Ladies: Our Male Friends Have Motives

I was talking to a “male friend” of 20 years today. I’ll give you the back story upfront. We met in summer school in Brooklyn between my Junior and senior year of high school. Things didn’t work out between us because after six months of dating (mostly just walking to the bus stop together after school and talking on the phone) and no sex, he gave me an ultimatum. “You either come to my house on Monday so we could do it, or it’s over.” Even then, I didn’t take orders from men too well. With those words, it was over. We’ve remained in contact for the much of the past two decades although after our break-up, we never hooked up. Not once.

Back to today. He called me while I was on my lunch break. I was happy to hear from him – especially because I needed a male perspective on a situation I’m having with another guy. Naturally, after I told him my mini-crisis, he turned the subject to my relationship status. You STILL single?? Hold up. Are you sending me pictures of you or somebody else?? Cuz if that’s YOU, I don’t understand HOW you could still be single after ALL this time.” I replied jokingly, “I know right. I’m superimposing my face on other people’s bodies. [LOL]” He got a bit more serious with the conversation and went on to imply that something must be WRONG on my end if I’m still single after a year and a half. “That’s a LOOONG time,” he said. “If it’s been a year and a half and you still single, you must be doing something wrong.” Apparently, subconsciously I don’t WANT to be in a relationship, so I’m turning men away for the wrong reasons. I must be listening to keywords they say on the first date and judging them too prematurely – or expecting them to be on my level in some ways that are not necessary. He said I’m acting all young and vibrant, but I want an older man – and older men don’t act that way.

Dating a Younger Man: Is It Worth It?

So I gave him the rundown on a few men I’ve gone out with this year. One was 27 years old and has only been in the country for a year. I met him at a wedding. I caught the bouquet; he caught the garter. He has two small children (ages 3 and 4) back home in Jamaica and he’s bringing them to America as soon as he can. He was eager to get serious with me and talk about a potential future together after only one date. (huh?). Aside from that, he wore white, tight high-water pants and a velvet blazer on our first date. As soon as I pulled up to his house and saw him coming down the steps, I knew we wouldn’t make it. I get that I’m the “older woman” in this scenario, but just – no.

Next guy is 49 years old. Met him in the parking of a Trader Joes supermarket in New Jersey. He offered to help me with my bags and I graciously declined, but did accept his business card. (He refused to take my number but wanted me to take his. I called a few days later.) Great career – art director for a major television station, lovely Tudor-style home with a large backyard, nice car, perfect gentleman during the few times we went out (blah, blah, blah). Boring and passive. And he never called. Texted me 99% of the time, but seemed very excited the two times I took the initiative to call him. How do two mature people build a progressive friendship – and potential relationship, via text message? My take was that he expected me to take the lead and initiate something further. If he actually CALLED – and was communicative, I would’ve been open to that. Inability or refusal to communicate (at the outset?) is a deal breaker. Nexxxttt!

Here’s the abbreviated version of another guy. Don’t know how old he is but I’m guessing he’s in his mid-thirties. It’s somewhat irrelevant because I judge men based on other factors besides age. Anyway, I met him in ShopRite one night after a late-night workout at the gym. On our first date, he told me that his last relationship ended because his girlfriend complained that he smoked too much weed. Further he offered that it’s not something he can just stop. He needs help. And even further, his theory is that if people who work 9 to 5 jobs can go to happy hour when they get off work, he can do whatever he wants to after work as well. So if he gets off work at 7am (he works the overnight stock shift at the supermarket), he can smoke “L’s” (marijuana) when he gets off work! “She just kept nagging me and I couldn’t take that shit.” By the end of the date, I also found out that he had spent time in prison. (It happens – although initially he was pretending he had been away “at school” for a while.)  He also accused me of having a “boo” in Brooklyn cause ain’t no way I could just be going to see my mother all the time. Lately I’ve been too busy to see him and more importantly, uninterested in seeing him. Nexxttt!!!

NOW. After this brief rundown, my friend of twenty years still insisted that I must have a problem. Because a year and a half is just too long to be single. On one hand, I agree that I could probably do more to attract the type of guy I’m interested in dating. But at the same time, if I’m giving guys the pleasure of going out with me – and yes, they asked so they want the pleasure of my company – I really don’t owe them anything more, aside from respect and honesty and to be soft and sweet. The fact that a man says he’s really into me after a first date and wants to try to forge a relationship is not reason enough for me to oblige. I’ve settled in my past. NOW, I know which traits I’m most attracted to in a man. I know the type of man who brings out the best in me, and vice versa. I know that if I’m feeling some type of high with the man I’m in a relationship in, I’ll do everything in my power to keep that high going for him as well. I may have to work out and stay in shape. Maybe he’ll be turned on by my aggressive pursuit of my dreams. I may even have to wear my hair short, or cook healthy meals for the household, or help him build a business. If he’s building, and I’m building, and we’re building together… well that’s just sexy.


And ironically, it took dating an ambitious, motivated, confident 24-year old to help me realize the type of sustainable energy I thrive on in a relationship – and my capacity to give in return. We were on the high together. (But he’s another story.)

In the interest of not digressing too far from my phone call (wink), I’ll get back on topic. I had to end the conversation with him so I could get my lashes done at the MAC counter in Macy’s Herald Square. Afterwards, I sent him this text:  I agree with you. Now that I’m finally dating actively, I have to do more to attract the type of man I’m willing to date long-term. I know my type now – aside from physical qualities. I know for sure that I need someone outgoing and ambitious. The place I’m going tonight is upscale so that’s good! The key is also to have fun. I’m single so I should enjoy this time. And date. Woot!! It’s better than being unhappy in a relationship.”

His response: It’s funny according to your new standards I would’ve never made the cut as one of your boyfriends.”

Exactly. My standards are too high for him to meet. This would be a non-factor if he hadn’t broken up with his live-in girlfriend (and mother of his two young children) a couple of months ago and called me asking if I would consider having a serious relationship with him. I declined and he was offended. We’re supposed to go from friendship status to relationship status overnight? And what was his reason for leaving home? (He never mentioned this part – but for me, having sex with him was not an option either.) In knowing me for so long, this man has witnessed every serious relationship I’ve had – from the sidelines. And still, he asked to date me seriously. Problems and all?

What do you make of this situation? Ladies, have you ever had a male friend try to come off the sidelines, or judge your relationships (or lack thereof)? Fellas, is it possible to have a platonic friendship with a woman and not think of her sexually? How do you feel about having standards in dating? Is there any such thing as being single too long?

Categories: Dating Stories, Narratives

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

45 replies

  1. This was well written. Good Work.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Okay. It is possible for a man to have a plutonic relationship with a woman Providing if and only if he sees her as just a friend. Now here is where it can get complicated.
    If the two see each other constantly and talk to each other about almost everything, then it is possible that one might Develop deeper feelings for that person. This only works if for example, talking on the phone, hanging out with each other, basically spending the majority of there time with each other. Lets face it, feelings do Develop. After all we were designed that way. For example I know its a movie but that actually does happens,love and basketball, Q only seen Monica as a friend. they hung out with each other etc. Monica had Develop feelings for him or basically liked him since she was eleven. The night of the prom is when Q first noticed her. Hence she had gotten his attention (which was her plan from the git go but thats another story). Anyway,the point is time being spent together can spark something. Now to your title of this post, Some guys do have ulterior motives. Some would play along to be “just a friend”, but all the while want something more. Okay thats all i got for you.

    Hope this answers a lot for you cuz.


    • Wow! Thanks for the thorough feedback. I appreciate the comment and agree with you. Feelings develop easily over time, especially if you’re comfortable with someone.


    • I agree with you for the most part but NOT entirely. I have a female friend who I’ve known since High School, me and this friend of mine at one point have gone out and spent plenty of time together and our relationship is strictly PLATONIC. People have asked, questioned, and tried to figure out our relationship because they couldn’t/wouldn’t except that all we were was friends. Your example, (not really a good example, here’s why)
      “Love and Basketball” as you stated is a movie, the movie is primarily based on the the title itself, Love and Basketball. The movie is a love story in a college/romantic manner. Getting back to the question asked that sparked these responses, yes you can have a female friend and not think of her sexually.


      • Thanks for the thoughtful response. Great point. Just to go back to the last commenter who wrote about Love and Basketball, it’s possible for only one person to harbor feelings – like in the story/post I wrote. The other issue is one of making dating choices/ single life.


  3. Great read and I enjoyed your different “perspective” on dating. I believe standards in dating are extremely important, but I also believe that the lack of standards and the increasing use of texting have contributed to people not really getting to know each other on a deeper level. I wrote a blog called “What Happened To Dating” giving my opinion on this issue. Now as far as “Platonic” relationships go I believe they are possible, but if both ppl are attracted to each other it is only possible if the LINE has been drawn or if one party has a barrier (IE: significant other). Most guys will “try” his friend, many times pursuing in a sneaky, playful, but if she lets me I will go for it kind of way. It’s usually not until the woman makes it clear that it’s not happening that the male friend will stop his sneaky, flirtatious “passes” and then settle into the “friend zone!” Just my thoughts and not fit for EVERY situation, but is more of a generalization.


    • Thank you for this response. You touch on several topics raised in the post and eloquently addressed all. I agree re: texting and dating and the silent struggle that sometimes occurs in male/female friendships. I’ll check out your post you mentioned!


  4. A year and a half is NOTHiNG for being single. Your friend is trying to get a rise out of you by needling what he correctly intuits is an insecure spot in your otherwise powerful persona. If he gets no response, he will stop. All the fun will be gone. He is SO wrong that the only correct response is a gentle laugh, and the words, “It’s not long. I’m cool with exploring till I find the right match.” You’ve got your kids, your education, and your good job! The only use you have for a man is love, laughter, and intellectual stimulation. If you want sex, you can get it by snapping your fingers. if you want an overpowering romantic experience that flips you out and then goes nowhere, you can snap your fingers twice. But if you want a real life companion, you need to chill. You have TIME not to settle for less, and it takes time. RELAX….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading this. I had a friend that wanted to come off the sidelines. Too messy. I did not want 2 be the rebound chick


  6. Yes !!! Love it !!! I also hate when guys say “Ur STILL not in a relationship” I’m thinking to myself “it’s only been a year” … I’m going to snap my fingers until I feel like I don’t need to snap no more. Rather be single for years (okay ill be having fun) before I waste my time with immature guys. Good job on the blog keep them coming 🙂


  7. I loved it! ♥ It’s only been a year and a half. My question is what’s the rush? Another thing, who would ask for a relationship these days? You don’t ask for a relationship….(only for children)… just happen. These days you have to have some kind of standards when it comes to dating. Men have changed!!!! Texting is not the best way to communicate when you’re trying to get to know someone because it could send mixed messages. Call me….talk to me. Allow me to get the real meaning of our conversation.


    • Very interesting comment! I like the idea of relationships “just happening” because that slow process allows for friendship to build and to get to KNOW one another before “getting serious.” So true re: standards and dating. Women and men of substance have to hold out for the caliber of person they’re willing to build with. Thank you!!


  8. Great read, love the different perspective on dating. I say hell no to Mr man wanting a relationship because you’d only endup being his rebound. I had one exactly like him and it took a while for him to get the picture that I was only interested in his friendship and nothing else but I was firm but friendly with my approach and although we don’t talk as much since then we are still friends. We all should have standards when it comes to dating because your supposed to be dating with a purpose and that purpose is to begin and remain in a long term relationship which then should turn into marriage so if you settle for any ole thing then you’re setting yourself up for failure and its obvious you’ve been down that road already and don’t want to have a repeat. There is no such thing as being single for too long because you should remain single until you find “the one” and when you find him you’ll know…trust me 🙂 so date date date and then date some more!


  9. Hi! Thanks for liking my post the other day 🙂 My opinion: a year and a half of singleness is not too long… it does not mean there is something wrong with you, or your choice of men. Being attractive does not land you back-to-back boyfriends – unless you are really needy and extremely non-picky. Besides, being single until you are sure what you are looking for is good… we need some time between relationships to heal, as well as analyse what and why we want different next time. On the other hand, when I read the descriptions of all the men you have considered – they do seem like a pretty random bunch… seems like you don’t have a problem meeting guys, which is great – half the job done 🙂 But, if you are looking for something serious, try defining what is it that makes you and keeps you “high” long term, what is it that you really need, what makes you feel good in a relationship… it will clear the way to get the right guy faster, and minimise wasting your time on people you don’t have potential with… if you want to minimise it. Also, try to think about what you willing to give and invest into a relationship… and does it match your demands. Someone who will fit you well will have similar values and admire similar qualities in you that you like in him. Hope this helps add a bit of clarity. Cheers and good luck!


    • Such an awesome response. Thank you! I love how you stress that being attractive doesn’t land you back-to-back boyfriends unless you’re needy. That’s a huge misconception – that attractive people are in relationships at all times. I actually like this period that I’m in because with every new guy I meet I learn more about EXACTLY what I’m looking for, which brings me closer to receiving it. That’s really exciting. And fortunately I know what it takes for me to have that sustainable “high.” Thank you so much. I appreciate this advice and thorough commentary. I’ll be reading more of your site.


      • Thanks, good to hear that. I honestly believe we can all find what we’re looking for, and we should not settle for anything less… I’ve been single for years myself before I met my husband, and I think it was well worth it. And I am thankful to the universe for saving me from all the wrong boys that crossed my path in the meantime! Just keep on enjoying your beautiful and fun life, that is the best recipe to find someone worth sharing it with 🙂


  10. I’m having a “relationship” with someone from other place that is so far from my hometown. We just know each other looks by Facebook and never have any chance to meet before. There’s no guarrante that it’ll continue to the marriage or no possibility of breaking up, but I told him that I am always serious in every relationship. I’ve been with a few guys and there’s no sexual things happened beside kissing and hugging. People think I’m traditional and conservative, and I know I am. This is how I show my seriousness in relationship. If a guy is really serious with me, then it’s no problem if we don’t have sex when dating. If not, he can always find another woman to screw.


  11. Wow I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll take my time lol.

    Guy #1 from middle school, he made a critical mistake which was that he didn’t build the sexual vibe early enough, thus got put in the friendzone by you. You didn’t see him (anymore) as a lover, but more as a friend or non-sexual partner. His ass got friendzoned by you. It was his mistake.

    Had he played it right from the get go, he would’ve saved himself 6 months of waste of time. A guy cannot give a girl such an ultimatum after he’s been friendzoned or after your attraction has died for him. So he made a bad play that most men unfortunately make.

    I’ll address other guys in a bit.


    • Nope. Not quite what happened but thanks! He wound up in the friend zone because people move on as time passes. And just because one person harbors feelings, it doesn’t mean the other person does.


      • We kind of already dealt with this on Twitter as to why the attraction faded for the guy. And you’re right when you talk about feelings not being mutual. Still his mistake in not being able to read that.
        Sent from my BlackBerry® device


        • Something funky is happening with my responses via email. Not going through. Yes we discussed. Just didn’t wanna leave your comment hanging. True re: reading. Some people feel you have nothing to lose by asking or stating your feelings. And then life goes on.


          • I was wondering why you took ages to respond to this. But that’s my theory though, that a guy should state his intent early (however not obviously), rather than wait forever.
            Sent from my BlackBerry® device


            • Lol. Yea, it didn’t go through. Happened yesterday too. I agree about stating intentions. Definitely. Would be nice if people did that versus lying or misleading. This case is different though. The thing about this post is, I told several stories within a story. His was one key piece, but I don’t think youre getting the full picture, which is great. 🙂 people spend years analyzing stories, in classroom settings too. But I digress. I have more stories though! 🙂


  12. I believe there are platonic relationships because there’s a hindrance to the relationship evolving into something. We accept the platonic relationship because we cannot have more.


  13. I believe men on question/judge your previous relationships so they can secretly find out what you looking for and try to portray that without just coming out and asking.



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