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What do you think when people say "People can't be friends with the opposite sex"?

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anisotrophic
10 hours ago, ryn2 said:

I don’t think people can control their feelings.  Like you said, crushes happen.  What I do think people can do, though, is control their actions.  Having a crush, regardless of sexuality, does not mean having to try to start a relationship with the “crushee,” or to switch from friends to FWB, or to move from friends to lovers.

Yes, my point was instead that someone may decide/discover that they "can't be friends". It's common for people to need emotional distance to get over a crush.

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ryn2
3 minutes ago, anisotrophic said:

Yes, my point was instead that someone may decide/discover that they "can't be friends". It's common for people to need emotional distance to get over a crush.

Ah, agreed.  That’s not how I’ve usually heard the phrase used, though...  it’s often used to deride/undermine successful attempts at friendship.

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anisotrophic
18 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

Ah, agreed.  That’s not how I’ve usually heard the phrase used, though...  it’s often used to deride/undermine successful attempts at friendship.

Ah, I feel like I've heard it as a caution. "Watch out, there's some extra dangers here."

Which I think is true... but for many/most they're choosing to deal with it if/when it happens, rather than avoid the risk of it.

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ryn2
2 hours ago, anisotrophic said:

Ah, I feel like I've heard it as a caution. "Watch out, there's some extra dangers here."

Which I think is true... but for many/most they're choosing to deal with it if/when it happens, rather than avoid the risk of it.

I’ve usually heard it used as “sure, they *say* they’re ‘just friends, but...” wink wink nudge nudge, or as “he’s just pretending to be your friend so he can get in your pants,” or to enforce gender roles when a girl tries to hang with the guys (or vice versa, but that seems to draw more comments about losing your man card and less about how the girls aren’t your friends) at parties.

 

I can see how that could vary  by geography/friend group, though.

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Touchofinsight

I think its mostly people projecting their own feelings upon others, but they aren't always wrong. It can be incredibly difficult to just be friends with someone you have/had feelings for because its a matter of repressing your own feelings EVEN IF you know they aren't mutual. The line between friendship and romance/endearment can be razor thin and its why so many people need to distance them selves from a failed courtship. It can cause you literal mental distress usually in the form of cognitive dissonance.

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humantoafault
20 hours ago, Touchofinsight said:

I think its mostly people projecting their own feelings upon others, but they aren't always wrong. It can be incredibly difficult to just be friends with someone you have/had feelings for because its a matter of repressing your own feelings EVEN IF you know they aren't mutual. The line between friendship and romance/endearment can be razor thin and its why so many people need to distance them selves from a failed courtship. It can cause you literal mental distress usually in the form of cognitive dissonance.

I guess that makes sense. But hm. See, this is kinda why I used to identify as greyromantic, because while I have had a couple crushes it didn't bother me one itty bit that they weren't reciprocated. And I'm still friends with one of them. (The other did distance themselves from me, I think they overheard me telling my best friend I liked them.)

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WoodwindWhistler

I think cis hetero men often have the hardest time being "just friends" with women. 

But some of them manage it, or have the temperament for it (I saw one guy questioning why it was 'so bad' to be friends with someone you had feelings for, like as long as you were cultivating other options, shouldn't be a problem, and is even pleasant experiencing it for just what it is- warmth, enjoying company, etc) 

Because the narrative of sexuality (or heck, any narrative) is often dominated by male experience, that's why we see it pop up so often. And the 'red pills' have a particularly nasty take on it. 

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Hunji Qi

People kept telling me that but I never believed a word of it. My bestie and I were born in the same hospital and grew up together only 15 days apart. We are friends for the length of the time we lived and I feel that he is a twin sibling of mine. We have twin connections and would do the same stuff in separate places at the same time. Recently he came out to his friends as gay when I realized that I am ace. Decided to back each other up when we have to comfort our evenly traditional and homophobic/sexual minority-phobic families. It really bothers me that people just assume that we are together just because we are of different genders when it is impossible for us to be nothing but friends.

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Hopper

I have a close female friend, but she’s a relative. Generally, I avoid close friendships with women because I would feel like scum at even the possibility of thinking my attempts at friendship would be mistaken for attraction.

 

As for guys, I’m completely capable of not viewing my friends romantically, but can identify positive personality and physical traits. 

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WoodwindWhistler
On 3/11/2019 at 5:36 PM, Sally said:

I've  noticed that this "do it now/soon or be a failure" seems to hit people at around age 30.  

To be fair, "Many women today are waiting until later in life to have children. In the United States, birth rates for women in their 30s are at the highest levels in three decades. However, an older mother may be at increased risk for miscarriage, birth defects, and pregnancy complications such as twins, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and difficult labors."

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=pregnancy-over-age-30-90-P02481

It's largely not a societal thing, but a biological thing. 

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WoodwindWhistler
On 3/11/2019 at 6:26 PM, Skullery Maid said:

Being cheated on feels like having your heart torn out of your chest. There are a lot of angles... there's the realization you've been living a lie, that the person you trusted has been lying to your face and pretending to feel the things you actually feel... there's the psychic loss of exclusivity, of sharing something only with each other... and of course the heartbreak that goes along with knowing that the emotional connection isn't what you thought it was. The sex is just a signal of everything else. 

The 'pretending to feel the things you actually feel' and 'the emotional connection isn't what you thought it was' parts stump me a bit- like, do all people assume by default that cheating partners do not have genuine feelings for them? Is polyamory that invisible? (not as the open-honesty practice, but the sense of loving more than one person). Is monogamy a feeling, per se, or do subjective warm fuzzies apply all around? 

Sex therapists and marriage counselors who work with people to rebuild a relationship after cheating would better know the answers to those questions, I guess. 

I totally get the lying part. But.

Monogamy to my mind, always appeared more like a logical, cultural construction (and one that I totally stand behind on the whole) than a specific function of romance at ALL points in a relationship. Like, no one actually expects someone else to 'feel' monogamous all day every day for the rest of their lives . . . right? Is this possibly a case of culture giving us expectations that make heartbreak even worse when it does happen? Does ANYONE 'actually feel' monogamous 100% of the time? 

I mean I *think* I'd be pissed if someone cheated on me, but I mainly think about putting me at higher risk for STDs, and how angry that might make me. Even only giving oral, I'm still at risk for HPV infection (and, rarely, throat cancer) if my partner decided he wasn't satisfied. Honestly I'd LIKE to be flexible enough to allow things if condoms were used, or something, but that's not foolproof. And even with testing there is also no 100% foolproof, instant-update way to assure clean status. Or of knowing that other person wouldn't continue the cheating chain, either. 

If I lived in a universe where STDs didn't exist, and the only risk were someone else's pregnancy (provided some attempt was made to prevent it), there's a possibility I might be able to work something out. 

Of course it would also be nice if said alternate reality had Universal Basic Income. Then we wouldn't worry as much about supporting any new children. But I want that for our reality for a LOT of reasons.

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ryn2
2 hours ago, WoodwindWhistler said:

Does ANYONE 'actually feel' monogamous 100% of the time?

Some people are naturally poly and can and do romantically love multiple people simultaneously; others are naturally mono and can’t/don’t.

 

Even for poly people, though, cheating (as opposed to openly seeking another partner within the agreed-upon rules of the existing relationship(s)) is often not okay.

 

It’s not, or not just, the sex/falling in love that’s the problem; it’s that someone who claims to love you would lie to you extensively about something so significant.  In some ways it can be even worse for poly people because they’re accepting of multiple partners (so the fact someone still lied is even less understandable).

 

In short, though... yes, people who are naturally mono do only romantically love one person at a time and - unless they know they are in a relationship with someone who is poly - generally do expect that their partners are/will do the same.  And while they may still find other people sexually attractive, if they’ve mutually agreed to be exclusive they don’t act - and expect their partners not to act - on that attraction.  In the event they do fall in love with someone else instead of their partner, they would normally end their original relationship.

 

Being poly v. mono doesn’t seem to be a choice.  You can choose to live one way or another, but the feelings just happen.

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Serran
3 hours ago, WoodwindWhistler said:

Does ANYONE 'actually feel' monogamous 100% of the time? 

Yes. I do. I don't get crushes, I don't look at other people as attractive, I don't like porn cause those naked bodies aren't my partner, I don't fantasize about anyone but my partner, I literally get turned off to the point orgasm is impossible if I look at / think about anyone besides the person I love (but they can get me going easily). The one time I was kissed right after a break up, before the feelings had faded, I hyper ventilated and immediately went to tell my ex (we were still friends) cause I felt that guilty even though we were broken up and logically i knew it was OK. 

 

So... I literally could not cheat. It holds zero appeal. Other people hold zero appeal. 

 

So the idea my partner finds others appealing enough to actually want them (not just passing fleeting fantasy interest)? Would destroy any emotional attachment I have. I know, cause I tried to be poly open in college when my ex admitted to wanting a four person arrangement... and it was an immediate shift from romantic feelings to platonic I cant even be comfy sharing a bed to sleep. I want someone to feel at least a fraction of what I feel. 

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Strawberry ice cream

I'm not able to have close friendship with same sex (woman). Some hanging out from time to time is ok, but not real close friendship. I feel so disconnected with other women. Like I don't get that female aspect. To be honest I feel also repulse when woman try to make me her friend, I mean closer friend, more than is comfortable for me.  So I really appreciate man/woman friendship. I wish it would be more common, normal. Relationship can have miscelaneous form. Perception of relationship between man/woman as romantic or nothing is too limited.

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WoodwindWhistler
On 5/9/2019 at 5:18 PM, Strawberry ice cream said:

I'm not able to have close friendship with same sex (woman). Some hanging out from time to time is ok, but not real close friendship. I feel so disconnected with other women. Like I don't get that female aspect. To be honest I feel also repulse when woman try to make me her friend, I mean closer friend, more than is comfortable for me.  So I really appreciate man/woman friendship. I wish it would be more common, normal. Relationship can have miscelaneous form. Perception of relationship between man/woman as romantic or nothing is too limited.

I'm a little bit the same way. Since I'm an INTJ, I looked up an article about it and it says women with that personality trait tend to feel very disconnected from other women: https://introvertdear.com/news/what-its-like-being-an-intj-woman/

And my friend who is trained to take care of autistic people and has deep roots in the autistic community has told me that should I want to get tested, she wouldn't be surprised if I had it. Autism is usually lacking in the typical social cue sensitivity that is more developed in women on the whole. 

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AspieAlly613

My two thoughts on this:

 

  1. My bisexual half-sister pointed out how ridiculous this was, saying "so, they think I can never be just friends with anyone?"
  2. I actually saw a math presentation on this.  (The study presumed binary gender.) They took a large social network of who was friends with whom and tried to guess a person's gender from the gender of xyr friends.  When they guessed "you're the same gender as most of your friends" they only got it right half the time.  When they guessed "you're the same gender as most of the friends of your friends" they got it right more than half the time.  The reason was that some people socialize more with males, some more with females, and by looking at whether your friends socialize more with males or females, that gives an indication of your own gender. 
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kstitch

I personally hate the "you can't be friends with the opposite gender". Like I have so so so many guy friends and I'm actually still super close with an ex-boyfriend. He and I have just always been close for eight years, so when we broke up, we didn't want to lose our best friend too. So, we hang out, quite often. And we don't hide it, we have an unspoken understanding that it is just a platonic friendship. Everyone has been assuming for over a year now that we will get back together. Nope. We just truly enjoy each other's company with no other motives. 

I was hanging out with a guy friend and my dad called me. I told him "oh! I'm hanging out with so-and-so!" and my dad said "by yourself?! you need to be careful. guys always want the same thing" and wouldn't listen when I said no not all guys are like that. Not to mention I have no feelings for this guy besides our friendship and same with him (as he's also within the ace spectrum). But no, he's a guy and therefore wants to bang me just like my ex. 

Also, my best friend is pansexual. And she knows I'm ace. I am her type and she even told me that she found me attractive, but me being me I couldn't feel that way for her except my love of our friendship. But, no one has ever questioned how much she and I hang out and if there's "other motives" for it even with my family and friends knowing her orientation and a little confused with mine. She and I just laughed it off and went on with our friendship just happy that other people can appreciate feelings or lack thereof. 

Long story short, I hate this assumption that opposite genders can't hang out together. 

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Strawberry ice cream
4 hours ago, WoodwindWhistler said:

I'm a little bit the same way. Since I'm an INTJ, I looked up an article about it and it says women with that personality trait tend to feel very disconnected from other women: https://introvertdear.com/news/what-its-like-being-an-intj-woman/

And my friend who is trained to take care of autistic people and has deep roots in the autistic community has told me that should I want to get tested, she wouldn't be surprised if I had it. Autism is usually lacking in the typical social cue sensitivity that is more developed in women on the whole. 

Thanks for interesting article. I can related to many things there. It sounds to me like female asperger similar traits. I'm probably on the spectrum but not officially diagnosed. When I discovered that female asperger syndrom exists I literally had studied everything about it. It helped me a lot to understand myself and changed my life.

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WoodwindWhistler
On 5/24/2019 at 3:15 PM, kstitch said:

my dad called me. I told him "oh! I'm hanging out with so-and-so!" and my dad said "by yourself?! you need to be careful. guys always want the same thing" and wouldn't listen when I said no not all guys are like that. Not to mention I have no feelings for this guy besides our friendship and same with him (as he's also within the ace spectrum). But no, he's a guy and therefore wants to bang me just like my ex. 

. But, no one has ever questioned how much she and I hang out and if there's "other motives" for it even with my family and friends knowing her orientation and a little confused with mine.

So is your dad openly admitting that he himself would only hang out with a woman if he wanted to bang her? 9_9 Or at least at your age he did. 

Now to be fair about the girl part, guys DO have higher levels of testosterone and higher sex drives *on average* and more women experience responsive desire instead of spontaneous desire. So people, knowing these facts from life in general, will question a guy hanging out with a girl more than two girls. And they police the HELL out of male-male affection. So at least be glad you're not getting THAT type of scrutiny! 

If someone were a soul coming to earth and was told 'you can either be a lesbian or a gay guy' you know which one most would pick!!

 

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verymelancholic

I think it's total rubbish. My girl friends outnumber my boy friends by around 25:1, and even then most of these guys I barely feel close too. Sure, some of them are what you'd consider "hot", but for me I do find them attractive, just not in a sexual way. So I completely disagree with that statement.

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Nylocke

I kinda feel like its true because every guy I ever befriended always develops feelings for me ...

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WoodwindWhistler
15 hours ago, Nylocke said:

I kinda feel like its true because every guy I ever befriended always develops feelings for me ...

Maybe you're a really attractive person. ^_^

And yeah I would totally accept that it would be harder for a guy/guys to be 'just friends' with a gorgeous woman. If they're not a douche about it, no harm no foul. 

 

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mindlife

I think, "That is bullshit." 

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Nylocke
On 6/2/2019 at 9:30 PM, WoodwindWhistler said:

Maybe you're a really attractive person. ^_^

And yeah I would totally accept that it would be harder for a guy/guys to be 'just friends' with a gorgeous woman. If they're not a douche about it, no harm no foul. 

 

I am average mostly, maybe its the personality. Many nerdy guys flock to me because I like anime and games and I guess its harder for them to find anyone that's into that.

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WoodwindWhistler
On 6/5/2019 at 1:05 PM, Nylocke said:

I am average mostly, maybe its the personality. Many nerdy guys flock to me because I like anime and games and I guess its harder for them to find anyone that's into that.

In this day and age, though?? I mean it used to be very uncool and not a lot of girls were into it, but nowadays I'd say fangirls at cons possibly outnumber the guys. 
 

On 6/5/2019 at 1:05 PM, Nylocke said:

 

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Banjo54
On 5/9/2019 at 7:21 AM, Serran said:

Yes. I do. I don't get crushes, I don't look at other people as attractive, I don't like porn cause those naked bodies aren't my partner, I don't fantasize about anyone but my partner, I literally get turned off to the point orgasm is impossible if I look at / think about anyone besides the person I love (but they can get me going easily). The one time I was kissed right after a break up, before the feelings had faded, I hyper ventilated and immediately went to tell my ex (we were still friends) cause I felt that guilty even though we were broken up and logically i knew it was OK. 

 

So... I literally could not cheat. It holds zero appeal. Other people hold zero appeal. 

 

So the idea my partner finds others appealing enough to actually want them (not just passing fleeting fantasy interest)? Would destroy any emotional attachment I have. I know, cause I tried to be poly open in college when my ex admitted to wanting a four person arrangement... and it was an immediate shift from romantic feelings to platonic I cant even be comfy sharing a bed to sleep. I want someone to feel at least a fraction of what I feel. 

Although it wasn't as strong for me, I also experienced exclusive attraction when I was in a relationship. It's nice to see that some others are the same way!

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Nylocke
On 6/13/2019 at 3:47 PM, WoodwindWhistler said:

In this day and age, though?? I mean it used to be very uncool and not a lot of girls were into it, but nowadays I'd say fangirls at cons possibly outnumber the guys. 
 

 

I believe there's a genuine difference between a fangirl/fanboy and being an anime fan ...

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WoodwindWhistler
On 6/13/2019 at 6:40 PM, Banjo54 said:

Although it wasn't as strong for me, I also experienced exclusive attraction when I was in a relationship. It's nice to see that some others are the same way!

So funny b/c the guy I dated seemed to "activate" all-around gray attraction for me- i.e., I'd never been interested romantically/sexually in anyone before I met him, and then I started noticing attractive features on other people while we were dating. 

 

On 6/26/2019 at 10:27 AM, Nylocke said:

 

I believe there's a genuine difference between a fangirl/fanboy and being an anime fan ...

Which is? 

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Nylocke
On 7/12/2019 at 3:55 PM, WoodwindWhistler said:

Which is? 

Really ...??? How many anime conventions have you attended again???

 

In my personal experience I find that the fanboys and the fangirls of anime tend to be on the younger side especially the ones that get into it in their teens. It is possible to outgrow that phase as one gets older though and to also develop a genuine appreciation for anime as an art style, a medium of entertainment and whatever else anime might mean to them. Though there are some that never outgrow this phase and that's just some people. Remember, everyone is different.

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kiaroskuro
On 5/24/2019 at 5:00 PM, WoodwindWhistler said:

I'm a little bit the same way. Since I'm an INTJ, I looked up an article about it and it says women with that personality trait tend to feel very disconnected from other women: https://introvertdear.com/news/what-its-like-being-an-intj-woman/

And my friend who is trained to take care of autistic people and has deep roots in the autistic community has told me that should I want to get tested, she wouldn't be surprised if I had it. Autism is usually lacking in the typical social cue sensitivity that is more developed in women on the whole. 

I'm on the borderline between INTP and INTJ, so to speak, so I could relate to many things that were mentioned in the article. Thanks for sharing it with us.

 

Lately I've been feeling more and more acutely that I'm like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, inasmuch as I'm quite unable to "read" people's agendas. Which makes (potential) friendships with cis / hetero men damn complicated. I'm becoming more and more frustrated because of this, because the way I see it, I'm not likely to learn this "skill" in the near future. Sometimes I even think that I'm too old too learn it. Can anyone relate, or give me some advice?

 

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