This article is in response to the August 6 article entitled, “Why I’m Dumping All My Guy Friends.” Although a well-written article, it makes the author come off as shallow and conceited. Since many guys (myself included) were unsettled by it, here is my response — a guy’s perspective:
To give you a reader’s digest version of the original article, the author states that she is cutting out all of the guy friends in her life because almost all of them are professing their love for her. The author states that, “Once I know that my guy friend has the hots for me, the times of us kickin’ it old school are no more.”
Obviously you should read the original article first before reading this, but here we go.
One thing, among many, that bothered me with this article as a male with female friends (some of whom I would want to date) is that the author is either blowing her friends’ feelings towards her way out of proportion, or her romantic radar has been broken for quite some time.
If it’s the former, I’m sure they are not breaking open the dam of their feelings and flooding her with their undying love; they probably want to take her out on a date — making the leap from “friends” to “more than friends” — and see how things go. If it’s the latter, these guys maybe have loved her for a while and the author was just too blind to see it. Then again, love is a special thing; I doubt numerous guys are falling for the same girl this hard.
The author makes it seem like all guys have a hidden agenda and that the only reason they would want to have a female friend is to eventually sleep with her. No. I have plenty of female friends who I am completely platonic with and want to remain that way with. In some instances, feelings may develop over time, but that doesn’t mean he was deceptive in his initial motives.
I feel like it’s the former because the author quotes her male friends as saying things to the affect of, “I’ve had feelings for you for a while now,” or “It’s not just that you’re beautiful, but also that you just get me,” or “You’re the female version of me.”
For one, these do not sound like “weird admissions of love” that have “bubbled up from the inner depths of their hearts and oozed through their mouths,” as the author states. Secondly, I’ve literally told my friend Kim dozens of times that she is the female version of me (and I, her) and that is one of the biggest reasons we’re platonic friends.
One thing I’ve learned through writing for Thought Catalog for the last two months is to not speak for all of one group (i.e. Things Every Woman Needs To Look For In A Man, Why All Men Want To Sleep With You, etc.). You don’t know every member of a group, so don’t speak for all of them.
“Gentlemen, if your female friend wants to be romantic with you, she will make it known,” the author writes. Really? You know how every girl feels about a guy friend? Is it outside the realm of possibility for a girl to like her guy friend as more than a friend and be afraid to take action? What good does that serve anyone?
Guys who have feelings for their female friends and have the guts to disclose them should be commended, not chastised. It’s not easy. They know the risk that can be involved, but they are willing to explore the option that there can be something greater between the two of them.
If I had to pick a favorite full paragraph from the article, I’d have to go with:
“I’ve never used the magic power of my feminine mystique on any of my guy friends, and like I said, I’m attached. So for them to come to me, professing their love, is not only ridiculous, it’s also self-destructive. It’s a surefire way to make everyone feel awkward — me for having to turn you down and hurt your feelings like I’ve seen so many girls do before, and you for now feeling like shit because you stupidly ruined a friendship that could have gone on for many more years of letting le bon temps roulé.” (Editor’s note: That last line is French for, “the good times roll.”)
Saying that a guy professing his love — if it’s even really love, and not something as simple as, “Hey, let’s go out,” — for you is ridiculous is ridiculous notion in its own right. Again, rather than bottle up and bury any feelings he may have, he is letting them be known. To me, not letting the person know how you truly feel is deceptive. Why would you want or ask someone who cared for you to never share those feelings, because it would make you uncomfortable? If the feeling is not mutual, then it probably will be awkward; but you’re adults. Talk it out, come to an understanding and move forward. Having seen him rejected numerous times in the past should only make you more sympathetic to his situation. You cutting him off for his actions and/or making him feel guilty for doing so is just pouring salt in the wound.
Losing your friendship, if that’s what it was, may suck for the guy, especially if he had strong feelings for you. However, you ruined the friendship by ending it. If he decided that he can’t be “just friends” with you, that’s one thing, but cutting him off for asking you out shouldn’t ruin a friendship. And not for nothing, as shitty and stupid as the feeling is of finding out that your feelings are not reciprocated by someone, the guys who read this probably feel 10-times shittier and stupider for knowing that this is what you thought of your friendship, if that’s what it was, together.
The author says that once a guy develops feelings of more than friendship towards a girl, he “begins seeing you as a sex object rather than as just a companion.” Really? For one, how can you speak for how a guy feels? Secondly, if a guy only sees you as a sex object and not a companion, he was never your friend to begin with.
In her final paragraph, the author states that “we’ve gotten to the age where male-female relationships are going extinct,” when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Many men and women peacefully coexist without the other wanting to jump the other’s bones. If you have awful relationships with every member of the opposite sex you encounter, maybe you’re the problem.
Men are not savages. We are perfectly capable of remaining platonic friends with a girl if we want to take things to the next level and are turned down, or if our female friend wants to take things to the next level and we are not interested. The ability to keep your friendship intact is both a sign of maturity and the strength of your friendship.