Steve Harvey says that men and women can’t be just friends.

19 Dec

While promoting his new book, comedian/author Steve Harvey tells CNN’s Frederica Whitfield that men and women can’t be just friends because, a la When Harry Met Sally, men want to have sex with their female friends and are only “friends” because the woman has LJBFed them yet they are still hopeful that there will be a chink in her LJBF armor at some point.

For the most part, I think this is true, but then how do you explain men with chubby female friends?  Is this implicit confirmation that men like chubby girls, despite all the manosphere screeching to the contrary, or do men just like to keep a “safety” handy in case of sexless emergency?  Maybe what we really need is definitions of “chubby” and “friend” that everybody agrees on.  There’s just too much wiggle room for those terms.  Also, is a woman who doesn’t really have any male friends yet is not getting asked on dates de facto unattractive to men (the logic being that if she is attractive, men will try to be her friend if they’re too scared to ask her out)?

Other questions that women might have about this topic that the men here can answer:

  • You have a male friend who considers himself progressive, straightforward, and Unlike Other Men.  He insists that you and he are, and will only be, Just Friends.  Is he lying?
  • You have a male friend who insists that you are a wonderful woman with many amazing qualities, but he needs to Pursue Jesus right now.  Is he lying?
  • You have a male friend who likes to have long, deep, one-on-one conversations with you, but he never asks you for a date.  Is he attracted to you?

HT to ONTD.  For good times and, um, ~insight~ into the mindset of single, college-age, non-religious, liberal millennials on this topic, read the comments.

27 Responses to “Steve Harvey says that men and women can’t be just friends.”

  1. Simon Grey December 19, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Re: Q1- possibly. This is a ploy used by players to get a girl to pursue them. Other times, guys are hung up on someone else, so they could be telling the truth. It just depends.

    Re: Q2- not necessarily. If he’s going into the ministry, I would bet that he’s telling the truth. If he’s very religious-minded in general, then he would likely be telling the truth. If he realizes he needs to get his life in shape, he is likely to be telling the truth. If he’s beta, he may be trying to tell you he’s not interested in you without hurting your feelings, which makes him an inconsiderate liar.

    Re: Q3- He’s either gay, celibate, or attracted to you. In the third case, he’s obviously beta.

  2. JG December 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    1) Not necessarily lying. Good chance he’s simply not attracted physically to her but does value her as a person and friend.

    2) Probably not attracted to her. It’s often been my experience that the ‘pursue Jesus’ perspective goes out the window when it’s a hot girl showing him she’s interested in being more than friends. Certainly not always. Also could be that he’s struggling with inner issues, past girlfriends, etc. and just isn’t healthy enough to pursue a girlfriend/potential wife.

    3) Beta boy, like the poster above mentioned. Too afraid of risking rejection. I’ve been one most of my life thanks to mama and religion. Sad, but I’ve had to learn about manhood from secular blogs because the majority of men I’ve seen in church have been pussy-whipped pansies.

  3. Joseph Dantes December 19, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Just friends is definitely possible. You’re leaving out 1/2 of the equation, the girl who wants to bang the guy, and thus acts as a friend. A guy with game may wind up sleeping with most of his female friends, however.

  4. cathydinas December 19, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    I copied and pasted a Facebook conversation from a month ago– my friend posted the same exact question– i hope it isn’t too confusing to understand! I think there are some great pts. here!

    Lauren Love Jones
    Can a guy and a girl be friends? What do you all think? Truthfully?
    November 13 at 7:21pm · UnlikeLike · Comment · View Feedback (23)Hide Feedback (23)

    You like this.
    Cathy Dinas not if he’s cute
    November 13 at 3:54pm · LikeUnlike · 2 people
    Willie Major Somewat..other people always be assuming Shit but some things one or the other will catch feeling..
    November 13 at 3:57pm · LikeUnlike
    Carl J. Mitchell yes they can
    November 13 at 4:13pm · LikeUnlike
    Beverly Lamour Of course!
    November 13 at 4:16pm · LikeUnlike
    Cathy Dinas not if he’s unavailiable, and attracted to you.
    some ones going to be uncomfortable
    November 13 at 4:24pm · LikeUnlike
    Lorenzia Brumfield I have a not so good looking male friend and a good looking male friend and we r road dogs. Its easy.
    November 13 at 4:28pm · LikeUnlike
    Cathy Dinas Honestly I think it’s possibly– I have a lot a guy friends!

    I just wanted to play devils advocate.
    November 13 at 4:32pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLauren Love Jones likes this.
    Tara Black I believe so, after u get over any mutual attraction, it is great! They give the best advice for any potential prospects.
    November 13 at 4:36pm · LikeUnlike
    Fola Sumpter Of course! Both need to be on the same page though.
    November 13 at 4:43pm · LikeUnlike
    Lauren Love Jones I agree with Willie! I think in most cases someone ends up catching feelings…
    November 13 at 4:55pm · LikeUnlike
    Tony Davenport Unless you both go way back, I’m a firm believer that at least 90% of the time at least one person if not both have other intentions.
    November 13 at 4:58pm · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleYou and Lauren Love Jones like this.
    Udemma IntrepidOne Nwosu
    i think most women can have genuine platonic feelings towards a man with no alterior motives on their part, but conversely I think most men dont want to waste time maintaining a friendship with a woman unless there is something in it for th…em.. OTHER than just friendship.

    I could be wrong, its just been my observation.See More
    November 13 at 5:09pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLauren Love Jones likes this.
    Lauren Love Jones Udemma I sooooooo agree!! Very well said
    November 13 at 5:17pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    Tony Davenport You’re probably right about “most men”. But I don’t believe it’s uncommon with women at all. Especially if she considers him attractive. The difference is, men will act on it. We’ll test the waters one way or another and feel you out. Women will usually sit and wait.
    November 13 at 5:23pm · UnlikeLike · 2 peopleYou and Lauren Love Jones like this.
    Cathy Dinas I agree with Tony’s 1st comment: 90% of the time at least one person if not both have other intentions.”

    So0o0 which brings me to this question– What are your intentions Lauren?
    November 13 at 5:48pm · LikeUnlike
    Udemma IntrepidOne Nwosu ‎@ Tony, fair point. I can only really speak for myself on this issue – when i was feeling someone my MO was usually to avoid them as much as possible and to appear as disinterested as possible lol, but i realise that’s not necessarily how NORMAL, sane people operate!! I guess yOu could be right that a lot of women would also do the same as most men would.
    November 13 at 6:05pm · LikeUnlike
    Cathy Dinas Ok then I may not be normal or sane bc I do the same thing @Udemma
    November 13 at 6:06pm · LikeUnlike
    Udemma IntrepidOne Nwosu lol @ Cat
    November 13 at 6:20pm · LikeUnlike
    Lauren Love Jones Honestly Cat, the only intention is to be friends. No friends with benefits, or other actions going on. Just hang out when time perimits, talk here and there to stay current with things in mine/his life! If i mention the guy im dating, it shouldnt change the whole mode because him and I are friends. @Udemma I so do the same thing too!
    November 13 at 6:31pm · LikeUnlike
    Udemma IntrepidOne Nwosu AH…@ Lauren, now your response and Cat’s is making me lean somewhat towards my original standpoint – i.e. few women deliberately embark on friendships with hot men in the hope of something developing romantically. I suspect that most women will fancy a guy from afar unless the guy makes the first move.
    November 13 at 6:44pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    Cathy Dinas
    hmmm @Lauren– all those things you want to do with this guy– you need to be doing with the guy your dating– this is how ppl catch feelings– hanging out and “talk here and there to stay current with things in mine/his life!” is how ppl c…atch feelings.

    Now that you know he felt uncomfortable that means he wanted something more– just let it go b4 his feelings get hurt– dont you watch gossip girl?!See More
    November 13 at 7:21pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLauren Love Jones likes this.
    Lauren Love Jones girl you know i dont watch tv!! lol, look at my Cat! all grown and what not, but honestly it gets back to the initial question. can you really be friends? i dont think so, either others outside of the relationship see it as “something you need to be doing with your man”, which is kind of bogus because if its a true friendship it wouldnt pose a threat or matter, or in most cases someone catches feelings and it should end/be adressed to prevent a train wreck! so in the end, the answer is……
    November 13 at 7:39pm · LikeUnlike
    Write a comment…

  5. Bob December 19, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    For this to be true, we would have to live in a world where every possible male friend is more interesting and/or loyal a friend than every possible female friend. I’ve seen some hate in the manosphere, but that particularly assertion seems unlikely.

    Further, the assertion that two people can’t be friends if one wants to have sex with the other, combined with the assertion that one must necessarily *always* want sex, would also preclude straight/gay friendships.

    Fact is, some women just make better friends than the available male options, however they look. And some guys actually have enough self-control to recognize when a girl is off-limits, or at least where she would be more useful as a wingwoman than a desperate lay.

    Before I had ever heard of Game, I was close friends to an attractive girl who had a boyfriend that I respected. I’d never have gone for her (though I was never given the opportunity to really try, so take that for what it’s worth). But she was fun to talk to and had cute friends, so we were close and nothing bad came of it, and I was happy with it. I could appreciate her cute face and spectacular rack without acting on any urges. She and her man are happily married now, though they’re living in another state.

    Not the only example in my life, but an illustrative one.

    Now, for your questions:

    1) Maybe. That information alone does not tell us anything. Even if he finds you attractive, he may be telling the truth.

    2) Unless he’s sworn off sex in general for some reason, or you happen to be a Godless heathen commie of some variety, he’s lying.

    3) Perhaps. Do you have these conversations in date-like environments? If so, probably yes.

  6. Badger Nation December 20, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    The short answer is that people have friends of the opposite gender all the time without any problems.

    I think it’s useful to introduce some relationship metrics, items that portend the development of an actual relationship. I will choose two dichotomous ones: comfort/stability and attraction/excitement. (In men, these are known as beta and alpha traits respectively.)

    The fact is that men and women can be friends (where “friends” does not mean waiting around until you get your shot to bag the other person) if:

    -There is no sensual tension – attraction is not present
    -There is tension outweighed by discipline or other better options (comfort factors preclude acting on the attraction).

    On to the questions, all of which have to do with high comfort, low attraction cases:

    “-You have a male friend who considers himself progressive, straightforward, and Unlike Other Men. He insists that you and he are, and will only be, Just Friends. Is he lying?”

    Translation: no, he’s just not attracted, you don’t do it for him for whatever reason. That may change but that is impossible to predict. This scenario plays into a couple of chick-flick fantasies: the “will he please notice me” and the “maybe he will change if I can show him he belongs with me”

    “You have a male friend who insists that you are a wonderful woman with many amazing qualities, but he needs to Pursue Jesus right now. Is he lying?”

    Two options: one is beta bait for women. This is the same as the old “you’ll make some woman so happy someday! (But not me because you’re a beta chump.) The other option is that he doesn’t want a relationship with anybody, his comfort radar is not turned on. (Guys generally feel desire for a relationship and then consider who to have it with, whereas women seem to reverse those processes and “grow” into the guy they are dating.)

    “You have a male friend who likes to have long, deep, one-on-one conversations with you, but he never asks you for a date. Is he attracted to you?”

    No. Comfort is high, attraction is low.

  7. Josh December 20, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    I think the critical metric here is “who is working to maintain the relationship?”

    Steve Harvey is right that if a man is actively maintaining a friendship with a woman, he probably has sexual intentions. As the prophet of our times Chris Rock said, when a man asks if you need some help, what he’s really asking is if he can help you with some d-ck!

    In the case of fat female friends (or any women who are far below his league), the majority of the effort in the relationship is provided by the woman. He’s just passively absorbing the benefits. (Side note: Most men are actually pretty pragmatic about weight. Being overweight is unattractive, but most men can “see the potential” – basically, if she would be hot or not if she lost the weight. You can’t do much with a girl’s bone structure, but weight you can work on. And girls who used to be fat are some of the sweetest in the world, assuming they didn’t get bitter and defensive first.)

    So the rule is, IMHO: If a man is placing greater or equal effort in maintaining a friendship with you, he is sexually attracted to you.

    However, he may not act on it, for reasons JG mentions (#2, #3), and also one more – if the man has a more important relationship with another man that takes precedence. If you’re the ex-girlfriend of a buddy of his, he might be waiting for some time to pass before making a move.

    Now as to your three questions:

    #1: Who is doing the work in the friendship? If he is, he’s sexually attracted to you. But he may never act on it, for the reasons listed above. Forever friends? Not necessarily lying.

    #2: Not necessarily lying. If he’s a man of decent quality, he’s confident that obtaining girls isn’t hard. He has other priorities right now. Some guys want to pursue a dream before worrying about a girlfriend.

    #3: Who is initiating? If he is, he is attracted to you.

  8. Thag Jones December 20, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    Hmmm…. I always had a lot of male friends, even in grade school. I’m not convinced *all* of them wanted to bang me, but probably most would have, given the chance. I could have racked up some big numbers, now I think about it. Yikes!

    lol @ LJ So many morons on that site. It’s funny how many women just don’t want to hear what men are telling them. No wonder it’s all such a mystery to them.

  9. Badger Nation December 20, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Sometimes having an opposite-gender friend is useful for cutting out the intragender bullshit. By coincidence, found this comment on an earlier thread:

    In response to Haley saying women felt a social obligation to sugarcoat the truth to their female friends (in the context of men leading women because women can’t lead women), Will S. said:

    “I’ve known several women who prefer to have guys as friends (not that I recommend this, because I don’t) because of how catty or superficial most women they’ve known are. I even knew a lesbian who had this way of thinking, and said she was having trouble finding a nice girl to settle down with, because most of her fellow lesbians in the area were man-hating butch dykes, who couldn’t understand how she enjoyed hanging out with, fishing, and drinking with her straight male buddies, rather than hating them like her fellow dykes did.”

  10. jack December 20, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Interest can be categorized to basic ways:

    #1) Interested in dating, either potential or actual interest.
    #2) Willingness to fool around, have sex, or whatever, but not date.

    #2 is practically guaranteed for most men, if you leave out religious conviction and fear of clinging on the part of the woman.

    I think that a lot of women do not quite realize the amazing gap between a typical guy’s hookup threshold and the marriage threshold.

  11. ryan December 20, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    I have women friends but only ones who are either with my male friends or who I have no attraction to. I would not be be friends with a single woman who I had any attraction for. The only thing that comes close is an ex of mine who I still hang out with occasionally however I have made it very clear to her I still want to bang her.

  12. Old Guy December 20, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    “He insists that you and he are, and will only be, Just Friends. Is he lying?”

    If you’re talking about whether you’re just friends, you’re not just friends. At least one of you has other ideas.

  13. Will S. December 20, 2010 at 11:02 am #

    As I’ve stated before on this blog, here and here, I prefer to not be friends with single young women, for the reasons stated. I find it makes my life easier than it was before I decided to limit myself in this fashion.

  14. OhioStater December 20, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    I think women can hang around women if it’s mutually beneficial, meaning guys give advice on how to deal with alpha males and women give advice on how to pick up attractive young women.

    All else equal “looking for a girlfriend” is a sign of low fitness since high status men have many opportunities, or a sign of poor morals if you already have a girlfriend.

    No woman will recommend a low status man to her friends, nor will she give any advice that actually works. Further, no woman wants to see a low fitness man date a woman comparable to her since this will dash her dreams of landing Prince Charming.

    What does an average guy have to gain from being friends with a woman?

  15. Hope December 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    It is said that love is friendship lit on fire. I have the best of both worlds, in love with my best friend who is my husband. We share similar interests, values and backgrounds, and we can talk together for hours.

    Frankly, I would be very wary if he had close female friends, and he’d probably be the same way if I had close male friends. Sure, it’s entirely possible that they would “just” be platonic. But I don’t want to risk it. I confide in my female friends and don’t talk to other men except as a distant acquaintance.

    Also, Badger Nation, I think good women in stable marriages with children are more able to cut out a lot of the female catty dynamics and form better friendships. I haven’t experienced any gossip, competitive or backstabbing behavior from my married female friends who have young kids, and they’ve been nothing but supportive during my pregnancy.

    A typical male friend wouldn’t be able to relate to pregnancy and childrearing matters. Even my husband can’t give me the same kind of reassurance or practical advice, although he is still much closer to me than anyone else. At some point, non-romantic male-female friendships become transient and superficial, because they necessarily take a backseat to the family unit. If they still take center stage, there’s a problem.

  16. Hana December 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    I do think men and women can be friends as long as neither want anything more out of the friendship, but when it comes to close friendships between men and women, I’m skeptical. Where there is such a friendship (and one person isn’t gay!), I think one or both of them are either unattractive to the opposite sex in general, or immature and more interested in a “safe” platonic friendship than pursuing a real romantic relationship.
    Or it could be that they are of different heights/weights/races/ages to the point where they would never consider each other as a romantic partner.

    Sometimes I do see close male/female friendships. I know two people (male and female) who are quite close friends and actually went on vacation together with a few other people. Yet they’re definitely “just friends”. They do have different ethnicities and maybe both of them would never consider dating outside their race?…but I don’t think so. More likely, I suspect there is some romantic interest on one side, but the person feeling it would rather preserve the friendship than act on the romantic feelings and get rejected.

  17. Aunt Haley December 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    All else equal “looking for a girlfriend” is a sign of low fitness since high status men have many opportunities, or a sign of poor morals if you already have a girlfriend.

    I don’t think this is necessarily true. Some high-quality/high-status men, when ready to settle down, go sifting through the masses to find a needle in a haystack…er, an appropriate woman.

    Also, for all the readers:

    I was discussing the topic of this post with a friend, and she suggested that there are different “levels” of liking someone and that perhaps interest is not binary but rather a spectrum. I know that for myself, there have been times when a guy has intrigued me, but I’m not at the point where I can say I “like” him.

  18. Anthony December 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    “Chubby” means “too fat to marry, but not too fat to f***”.

    Well, not quite. But the difference between “chubby” and “fat” is that a “chubby” woman can be sexually attractive if she’s otherwise cute, while a fat woman is not sexually attractive, even if she is otherwise cute. So really, “chubby” means “weighs more than I think ideal, but not so much that I wouldn’t hit it given the chance”.

  19. The Man Who Was . . . December 21, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    Men and women can be friends when the man isn’t attracted to the woman or there is some permanent obstacle to them dating.

    So, the answer to all three questions is “Not necessarily.”

  20. Aunt Haley December 21, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    So really, “chubby” means “weighs more than I think ideal, but not so much that I wouldn’t hit it given the chance”.

    That’s the kind of eloquence I expect from my commenters. KUTGW.

    Man Who Was–
    Men and women can be friends when the man isn’t attracted to the woman or there is some permanent obstacle to them dating.

    But how many affairs have started because the wife was friends with the husband’s BFF? (I will say, however, that it’s much easier to be friends with married men. There’s a lot less judging and much more conversational ability.)

  21. y81 December 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    “how many affairs have started because the wife was friends with the husband’s BFF?”

    I’m not sure adult men have BFFs, but leaving that aside, I don’t think this is actually a very common way for affairs to start. In my experience, most affairs involve co-workers. The second most common type involve womanizers of the Bill Clinton type who hit on large numbers of women, sleep with some, and occasionally find themselves smitten on a more long-term basis with a particular fling. Third is probably men in a relationship of confidence with a woman (pastor, therapist, etc.).

  22. nothingbutthetruth December 24, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Chubby means “weighs more than I think ideal, but not so much that I wouldn’t hit it given the chance”.

    This is so accurate a definition that it should be included in the dictionary. Take that, Webster!

  23. Brendan January 4, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    In my experience, most affairs involve co-workers.

    Yep, this is by far and away the most common, especially for people who work longer hours than typical. Many of these people spend more time with their coworkers than they do with the spouse. The term “office spouse” comes to mind, and, yep, sometimes that also turns into an “office spouse full blown” as well.

  24. Cane Caldo January 4, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I need an ulterior motive to be friends with a woman. That could be working together (forced confines), useful information (shared hobbies/the scoop on women), friend’s spouse, or simple attraction (avoided these years). If the underlying bond disappears, so do I, and I won’t miss her.

    In contrast, I have guy friends just because we get along. Even if they change jobs, quit playing Black Ops, and break-up with my wife’s friend we’re still going to hang out.

  25. Hermit January 10, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    I’m a big fan of the chubby women. I prefer huge tracts of land, and a little bit of a tummy. I don’t have an exact preference on overall weight, but a good rule of thumb for me is that as long as she’s got good skin (whole body, not just face), she’s fine. There’s a definite correlation between weight and bad skin. Factor in that she’ll probably get heavier over time, and that lowers long term prospects for most chubby girls.

  26. Ronin January 17, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    A woman have two types of friends, boyfriend and girlfriend. If you’re not her boyfriend then….

  27. Lia S. February 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    What happens when a man and a woman are friends, but one or both are in relationships? Or both of them are married?

    Could it be possible for them to see each other as brother and sister? After all, doesn’t the Bible instruct us to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ?

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