WARNING: We all want to believe in fairy tales. We all truly want to believe that the stories of our lives, especially the ones involving romance, will end happily. But if you haven’t learned that that’s not the way real life works by now, you just haven’t been paying attention, and you may be beyond help. Since your faithful SOG is no quitter, I will continue to push down hard on that pillow that I’ve placed over the face of the fairy-tale-romance idea in hopes that it will get one step closer to death if I can’t kill it outright with this entry. For those who still want to believe in fiction, this may be the most disheartening thing you’ve ever read.
After another long sabbatical, TIT has returned. Whoa, did anyone else notice that acronym? Sweet. Rest assured my little break from TIT (hehehehe) has not mellowed me at all. I warned you about fairy tale scenarios, and this one may be the most heinous of all: man befriends woman he has a strong attraction for, they become close and she confides her deepest feelings in him, he watches for years as she dates other men and his heart is torn to pieces, after one final fruitless relationship she realizes the man she was looking for was right in front of her all along, the two best friends take their union to the next level, they do it, both live happily ever after.
It’s so sweet, isn’t it? This Myth of Man continues to keep foolish males clinging to false hope like an imaginary lifeline. I think it’s about time it was cut.
4. “Platonic Friends”
Now before anyone misunderstands me, I’m not stating that the idea of being platonic is a Myth. It is certainly possible for a man and woman to be platonic friends, and not just if one or both of them is overweight and/or unattractive and/or Freefall Jones-esque. A perfectly healthy, pain-free friendship can be had even if there is a physical attraction between the two parties. The Myth is the belief that a man can use a platonic friendship with a woman to lead to something deeper - that if he gets close to her, earns her trust and becomes a companion, she’ll eventually “see the light” and give him what he’s been looking for from the beginning.
Wow, it seems so easy. So easy that I was once naïve enough to believe it. “Okay, she doesn’t seem into me physically, but I can still be friends with her, and maybe down the line my personality can win her over. Even if it doesn’t, being platonic is better than nothing…”
AH! I feel so ashamed! Like everything I’ve preached in The Indisputable Truth, I learned this lesson in the hardest way. But I’m so much smarter for it.
As I’ve reiterated many times, women decide if men are potential boyfriends or not on sight (with very few exceptions that will be covered in the future). There’s no process involved. She looks at him and thinks “yes” or “no.” The “yeses” don’t always lead to romantic/sexual relationships, but the “nos” NEVER lead to romantic/sexual relationships. If a woman you’ve befriended hasn’t attempted to push your friendship further within a month, or even sooner, YOU ARE A “NO.” Yes it sounds terrible, but it can’t be fought. If you don’t try to escalate the relationship, she will. Remember what we established in Chapter 1, women cannot hide their emotions. Not for a month, or a week, or a day, or 10 minutes. They might try, but they can’t do it.
As I said earlier, it is possible for a physical attraction to exist between a man and a woman in a platonic friendship. Yes, when that single, unattached female friend that you’ve been pining over for the past three years tells you that you’re good-looking, she may not be blowing a thick plume of smoke straight up your tailpipe; she may actually mean it. But be assured – that physical attraction from her is slight. The reason she hasn’t pursued anything bigger with you is because while she finds your appearance somewhat acceptable, she believes that she is out of your league. Yes, you’re pretty nice to look at, you make her laugh, she trusts you and you get a long fabulously. But she knows that there are many more, much better looking men readily available for her to date. Think about this: if a juicy, sizzling prime rib of beef smothered in sautéed mushrooms is sitting on a plate just to your right, would you make the quick turn and dig in, or would you settle for the lukewarm McRib sandwich right in front of you simply because it’s in your direct line of sight? Yes, you’ll gladly take the sandwich if it’s all you can afford, or you’re stranded on a desert island, but if you have options you’re going to shop around. That’s what’s going on in her mind; it may be conscious or subconscious.
Hoping to turn a platonic friendship into a deeper relationship is not only completely futile, it is emotionally damaging. That sharp pain you feel right at your core every time your female friend talks about how she can’t find the right man, or tells you about a date she was on, or tells you about the wild no-strings-attached sex she had with a guy she’d known for about an hour the previous night, or tells you what she’s looking for in a boyfriend (which can be the exact opposite of everything you offer, or worse, the exact same), doesn’t disappear. It chips away at you. It might feel like it subsides for a time, but it lingers. It’s just being shrouded by the vapor that is human beings’ unending desire to believe that fairy tales can come true – much like spraying perfume on week-old, maggot-ridden, sun-baked roadkill. Before long you’ll be questioning your own worth, screaming on the inside of your skull, “WHAT ABOUT ME??? I’M RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU!!! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THIS???”
The really bad news is that she knows all this. She can see you, and if she has half a brain, or unless you’re a really good actor, she can tell that you want to be with her, and she probably always could tell. But you still never crossed her mind as a mate, and most likely never will, because she crossed you off her list as soon as she met you.
How many of us men has gotten the “let’s just be friends” speech, in one form or another, from a woman we’ve wanted to date? I have. Why do you think it hurts so much and is so humbling? Because we know deep down that “let’s just be friends” really means “let’s just avoid any and all contact with each other for the rest of our lives.” She doesn’t find you attractive and she never will.
If for some reason she’s been oblivious to your desires throughout your friendship, trying to escalate it will only make her uncomfortable and cause her to end the relationship altogether, either the moment she gives you the “let’s just be friends” speech or gradually, slowly dissipating the contact between you until it’s totally gone. And as hurtful as that situation is, it’s for the best. Never seeing or speaking to a girl you want to date is infinitely less destructive than maintaining companionship under the concrete stipulation that it will never get beyond that.
Here’s the bottom line: if your platonic female friend had attraction for you, especially intense physical attraction, you wouldn’t be platonic friends. You would’ve “hooked up” at the start. She would’ve tried to push your friendship into romantic/sexual waters, and you would’ve reciprocated. Those kinds of relationships don’t “blossom” from friendships, despite what movies may tell you. Sometimes romances can be downgraded to friendships, but not the inverse. If attraction is not immediate, it’s non-existent, and it cannot be created, especially not by being a “good friend” to her.
I’m guessing that there’s many a man’s eye welling up with tears right now over my demolition of this Myth of Man. Yes guys, you really have wasted the last few years of your life trying to get your platonic friend to “turn the corner” in your relationship. But all is not lost. Your best course of action is to end the friendship and spare yourself any more pain. It’s not easy, but it’s the first step to rebuilding yourself as a man. She’ll get over it. Remember, if she really cared that much about you, the relationship wouldn’t be platonic.
Always keep in mind what I said at the beginning of this chapter; being platonic friends with a girl is fine; even being platonic friends with a girl you’re attracted to is fine. But if you really want this girl, and you really want to be with her, a platonic friendship is nothing more than a yellow-brick road to suffering. While it may seem pleasurable, the end of it is not somewhere you ever want to be. In fact, most men just keep walking through the pain and humiliation thinking that the destination is ahead, not realizing that they’ve actually reached it and there’s nowhere else to go, not from this path anyway. And if you’re on it, do yourself a huge service and jump off.