• Friends Vs. Girlfriends — As Men See It

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    African American Business Man on Phone

    Note: The views and opinions expressed herein may not be logical and/or follow any sound reasoning whatsoever. I want to attempt to help the ladies understand how most men view relationships. There are, of course, always exceptions, but ladies, understanding what I’m about to say could make your life drastically easier in the long run.

    When it comes to relationships, most men, myself included, have two categories for women: you’re either a friend or you’re a girlfriend. If you’re not a girlfriend, you’re a friend. Yes, it’s really that simple. Granted, you may have different “varieties” of friends — you may have a “recreation buddy,” who’s into the same stuff you are and y’all just hang out a lot; you may have a “friend with benefits,” who is really a friend, but will give you all the physical benefits of a relationship without any of the emotional attachment. Depending on the man, he may have more varieties, but at the end of the day, they’re still under the “friends” umbrella.

    If you’re a friend, we may be attracted to you, feeling to you, or crushing on you, but until we TELL you something, you’re still just a friend. We may hang out on the regular and talk frequently but unless we have stated our intentions, you’d be best to avoid thinking that there are any desires to pursue a relationship.

    Do actions speak louder than words? In most cases, yes. In the case where you think we’re your boyfriend, but we’ve never verbalized the desire to be, no, actions do not speak louder than words. Our silence should say all you need to know. Sometimes one’s silence on an issue is more powerful than any words could be. This is one of those times.

    If we don’t tell you that we’re interested in or attracted to you, you’d be best served by not getting too emotionally invested. Why? Because men, just like women, have a tendency to flirt. It’s easy to act like you’re in a relationship: you hang out, talk, hug, kiss, flirt, touch, cuddle, etc. And not only is it easy, but it’s fun! Who doesn’t like to have fun? What’s not easy is this: being honest, laying your feelings on the table and actually committing to be in a relationship!

    When we want a relationship with you; when we want more than a friendship, you’ll know. There will be no “maybe” floating around in your head; no second guessing anything. You will unequivocally know. How will you know? Because we will say something! What a revolutionary, mind blowing thought! The blog, 5 Mistakes Women Make, that elaborates on how men act in this regard:

    When we are crazy about a woman, we are no longer the reserved and non emotional creatures you think we are. We become a mess – drooling internally when we think of you. We would never want you to feel you are on shaky ground concerning your status with us. We will publicly profess and show you to the whole world. We will put up a picture with you in it as the our profile pic, tag you in all photos you appear in and most importantly make sure that our status box shows that we are in a relationship with you. Yup, that’s what we do when we love you – we say it out LOUD! And when we are out and about with you, our professions are usually crystal clear: ‘Meet my girlfriend, Sandra’ or ‘Meet my fiance, Sandra.’ Not, ‘Meet Sandra’ who is Sandra??? When we love you, we want the world to know that we love you.

    I’ll leave you with one more example. Have you ever heard of a woman assuming that she and her man were engaged or married? Of course not. Why? Because in order to take that step into the lifelong commitment that is marriage, men say something. In fact, not only do they say something when they get engaged, but at the wedding, the vows, while a symbolic ritual, are also necessary because they are part of the legally binding agreement of marriage. Just as you can’t “accidentally” enter into marriage, entering a relationship should be the same way.

    Ladies, it boils down to this: Regardless of what he does and the way he acts towards you, what he says will mean more. If you have to force the question of “What are we doing in this relationship?” that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes men just get absent minded and don’t think about such things. Sometimes. On the other side, if you continually allow yourself to be in friendships with no titles, men will see that and will take advantage of it. You will only be treated as well as you require.

    Now, this concept seems simple enough, but somehow it so often gets twisted. What do you think? Guys, do you think this way? Ladies, what is it about this concept that makes it so complex & misunderstood?

    [For more from Stuart McDonald, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]

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