She's with some friends of hers, you've had conversations before, they've gone well, there's obviously chemistry between the two of you, and you both get those Junior High smiles when you look at each other.
So you cut away from your friends, sit down next to her with her friends, get into conversation, and ask if she will get together with you in the next few days. She agrees, and the two of you make plans.
The day comes, you hang out, everything goes great. You make plans again.
The next time around, she asks what you are thinking about the two of you. You say, "I'm liking how this is going, and I am definitely interested in you."
She says, "You're pretty cool, but do you want to date?"
And you respond, "I think we could definitely make that work."
To which she concludes, "It's tempting, but we needs to be friends first."
Ah yes, another example of young ladies thinking that have discovered some full-proof system that allows them to deflect pretenders from contenders.
Am I blaming young ladies for this one? Yes, yes I am. You may disagree, but I'll point out why I do as the article unfolds.
First let's talk about "Friends Before Dating" as a concept.
The way it works is as follows:
Two people hang out, much like the article described in the beginning. They agree to become friends. Then at some point in the future, they agree to date.
In most of the FBD's I've witnessed, the level of interaction between the two people never changes from that "friend" status to "dating" status.
The relationship dynamic remains friend-like, and eventually whatever feelings may have developed in the initial stage, have worn off so bad that neither person feels anything for the other person, including feelings that you would have for a friend.
Inevitably, the two people have to separate and stop communication for several months at a minimum before they can resume their friendship.
FBD (I'm giving you all a new acronym, I know) is a failure! The quicker everyone accepts this, the better. This concept is creeping into all facets of relationships and ruining people's ability to date, and create meaningful, loving relationships, including those that are based in friendship.
Here's why I put the blame of this concept onto young ladies.
Young ladies (Age 15-18 and 19-24) are some of the most insecure people I have ever met as a whole. As a whole, what these two groups actually understand about the formation of relationships, bonding, etc, can be summed up in a high-gloss magazine.
Those magazines are well known for having inaccurate information, and slanted polls. Yet, for some reason these young ladies believe it. And you want to know why? Because they aren't doing their own research.
Now, before I go further, I do know of, and realize this is not true of all ladies in these age ranges. There are ladies in this group that more or less have their life together, and are able to be productive.
This is not an indictment of all young ladies. This is an indictment of the amount of group think that members of these age ranges allow.
FBD for these ladies is way, they think, to protect themselves from the "evil" guy that just wants to have sex. He's lurking around every corner, according to their friends, according to their parents (who are only saying it because they don't want their young daughter to have a child), heck, even teachers and support staff at their schools go around saying it.
First off, in the way of 'stranger danger,' it accounts for less than one percent of all crimes committed against women.
It doesn't make stranger danger right, but if that is one of the many things that young ladies feel compelled to put all their guard up against, why would you go around making friends with lots of guys, when sexually-based crimes committed by "friends" account for nearly 88 percent?
The other part that apparently goes into the thinking that brings up FBD, is the idea that if you're friends with a guy, you should be more comfortable with him if you were to date.
That's not accurate. It's a good academic premise, but it's not at all accurate.
Part of the excitement of dating someone is being able to carry on a connection while discovering the person. This includes their hobbies, their hopes, their goals, their values, their form of logic, their lack of math skills, etc.
If you spend six months figuring all this out, then commit to dating, you just spoiled a ton of the fun in actual dating.
Once you start dating a person in this situation, the only thing you have left to fuel the relationship are the intimate feelings the two of you have.
And we all know that feelings of intimacy are not enough to keep a relationship going.
By entering into FBD, you are killing any and all chances of the relationship being successful, period.
No matter how much you attempt to make the relationship work, it won't.
Young ladies are trying to protect themselves from a lot of stuff. And their reaction is very logical. We continue to tell them that there a men out there that want to victimize them in so many ways, and that statement alone is true.
The problem is, it can't stand alone. It has to be prefaced with a lot of stuff. And it's not. The people who are placed in charge of education young ladies, who ultimately influence more than educate, generalize in their communication, and that is dangerous (and a topic for another day).
FBD does nothing in the way of protecting young ladies from a guy that wants to hurt you. If he wants to hurt you, he will. The determined brain can not be defeated.
Just like men who are killed by other men. If someone is determined to do something, they will.
Again, I reference that most sexually-based crimes committed against girls in this age range are by their close guy friends.
If you've ever heard these guys discuss why they did what they did openly, you'll find that most of them believe the girl played games with them. She kept acting like there was a chance they would date, and then all of sudden some other guy came into the picture, and after investing that much of themselves into a relationship, and her acting dismissive of him, he acted out.
It does excuse the behavior, but I think if you consider the chain of events that stem from these crimes, I think you can begin to see why FBD is actually more dangerous than simply going on a few dates with someone, and then making a conclusion about how to proceed.
Young ladies tend to be insecure, and don't want to make people mad, to the point that telling someone no can be troublesome. But you have to. You have to be willing to say no and mean it. If they walk away hurt, at least they walk away.
You can't be friends with everyone, and you can't expect equal amounts of attention from all. If someone doesn't interest you, then say so, don't attempt FBD, it's not productive, it's just prolonging the inevitable.
Need a woman's perspective? One of the best confessionals about FBD, from a writer at Marie Claire. And with that, enjoy life, and date more.