Most guys already know about the “let’s just be friends” death knoll for any possible romantic relationship. There’s no such thing as being friends with a girl you attempted to pick up. Not if you weren’t already friends. Your only interest in this person was romantic. If you were going to be friends, it would have to occur through some other means.
But there’s another one. It’s a bit more insidious than LJBF because this one makes it easier to perpetuate the self-delusion that perhaps there’s something there after all. It goes: “Let’s be friends first”. My instinctual reaction the first time I heard or read this somewhere was, to use the vernacular, “bullshit!”.
Think about your current friends. I’m talking about real friends. The ones you stay in touch with when you move to a different city. The ones whom you’ve known, laughed with, shared secrets with, sometimes cried with (unless you’re a guy, in which case it was a bad reaction to the beer). These aren’t people you just randomly met at a club. These were people who were classmates, group members, churchgoers, club members, associates who participated in some relatively long term activity with you. Due to your close association, you had no choice (well, actually you did) but to socialize, and you discovered common interests and compatiblity.
That is the basis of friendship. It starts first with a common activity or shared task and it grows with shared interests and interaction. Relationships are a different beast (mostly). There may be a common activity involved, but it’s not one that puts you in long term interaction with that person. Where you’d see them, talk to them for weeks or months at a time, whether you particularly want to or not.
So, “let’s be friends first”. That just doesn’t make any sense. What does that mean? So, we hang out. Get to know each other. In other words date, but make no attempts at romanticizing the situation. No goodnight kiss. No hugs. NO cuddling on the couch? That can’t be. I’m almost never in that kind of situation with my female friends. . .unless I was attempting to make a move on them. So, here’s where this gets insidious. By agreeing to such terms, you’ve cut romantic development of the relationship at the knees.
You will always second guess any touching, any holding, and certainly you will not be making attempts to kiss, not unless you want to get the “I thought we said we’d just be friends. . .first”. Yep, you perhaps didn’t catch that, but “first” is an afterthought. That’s because “let’s be friends first” is EXACTLY equivalent to LJBF. Any person that continues to allow you to treat them on dates that are just “friendly” outings is taking advantage of you.
At least with LJBF, you know where you stand. And you quickly stop paying for her popcorn. I feel I’ve not done a good job illustrating why LBFF is meaningless. Imagine if you will, a ravenous snake and a mouse meeting. The snake, tells the mouse, let’s just be friends. The mouse agrees, and goes to watch a movie at the snake’s house. Inside. Where he can’t get away. The snake eats the mouse. End of story. Moral: A snake will always eat the mouse. Don’t be stupid. Just because they say the want to be friends, doesn’t mean things have fundamentally changed. If someone isn’t interested enough to pursue a relationship, friendship isn’t the path to changing their mind.
Not in the short term and not unless you’re prepared to deal with a 99% failed conversion rate. Seriously does it make sense? So, I agree to suppress all romantic feeling for you and in what? 3 weeks? 3 months time? We’d reconvene and say, oh, so should we try dating? Bullocks! How many times have you and an eligible female friend gotten together and said, “Hmm, we should have a romantic evening tomorrow night”. Likely ZERO. So, why do you somehow believe things will be different with this new friend?
So, my good people, my treasured friends, my mortal enemies. Whomever thou mayest be. If anyone ever communicates a desire for “friendship” first, it means they are not interested and have found a way of letting you down that best matches their ego. Personally, I’d prefer you told me you were not interested, instead of LJBF, LBFF, or giving me a fake phone number, or giving me a real number and not answering a call. If my self-esteem can’t handle someone not being interested in me, I probably have problems that need to be resolved before pursing a relationship anyway.
Ooh, before I forget. So, a LJBF or LBFF does not actually mean they want to be your friend. They may think that, but really, that’s not the case. Unless you’re already friends, it’s not going to happen. Here’s why. At this point, you have no reason to continue a relationship. Your interaction thus far was motivated by a desire to establish a romantic interaction. Thus foiled, there’s little motivation on your side to drive this any further. Given that you don’t work in the same place, have classes you take together, or members of the same club or organization, there’s little “external” cause to be together.
This means the only reason you saw each other in the first place is becuase you created time in your schedule to do so. So, why would you then continue making time for someone you don’t really know and have no reason to really hang out with? Naturally, your meetings will become infrequent as other things in your life take (rightful) priority and pretty soon stop altogether. I’m not sure why some people believe friendship is a consolation prize in the dating olympics. It’s more like russian roulette. Or that game in Deer Hunter. You either win, lose, or stop playing the game. There’s no other outcome.