Conditioning by personal choice
To the selfish all are selfish.
These are all unpleasant situations which I suspect many people have had to deal with at one point or another. Faced with potential scenarios like those mentioned above, I’m not surprised many women use the “dreaded phrase” frequently. What I consider a shame is the people who use it to deceive. They don’t mean they want to be friends with you — they’re lying. They just want you to get out of their lives.
I don’t know how to change this particular social assumption, but I strongly suggest honesty, as opposed to lying in order to avoid confrontation. This sort of deception may help you run away from a difficult situation in the short run, but in the long run it can only harm you — and also harm any woman or man who is actually being truthful when they say they just want to be friends.
When you mean yes, say yes, and when you mean no — say no!
Think about it. If you use the phrase, but what you really mean is “go away, you bore me now,” it will show in your later behavior. Any person who’s been lied to like that will no longer believe it when they’re asked to just be friends. Can you blame them? They’ve been told, in effect, they’re not worth the effort to be honest. How sad to see there are people who are too cowardly to be emotionally truthful, to face the real consequences of their actions.
This may seem harsh, but it’s basically true. Treat people like nothing more than sexual commodities, and you should expect to be either shunned, or treated like a dim-witted sex toy yourself as well. Deceive people, and you should expect to be disbelieved.
To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.
— Benjamin Franklin
Now to review and conclude on a hopefully more upbeat note. First, it’s my guess most people (not just women) use the phrase, “let’s just be friends,” either when they’re trying to be polite in one form or another, as per the first reasons given in the list above — or when they’re taking the emotional easy way out and lying.
How to deal with this? Review what you know of the person. Are they having trouble meeting your eyes? Do they smile insincerely, and have they been untrustworthy previously? Then it’s a good bet they aren’t interested at all in you — don’t waste any more of your (or their) time. Cut your losses; go find someone who’ll be a true friend.
Alternatively, is the person who just asked you to be friends someone who is honest, forthright, and kind most of the time? Have they been straight with you previous to this? Then don’t pressure them — believe them!
Be their friend; don’t just have sex with the first thing that comes along. Hold out for someone nice, like you… and maybe someday in the future someone who’s your friend might become something more. It worked for me. ;-)