Female Friends – When to GO FOR IT?

People write in to ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR with questions.  An index of all Q&As is located on the ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR INDEX page. Email your question in complete confidence to [email protected].

I read with interest your articles on the value of being friends with women – for advice, getting them to set you up on dates with their friends etc. However, how does this jibe with all the advice by people who say avoid the “friends” zone with a woman at all costs. I know plenty of women who like me as a friend, but I’m afraid if I fall into that, they will never look at me as a potential dating material. What do you advise?   Matthew M. Somerset, NJ

MLB ANSWER:  The golden rule of midlife bachelorhood is ALWAYS GO FOR IT.  Like I state several times in various sections of this site – if there is ever any doubt about what you should do in any given situation with a woman, then simply refer to that rule.  The worst she can say is no.  Hopefully she won’t press charges. ;o)

For me, there are two categories of female friends – “best friends”, and “nice friends”.  A female “best friend” is someone whose friendship you value tremendously … a friendship you don’t want to take any chance of losing.  I would not suggest that you date your female “best friends” – because if the relationship goes sour, then there is some significant chance that you will also lose the friendship.  Other women who you are friends with (but who are not among your “best friends”) are fair game for dating, in my mind.  These “nice friends” as I refer to them are more like acquaintances who you know and talk to, and maybe even hang out with at times.   As I mention in the Develop a Strategy for Midlife Bachelor Success section – specifically, the Lead Generation/Finding New Women to Date subsection – your best bet is to be nice and make friends with as many women as possible … so that you can either date them OR have them want to set you up with some of their female friends.   It really is all karma … be nice, and nice things will happen to you.

Now re-reading your short note, it sounds like you are concerned about maybe being too nice … and having these women think that all you are ever interested in is friendship.  If that is the case, then you should probably just assert your intentions a little more proactively.  This is kind of personal style thing – but ways I would do this include being a little more touchy/feely with these women … maybe saying something complimentary that is slightly over the border of friendship … just basically push the envelope, and see how she reacts.  If she reacts poorly, then you know she is only interested in a friendship.  If she takes what you said or did, and runs with it – then you’re in great shape.  If none of this is comfortable for you, then you will need to practice ;o)

If you have not already, be sure to look over the section in Midlife Dating Advice concerning The Midlife Bachelor Personal Makeover … just to help you fine tune the machine in terms of personal appearance and attitude.  Sometimes subtle things that we as midlife bachelors say or do, or wear or look like can have a tremendous impact on our success in terms of dating.

There is both humor and truth to the ALWAYS GO FOR IT rule.  It really means push the envelope in the direction you want to take things, and see what happens.  Good luck!

Note to Reader – this is an update from an earlier ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR note entitled, “How to Get Husband Back from Midlife Crisis Affair”  For a complete understanding of the situation – please read that before you read what is below.

DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR:  It’s me again about my cheating husband walking out on me and our child for the younger woman. His trip alone in my previous email was incorrect – he took his new girlfriend to meet his family. My child and I were both crushed to find out that he lied to us but he said she decided to go at the last minute, yeah, right! Your “grass is greener” article sounds just like my ex (refers to The Grass is Greener Syndrome in the section of this site entitled Your Midlife Crisis).  He’s been gone from “his” house about 11 weeks now, and still has not changed his mailing address or taken anymore clothes. After living with this younger woman with two small children, he’s let her to quit her job after only 5 weeks of living together. They used to work together but their managers decided to relocate her to another store, and she was not pleased at all. ha.ha.  Of course, both families are now in financial crisis and he’s been opening up new credit cards and using his credit to entertain her which he cannot afford to do. He’s told me that he still loves me a few times over the last month but he said “I’m happy for now being with her”. What in the hell is that supposed to mean?  I think this midlife crisis man has lost his mind!  He’s living for the moment and enjoying his new ride, if you know what I mean.  I’m trying to get over him, and move on with my life but I miss him and love him. I think I’m still in shock. I never expected any of this, especially for him to walk out of his own home which he owns and leave all of his belongings behind.  That’s the only reason I think this could be temporary.  I’m not going to sit here and cry and wait for him to come back to me.  I’ve been losing weight and making myself feel better and look better just for me.  Hopefully, when/if he ever decides to want to come back, I’ll be able to say “you’re no longer wanted”. I loved this man so much as we were together 20+ years.  This is just so out of character for him to do this to me as he was a kind, honest, decent, working “professional” man who’ve I’ve never caught in a lie or cheated on me until he met her.  She may be younger than me, but I’m ten times the woman that she’ll ever be. He left months of unpaid bills for me to pay but I’m paying them to keep the utilities on for me and our child. His finances will soon get tougher as I’ve applied for child support again, and he’s already almost 3 months behind. My tall teenager is growing like a weed and I can’t keep him in clothes or shoes (size 16).  Me and my good paying job will catch up on the bills and hopefully find another decent gentleman to love and care about me in time. Losing me will be his loss as I was 100% dedicated, faithful and honest with him.  I’ve also caught his new girlfriend in a lie to a creditor, but should I tell him about it or not? Should I just let him suffer his own financial ruin or prove to him the lying tramp that she is?  I’ve got solid proof in black and white of her lie.  What a fool he is being over her. June W., age 44, Coolville, OH

MLB ANSWER:  Hi June – thanks for writing in again, and giving us your update.  There are good lessons here for everyone, and I’m glad you are sharing this with us.   As I mentioned when you last wrote in (How to Get Husband Back from Midlife Crisis Affair), my condolences to you on the continuation of your current situation.  Everything I said previously still holds true.  Briefly – I believe your husband is going through a classic case of midlife crisis, and that he has failed to assess all of the collateral damage his behavior is causing.  Again, to those who would cheat, I point you to the MIDLIFE ARTICLE here entitled “Is Cheating Really Worth It?”  If a marriage needs to end, there are more honorable ways of doing so than just suddenly walking out, and leaving behind both a financial and emotional catastrophe for everyone … particularly when children are involved.  In many places in this site, I discuss the notion of spreading good karma … which among other things means “treat others well, and in a way that you yourself would like to be treated”.   [You can read more on this in the Midlife Bachelor Personal Makeover section entitled Attitude Adjustment/Mental Makeover 2.0 … particularly the subsections entitled Bad Karma/Good Karma and also Makeover Message – Spread Good Karma]   My point – your husband is not at all practicing good karma … and that may come back to haunt him in the future.

I notice the language you have written to me in is much more confident this time.  You are clearly aware that you have something to give to someone in a relationship, that you are taking control of your life, and that your husband is really the one experiencing the bigger loss here.  I agree 100% with you!   Having been through a divorce myself (involving a cheating spouse), I can with certainty tell you that you will get through this – but it will take time for you to reach or return to your own personal level of equilibrium (see Reaching Midlife Bachelor Equilibrium – it applies to women as well as men).  For now, know that the future holds happy and positive things for you and your teenage son … and that your emotional pain and heartache will diminish over time.

Regarding your specific question about whether you should inform your estranged husband about the lies and proof that his much younger girlfriend is telling a creditor – that is a tough call.  From an emotional standpoint, it would be easy to throw as many stones at their relationship as possible.  The problem is that both of them may think you are just trying to do damage – and ignore everything you say.  What I would do is this – if his girlfriend’s lies or actions are damaging YOUR CREDIT or your estranged husband’s ability TO PAY YOU, then I think you should inform him in the most matter-of-fact way possible.  In any other case, I would simply let him find out on his own … as that might even be considered negative karma coming back at him.   Good luck – please update us again when you can.
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Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.