Unsolicited Advice: Anonymrs.

“You never said you had a girlfriend.”

In the endless stream of miscommunication between men and women, the lines which are blurred too often are those between flirtation and friendliness. Some assume when a man and a woman enjoy each other’s company, there must be some attraction there. The assumption is correct, but the attraction is not always sexual. We’re attracted to one another as human beings, as personalities, and the agenda doesn’t always include getting into bed with all members of the opposite sex.

I rarely get personal with the Unsolicited Advice I offer the world but, in this case, I have run into many women who take my friendliness as flirtation or as “a move.” Ultimately, for better or worse, I can’t help being myself: a personable guy who approaches every situation with a knowing grin and a heavy pinch of humor (if not a sucker punch of humor). For whatever reason, sometimes my approach with people is taken as more than a casual interest, as if I’m actively seeking their attention or attraction. At times, when a woman has been forward enough to approach me after reading into my intentions while I have been involved with someone already, somehow there is a defensive response about how I should have said I was involved at some point.

Why?

I have never understood someone’s need to bring up their relationship at every possible chance, as if to advertise to everyone else the fact of their involvement with another person.  We’ve all met these people who can’t help but bring up their wife or boyfriend at every given opportunity.  Personally, I’ve never felt it necessary to advertise any intimate relationship I’ve been in.  After all, I have nothing to prove to anyone.

For a certain breed of individual, every member of the opposite gender is only interacting with them as a means to slip between the sheets.  A woman I used to date once told me every male friend she’d ever had only became her friend to try to “get with her.”  A different woman threw a complete fit when two women, who I’d been friends with for years, came to visit me in California and stayed at my apartment.  It seems the burden of everyone wanting to sleep with you seems to be reserved for the overconfident and insecure.  After all, what could men and women possibly offer each other if not sex?  Certainly not friendship.

So what “advice” should be taken away from this?  It’s okay for men and women to be friends with no ulterior motives, even when they have somebody special in their life.  Maybe there will be chemistry beyond the friendship which leads to an intimate relationship but you should not view all interaction as a man or woman trying to pick you up.  By the same token, those who are involved aren’t necessarily looking to cheat.  Friendship is a just natural part of humanity and should be treated as a valuable relationship by all of us.  However, don’t fear friendship with another gender just because you’re spoken for, and don’t feel the need to state that fact upfront as a precautionary measure.  We’re all adults here.

Supposedly.