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Can't be Friends


crunchberries

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My biggest stumbling block in relationships is I cannot seem to be friends with a woman and be her lover at the same time. I always come off as "too nice" or too much of a jerk, one of the two. I want a relationship where the woman is my companion, confidant, and best friend, but she must have respect for me also as a man and as a sexual lover. I have been married before, and I miss the times of having someone to share ideas with or talk about any subject and rely on her- I know it is possible to be friends and lovers but I cannot seem to find my way there anymore!

 

Nowadays, I see the word “friend” as the antithesis of “lover.” I feel that if a woman establishes me as a friend in her mind, I will be locked in the “friend zone” and she will lose respect for me as a lover and start treating me like her little brother or girlfriend. I am not a pushover or a tool, and I don’t allow myself to ever be disrespected in that way, so when a woman opens up to me and makes an attempt at real intimacy (mental not physical) by sharing personal thoughts- I take it as a disrespect and start forcing her to respect me by being a jerk! This is not a natural trait of mine- it is learned. I don’t like it, and that is not the way I would ever want to be treated personally, but I see no other option! What else can I do? It would be totally different if we had already established a sexual relationship first- then we could be friends too, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Women always say they want to be “friends first” and I don’t allow that. It seems to me that there are only two kinds of guys in a woman’s life- the guys she complains about, and the guys she complains to. I absolutely do not want to be one of those immasculated unichs of a man that she calls on the phone and cries to for hours about how much of a jerk some other guy she sleeps with is! So I am stuck being the jerk.

 

Even though there is no question that being a jerk to women earns their respect- it usually makes them hate me so much they never want to be around me again. You respect the people you hate, and that is one step above being the friend they don’t respect, but not what I want. Other men- women will bend over backward to try to please and try to “fix” him, but not me- I am obviously not attractive enough to bother, that’s just the end. Also, anyone I have to treat like dirt to earn their respect- I look down on them because they made me do that, and unfortunately I cannot be attracted to someone I have to treat like this because I consider them pathetic. I hate this. All I wanted was to be loved and respected, and it seems I always have to choose one or the other. I hate the person I have to be with women, so usually I just prefer to stay home alone instead. How can I be friends with a woman I am attracted to and not regret it?

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Even though there is no question that being a jerk to women earns their respect- it usually makes them hate me so much they never want to be around me again. You respect the people you hate, and that is one step above being the friend they don’t respect, but not what I want.

 

Also, anyone I have to treat like dirt to earn their respect- I look down on them because they made me do that

I have to admit, I find your logic and thought pattern quite mind boggling. Never heard anything like this before. You believe treating people badly (being a jerk) will earn you their respect?? Seriously? I have the complete opposite reaction - BIG TIME - all it does for me is earn you complete and utter disrespect. But it appears you have experienced the end result in being a jerk - you say it usuually makes people hate you so much they never want to be around you again. Hardly surprising, don't you think?

 

Secondly, no-one can make you do it. No-one. That is ALL your own doing. It is YOUR CHOICE. No-one goes around hoping you'll treat them like crap by being a jerk "to earn their respect".

 

If you want to keep a woman, stop being a jerk and treat her well. Simple enough, no?

 

Other than that, perhaps professional counsel/therapy will help.

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I can partially understand what the OP is saying. We all know that there are many women out there who will "love a bastard" because they think they can change him. We can probably all name examples.

 

I've been in the position of being in the friend zone and being the guy she calls to complain to. It was more like a brother/sister thing and I wanted to be there for my 'sister'. It took me a while to realise what a doormat I had been and how she had walked all over me so many times. I regret that I allowed it to continue for so long. I only did because I didn't have enough respect for myself and felt that I deserved to be treated that way. I think this is where the OP is coming from. It all starts with a lack of self-respect. If she doesn't respect herself then she will respect the bastards. If you don't respect yourself then she won't respect you.

 

But it doesn't have to be that way.

 

Respect has to be earned but it doesn't have to be earned by being a bastard. Leave that to the other guys. First, learn to respect yourself for being a good person. If women can't see that and respect you for it then that's their problem. Stay away from those women and you will attract the women who have enough respect for themselves and for you.

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You don't appear to own the solidity and self confidence to relax into 'Who You Are' rather than shape shifting in response to externals.

 

When you view your life as a puzzle and a loving, sexual companion as someone who 'fits,' then you can appreciate how many attempts to try out matches may be required--and how forcing a fit between the wrong two pieces can harm the whole outcome of your puzzle.

 

When you paste on personalities to force a match you deprive yourself of valuable information--what would happen if you were relaxed and real. Would this woman be a good match? If not, skip the effort and allow her to pass early.

 

Until you work out your own issues, either solo or with a therapist, your knee jerk response to what you 'think' will 'work' to your advantage will sabotage your ability to discover someone who 'gets you,' because YOU don't even get who you really are yet.

 

I'd jump off that misery go round--it will still be there if you ever want to climb on it again after doing your work. Chances are you'll want to ditch that useless cycle forever once you learn how to be comfortable in your own skin.

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I have to admit, I find your logic and thought pattern quite mind boggling. Never heard anything like this before. You believe treating people badly (being a jerk) will earn you their respect?? Seriously? I have the complete opposite reaction - BIG TIME - all it does for me is earn you complete and utter disrespect. But it appears you have experienced the end result in being a jerk - you say it usuually makes people hate you so much they never want to be around you again. Hardly surprising, don't you think?

 

I’m sure you don’t think you respect people for being jerks, but I bet in reality you have. Respect doesn’t mean you like that person, and respect isn’t necessarily given out of admiration as we would hope- it often means if one oversteps their bounds, they know full well they will be put in their place so it’s best to back down. Respect can be taken by force. I can’t make everyone like me, but I can make any person respect me if I am willing to go to the lengths it takes to enforce my will over theirs. Yes, it does make them hate me, but at that point, it’s just as well because I have already written them off. At least it ends with me in control, instead of being a supplicating pansy.

 

Secondly, no-one can make you do it. No-one. That is ALL your own doing. It is YOUR CHOICE. No-one goes around hoping you'll treat them like crap by being a jerk "to earn their respect".

 

That’s true, I do have a choice. I could always opt to be a doormat, but that’s not going to happen. It seems like so many women I date are pro-actively trying to put me in the friend zone immediately, and it takes a huge amount of finesse I don’t possess to keep that from happening while still maintaining the attraction. And while no woman consciously wants me to treat her like crap, there are absolutely plenty that will punish anyone who doesn’t step up and do exactly that.

 

If you want to keep a woman, stop being a jerk and treat her well. Simple enough, no?

 

That is the simple answer, and the opinion of practically every woman I’m sure, but the reality is a lot more complicated. Unfortunately, every man who has ever been in a relationship knows that what women believe they want and the behavior they actually reward are two completely different things. Most women are oblivious to this trait in themselves. No man has ever kept a woman simply by treating her well and catering to her every whim, because then she believes she can do better than him since it is all too easy, and the next thing you know she’s gone- looking for someone who is more of a challenge. So pretty much every man has, or will use a certain calculated amount of douchiness at some point if he wants to keep her.

 

Other than that, perhaps professional counsel/therapy will help.

 

Maybe that's something to consider. I wouldn't even know where to start.

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I really would like to be a good person and feel good about myself and derive self-respect from that. I don’t know why I can’t. I’m really not such a terrible person, though it may sound like I am here. My friends say that I am kind too stressed and intense and it makes women uneasy. I do have a lot of regrets in life, to the point of nervous tics, though I must say most people I know have far more reason to regret their lives than me and they could care less. It is possible I have been dating a caliber of women who are just not right for me. I only date women online, so it’s pretty random and maybe there is just a certain type of person that seeks online avenues in my area, and maybe that personality isn’t for me- I don’t know.

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I’m sure you don’t think you respect people for being jerks, but I bet in reality you have.

No, I know for a fact I never have. I guess I'm just a little different from most.

 

Respect can be taken by force. I can’t make everyone like me, but I can make any person respect me if I am willing to go to the lengths it takes to enforce my will over theirs.

Here again, I am different and would have the opposite reaction to what you expect. I take a very dim view of anyone/anything that has to be done by force to earn someone's respect. Trying to enforce one's will over others would earn my disrespect and certainly won't impress me very much and I would head in the opposite direction (as it seems a number of women are doing).

 

That’s true, I do have a choice. I could always opt to be a doormat

Treating someone well does NOT mean you are a doormat. If there is mutual respect, then almost everything automatically falls into place. Doormat wouldn't even be in the picture.

 

It seems like so many women I date are pro-actively trying to put me in the friend zone immediately

Then you have to ask yourself why. If it has become a common feature then it's time to look to the common denominator.

 

No man has ever kept a woman simply by treating her well and catering to her every whim

Of course not. Once again, treating someone well, does NOT mean you have to cater to their every whim. Ever. You seem to have a hard time fully understanding what "treating someone well" actually means. Somehow you seem to think it means being a doormat and catering to every little whim. You are very far off the mark on that one.

 

My friends say that I am kind too stressed and intense and it makes women uneasy

Listen to your friends - they are onto something. If your friends say you are too intense and make women feel uneasy, then you can only imagine what all these women are seeing/feeling. Your answer lies within. Again, I would strongly recommend professional counseling/therapy, because clearly, your methods are backfiring on you.

 

I wish you well.

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No man has ever kept a woman simply by treating her well and catering to her every whim ...

 

Quite true. But, as C3 says, you should never ever cater to her every whim. Women will respect a man who stands up for himself, knows how to draw a line in the sand and knows when to say "No" and (more importantly) mean it.

 

Recent studies have shown that so-called 'modern' or 'metrosexual' men who share in the cooking, cleaning, changing nappies, etc. and are 'in touch with their feminine side' get less sex than their more traditional and masculine counterparts. Women may not admit it but sometimes they like a man who will throw them down on the bed and give them a jolly good seeing to. They fantasise about it. Just not all the time. It's tough for men these days, after 20 years of being told to cry and moisturise, to know where the line between being a gentleman and Neanderthal is drawn because it's a very fine line. You have to be both at different times and only trial and error will help you find where that line is because it's different for every woman. But never try to be something you're not because women can tell and they'll exploit that confusion.

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