He’s your best guy friend, but is he secretly into you? Are you into him? Would acting on it ruin your friendship? Or what if it works out? Could you two be the next Harry and Sally, the next Jim and Pam?
The romantic comedy section of Netflix might say yes, but we all know that reality’s a little more complex and totally unscripted. That’s why we surveyed 15 college guys about their perspective on their female friends and to answer some of those lingering questions you may have about being friends (or more).
Does he think you’re hot?
These guys know how to make a girl feel pretty! All of the guys we surveyed said that they find most (if not all) of their female friends attractive. This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re willing to act on it.
“I definitely have friends who, though I’m attracted to them, I recognize…[I] could never make a romantic relationship work [with them] so I don’t risk messing it up by hooking up with them.” – Theo*, La Salle University ’15.
But for 13% of the guys, friendship inevitably overpowers hotness. Will*, Suffolk University ’14 says, “[With] my best friends that are girls, I find the attraction factor fades.”
So he probably finds you attractive, but…
Could he be romantically interested?
Yes, a majority of the guys (12 out of 15) admitted that they’ve befriended girls at least partially because they wanted a romantic relationship. Of that group, half acted on their interest with varying results. Guys who ended up dating their friends said it went well, for the most part, transitioning well from friends to dating, and even remaining friends after a break-up. For others, like Theo, it wasn’t a great move: “Unfortunately, I was romantically interested and she was not. We hooked up but we’ve never been good friends since because I wanted it to be more.”
Those who haven’t taken the risk and admitted their interests cite longstanding boyfriends and fear of affecting the friendship negatively as deterrents. But with such high numbers of guy friends wanting a romantic relationship, maybe it’s worth us asking the question, collegiettes.
“If we find you physically attractive, the thought has definitely come across our mind to pursue you as a potential girlfriend.” – Adam*, San Francisco State ’13
“There’s always some chemistry or romantic interest. If he’s single and you genuinely think he’s great, you should give him a chance. He already knows your likes and dislikes, what’s there to go wrong?” – Max*, Emerson College ’14
How about being friends with benefits?
After all, relationships aren’t the end all be all. If you’re ready to try being friends with benefits, 14 of our 15 guys said they’d consider being friends with benefits if a female friend asked. “Whether or not you’re super attractive, guys wouldn’t say no to sleeping with their female friends and assume the female friends feel the same way,” says Dan*, Providence College ’15. “It’s always a bad idea because someone always gets hurt, but I’d probably still do it again,” says Theo.
Two thirds of the guys said that they wouldn’t agree without serious consideration. “I would consider it, but I would worry about the state of the friendship in the future,” says Tim*, Holy Cross ’13. Others clarify that it “depends on the friend” and “not with any of [their] good friends.”
As for the self-proclaimed “relationship types,” they too would consider a proposal, but warily. “I get attached… I would either apologize and refuse outright or discuss any romantic connection that we had and its potential to be a real relationship,” says Lee*, Princeton University ’16.
Does he get jealous of other guys?
Well, yes and no. Three guys said they don’t get jealous at all and as Tim says, “I encourage [my female friends] to make other relationships and find happiness with other guys.” But as for the other guys, the distinction between being jealous (a red flag) and protective was important.
“I’m protective. Once I become friends with someone, I know how amazing of a person she is and I want to know that the people who are interested in her will recognize and respect that, too,” says Theo.
Julian*, Holy Cross ’14, voices a similar opinion: “I guess I am protective... since I would make sure she was being treated properly and she wasn’t getting taken advantage of.”
Some of the guys acknowledge their jealousy isn’t a good thing, like Lee who says, “I’m jealous. Tiny, vindictive parts of me want to be the lover of all these girls… I might be protective, but sometimes it’s just veiled hoarding.”
What does he like about being your friend?
Across the board, what these guys like best about being friends with girls is the emotional openness they bring to a friendship:
“It’s a lot easier to be open to girls. They’re much more willing to look past stereotypes and won’t give you a hard time when you’re honest with them about things you’re embarrassed by.” – Theo
“They convince me that a girl who turns me down is not worth it.” – Max
“Girls actually care to talk about relationship stuff and matters of the heart.” – Adam
“I often feel less inhibited around [girls]. Sometimes around my guy friends I'm more cautious about what I say and how I present myself because they can be a tad more judgmental.” – Tim
So if you think you should date your best friend, be honest with him. If you’d rather remain friends, don’t feel pressured by Hollywood’s plot for happily ever after. You may always have questions about your guy friends’ feelings for you, but they don’t have to go unanswered so long as you ask.
*Names have been changed