You can't sleep with a man and expect him to keep his hands in his pockets.
They say men think about sex every 7 seconds—even with a woman who's his "friend." Keeping a man as a "friend" can be a single woman's biggest dating challenge. Men are genetically wired to propagate the human species; they want to be sexually involved with a woman.
Sometimes a woman wants to date and enjoy a man's company without having to commit to a sexual relationship. How then does she balance dating and friendship without fumbling the entire relationship?
First and foremost, if you want to keep a man as a friend—don't sleep with him! My friend Michael says, "A man doesn't want to be a friend to a woman he has slept with, because if he got it once, he'll want it again. And if he doesn't get it—he will resent her and drift away."
If you're not romantically interested in a man, DON'T send him mixed signals. When a woman continually allows a man to pick her up at the door, take her out to dinner, pick up all the tabs, and she even accepts his gifts, he will feel he is courting her and he will expect a physical connection.
A woman who is flirtatious, reveals Pamela Anderson cleavage, and is touch-feely (sitting next to him she lays her hand on his thigh), will lead a man to believe—she is available.
Women often don't know what to say or do to discourage a man's romantic pursuit. A woman is too nice. She's insecure. She doesn't want to hurt his feelings by telling him the truth: that he's not boyfriend material and she only wants to be friends.
She takes the weak-sister way out: she avoids his phone calls and snubs his invitations, and the man is, of course, hurt by her unexplained rejection.
My Ben-Affleck-look-alike son said, "There's nothing I hate more than a woman who's not honest about where you stand with her. Just get it out of the way and tell him you only want to be a friend. He'll figure out the rest."
My client Angie had several dates with a man. She liked him, and he was genuinely attracted to her, but she said his medical issues disqualified him as a potential boyfriend.
"I don't know what to tell him," Angie whined. I read between the lines.
"Well, don't burn your bridge," I exclaimed. "Keep him as a friend. You can still enjoy going places together."
"You're right," she said. "I was going to dump him."
Until a man confronts you with, "I want to be more than just friends," you should not assume that you are anything but friends. In the meantime, tell him to keep his sausage in its wrapper, be a fun date and enjoy your time together.
Here are words-to-say that can keep a man as a friend:
- Let it discreetly slip out that you are dating other men. Say, "I'd love to accept your invitation but I already have a prior engagement."
- Tell him, "My life is extremely busy (fill in the blank: your career, your children, etc.). I don't have time for a serious relationship, but I do have a good time with you and your friendship is important to me."
- If you want to leave the door open for possible romance, tell him, "I really enjoy your company but I'm very slow when it comes to committing to a serious relationship."
- If all else fails, and he keeps pushing you towards the bedroom, tell him straight up, "I value your friendship and I don't want us to do something stupid that would ruin it."
Telling a man that you just "want to be friends" will, most likely, cause him to pull away from you, temporarily or permanently. If he does, give him time to reflect on his feelings, and then call him in a couple of weeks to test the water. If he greets you with indifference or an unfriendly attitude, you will have your answer, he's not interested in being your buddy. But if he seems receptive, invite him out for a drink or dinner—and you pick up the tab.
Read the unprecedented story of how author Nancy Nichols discovered the secret to attracting quality men in her self-help book Secrets of the Ultimate Husband Hunter.
This article was originally published at www.knowitallnancy.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.