Thursday, December 15, 2011

Friends

Originally published July, 2003.

Q: Is it possible for a female and a male to be friends without the male trying to be more than friends? My boyfriend tells me that all guys want one thing, and one thing only. You're a guy Dr. B, is this true?

A: Yes, it is true that I am a guy. Thank you for noticing.

To answer your other question, of course men and women can be platonic friends. Haven't you ever seen "Will & Grace"? For the benefit of those readers who spend too much time at the bars to watch TV (I know my audience), I'm talking about a show that revolves around the friendship of a man and a woman who do not appear to have any sexual feelings for each other. They hang out, shop, dish, and basically do whatever with absolutely no ulterior motives. Of course, it helps their friendship that the character of Will is gay. Then again, the show also focuses on another platonic inter-gender friendship between the characters of Jack and Karen. Coincidentally, Jack is gay too. The answer is simple: gay men and straight women can be great friends without sexual tension.

I bet that your boyfriend probably doesn't suspect that your gay male friends secretly want in your pants (unless they want to borrow them) so this question is probably in reference to those straight guys out there that you spend time with while your boyfriend is out of town. I get the impression that you have some male friends that your boyfriend is suspicious of. You ask if it's possible for a straight man to be your friend and not secretly lust after you and of course it is possible. Anything is possible. Hell, fresh-cut fries on a sandwich could be an overlooked cure for cancer. It's possible; it's just not likely. Probability speaking, the chances are good that any guy you are close to is, will be, or used to be attracted to you. That is, unless one of the following factors apply to your situation:

1. The male friend is gay.
2. You have a reason to believe he finds you unattractive.
That's not a complete list, but those are the biggest two factors. If you're attractive and he's not gay then you may have a friend who secretly wants you. Another big factor is if you and your friend already have a history together. Unless they desperately want to patch things up, ex-boyfriends and former lovers can often make great friends. With a "been there, done that" attitude, they've already tasted the goods and moved on.

However, none of this should have any relevance to your current boyfriend whatsoever. It doesn't matter if guys in your life want you as long as: 1) you don't want them; and 2) they keep it to themselves. Regarding the first point, if you are true to your boyfriend then he should have nothing to worry about despite his suspicions of your male friends' motives. Regarding the second point, be aware that a lustful friend could someday share his true feelings with anything from a heartfelt discussion to making a sexual pass at you. Such situations are never comfortable and how you deal with it will depend on your own feelings and the nature of the situation. Whatever the case, it should be resolved immediately, at least before Karen and Jack come over.