think I would assume if I random guy approached me and asked me to a bar or to hang out, that he was probably looking for a little more. Usually guy friendships develop through classes, work, or because of mutual friends, while I feel like “dates” “hookups” or potential relationships are more likely to come from the situation above.

  8. April 18, 2011 4:23 pm

    It’s totally ok to hang out with guy friends even if you have a bf, but in my experience (which really isn’t that much…I’m only 22 lol) guys usually don’t invite girls places as friends. Girls they have just met anyways. Guys become friends with girls and make friends through other situations, but if a random guy just asks you to lunch…I think it’s safe to say he’s interested in more.
    Pd- so trying that eggplant lasagna 🙂

  9. April 18, 2011 4:57 pm

    I have guy friends and my BF is totally okay with my hanging out with them alone (as am I with his girl friends), but I don’t think that a guy approaching you out of the blue and asking you out has that in mind. I mean, why is he approaching you, and not the other people at the gym/bar/store? Probably because he thinks you’re attractive. I say if you meet him in a “friendly” situation (church, through mutual friends, through family members, etc) and get to know him in groups of people beforehand, then it’s probably innocuous have lunch or whatever platonically. I’m just always clear about saying that I have a BF in a backhanded way- and if they obviously keep flirting, then it’s not worth it!

  10. Abby permalink
    April 18, 2011 5:09 pm

    This is such a hard topic. I’ve found that most guys that wanted to be my friend always wanted something more. Once I have said that I do have a boyfriend, they aren’t even kind enough to say hi anymore. I think it is okay to have harmless chit chat with guys but I think it would be crossing the line to hang out with them alone, etc because even if you have the best intentions they may not. This happened to me with many of my high school and college friends as well. Now that I am in a serious relationship they no longer even talk to me really! I used to really love having guy friends because they are so laid back and drama free but in the long run it always ended up in arguments with my boyfriend and it just wasn’t really worth fighting over anymore! I think if the guy was a mutual friend of my boyfriend and I’s it would be a little different. I also try to remember that I wouldn’t like it if my boyfriend was going out to lunch with other girls alone and stuff like that so I don’t want to be a hypocrite!

  11. Renie permalink
    April 18, 2011 5:33 pm

    It depends on the distance of your boyfriend. Is he deployed, if so, don’t give him anything to worry about. Does your relationship with your bf have a future. Is he serious about you.If you are not sure of your future with your bf, don’t waste your youth waiting. I am speaking as a young senior citizen who loves reading all of you food bloggers post out there in foodie land. I started with Anne P. and am venturing out. Life is way too short not to test the waters. But like I said it all depends if you have a future with your bf. I know this sounds corny, but it works for me, follow your heart.

  12. April 18, 2011 7:08 pm

    I always play the “marriage” card by flashing the left hand but in the case of no ring, I would say its better to let him in on it right away rather than lead him on. Just think how pissed you would be if he forgot to mention he had a girlfriend after a few dates. (Wasn’t this just an episode on The Real World? LoL)

  13. Paulie D. permalink
    April 18, 2011 7:40 pm

    All of you ladies have really good posts. It is much easier to keep female friends when you become a friend of the boyfriend or husband. Those situations are pretty awesome and have led to me becoming a godfather twice for the children of two different couples. Common bonds, such as faith, running marathons/marathon relays and baseball are other uniting influences. Just as male friends can seem to want more from female friends, it also can work in reverse with women remaining in the picture temporarily with a tacit interest in becoming a potential girlfriend (or more) in the future. Guys generally are not too savvy about picking on it, including me, I must confess. Women, in my experience, are much more perceptive about such things. I think tactfulness and conversationally mentioning boyfriend or a girlfriend in a non-threatening, matter-of-fact way are great methods of conveying one’s personal circumstances. Sharing a personal goal such as moving outside of the area to attend Harvard or starting to study for an advanced degree such as a PhD (or both) are effective ways to temper expectations that anything sustainable could develop. Of course, keep in mind that guys do not always care about a long-term commitment, especially when tonight’s recreation is foremost in mind. Guys generally do tend to bring less drama and typically fade away from the way in such situations without much emotion — similar to how a batter returns to the dugout stoically after getting thrown out trying to reach first base.

  14. John Buckley permalink
    April 18, 2011 8:53 pm

    I meet young girls all the time at the gym and they usually tell me right away about their fiances or boyfriends. Of course, the fact that I am old enough to be their grandpa has a certain mitigating effect, right? I am often astounded at the stuff they tell me though. Sometimes I learn things about all kinds of things in their lives–and I hardly know them. Anyway, I listen and try to be sympathetic. Sometimes all of us, no matter how old or young, just want to talk, I guess. Have you tried the tomatoes called “Campari?” They are really very good for salads. Have a good time at the ocean. Jack

  15. April 19, 2011 11:21 pm

    I honestly don’t have that many new male friends as I got serious with my boyfriend. I still keep the other ones close, but the whole randomly approaching you thing seems strange to me. I’d still make new friends, but in the same way I meet new girl friends.

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