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Women want to be friends because:
Women see relationships as founded on friendships rather than exclusivity. 10%
Women want to have a sure thing on the back burner in case the new relationship fails. 21%
Men are so damn clingy that they can't be painlessly gotten rid of (misguided kindness.) 7%
Men are liable to turn to violence if not handled carefully. 14%
They don't actually want to be friends, but it's a good way of gracefully ending things, compared with cold turkey. 46%

Votes: 28

 why boys and girls are different

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 04, 2001
Men and women reacted very differently to my last diary. Most men seemed very upset at the idea that someone breaking up with you would still want to be friends. Women didn't seem to understand what all the fuss was about. This is interesting.

More diaries by nathan
Bartok violin concerto
religion has failed us.
addition to previous diary (sorry)
Why girls are better than boys
tangential point off h.a.'s recent diary
new job!
objectivist club
Another Friday night
some light reading
the opposite sex
hey, alprazolam,
g**k math is not hard.
should women?
a new threat
wiccan woes
is Christianity theistically monistic?
give me advice.
Canada rules!
Burma Shave!
do some atheists hate religion?
Since only men seem to find this a problem, I'm going to assume that men who break up with women don't often say "let's just be friends." As this is an exclusively female angle, all kinds of deliciously controversial (not to mention mysogynistic) interpretations are possible. That's why I get to make the poll. But you get to tell me what you think! It's a winwin.

Personal note: it turns out that the relevant date was actually more like the 14th, making it three days from dumping to rebounding.


Too many answers. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by RobotSlave on Sun Nov 4th, 2001 at 03:50:42 PM PST
In addition to the paltry selection in the poll, we could add all sorts of boring, familiar explanations. Here's a few:
  • The Evolutionary Psychology argument (formerly Sociobiology, Eugenics, et al). This explanation runs along the lines of: "In order to secure offspring, men must fuck as many women as possible, whereas women must obtain as much help rearing young as possible. QED."
  • The Freshman Feminist argument. It goes like this: "Women are better than men. QED."
  • The Sophomore Feminist Argument. "Men have subjugated women for thousands of years, resulting in an unbalanced social power structure. QED."
  • The Aliens and Conspiracy arguments. They both work like this: "QED."
  • The Freudian argument: "All women are insane. Especially when it comes to sex. QED."
  • Corollary to Slave's earlier argument: "Men have no friends, and thus a man has no need to prevent a woman from telling mutual friends that the man is a piece of shit."
I'm sure we can come up with more. And they will all be more entertaining than dismissing the issue entirely with a cop out such as, "actually, men pull that selfish, cowardly, lets-be-friends crap all the time. In fact, I'll bet there's a man somewhere delivering that line as you read this to a woman who was hoping, when he said he wanted to talk, that he was going to propose to her."

Yes, coming up with many, many explanations for the difference between men and women will be much more entertaining than listening to drivel such as, "oh, come on. Gay men do that shit to each other all the time. Which wouldn't be the case if this was the sole province of Woman."

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

a view from a jaundiced eye (5.00 / 2) (#2)
by osm on Sun Nov 4th, 2001 at 09:18:27 PM PST
men don't need to be friends. women serve only one purpose and that is to be a sperm bank. why be friends with something that you can't fornicate with? a man's world-view is simple, elegant and efficient: if you can't eat it or fuck it, then piss on it.

this is not to say that women don't have such motives. but, of course, theirs are completely evil. you see, the reason your girlfriend wants to remain friends is so she can torture you with anecdotes about how wonderful her new relationship is.

your girlfriend gets wet over the idea of imagining the veins popping out in your temple as she compares her remarkable new life with the wretched life she has just left. is it any wonder men have far more heart attacks?

my advice is to take this information and use it to your advantage. you must strike first. the next time she babbles something about wanting to be friends, tell her if you wanted a whore for a friend, you'd go down to <insert appropriate street here> and buy one. then hang up the phone/leave the scene and get on with your life, utterly forgetting her wretched existence.

getting on with life (none / 0) (#3)
by nathan on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 07:50:12 AM PST
I think my best bet may be to find a woman who subscribes to a more masculine philosophy. Any suggestions?

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Uhm. (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 09:05:50 AM PST
Your hand? Sorry to be crass, but I think that's your only choice here...

Seriously, do you think any self-respecting human being wants to play the role of "sperm bank"? "Masculine philosophy" has nothing to do with it, this is simply about respect and decency.

Peace and much love...

evidently (none / 0) (#5)
by nathan on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 10:55:27 AM PST
you are unable to parse that that's not out of things, or else you didn't read the previous diary to which this one explicitly refers (or, for that matter, the recent one in which I trashed someone for appearing to advocate casual sex.)
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Nothing personal. (none / 0) (#6)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 11:44:03 AM PST
I'm not trying to "bash" or make fun of you. I understand what you're trying to say here, but I was just replying to the original top-level post. A sort of meta-commentary here. Sorry.

Peace and much love...

heh (none / 0) (#9)
by nathan on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 07:24:49 PM PST
sfine, sorry I jumped on you.
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

ignore tkatchoff (none / 0) (#7)
by osm on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 01:29:27 PM PST
he's a confused third-worlder who is obviously hitting the vodka too hard. buy a Natalie Portman poster.

Odd. (none / 0) (#8)
by jin wicked on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 05:46:00 PM PST
I've only heard the "let's be friends" line twice, and both times it was from a guy who I had quit talking to months/over a year before, trying to come back and re-establish a friendship after much time had passed. * I personally don't like it, either when I have ended a relationship or the other person has.

I don't understand why on earth I am supposed to want to be casual friends with someone who I will inevitably have to hear about their new relationships. And why would I want to share the details of mine with them? If I found myself to be incompatible with someone after all, there's no reason to spend time together (I don't like being around them any more), and if I'm still attracted to the person then there's no reason why I'd hang around after the relationship had ended. Unless, of course, the point is to just make me feel like crap all the time remembering how much I liked someone and can't have them any more. The "let's just be friends" thing has always mystified me as not making any sense. Hanging out with ex's is uncomfortable and awkward at the very least.

I can only think of two possible explanations for it, both of which have already been mentioned: either the party saying "let's just be friends," is really saying "I want to try this other person(s) out, but I want to keep you around just in case," or else they're trying to soften the blow, and really have no intention of returning any of your phone calls anymore. As in, "let's be friends," and you go out for coffee twice a month, then once a month, then after a few weeks you're simply forgotten.

I'm not on speaking terms with anyone I've dated/had a relationship with/been attracted to in the past, besides my current boyfriend (obviously). I *usually* don't even keep photos or letters after the fact, so I certainly don't see why I'd want to hang around with them in person. I don't think I'm intentionally cruel that way, it's just my way of dealing with things, and it prevents that kind of back-and-forth melodrama of people who break up several times a year and are constantly getting back together. (My body can't handle stress like that.) I'm not even on speaking terms with any of the people I was friends with in high school (bad memories). I'm a very loving, accommodating, patient, generous, understanding and forgiving girlfriend (among other things ;), but if you ever say it's over, you have a very small amount of time to change your mind, and then that's it. I get extremely upset; I treat my close friends and SO very well, so when that trust is betrayed or it no longer means anything to someone I really don't want to be reminded of it at all or have anything to do with them. (Out of sight, out of mind...)

* A fellow in Austin (a 25 y.o. professional magician, rabbit-in-the-hat kind, not a Wiccan) whom I dated for about two-threeish months decided to "let me go" by taking me to an IHOP and telling me "You know you're never going to see me again, right?" His excuse for why he was no longer interested in seeing me was that some magicians in Romania had invited him to go live there in this castle and practice magic, and/or he was moving to Colorado for an unspecified length of time. I went back to Houston from Austin and did not speak to him for over a year, until one night when he contacted me over the internet and said "I didn't mean I never wanted to talk to you again." WTF? Then he said he was sorry he let me leave Texas. WTF again?! (I was out of state at the time.) Then he mentions his cat (he didn't have a cat when I saw him!) and the girlfriend he has living with him IN HIS APARTMENT IN AUSTIN. Hmmm...says I. I questioned him long enough to try and figure out what his motives were, after he apologized a couple of dozen times I told him not to bother me again. He's sent me a couple of e-mails since then, and I finally had to write him an extremely nasty letter before he got the point that I didn't want to talk to him. Ever. Again. Heh. And that's why I hate Austin, boys and girls. ;) True story!

"Ars longa, vita brevis...Art is long, life is short."

Friends (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 5th, 2001 at 09:06:33 PM PST
It's possible for two people to be personally compatible without being sexually compatible. Some people are actually capable of realising this and bringing a relationship to a mutually acceptable conclusion, without exiting each other's lives. It only happens to exceptional people, though. It takes a lot of confidence and honesty to discard the social status and sexual closeness that comes from having a permanent partner, even if that closeness is not entirely satisfying. Usually, people drag these things out until the resentment they feel towards their partner makes it impossible for them to see the other.

It's never happened to me, though. I refuse to see most of my old girlfriends, and actually have occasional nightmares based around seeing some of them. Those I do see, often don't admit to having gone out with me. They are filthy, filthy liars, and some day I will make them pay.

Not true at all (none / 0) (#11)
by manifold on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 02:26:07 AM PST
I currently live with my ex-fiancee and her boyfriend, and we get along far better now than we ever did while engaged. During that time we were at each other's throats all the time, but now we very rarely argue, and because of the shared experiences we have each of us understand the other better than anyone else does.

Interestingly... (none / 0) (#12)
by hauntedattics on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 03:13:00 PM PST
I've never called old boyfriends, although they've called me, almost always in some state of intoxication and at late hours of the evening.

There should be a warning label on all bottles of alcohol that states, "WARNING: Overuse of this product may cause you considerable embarrassment and will not endear you to exes."

The only time I've ever been tempted to call former boyfriends is in the same condition, so it most likely works both ways.


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