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29 Platonic Ways to Be Friends with a Guy & Learn to Make & Stay Just Friends

how to be friends with a guy

There are way too many people out there who say men and women can’t be just friends. While the basis for their argument is a sound one, it’s just not at all true. So long as you both have a platonic understanding of one another, you can learn how to be friends with a guy.

Admittedly, it’s easy to cross the lines between friendship and something more. Especially as you grow comfortable with one another and you realize they know you better than anyone else, it’s easy to fall into the trap of being more than friends.

However, if you really want to know how to be just friends with a guy, it can be done! You just may need to remember a few rules to make sure you don’t cross that platonic line.

[Read: Platonic relationship – what it is and 42 friendship rules to avoid sexual drama]

The Psychology Behind Platonic Relationships

Ever wondered why you can share that last slice of pizza with a guy friend without thinking of a candlelit dinner? Or why watching a game with him feels no different than with your gal pals?

Let’s peek behind the curtain of the human mind and decode the art of just being friends.

1. Attachment theory: The friend-zone blueprint

Our early relationships, especially with primary caregivers, often dictate our attachment styles. These styles can determine how we connect with our guy friends too.

Secure Attachment

Think of this as the ‘chill’ style. If you’ve got this, you’re comfortable with intimacy but also okay doing your own thing.

So, when you make guy friends, there’s an ease in the way you bond. No overthinking, no drama, just genuine connection. You trust easily and give them their space, making it simple to strike a balance.

Anxious Attachment

A tad clingy? Find yourself overanalyzing that text he sent you? This might be you. Anxiously attached folks can sometimes blur the lines, not because they’re necessarily attracted, but because they seek validation.

Recognizing this can help set clearer boundaries, ensuring the friendship doesn’t get muddled with insecurities. [Read: Insecure attachment – what it is, types, 23 signs, and how it affects your life]

Avoidant Attachment

Love your independence? Hate being too vulnerable? That’s the avoidant style for you.

Making guy friends might be easy, but diving deep into personal talks? Maybe not so much. Knowing this can help in opening up bit by bit, ensuring the friendship isn’t just surface-level.

2. Social exchange theory: Not all exchanges are about lovey-dovey stuff

We humans are transactional creatures. No, not in the cold business-y way, but in a more profound, “what do I get out of this?” kind of way. Or at least, the social exchange theory says.

In all of our relationships, we are constantly doing mental calculations to figure out the benefits that we can get from someone *i.e. their friendship* and whether the cost *the effort on our end* is worth it.

So how can a platonic relationship be sometimes better than a romantic one? Well, you get all of the fun, laughter, and support from a man, but you never risk getting your heart broken. Win-win! [Read: 30 secrets to stay friends after a kiss and decide the best way forward]

3. Benefits galore

When you become friends with a guy, you’re not necessarily looking for romantic sparks.

Sometimes, it’s about sharing perspectives *men do have a different take on life, after all*, seeking protection *let’s admit, having a guy friend around can feel safe sometimes*, or just expanding your social circle. It’s like adding another dish to your life’s buffet. Yum!

4. Minimized costs

In friendships, costs aren’t about money, they’re about emotional investments, time, and potential conflicts.

With guy friends, sometimes, the emotional drama is less *not always, but sometimes*, making it feel like a breath of fresh air. No complex decoding of ‘girl talk’ or lengthy debates about which shade of lipstick is better. Straightforward, simple, and drama-free… for the most part.

[Read: Awkward after having sex with a friend? 19 mature steps to stay friends]

How To Be Friends With a Guy and Never Cross That Platonic Line

If you have a guy you want to stay friends with but aren’t sure how you can stop yourself or him from crossing the line, we can help.

Here are all the ways you can avoid going overboard that will also help keep him in line, too.

1. Let him know how you feel ASAP

This means you just need to tell him right away that friendship is all he’ll get from you. Sure, your feelings might grow down the line and his could, too, but this way, you’re telling him right away that it will never happen.

What better way to insist on friendship than by telling him right from the start?

Also, it avoids any confusion if your actions ever say otherwise. He’ll just remember the day you told him that friendship is the only thing you can give him.

This will deter him from making moves in the future, and it’ll help you stick to your original words. [Read: 25 types, ways, and tips to set boundaries with friends without insulting them]

2. Don’t give him too much attention

You may have a great time around this guy friend of yours, but it’s easy for intentions to be mistaken. Unless you want your friend to think you like him, don’t give him all your attention when other friends are around.

By focusing on other people and having conversations with other guys too, he’d be able to see that he’s not getting any special attention from you.

3. Drop a few hints

Occasionally drop a few hints to let him know that you have nothing more than just friends in mind. The next time you have a conversation with him, remind him about how great a “friend” he is to you. [Read: 15 excuses and nice ways to tell a guy you’re not interested in him and don’t like him]

Also, at some point in the conversation, let him know that you’re so happy with him and you can’t ever think of changing this perfect friendship you have with him. Once he hears that, there’s a good chance that he’ll back off.

4. Create at least a little distance

Don’t be talking to him and trying to be around him all the time. The more you distance yourself from him, the easier it’ll be to remain platonic friends. Let some texts go unanswered, but obviously not all of them.

Don’t let him get used to the fact that you’re constantly texting and calling him 24/7. Boundaries are essential if you want to know how to be friends with a guy without crossing any lines.

5. Ask your friends for help sometimes

Your friends can create a really nice barrier between you and him. If you’re feeling particularly affectionate toward him, ask your friends to step in. Let your friends keep you accountable for not letting you cross any boundaries.

If you have the urge to hold him or be affectionate, well, that’s what your friends are there for! They’ll remind you precisely why you cannot be more than friends.

6. Get away from him if things are getting a little heated

Space and distance can do wonders for learning how to be just friends with a guy. If you start to have feelings for him or are flirting quite a bit, create some distance.

Get away from him and remove yourself from that situation. Or if you can’t, distract yourself so you don’t end up doing things you might regret.

The closer you are to him, the more likely your feelings will intensify, so it’s essential you create space, just to clear your head *and heart* for a bit. [Read: 23 intense signs of unspoken mutual attraction between two people]

7. Pursue other people

Find someone else to keep you occupied! If your attention and time are spent on someone else, it’ll prevent anything from blossoming between you and your guy friend.

You know what they say, the best way to know how to be friends with a guy is to focus on another guy. So get dating and flirt with the next cute guy you spot! You never know, you might just find “the one” this way!

8. Don’t get drunk with him alone

This is probably the worst idea anyone could have, ever! Never get drunk with your guy friend if you want to remain just friends.

Sometimes it’s fine to have a drink in each other’s company, but all your feelings are heightened when you get drunk.

There’s a huge risk you’ll end up giving in when he flirts with you or worse, you might kiss him when you get too drunk! If you do drink together, at least have a friend come with you. [Read: Drunk kiss – 15 types, levels of kisses, and the meaning of a drunk makeout]

9. Don’t go home together!

Even if you’re not drinking, spending alone time together in his place or yours isn’t a good idea. It’ll feel very date-like even if you two are just friends. Remember, you don’t want to cross that platonic line!

Spending time with just the two of you leaves a lot of room for error *and flirting* so refrain from doing this. Every time he asks you to a movie or to grab a coffee, bring a friend with you to keep yourself accountable.

10. Try not to skirt around the issue

Meaning, don’t ignore your feelings or the sexual tension if you feel any. Admit to yourself that you do feel something for him.

Ignoring them will only make you grow closer to him, and it’ll ruin the friendship altogether.

The more you deny any lingering feelings you have for him, the stronger they’ll get until eventually, you can no longer hide them. So admit that you feel something for him and take it from there. [Read: 25 subtle, developing signs she likes you but is hiding her feelings for you]

11. Don’t get physical in any way

No cuddles or flirty touches. It’s not really appropriate if you’re trying to avoid falling for that person. If you don’t have any feelings for him at all, sure a hug here and there is fine.

But the minute you get cozy or snuggle up with him, it’s game over for your friendship.

Even if you want to give him a harmless hug, trust us, there’s no such thing as harmless if you already have feelings for your guy friend! If you want to know how to be just friends with a guy, don’t let any physical touches linger. [Read: Romantic hug vs friendly hug – how to feel the difference instantly]

12. Don’t let people make assumptions

If others are calling you both boyfriend and girlfriend, put an end to it. Neither of you needs to start thinking of the other in this way, and stopping it will help prevent you two from slipping into those respective roles.

This teasing might seem harmless, but it might trigger feelings for either of you that you wouldn’t have if there wasn’t any teasing. So shut it down before it has a chance to seed in your brain and flower new feelings.

13. Shut down his advances if he makes any

If he starts making moves toward you, shut him down. Don’t just ignore them because that won’t make them go away at all.

You need to actually shut them down and communicate that you’re not interested. Don’t give in if he ever makes any advances towards you.

The minute you do that, you might as well date him already! Be firm about it and tell him that you’re not messing around in not wanting any actions that lead to more than friendship.

14. Share your dream-boyfriend fantasies

If you’re single, let him know of your idea of the perfect boyfriend. If he ever asks you what kind of a guy you’d like to go out with, tell him the exact kind of guy you like. [Read: 27 signs he likes you as more than a friend and wants to date you]

Make sure to add a few traits he doesn’t have just to really hammer in the platonic message. If he’s short, tell him you like tall guys. If he’s muscular, tell him you like lean guys. You get the picture, right? Just don’t be mean about it, obviously.

15. Keep him in the loop on your dating life

If he knows you’re dating someone, then it’s unlikely he’ll break the boundaries of your friendship into something more. So if you want to know how to be just friends with a guy, tell him about the guy you’re dating.

Don’t hesitate to let him know you’re dating someone and you really like this guy. That will really let him know that your friendship is strictly platonic.

16. Don’t put your best foot forward

The fact you’re just friends means you don’t have to put your best foot forward when you’re with him. Don’t go all-out with your physical appearance if you want to be just friends with a guy. [Read: How to stop a guy from flirting or hitting on you]

You can’t keep dressing in your best clothes and makeup and expect him not to flirt with you or cross boundaries.

Guys are visual individuals so if you look your prettiest, guess what? He’ll likely make a move, or worse, he may even assume you’re trying to impress him and expect him to make a move!

17. Avoid late-night texts

You’re literally setting yourself up for failure if you keep texting him late at night. So if you want things to stay strictly platonic with your guy friend, stop the late-night conversations.

You’re not a booty call, and you especially don’t want him getting naughty to you. It’s easy to become intimate with someone when texting late at night, so just nip this in the bud now. [Read: Late-night texts – 17 secrets and examples to decipher if it’s friendly or a booty call]

18. Don’t get touchy-feely

If you want to know how to be just friends with a guy, avoid getting all touchy-feely with him. Even if the guy you’re dating ditched you, it’s not an excuse to come crying on his shoulder when he comforts you.

Vulnerability is a scary road to enter when you want to stay platonic. The minute you let your guard down, it’s easy to cross the lines of friendship and into something more.

19. Remember why you want to remain platonic

This will help you the most. You need to keep reminding yourself why you only want to be friends and why a relationship would never work. If you keep thinking of those reasons whenever you have the urge to be something more, it’ll help keep you sane.

So if you’re serious about wanting to know how to be friends with a guy, remind yourself precisely why you’re doing this and take it from there.

[Read: How to be friends with someone you like without losing your mind]

Common Challenges When Making Guy Friends

Making guy friends can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope. Too close, and you might send the wrong signal; too distant, and the friendship might never bloom. Here are some common challenges and how to navigate them gracefully:

1. The “Are you dating?” question

When society sees a man and woman together, the immediate assumption often leans towards romance. It’s like everyone’s wearing these tinted glasses that color every interaction with romantic hues.

To navigate this, it’s important to stay firm in your friendship. With time and consistency, those around you will come to respect the platonic boundary. And if someone gets nosy, a casual “No, we’re just friends” should set the record straight.

2. Jealous partners

While you might have struck the perfect balance with your guy friend, sometimes their partner or yours might raise an eyebrow. The shades of green can vary from mild curiosity to full-blown jealousy. [Read: How to tell when a guy is jealous – 25 signs he just can’t hide]

The key? Invite them over! Let them be a part of group activities, allowing them to see the dynamic for themselves. It’s amazing how a game night or a group movie marathon can dispel doubts.

3. Misread signals

In the journey to making guy friends, sometimes actions might get lost in translation. You see a shared coffee as a mere caffeine fix, he might see it as something more.

It doesn’t hurt to occasionally check in with each other. A simple chat asking, “Hey, we’re on the same page, right?” can clear up any brewing misunderstandings.

4. Balancing time

If you hang out too often, it might send certain signals. But if you don’t invest enough time, the friendship might not get the nurturing it needs.

The trick? Mix it up! Alternate between solo hangouts and group activities. This way, you get to bond without setting the rumor mills churning.

5. The emotional support dilemma

Being there for your guy friend during tough times is crucial. But sometimes, emotional support might be mistaken for romantic interest. While it’s essential to lend a shoulder, having boundaries in emotional conversations is equally as important.

It’s all about striking a balance between being a confidant and ensuring the dynamics remain uncomplicated. [Read: How to be a good friend – 49 traits and friend codes that define a real pal]

6. Educating others

True, there’s a world out there that needs to understand the charm of platonic friendships. Why not be the ambassador? Share your experiences, recommend movies or books that highlight such bonds, and let your friendship be the beacon that changes perspectives.

How To Be Friends With a Guy: The Simple Conclusion

Staying just friends with a guy has its challenges, especially when it’s easy to give in to flirting and all the affection. Especially when you’re already attracted to him, you’re already at risk of turning the friendship into something more.

It’s best to remind yourself of all the reasons why you want to stay strictly friends and nothing more.

Because male-female friendships can be a real treasure. It’s all about knowing who your romantic soulmate is and who your platonic soulmates are.

Some relationships are just flat-out ruined when romance comes into the picture!

[Read: 20 signs he just wants to be friends even if you’re hoping for something more]

Knowing how to be friends with a guy means having the discipline and self-control to do this. Even if he flirts with you, don’t ever give in to it. Otherwise, it’s game over for your friendship.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...