All Friends With No Benefits

Spring has come around yet again, and you know what that means – less clothing, more flirting, and more fun!

Here are some tips to keep your fun from turning into disaster: First, remember to pay attention now or pay later. Keep your wits about you. Second, be honest with yourself whether the fun you’re having is worth the consequences, whatever they might be. Third, remember to use a condom! In the meantime, here are the answers to a couple of your questions.

I met this girl at school and ended up falling for her. However, at the time she had a boyfriend who was moving to France. I saw her a couple of times before they officially broke up and then asked her out on a date. She said yes, then flaked on me twice (both times legitimate-ish reasons such as her grandparents’ anniversary do and something else).

We eventually went out a couple of times and texted each other a bit, then suddenly after our second date when I kissed her goodnight on the cheek she didn’t text me for over a week and just ignored my email (I tried to contact her three times). Then she started to talk again and we have seen each other about every two weeks since. I have kissed her on the cheek a couple of times and once on the lips, but that’s it.

When we are out we have such a good time and get along great, and although there is not much physical contact she flirts back. She has since then invited me to go on holiday with her and her family. I’m just not sure where I stand. Are we going out? Her old bf is in a relationship but she isn’t going out with anyone else and never talks about other guys with me. On Valentine’s Day I gave her a card and chocolates, and she gave me the same. She lets me pay for coffees and other things like that. But my question is: Who am I to her, a friend or a boyfriend?

—James, UK

Ah, James, it’s so cute to hear about people giving each other cards and chocolates on Valentine’s day… if those people are kids! You’re an adult now, so it’s time to start using your words to say what you mean, and to find out where you stand. All you have to do is ask her what she wants, and be straightforward about what you want. She’ll appreciate you not playing games, and in the process you’ll learn whether there’s any mileage in pursuing her or not. But here’s a tip: if you’re not getting any clear signs from her, chances are it’s because she’s not that into you, so prepare yourself.

Every time I meet someone and we wind up liking each other, it always turns out she just wants me as a friend. Even though they all tell me they would date me. Is there any way I can stop winding up the “best friend?”

—Nick, US

There are so many benefits to having a girlfriend, including all the public displays of affection, hugging, kissing, and the wonderful feeling of having someone you’re exclusive with. To get that, you need to look at what you’ve done so far, and compare it to what you should be doing if you want to get that extra step further. Knowing what to do differently can be tricky with women, mostly because our concern for our own safety over the past two millennia has prevented us from having the liberty to come out and say exactly what we want.

Ensuring success in dating is not that different from ensuring success in any other area. You have to define what you want, make a clear plan for getting it, and execute your plan. Remember that what you want is a dating relationship with one girl who meets your criteria – not friendships with a lot of different girls. So find a girl that you’re interested in dating, and ask her on an actual DATE. Girls are keenly aware of the the difference between a date and just hanging out, so if you use that specific word, she won’t be in any doubt as to your intentions. After a few dates, she should have given you a real kiss, or at the very least some very clear signs as to whether or not she’s into being more than friends.



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