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It’s no secret that people seem to get along better with the opposite sex. Women prefer the company of men rather than their girlfriends. Men prefer the company of women rather than their homeboys. Either way, the question always arises as to whether or not opposite sex friends can truly be “just friends”.

In relationships, this can become an issue. If a guy has a girlfriend and gets along better with women, his girlfriend may/may not be too comfortable with the friendship. Vice versa. It isn’t too settling for a man to know that his girlfriend has an enormous amount of male friends lingering around. But, both of these are speculations that float around and most often are untrue. Let’s break down some of these myths and misunderstandings.

Male’s perspective

Her male friends

Ladies, men are fully aware that you can, and will, have male friends. It’s nonsense for them to believe otherwise. Men have female friends so it’s simple logic that another man likely has you as their female friend. However, what you may not understand is that men aren’t overprotective or insecure. Initially, once your man learns that you have a male friend, he’s content with it. He has absolutely no problem with the friendship. But when matters of appropriateness begin to come into question, your man may start to raise his eyebrows.

For example, if/when the conversation arises about a particular male friend of yours and you say “he doesn’t see me like that”, it’s usually the beginning of a debate. From a man’s perspective, your man knows that even though your male friend may not view you in a sexual manner now, at one point in time, he once did. Yes ladies, your male friend who may refer to you as being “like a sister” to him, at one point in time has contemplated whether or not he’d have sex with you. That same male friend that listens to you when you’re in need and is there for you in a tight situation has likely thought about various sexual positions and activities involving you at one point in time.

It all starts from day one. When a man sees you for the first time, he sexualizes you. It’s in a man’s nature. In no way is it a form of disrespect, but yes, men evaluate your physique. Sorry fellas, the truth must be told! Yes, men definitely listen to what comes out of your mouth and are very interested in the intellectual conversations, but whether at the moment you two met or years later, they’ve imagined several different ways of having sex with you.

This concept is no different than how women say they “know within the first five minutes of meeting a guy if they’ll have sex with him” (see below section titled ‘Female’s perspective’). In short, men also make the same assessment, but in much less time. In fact, men don’t even have to meet you to know if they’d have sex with you.

From afar, men constantly demonstrate excellent domain awareness. A beautiful, voluptuous woman alerts their radar from lengthy distances. So when you tell your man that your male friend “doesn’t see you like that”, he knows better. He knows that your male friend is also a man and although he may very well be respectful of your relationship, he would more than likely take heed if the opportunity presented itself. The reason is because it is entirely too difficult for a man to decline sex. The only exception to this rule is if the man is in a relationship or if the woman is simply unattractive. Which brings us to the next subject…

The Friend Zone

Universally, women are most known to friend zone people. They’re like the CEO’s of the Friend Zone Company. However, there are instances where a man will friend zone you. Here’s why.

There are usually only three reasons why a man may friend zone you:

1) You’re the current/ex-girlfriend of his homeboy/brother

Usually, men aren’t too stingy with their women. It simply depends on the situation. If a man is simply “messing around” with you and it’s strictly sexual, he may have no reservations about his homeboy/brother getting involved with you. However, if he was in a serious relationship with you or you two were engaged/married, then you’re completely off limits. In the simplest form, you will no longer be viewed as a woman and will be seen as one of the guys. Thus, you will be friend zoned.

This is much similar to the “girl code” (see below section titled ‘Female’s perspective’). Difference is, the only time a man cares if his homeboy dates you is if he was serious about pursuing you to begin with. While women remain strict about even holding a conversation with their friend’s ex-boyfriend, men won’t give a damn if it was just sex anyway. Sometimes, although men may downplay the situation and claim not to mind, it’ll never truly sit too well with him. Rather than voice his feelings about it, he’ll simply remain silent and pretend not to care.

2) He doesn’t find you attractive

Ladies, to be straight forward, when a man is single and you’ve expressed your interest in dating him, if he tells you that he just doesn’t see you like that it’s because he’s friend zoning you. In other words, he likely isn’t attracted to you. The causes could be physical or intellectual but ultimately, if he calls you his “homegirl” and it was HIS decision to be platonic, it’s probably because he just isn’t attracted to you. Now, this absolutely does not mean that you’re “ugly” or “fat”, it simply means that whatever it is that he’s looking for in a mate, it just isn’t you. In most cases, he may not be open and say these things. Instead, he’ll just categorize you as a friend/homegirl.

There are cases where two people grew up together and literally are like family. In these cases, it’s very well possible that he may only see you as a sister type. However, if he knew you as a child all the way into adulthood, as an adult, he’s evaluated you physically and contemplated if he’d ever have sex with you. One word: Puberty.

3) He knows/thinks you’re crazy

This is the most rare case. Note, if you are NOT crazy, move to the next section, if you are, proceed to the following sentence → Sometimes, men come across a few unstable women. Not all, but a few. As difficult as it is to do, men will actually decline having sex with you if it’s common knowledge that you’re unstable. There are cases where men may still go ahead and have sex with you but afterwards, if he’s calling you a friend, it’s because he’s in fear of getting involved with you because he wants no part of the potential drama he believes you’ll create or the harm he believes you’ll cause. This does not apply to all women, but a select few. The other reason would probably be because the sex wasn’t good. But in reality, unless there were hygiene problems with you, it would take a lot for a man to conclude that the sex was too bad to do it again. So it would likely be the first reason, he thinks you’re unstable.

Consensus

The reality of it all is that men aren’t as overprotective and jealous as perceived to be when it comes to opposite sex friends. That’s the biggest myth. Initially, men will have absolutely no problem with the friendship. As long as trust is present, there won’t be any issues. In some cases, your boyfriend actually trusts your male friends more than you may believe. But, men believe their logic to be sound. When he says that your male friend has THOUGHT about having sex with you, it isn’t his way of being jealous or insecure, he’s simply stating commonly known facts about a man’s nature. He didn’t imply that your male friend is TRYING to have sex with you. He’s simply saying that as a man, the thought has most definitely crossed his mind. After all, your man IS a man too.

Female’s perspective

His female friends

Fellas, of course, no woman is thrilled to know that another woman is in your life. In some cases, friction may even exist between her and your mother. (Usually, your woman will only have issues with your mother if you’re a “Mama’s boy”) Nevertheless, it’s to be expected that you’ll have female friends because your woman most likely is another man’s female friend.

The biggest overlooked and ignored exercise is listening to your woman. Sometimes, when she’s explaining to you that your female friend has ulterior motives, as hard as it is to say aloud, she’s right. Women understand women in a way that you will never comprehend. As smart as you are, women are strategic and master manipulators, if they so choose to be, and your woman knows these things.

If you have a basic friendship with a woman, you’ll likely never hear your woman comment about it. But when actions are taken that she knows isn’t ‘basic’, that’s when she’ll begin asking questions or making familiar gestures such as smirking or humming “um hm”.

For example, if every time you’re with your woman, your female friend calls/texts you when she needs something done (flat tire, assembling furniture, taking trash out, etc), it won’t be long before your woman speaks up. Reason being, your female friend is relying entirely too much on you. Your female friend shouldn’t be contacting you just because she needs a light bulb changed. As a woman, your lady knows what role a man plays in a woman’s life. What you may mistake as your woman “tripping” is actually her positively identifying your female friend seeing you as her Mr. Fix-it. The problem with this is, you should only be your woman’s Mr. Fix-it.

At first, your woman will have an issue with your female friend always contacting you for those things. But it won’t be long before your woman begins to question you about why your female friend is so comfortable coming to you for those things, instead of others. Rather than focus on what’s directly in front of them, a woman will evaluate what’s in front, behind, underneath and on the sides. It isn’t jealously or being “catty”, it’s called a woman’s intuition. Google it fellas.

For the most part, you won’t hear you woman complain about your female friends because women are much more secure than men. Sorry, but it’s true. Women simply have a different way of thinking. For example, if your woman cheated on you, you’d likely size the guy up and fear that he was better than you. (You likely won’t admit this, but it’s true) Your comparison to him is the very reason why there’s a difference between men and women. On the flip side, if you cheated on your woman, sizing her up would be the last thing your woman would do because comparing herself to the other woman isn’t her main focus, it’s the fact that you betrayed her. The betrayal and deceit is what hurt her most.

You’ll likely never have too much to worry about from your woman’s male friends anyway because women are experts with the tactic known as:

The Friend Zone

Fellas, as much as you may be unable to see a woman as a human being without a vagina, she is more than capable of forgetting that you have a penis. It has yet to be discovered how but women are easily able to not only put you into a friend zone, but keep you there, sometimes for life. Here are a few reasons why.

1) Not her type

A woman’s type varies. Believe it or not, a woman’s type usually has absolutely nothing to do with your physique. Believing otherwise is a myth. The only area where your physical appearance may matter is your upkeep and hygiene. Usually (here it comes, as promised) a woman knows within the first five minutes if you’re going to just be a friend, or a possible mate. In those five minutes, she’s able to evaluate your upkeep, hygiene, intellect, stability and manliness. If you notice, that totals to five items, hence, five minutes. One minute to access each area. Let that sink in for a minute fellas.

Now, differing from men, her reasoning for friend zoning you isn’t because you aren’t attractive. Yes, she has criteria to be met and you may not have made the cut. But, she may very well still believe you are attractive, she just isn’t attracted TO you. And the reason is because you aren’t her type, therefore, you are now, and forever will be, a friend. If you’re lost, note that there’s a difference between finding someone attractive and being attracted to them. Google that too fellas, but later, we need to stay on track here.

2) You used to date her friend/sister

I’m sure there isn’t a male reader here who hasn’t ran into this situation. If so, this will be a review. If not, listen up carefully. Women have something called “Girl Code”. No one knows exactly how many items are listed in this code (not even women), but what we do know is that it includes the following: Never under any circumstances will she date you if you once dated their friend/sister/cousin/neighbor/co-worker/sister-in-law/play-sister/Gynocologist. In other words, women are extremely selective about getting involved with the same men. Each time, she will tell you that it’s just girl code. As a result, you will immediately be placed in the friend zone.

To be clear, if you’re in this situation, please understand that even if she discontinues being friends with that woman, you will still remain in the friend zone. There are no exceptions to the rule of girl code. It is very serious and it is very real. Matters are much worse if you treated their friend badly. In these cases, being in the friend zone isn’t even an option. Why? You guessed it, girl code. If you’ve done her friend/sister wrong, she isn’t even allowed to be friends with you. You might as well have done them both wrong because you will most definitely be treated and viewed as such and will only be known as an associate (if that). Girl code. Real shit.

3) You failed to make a move

Most women are old fashioned. Even with the new age, they take gender roles very seriously. If attracted to you, a woman will wait until you initiate a move rather than do it themselves. It isn’t just because they don’t want to be perceived as “whorish”, but it’s also because they believe that the man should take the leading role. A woman may go so far as to throw you a clue or hint but if you fail to acknowledge, she’ll only wait for so long.

Mostly, if you fail to ever make a move, it won’t be long before she either assumes you aren’t attracted to her or just moves on from the attraction and places you in the friend zone. No pressure fellas but you may not want to waste too much time when it comes to making a move. Just think, what do you have to loose? She’s agreed to give you her number, answered your calls/texts and she’s agreed to go on a date. Clearly, she’s said yes when she could have said no, so why not make a move? As a result of failing to do so, you may as well familiarize yourself with the surroundings of the Friend Zone. Lesson learned.

Consensus

Women are typically more easy going when it comes to female friends. Situations may vary but at one point in time, you may find yourself in the position where you may have to choose between your woman and your friend. For example, after getting into a relationship, you learn that your girlfriend and your female friend had animosity in the past. If/when this happens, sorry to say, you’re going to loose something one way or another. The best option is to be honest and open from day one. Some women can be vindictive and will infiltrate and dismantle your relationship just to hurt your woman. You will simply be a victim in the middle of it all. Listening to your woman when she warns of your female friend’s motives may be one of the wisest things you could do. Also, if a woman doesn’t feel comfortable calling you a “friend”, you may be lucky. It may be because she has an attraction to you. Of course, rather than assume, asking would be wiser. Food for thought.

BONUS SECTION

Here are a few commonly asked questions in regards to opposite sex friends:

Question: My opposite sex friend and I have had sex before. Is it appropriate to remain friends after one of us gets into a relationship?

Answer: Friends are friends. Of course, learning that your mate has had sex with their friend before is a heavy pill to swallow, but one must ask themselves: Why does it matter? If you two have trust in the relationship then it shouldn’t matter if they’ve had sex before. What should matter is whether or not they’re having sex now. If the friendship is now platonic and appropriate, there should be no argument.

Question: I’m single and my opposite sex friend is single. Is it wrong for us to have sex? And would it change our friendship?

Answer: Every friendship is unique. The basic answer is that once you’ve crossed the platonic line of a friendship, it’s no longer considered platonic. If the sexual act occurred only once in the past and was a stand-alone act (only happening once) then the friendship may revert back to platonic if no mention or sexual references are ever again made. Seeing as how neither party is in a relationship, in all in fairness, it’s not wrong to have sex. It all depends on the two people. If both can comprehend that you’re just two adults consensually agreeing to have sex only once with no feelings/attachments, then it may work. Very risky, but very possible. In some cases, it’s been known to bring the two friends even closer (no fun intended).

Question: My opposite sex friend revealed that they’re attracted to me but I don’t feel the same, what do I do?

Answer: First determine whether or not you feel the same. If you’re confident that you don’t, be honest and direct. The worst thing to do is to lie to your friend to “avoid hurting them”. If you truly are their friend, you’ll be honest with them and if they truly are your friend, they’ll appreciate it. In regards to the friendship, it may change temporarily. But in time, it will go back to normal once everything settles. To help get things back on track, you have to also be normal. Your friend may accept the rejection well and may be more than capable of remaining the same. But sometimes, they’re not the ones who make things awkward though.

Question: I’m attracted to my opposite sex friend but don’t know if they feel the same, what should I do?

Answer: Tread softly. Sometimes, opposite sex friendships are ruined because one party is attracted to the other. Communication is the best method in all of life’s situations. Instead of hinting around the topic, simply tell them how you feel respectfully. No games. If they’ve earned the title of ‘friend’ then that means that they won’t be quick to pass judgment nor close the door to communication. In the end, you both will either agree to disagree or possibly evolve from friends to dating. But, nothing will ever happen if you don’t express yourself first. If you aren’t too comfortable taking that leap, you could always ask them what their thoughts are about you two being more than friends That’s also a good method.

Question: My opposite sex friend and I have been friends for years. I recently met someone and entered a relationship but my mate doesn’t like my friend. Now, my mate wants me to stop talking to my friend. What do I do?

Answer: If your friendship is strictly platonic, with no inappropriate actions occurring and your friend has not disrespected your mate/relationship, you should stand firm in your position that you absolutely will not stop talking to your friend. If your mate truly loves you, they will not require such a task. In all respect, you were friend for years and have only recently met your mate. To discontinue the friendship is distasteful coupled with audacity for your mate to request such a thing.

If you have any relationship/friendship questions and would like advice, email them to: verywise1@yahoo.com