OK, so I know only about 0.2% of you actually read the whole thing, so here are the first few paragraphs just to give you a taste:
The other day I was having lunch with a friend and she began to pour out an all-too-familiar story. The guy she'd been hanging out with four nights a week, the one who'd made her a jazz mix CD and asked her to be his date to his office Christmas party, the one who'd gone to late-night movies with her and made her pasta -- that guy -- had crushed her hopes (again) with a single, nonchalant statement: "I don't see myself in a relationship anytime soon." ...
I felt anger well up. This was not the first time I'd heard this story. I could count nearly half a dozen friends who found themselves in this same frustrating situation. After investing months in late night talks, meals together and flirty e-mails, each woman faced the sad reality that the guy actually wasn't planning to upgrade their friendship...
The author goes on to talk about how she asked a guy friend if he thought it was wrong to initiate one on one friendships with a girl, and particularly why he'd continue to act in a way that signaled a relationship when he had no intentions of carrying through on that. The guy's response was basically, "Well, she's going to read into things whatever I do, so if she doesn't say anything, it's ok."
Personally, I have been in a similar situation before (not recently), and have seen very similar things happening with various girlfriends. The girl is interested in the guy, they hang out one on one, have deep conversations, do things that are clearly "date-ish" and the girl is treated differently than other female friends. Then when the girl can't stand it anymore and finally says something, she gets a comment like, "Oh, yeah, don't't feel that way about you, I just see you as a friend."
I can understand how that can feel good - a guy gets an ego boost, gets to hang out with soneone who they (usually) know is into them, and gets all, or most of, the benefits or a relationship without the commitment of a relationship.
Now before you start yelling at me, I am not saying ALL guys are like this. They're absolutely not. And I think the kind of situation described above is tempting for both guys and for girls. BUT... guy or girl, I don't think it's right to act in a way that makes the other person think that you are intending more than you actually are. What is each person's responsibility in that kind of situation? (I'm talking about when one person has a pretty good idea that the other is into him/her. If they're clueless, well, that's a slightly different situation.) For example, if a guy sings to a girl while staring into her eyes, feeds her dessert, rubs her feet, takes her to the symphony, spends hours talking late into the night, etc etc etc, AND he doesn't do that with other girls, what is the girl SUPPOSED to think?
And of course, that leads to the age-old question of can guys and girls be "just friends?" The article proposes three levels of opposite-sex friendship: acquaintances, companions, and intimate friends. The author suggests that if a guy and a girl get to an "intimate friends" level (and I'm not talking physical stuff - I mean more like one on one time together, emotional connection, that kind of thing) it's usually impossible for one or the other not to develop romantic feelings for one another. Do you think that's true? Can guys and girls be just friends? To what extent?
Have you ever been in this kind of situation before where you've felt that you were getting special treatment and then realized that the other person isn't interested "in that way?" What happened? Or do you disagree that this happens or is a problem?
What are your thoughts???