I have friends that are guys and I like being friends with guys. But two of my guy friends act really weird around me sometimes. They’ll make dirty jokes, sometimes even about me, and when I call them out on it though they always say sorry. One of my friends told me they both have a crush on me, but I don’t like either of them that way – but I want to stay friends with them. How do I stay friends with guys who like me more than a friend?
Ah, the age old question: can guys and girls “just be friends”? Some insist it’s no big deal, while others swear it’s an impossibility. Unfortunately, I tend to lean towards the latter hypothesis—and we guys are to blame for that. In my first Gurl.com post ever, I argued that a dude will generally only willingly befriend a lady either when she’s dating one of his friends, or he’s already dated her. Otherwise, there’s definitely an ulterior motive lurking behind that seemingly cordial offer to “try” his “kielbasa” while at the neighborhood barbecue.
With these two goofballs constantly making inappropriate jokes that obviously make you uncomfortable, it’s pretty likely one or both of them is into you (without knowing how to maturely express it). And, if your girlfriend is convinced for any additional reasons that they’re both crushing on you, then they’re almost certainly into you.
If you’re set on trying to work things out with these guys, you can try having an open conversation to explain how their behavior makes you feel, and what you’d like to change. But personally, I believe it’s kind of unfair – if not impossible – to remain “just friends” with guys who have unreciprocated feelings for you. Not only will things get increasingly awkward, but spending more time with you without being able to act out their fantasies of shared ice cream and long walks on the beach will quickly drive them nuts.
It may be difficult to commit to, but paying less attention to wishful suitors whom you’re not attracted to is ultimately best for all involved. Backing away might even cause your admirers to temporarily come on even stronger, but with enough distance they’ll eventually get the message that you’re just not interested in playing house.
Here’s a quick tip: If you really want a platonic male friend, gay guys make much better besties.
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.