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March 26, 2010

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Boyfriend

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:22 am

The Curse of the Friend-Boy continues on March 23, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Hi, I just replaced the phone after a two-hour conversation in which the subject was “male bashing” (perhaps you know of it). My “girl”-friend had just been told by her steady that he had only wanted her for one thing (take a guess). Yes, I was as disgusted as she was and it set me thinking. I am used by a lot of people as a comfort from the tough times and although I am not unhappy, I am sick of hearing about all guys being chauvinistic pigs who look for one thing in life. I have gone out with two girls for a grand total of four days and after both, I was given the good old friends line. I know this is similar to other letters, but it is slightly different. I am not bad looking, I have a decent sense of humor, and consider myself romantic (flowers, candy, letters). The problem is, no one wants to accept me as more than a friend. I don’t see what my problem is. Although I am used as a stuffed toy when times are tough, it is not a position I would change for the world. Why is it that a) all the women around me seem to make the same mistakes even though I warn them, and b) How do I get over that “friends” line? It destroys me inside, and leaves me feeling inadequate as a guy, but more like a used tissue. What can I do to make myself appealing? Should I change or accept the fact that I will only ever be a friend?

Thank you kindly for all your help.
– Unlucky in Love

Dear Unlucky,

Everything I said before, plus a few points:

1) “He only wanted her for one thing.” My sense is that this may be your girl-friend’s interpretation of what her “steady” said. In other words, girls tend to complain about boys being “pigs” out for “only one thing” when in reality, the girl can’t think of any other way to explain the apparent fact that the guy just doesn’t really like her all that much any more. So girls, quit tossing those terms around willy-nilly — it depletes their strength for when we really need them. A boy is a “male chauvinist pig” when he says, “Women don’t deserve equal pay for equal work, and I like to paw them when they come into my office — and in fact, they’re honored, because I’m Senator Packwood, dammit.” But when a boy says,”You’re a nice person, and man, the sex was killer, but let’s break up, ” he is not a male chauvinist pig; he is an ex-boyfriend. Got that?

2) “Flowers, candy, letters.” Okay. You say you’ve dated girls for a “grand total of four days,” and you’ve bestowed flowers, candy, letters? There’s no delicate way to say this: you may be scaring them. Apply less pressure, and this so-called “friend” problem may start to clear up.

3) “What can I do to make myself appealing?” …Which leads me to my final point, which may sound familiar. You’re being the enforcer — which is also why you get huffy when people don’t heed your warnings (though BG can completely understand that one). Stop trying so hard. To be a friend and to be a boyfriend. The girlfriend will come eventually; in the meantime, don’t wear yourself out. I know you don’t want to shrug off your role as the shoulder, but yes, women will lean on you, perhaps too heavily. When women get dumped, we like to have two kinds of conversations: (1) dishing / spewing / venting with galpals, and (2) boo-hooing with a temporary boy-substitute, sort of an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Boyfriend. It’s not pretty, but we do it. You don’t have to indulge us every time.

Love,
Breakup Girl

3 Comments »

  1. Dear Unlucky in Love,

    I agree with most of the response from “Breakup Girl” but I still have some comments to add.

    I have had this problem for some time. I too have been thought of that that nice guy that girls look for when girls need to feel understood or are in need of consoling when they are broken-hearted. If you want this to stop (which I am sure you do), you cannot continue the way you are broadcasting yourself to girls.

    First of all, you have to ask yourself how long this pattern of being that “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Boyfriend” has lasted. If you have noticed that it is longer than just a small phase in your life, you have to redevelop your strategy when approaching a woman. You might not know it, but you may be waving the wrong flag over your head every time you speak to a woman.

    There is a reason you are not getting the women and those so-called “pigs” are. Those men are doing something you are not or it may be the fact that you are doing something that they are not. One of those is the case and you have to ask yourself which one it is.

    Trust me when I say that women will keep using you as a shoulder to cry on and to tell you how “horrible” those guys are. Nevertheless, you will continue to be that shoulder to cry on and those other guys will keep getting the girls. Unfortunately, the truth is not going to sound pleasing at all. If you continue to speak to women in this manner you will only be picked when those women decide it is time to settle down and go for someone who actually cares about them which is not good for you at all because you are their last resort before they settle down. An even sadder truth that I have witnessed from friends and family is that those women that do choose you might still cheat on you with those “unreliable” guys because those men give them some uncertainty (translation: excitement) in their lives. You do NOT want to be in this situation because you will be left with “slim pickings”.

    If you continue your actions as that “friend” you will continue to be called up for 2 hours (or more) to make you listen to their problems and they will NEVER see you more than that. I agree that it is nice being there for people, but honestly, you are wasting your time if you think that being that way will get you anywhere in terms of a relationship. My advice is to tell those women the truth (in a subtle manner, of course) that you are not that guy and let them know (again, subtly) that you are that other guy who wants to start something a bit more intimate.

    I hope that I was of service. Good luck with your ventures.

    Sincerely,

    -Caring Friend

    Comment by Caring Friend — March 27, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  2. “shrug off your role as the shoulder”…BG You’re great!

    Comment by Sam — April 2, 2010 @ 12:03 am

  3. OMG thanks! Please keep visiting/reading. You don’t even have to write nice little comments every time!

    Comment by BG — April 2, 2010 @ 12:12 am

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