No, this isn’t about facebook. I’m talking about friending someone in real life.
Let’s say you go on an online date, you see them for the first time in person and right away you just know it’s not going to happen. Naked times with this person will never be had.
But you stay on the date anyway; you’re an adult and realize bailing right away with a fake excuse is immature and rude.
And then you have a really. great. time. More fun than you’ve had in a long time.
You realize that you really get along swimmingly, and it’s unfortunate that you just aren’t attracted, because you would totally hang out with this person again.
What do you do?
Or, you’re on the same date, have the same realization that you’re never going to get it on with this person, but you think how great he would be for your friend, and the match making wheels start turning.
What do you do?
Even in a situation where the lack of attraction is completely mutual (which is rare—one person is usually more into the other), how do you take what originated as a date—an ostensibly romantic experience—and transition it into something platonic like a friendship or a match for someone else?Suggesting seeing each other again—even for something unromantic—might seem like a suggestion for a second date. Suggesting a casual meeting with friends might be misconstrued as an invitation to “meet the friends,” probably not an impression you want to give someone you aren’t romantically interested in.
If the lack of attraction isn’t mutual, I’d say that the best thing is to just leave it. Who knows, in another life if you’d met organically you might have been fast friends. But you went on a date, he’s more into you than you are into him (and you know this because he tries to kiss you and schedule a second date), and now it’s impossible to bring up seeing each other platonically.
Dating is considered successful if you like someone enough physically and personality-wise. But if you tell a date you’d love to hang out again but just as friends, that’s essentially a thinly veiled way of saying, “I never want to have sex with you.” Which, let’s face it, is never fun to hear. Suggesting being “just friends” to someone who’s into you is trite, not to mention a little bit mean.
Passing on a date to someone you know would like them better is also a bit odd. Objectively, it seems like a good idea, but there are too many variables. Getting passed on from a date to someone else can’t be a great feeling either. Rejection is still rejection. Then there’s the friend to consider. For example, your friend a) might not want your discarded date, and b) might be a bit self-conscious about whether or not he’s into her after he presumably found you attractive.
My gut instinct tells me it’s all more trouble than it’s worth. Unless you really connect platonically with someone over a common interest you can specifically pursue. I think it’s really difficult to move past the fact that the relationship was born in a romantic context and extricating it from that context is tricky and awkward at best, and potentially offensive at worst.
But the rationalist in me wants to believe that we’re old enough and mature enough to realize that if someone isn’t into us, or vice versa, we shouldn’t take it personally. Online dating can’t account for physical attraction, but is often highly skilled at matching personality, so maybe sometimes it does actually do a great job of pushing potential friends together.
Personally, despite many dates where I had a spectacular time but was just not sexually attracted to the guy, I’ve never had any luck sustaining a platonic friendship born out of a first date. I doubt it’ll ever happen, but the optimist in me would like to think it might.
So I ask you…
Have you ever been on a failed date that turned into a friendship?
Have you ever passed someone on, or been passed off to, or had someone passed on to you?
Tell me in the comments!
Originally published on Date Daily. Republished with permission.
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