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(This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog for men — The Leading Man.) It's an extremely common scenario… A man is attracted to a woman, and wants to date her. The woman isn't interested in him in this way, and says that she wants to be "friends." The man thinks: That isn't what I want, but I suppose it's better than nothing. So he accepts the "friendship," and proceeds to endure protracted misery and frustration. When a woman says to you that she "just wants to be friends," she almost certainly doesn't mean it literally. Women aren't dumb; they understand that a one-sided romantic attraction is not a good basis for a healthy relationship of any kind. The phrase "Let's just be friends" is a polite kiss-off — a way for a woman to turn you down without hurting your feelings too much. A sane woman who utters it is very likely hoping that you'll understand this, and have the brains and self-respect to leave her alone. Most men don't do this. They accept the "consolation prize" of friendship, knowing full well that what they want is something more. But you can't turn off your feelings — and when an attraction is unrequited, it tends to grow stronger. Thus, you have the sad spectacle of a man who continues to hang around a woman and see her socially, all the while hoping that somehow, eventually, she'll come to see what a great guy he is, and she'll start to desire to have him as her boyfriend. That day, unfortunately, never comes. Do yourself (and your masculinity) a huge favor: Keep your romantic life as simple, uncluttered and uncomplicated as possible. A major aspect of this is to keep the distinctions between friendship and romantic love absolutely clear in your mind at all times. There are women you're friends with, and women you're attracted to. Do not attempt to mix these categories. When a woman tells you, in one way or another, that she isn't interested in dating you, accept it and move on. Make it a clean break; don't accept "consolation prizes" in lieu of what you really want. When you attempt to engage in a friendship with a woman you have romantic feelings for, you set yourself up for torment, and you end up wasting a lot of time. You don't have unlimited time to meet and date women. By learning to recognize & avoid women who represent romantic dead ends for you, you can invest your energies into endeavors which are much more likely to produce a happy outcome.