Attention Men On Dating Apps: I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends

I’ve had a few conversations with fellow divorced people or people recently out of relationships in my time on the apps. Something that comes up a bit too frequently is that I get a very clear friendzone vibe when we start to bond over our breakups. 

For example, with one guy, he’d told me the reasons for his dissolution of marriage and asked me for mine. I knew it was breaking the rules, even though I’m new to this and would love to think there are no rules. But he showed me his so I showed him mine. Mine…is a doozy. He was nice about it. I knew I freaked him out, though. 

The conversation continued via text but did seem to center on “single life” and the nitty gritty of his becoming single. He’s nice enough. He’s also, clearly, just not that into me, at this time at least. I sat with it for a minute. I worked through my initial feelings of having my greatest insecurities about myself, that I’m unattractive and unlovable, feel true. Then I metaphorically slapped myself in the face and got over it. His not wanting to date me has to do with him, not me. 

I wrote myself a form letter to use in case of friendzone. Feel free to steal it. 

Dear sir or madam,

I don’t want a platonic divorce friend. I have friends. 

As much as I’d love to be there for you and wish I was good enough to be your breakup buddy, I can’t do it. I’ve been single long enough now that I’ve done the work to get myself willing to trust someone enough to date. But I can’t take you on. 

You don’t want me as a friend to complain about your breakup with, anyway. Mine was worse. I win at divorce. You’ll feel bad venting to me because I’ve been through worse than you have, and it won’t feel good to tell me your problems. Find someone who already loves you and tell them how hurt you are. I’ve found people step up when you ask for help. 

I wish you the best in all your endeavors.

Full disclosure: Be prepared to be ghosted.

I’m a bit much, my sister tells me. She says I’m kinda loud and that I tried to drown her as a child. (I did no such thing.) But I am a bit much. I do talk too much and sing too often. I have no game. I have no chill. I have no filter. I play no games (except board and card). I am myself. Not much I can do about it.

If you don’t like how I look, I am not very able to change that. If you don’t like how I think, I would never want to. If you can’t take on my piles and piles of shit, I won’t fault you for it. But, I can’t carry yours and mine, too. I am not the voice of wisdom because I have been there and back again. I have had my mind spun around in space and now I need a safe, reliable group of people around me. I messaged you because I wanted to date you. For fun.

I have many friends. Most of them are named Jessica. Some of them are named Sara(h). Two of them are Kristi, two more are Heather, and there’s a slew of one-offs like Morgan, Gillian, Amber, Kate, Annie, etc etc. 

I even have friends who are boys. Some of them are spouses of Jessicas etc. Some of them are solo. 

They all HATE my ex, so they’re really fun to talk to about this stuff. I don’t want to tell the whole story to someone new if I have perfectly good friends who know me and have known me and know why I’m feeling this way and how to help me. 

I hang out with all of them. I have sex with none of them. That’s why I’m on the apps. 

But, of course, not just that. 

This is not America’s next top best friend. I didn’t come here to make friends. I didn’t come here to find a sex buddy, either. While my kids are off on their weekends with their dad, having adventures and living their lives, I want to spend time with someone fun who makes me feel good about myself. I also want to spend time with my friends, many of whom will be vaccinated soon and ready to hang. I’ve missed them. My friends have been really taking care of me and I’m ready to take care of them again.  

So, to any prospective suitors out there, NO. I do not want to be your breakup buddy. 

Image: Guille Faingold / Stocksy

How To Stay Friends After Seeing Each Other Naked

So, you had one too many drinks at happy hour and slipped and fell into a guy friend’s bed like the two of you were the stars of a low-budget rom-com. Whoops. It was like any other night, until somehow your usual bar conversation transitioned from whose turn it was to buy the next round into the two of you hanging out naked. Sure, you’ve always thought he was cute, and he’s the best karaoke partner you have, but you don’t see a future with each other in that way. And while things are usually so casual and easy between the two of you, the side hug as you left his room the next morning with your thong shoved in your purse wasn’t exactly a high point. 

The aftermath of this kind of emotional, cocktail-induced tornado can be hard to navigate. How do you save a friendship that means a lot to both of you after the whole, “uh-oh, what did we do last night” moment? It won’t be easy at times, but if you’re both committed, there are a few ways you can get your Saturday afternoon cornhole buddy back without leaving scars.

Don’t Let History Repeat Itself

Very important: whatever you do, don’t sleep together again. It will make things even more complicated, and it’ll set a precedent that will be even harder to detach from. Leave it as a one night only thing and stick to your guns on that. Otherwise, the situation will only get weirder, and before you know it, you’ll be actively avoiding eye contact with each other and making the most awkward small talk of your life anytime you’re in the same vicinity. Not fun.

Give Each Other A Little Time To Process

You really think i care?


— Polo (@drippedgucci) January 13, 2020

No matter how good a friend this guy is, once you sleep with someone, you enter a realm that’s decidedly past friendship. Waking up and acknowledging the insane thing the two of you did is a good idea, especially if you can add some humor in there (“wow, I had no idea you have a tattoo there” sort of stuff), but once you separate, take some space for yourself. If you give both of you some time to digest the situation, you’ll be better equipped to resolve it and leave it in the past.

Tell One Friend You Really Trust—And No One Else

This is a hard one, especially if you’re like the Gretchen Wieners of secret keeping (meaning you really, really suck at it). But, if everyone in your friend group knows what happened, it’ll be even harder to live it down. Tell one friend whose judgment you know you can depend on, and even more so, the friend you know won’t blab to anyone else. That way, you’ll get someone else’s perspective and advice in there in case your inner conscience is as hungover as the rest of you.

Recommit To Your Friendship

let’s be friends with benefits. the benefits? you get to be friends with me

— 𝔐𝔞𝔯𝔰 (@sailormarspimp) January 22, 2020

Things aren’t just automatically going to go back to normal because you both agree that what you did was totally stupid and never to be repeated no matter how many shots in you are. You’ve moved your friendship to a level previously unexplored, and that can be complicated for anyone. There might be a couple ups and downs, or more than a couple, before he starts to feel like the guy friend you can binge watch Gossip Girl reruns with instead of like the guy who last saw you naked. And, more importantly, that’s fine. It’s okay if there’s a little weirdness at first. But if you really care about each other as friends, you can’t give up on each other because of one semi-awkward brunch after the fact. The critical thing is to keep trying, little by little, and that will only work if you’re both fully committed to being best buddies again. 

So, don’t panic if you see him the next day and all you can think about is how he helped you find your bra under his bed. Just do your best to act like you normally would, be transparent about how you’re feeling, and don’t forget to keep finding the humor in the situation. Because let’s face it, it’s a little funny that the guy who you’ve seen stick French fries up his nose has also seen your boobs. With that attitude, you’ll both get past the temporary shift in your friendship and things between the two of you will start to feel normal and comfortable again. Before you know it, you’ll be back to acting as his wing woman and high fiving him when he leaves the bar with the cute girl you talked him up to all night. That’s what are friends for, right?

Images: Becca Tapert / Unsplash; drippedgucci, sailormarspimp / Twitter

5 Women Share Their Weirdest First Dates

Way too often, dating advice can stray into an icky area. And by icky, I mean letting men sound off at random on the things they don’t like about women, so women can go ahead and make sure they never do any of those things. While I understand the impulse—some of my own articles are along similar lines—I thought it would be nice to take a break from deep dives into the male psyche and talk shit analyze men’s behavior instead. Here are some of the weirdest first date offenses committed by straight men, as told by my hilarious friends. It’s basically a transcript of your next brunch if everyone’s recent dates were exclusively terrible. So…your next brunch. Enjoy!

The “Friend Zone” Guy

“Once on a first date, a guy demanded to know about 20 minutes in whether or not I was attracted to him because he had been friend zoned too many times and needed to make sure it wasn’t going to happen again. And then I turned very red and said I wasn’t sure what to say, and then he later implied he was good at oral sex.” – Phoebe, Journalist

Outstanding. IMO, he could have said any one of these three things and gotten the same point across. Let’s break it down.

“Are you attracted to me? = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”

“I’ve been friend zoned too many times” = “Often, women are not attracted to me.”

“I’m good at oral sex.” = “Often, women are not attracted to me enough to want to have sex with me, so I try to convince them that I have other skills to make up for it. Also, I’m not very good at oral sex.”

And yet he went with all three. I guess men were never really known for their subtlety. Moving on!

The Guy Who Is Probably A Murderer

“There was this crazy German dude who asked to put noise canceling headphones and a blindfold on me before we hooked up. But again, not clear why because he took them off before we actually hooked up. He just made me sit in silence and dark for like 2 minutes beforehand.” – Whitney, Editor

Let’s dissect this a tiny bit. I’m very, very concerned about what he was doing for two minutes after blocking out her senses. TBH, my first thought was that he needed to take a massive dump but like, shouldn’t he have equipped her with nose clips then too? Other theories are that he needed to complete a quick drug deal, hustle another girl out of his room before she saw, or take pictures of her to add to his collection of polaroids of fully clothed women wearing headphones and blindfolds. All of which, ew. I’m going to disable all of my friends’ dating apps. It’s too scary out there.

The Awkward Guy

“The last date I went on, we got coffee, except he didn’t get coffee. He got a slice of banana bread and ate half and then slowly broke the rest down into crumbs with his fingers while we were talking.” – Jane, Hostess

“One introduced me to his parents.” – Victoria, Video Game Producer

Say what you will, but I think both offenses are equal level dealbreakers.

The Condescending Guy

“There was a guy who told me he was seeing other girls but he liked me the most because I was “pretty easy to talk to” and “know a little about music.” – Emily, Consultant 

Like friend zone guy, you definitely, definitely know this guy. You probably worshipped him in high school, dated him in college, and reject him once a week now. This is the guy who confuses “opinions I have” with “good taste,” and constantly vocalizes whether or not things meet his standard. And by things, I mean women, which works out because that’s how he thinks of them.

The Wild Card

“ told me he voted for Ted Cruz.” – Lucinda, Grad Student

TBH I’m stuck on what would be worse: having your date tell you that they voted for Ted Cruz, or going on multiple dates with a guy who voted for Ted Cruz without ever knowing.

There you have it! The weirdest first date stories I got with a mass text, and they are…honestly, pretty awful. Let’s all take this as a reminder to brush up on our fake emergency calls and “bad sushi” lies. Like you’ve ever regretted a night in.

Images: Giphy (3)