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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating with Disabilities > Just Friends

Dating with Disabilities
by Melissa Blake

Can Guys and Girls Just Be Friends?

Pop quiz: Have you ever asked yourself that age-old question, “Can guys and girls really just be friends?”

The answer: Of course they can! Sure, it might seem a little scary at first. You might think guys and girls have nothing in common and are just too different, and yes, of course a part of me still thinks that. But Harry and Sally worked it out, right?

If you’re looking to expand your social circle, why not add a few guy friends to the mix? Follow these simple steps on your highway to friendship.

 

ROAD SIGN #1: BREAK THE ICE
One of the biggest challenges in making guy friends (and friends in general) is breaking the ice and making that first connection. You might be worried and not know what to say, but someone has to talk first. Why not be bold and let it be you? For example, try breaking the ice by starting a casual conversation about something you both have in common, like crazy bosses, movies, even favorite foods! Laughter is indeed one of the best ice breakers, and before long, you’ll both be at ease. By my natural tendency toward awkwardness and pure dorkiness, this, obviously, isn’t much of a problem for me. I’ve even perfected it so well that half the time, I’m not even aware that I’m doing it. It’s that subtle, yet blatantly obvious at the same time, much like myself.

ROAD SIGN #2: THE MORE THE MERRIER
If you need a little help at first navigating the guy-friend zone, who better to help than your awesome group of friends? If hanging solo with your new guy bud sounds like it might be a bit awkward, it doesn’t have to be. Plan a fun group outing like bowling or seeing a movie and invite the whole gang – guy bud included, of course! This will take some of the pressure off and allow both of you to relax and have fun at the same time. What a perfect combo!

ROAD SIGN #3: BE FRIENDLY AND ASK QUESTIONS
Remember, nobody likes a grouch! Happiness and cheeriness are contagious, so go ahead and spread it around. After all, a little smile can go a long way. I’m a huge pro-smile person. Ask him what his favorite bands are, what sorts of movies he’s into or even what he thinks of Brangelina’s latest antics. This will give you an opportunity to get to know him, and he’ll probably love talking about his likes and dislikes. And don’t forget: Don’t be shy about telling him about your likes and dislikes too – you two just might have lots in common!

ROAD SIGN #4: SHARING INTERESTS
Once you know a bit about each other, why not put those interests into action. This is where it’d actually be cool to have some different interests. For example, if you love hiking and he’s more of an indoor dude, pack a picnic and head to the local forest for the day. What’s greater than bonding and exercising? On the other hand, if he’s into museums, why not ask him to take you to his favorite? You just might end up becoming a museum lover yourself!

ROAD SIGN #5: BE YOURSELF
Just like girl friends, guys can spot when you’re being fake. Don’t put on a mask and pretend to like everything he does. Give him a chance to get to know the real you (HELLO, you’re awesome!). He’ll dig your honesty and the fact that you’re not afraid to be who you are or speak your mind. Go girl.

The only adverse side effect: Just don’t be like me, eventually fall in love with him and then spend hours upon hours analyzing his every move and every syllable that comes out of his mouth. It’s not worth it. Trust me. Just enjoy the friendship.


           

Dating with Disabilities is published every Tuesday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Melissa Blake. Melissa is a freelance writer and columnist. Her work has been featured in Redbook, Pregnancy magazine and the Chicago Tribune. She can be reached at mellow1422@aol.com..


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