Switches & Valves - How Guys & Girls Approach Being "Just Friends"

So here's the sitch...

Guy meets girl. Guy and girl become friends. Girl is attractive. Guy is attracted to girl. Guy starts giving girl more attention. Girl likes the attention and enjoy the guy giving said attention. Guy and girl start spending more time together. Guy and girl recognize that they aren't going to be friends for much longer if they keep talking and spending time together like they are.

Now it's time to Choose Your Own Adventure:

Door 1: Guy tells girl he wants to purse relationship. Girl accepts his pursuit and a relationship forms. Beautiful.

Door 2: Guy tells girl he wants to purse relationship. Girl rejects his pursuit and relationship doesn't form. Typical.

But wait, there's more! Behind Door 2 is a really sticky situation (not inappropriate sticky, just complex).

The girl drops the words that every guy on planet earth hates to hear, "I still want to be friends." Why do guys hate those words? Because every guy knows this deep down truth...

Guys and girls can't be friends.

Why is that? Well ladies and gentlemen, I shall attempt to explain this using the magic of illusion and science and LEGO's (ok no LEGO's but it definitely would be cooler that way).

Here's the idea: Guys are switches and girls are valves.

When a guy is into a girl, he flips a switch and he is now on (not turned on, that's different). When a guy doesn't like a girl, that switch is off. When a guy likes a girl and she rejects the relationship, the guy naturally flips the switch from on to off and that's the end of the story.

For girls, it appears to be incredibly different. For girls, there is a slight turning of this valve of feelings. It lets a little bit of feels out at a time. Slowly over time, the feels get more and more and eventually, they are full force. When the guy tries to open the relationship door and the girl says, "No Entry", it makes things get tricky. Why is that? Because normally the girl wants the attention to stay the same as it was during the pursing. But there's a problem!

They guy has switched from on to off. But the girl can't make the switch because she's not a switch. She's a valve. And while it takes a long time to get the feels going, it also takes a long time to turn the feels off. Valves take way longer than switches to close off.

 It's like when you turn the hot water on for the shower. The hot water eventually mixes with the cold water in the shower and it's not hot but it's definitely not cold anymore either. It still takes awhile until the water is hot but once it's hot, it's feeling good.

I've noticed something. When a guy and a girl go from potentially being more than friends back to being "just friends" there's normally a conundrum that comes in. The guy turns it off but the girl still wants the "more than friends" attention she's grown accustomed to. Why is that?

Because guys and girls are super different. And what guys want in a relationship is chiefly physical but what girls want is chiefly emotional. So when a guy cuts the attention back, the girl doesn't get what she wants. And then it gets messy.

So guys, don't be a switch. And ladies, don't be a valve. What should you be?

Well we here at Hardware Relationship Improvement Store recommend the handy dandy, brand new, hot off the press, newly improved: "Human Being!"

That's right. Just be a human. And talk about the expectations. One of the best things a girl could say is "you know, I was wrong and I think maybe we should continue to spend some time together." Or guys, keep giving her attention and see where it goes.

Really, relationships are difficult and I have no idea what to do. Just wanted to tell Betty* that I'm not going to be texting and hanging out with her as much and she should expect that. Cool. Good talk guys.

*All names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

Andy Walt

In His Solution