Shit Is Bout 'Ta Get Real, Y'all: How do you make it a friend date?

Posted at 12:00 PM Dec 15, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


Cue the hip, neon graphics and vaguely non-rocking generic instrumental intro, because I'm about to turn this chair around and rap with the kids. See, shit is bout 'ta get real, 'cause we're gonna talk about dating, y'all!

The conundrum: what is the polite way to turn down a date you are kind of sure is a date, but might just be a friend thing, but you can't just say outright beforehand that you're not interested in the person, because that would be presumptuous, but you are kind of sure they're interested in you that way and you're not?

Yo, here's the sitch:
My friend, we'll call her Bettie, met a boy at a party last weekend. We'll call him Dirk. They did a fair amount of talking, but Bettie determined she was not really interested in Dirk in the boyfriend way. Here we are approaching mid-week, however, and Dirk has asked Bettie out to lunch. Bettie wants to know if she should say something along the lines of "This is a friend date, full stop" to Dirk before accepting. Or if she should somehow work into the conversation that she is dating around (which she is) and that she is maybe not interested in another contestant?

Guys, gals, guy-gals and gal-guys and everyone in between: what's the best way to handle this situation? Don't be afraid to get real with us, y'all.


Paul said:

That's pretty much all she needs to say. It works for me.

Though, I just like to go out to eat and have some company for the meal.

Orangutan said:

Be straight. Anything else runs the risk of misinterpretation, and that's not good for anyone.

Steve said:

She can still go, and not say anything regarding whether it's a date or not, because, as she says, she doesn't want to be presumptuous, so long as she does not commit any of the "I'm into you" moves that you hear about in dating advice columns. Therefore, go and enjoy yourself, but do not:

* look into his eyes
* laugh at his stories
* cross your legs in his direction (crossing away from him is okay)
* square your shoulders at him (always keep one shoulder cocked away, as if you were ready to bolt like a deer)
* show any interest in anything he considers fun
* share anything personal about yourself
* eat from his plate, or offer anything on yours
* touch him at all
* touch your hair
* touch your cheek
* allow him to pay
* smile
* blink (which is really just a two-eyed wink)

If you do any of those things, you clearly like him. There ya go. Have fun! :)

Kris said:

Agreed, just say upfront "I'd love to have lunch as friends" or something. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

If she isn't comfortable saying that, or thinks he might take it poorly, just say something like "You're a good friend" or something. Unless the guy is a creeper, most guys should understand what that means.

But honestly, as a guy who's met long time friends as dates first, I appreciate the "Hey, there's no spark, but you're fun to hang out with" honesty.

Susan said:

Offer to pay for your meal. For most old school dudes, that's a thing. Also don't get physical. I mean, I think it's usually pretty clear if you don't like, hug or something at the end that it's a friendly endeavor.

Jenny said:

Steve is the funniest commenter of the day. Strong laugh.

David said:

+1 for Steve. Keepin' it real, yo.

Burned said:

Trailing a guy just to feed her own ego indicates Betty is insecure. If Betty doesn't have the balls figuratively to say it directly, then Bettie is not ready for a real relationship. Period. Real stuff is based on honest communication. If you can't be honest because you are afraid of being mean, just remember: LYING AND DECEPTION OF YOUR OWN INTENTION IS BEING MEAN TOO! Honest communication is the lesser of the mean-ness, and best way out for the both of you.

"Previously Burned by This Stupid Shit"

edsie said:

Lunch is a friends thing. If it was dinner, then she might be obligated to say something.

vcky said:

+1 for Steve!

If I can't tell the intentions of my date I usually slip it into the conversation with my usual grace and quick wit - "Yes I really enjoyed my burger - almost as much as I enjoy being single, but not quite."

Kris said:

Uh, Burned, that's the whole point. Betty doesn't want to trail the guy, she wants to be friends and wants to know how to make this clear without being presumptuous.

Unless, you know, you're one of those guys that subscribe to the ladder theory and have a nice guy complex.

deadlytoque said:

I've had some friends on the opposite (asking) end of this, and it's always better to just say right out "friend date".

Problem is, depending on the guy, that may be misinterpreted as "friends-for-now-but-maybe-something-in-the-future date" so, might just be best to say "no" and hang out in group situations in the future, and see if a friendship will feel natural and non-awkward.

Allison said:

+1 for Steve and
+1 for Kris

Burned, your comment says way more about your own hang-ups than anything else.

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