Friend-zone Graciously: Friends Are Not Douche Canoes

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Friend-zone Graciously: Friends Are Not Douche CanoesI went on a date recently with a cool new guy I met on OK Cupid (OKC). For some reason, when we met in person I really liked him and found him funny and engaging and very cool, but I just don’t have the spark. This always makes me nervous. I hate telling people the chemistry just isn’t there, and some do not take this well…at all.

A while back, before this recent date, I met a different guy on OKC who I thought via text was funny and irreverent. On our first date he plopped into the booth and demanded I purchase him a drink, and made racial jokes and jokes about me, and I realized he wasn’t funny and irreverent. It was a text error because there was no tone of voice. He was actually an asshole! Some there is no chemistry, but this rude man I actively disliked. At the end of the date, about 15 min in, it was pretty clear that I disliked him. He said… “Yeah… so I can see you don’t like me too much. But we can still have fun right?” I told him no, as politely but directly as I could. I said we weren’t compatible, but that I wished him luck with his dating. He shrugged and said he understood we wouldn’t be dating and said “What? That’s it? Not even a blowie?” In a way I should thank him because I’ve gotten a plethora of laughs retelling it.

With this guy that I just met though, there isn’t a romantic spark but I genuinely like him and hope maybe there can be a friendship there. He really is pretty damn cool.

There’s a bunch of talk about being “friend-zoned” on the Facebook boards and chat rooms on polyamory sometimes. I am in the camp that the friend-zone rocks and if the feeling is mutual a cool friendship can be had. But there are some ways to do that well:

1) Don’t agree to be friends if you are secretly hoping the object of your affection or lust will cave and date or fuck you later if you’re a “nice guy.” Ask yourself if you’d be happy having them as a friend, and if the answer is “yes,” be their friend. If the answer is no you’d really rather just date or fuck them, politely say something like “I’m really looking to focus more on dating or sexual chemistry, but thank you and it was lovely meeting you.” There is nothing wrong with everyone saying what they actually want. Trouble comes when we aren’t honest about this. If you’re putting in time and listening and caring and being a pal and you’ll be upset when they later date someone else, (after all you’ve done for them!!!) then don’t be their friend. You are not their friend. You are pretending to be Ms. Nice Girl or Mr. Nice Guy in hopes on pouncing on their grateful genitals. Be a friend or don’t, but don’t be a douche canoe.

2) Be gracious about it. It stings a teeny bit to be rejected but it gets better with practice and if you are dating and fucking people you will sometimes get rejected. It’s just a fact.

I had a guy I thought was foxy that seemed to think I was foxy too. He petted my leg at the local polyamorous strip show and we had fun banter. Whoops. Nope. He’s not into me like that, but he told me politely and clearly that he thought I was cool and he wanted to be friends. It happens. We will never be everyone’s cup of tea and as we’ve discussed, chemistry is a fickle bitch. I thanked him for letting me know in a nice clear classy way and we’re actually friends and I greatly enjoy him.
I had another guy I talked to on OKC a bit that for some reason I just decided wasn’t for me. I was pretty overwhelmed at the time and I let him know that I was sorry but I didn’t think it would work. He thanked me for letting him know and wished me luck. I ran into him almost a year later and remembered him as the emotionally mature fun guy I’d chatted with a while ago and in person we had lovely chemistry. We had a lot of really hot kinky wild sex. It sometimes pays to be classy.

3) Remember that connections are what they are. It’s a complicated mess of things that attracts us to someone and determines in what way we are attracted. We all have childhoods and pasts and experiences we carry with us. We have brain chemistry. Studies have shown women are attracted to different sorts of men at different times of their menstrual cycle and that people unknowingly crave people with immune systems very different than their own through some unknown cue our brains pick up on and recognize. It might be the case that we aren’t being selected for what we are looking for because of a million factors known and unknown, and worrying too much about it, (beyond thinking about how YOU are selecting those you approach) is a waste of time. If the shiny thing that caught your eye says “no thanks”, move on. There are LOTS of shiny things in this world.

As they said in my telemarketing days, it’s a numbers game. If you are present and you know what you want and communicate it well, eventually you’ll find someone who wants it too. Look at where I’m seeking and the likelihood of finding what I want there and pick the best place for my wants, sure. If I am a polyamorous person, for example, I’ll do best fishing in the poly community. BUT, I will always hear “yay” and “nay” not matter what my orientation or location. Non-monogamy is just like that.

So don’t bemoan the friend-zone, my friend. It means people like you. It’s wonderful too to connect with cool human beings that think I am cool and offer their friendship, often a thing as precious as or more precious than their genitals. So be classy about it if you can. Be a friend or say “no thanks.” But remember, people looking to connect at swing clubs and poly events tend to do better with the high recommendations and the introductions of their friends. 🙂

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SeattlePolyChick lives and works in Seattle, where she blogs and podcasts from a polyamorous, open, swinging, kinky, bisexual perspective. Her regular "cast of characters" includes her boyfriend Traveler and her boyfriend Cleveland, and the loves and others affectionately nicknamed "The Murder". It's as complicated and wonderful as it sounds. It's about love, sex, and relationships.

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