Ask Anna: I’m pissed she just wants to be friends

Ask Anna is a sex column. Because of the nature of the topic, some columns contain language some readers may find graphic.

Dear Anna,

So I got involved with this chick. We sent plenty of texts back and forth, and talked on the phone a lot. We were finally able to meet — we had dinner and drinks, then spent the night together. We continued to talk, text and email. Then she says she just “wants to be friends.” WTF? How does a female go from wanting to have your child to just being “friends”? I might have gotten very comfortable being with her, because she was saying “all the right things.” She had even spoken with my mom, and I had sent her a video of the rest of my family. She was “so looking forward” to meeting all of them. Now, I must admit, I am a bit pissed off. Should I wait for her to decide what she wants, or write her off as a mistake? I’d give you even more details, but I realize your column is only so big (no pun intended). I don’t know what to call myself, but I know how I feel —Played

Dear Played,

I’m sorry you were hoping for a romantic connection and it didn’t work out. It’s shitty to feel like you’re on the same page with someone, making future plans, introducing her to your family, etc., only to find out that that’s not the case. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. It doesn’t make it less shitty, but at least you’re not alone. Yay, grief party!

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You are allowed to feel pissed off! And any other feelings that arise as you work through this and adjust your reality accordingly. I would, however, encourage you to not take it personally. Rather than thinking of yourself as “played,” which makes you a victim and her a manipulative liar, how would it feel to frame it differently? You had a connection. It was brief, but it was important to you. And the circumstances changed. No one is the bad guy. You simply wanted different things. And hey, it’s good to find this out sooner than later. Imagine if this had gone on for months or years. Your attachment to her would have been incredibly strong and the ensuing heartache would be that much worse.

When you think of yourself as a victim, it’s easy to stay stuck in those bad feelings — and worse, it might make it harder to connect with other women in the future, because you’ll be thinking of those past hurts and applying them to new partners, who might not deserve it. This isn’t to say you can’t feel shitty or sorry for yourself. You can! But don’t do it for too long. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you — ecstatically, completely!

As to whether you should take her up on her offer of friendship — well, that’s up to you. If you do decide you want to try to be her friend, I would take a small break first and work through these hurts so they don’t make you bitter or resentful going forward. Or, hell, don’t be her friend. It’s your call. But don’t “wait” for someone who has made up their mind. That’ll only drive you bananas.

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Also, one small point of clarity: Did she really say she wanted to “have your child” on the first date? If so, *waves giant red flag.* My guess is that what you really meant by that was, “How could she have sex with me, which is intimate and vulnerable, and then turn around and only want to be my friend?”

It’s not a bad question! And in fact, it is something that all of us — of every gender and sexuality — have been asking for a verrrrrry long time. Often when we are dumped. Again, not to dismiss your feelings or pain, which are valid! But, lots of people have sex with people they don’t want to pursue romantic relationships with. For all kinds of reasons. We can’t always know what those reasons are — and we may not WANT to know either.

But when shitty things happen, we do what we can. We feel our feelings; we let the waves of shittiness pass through us; and then we move on. To the next shitty thing! (And the next good thing, too, of course.)

Here’s wishing you more goodness in your life than shittiness.

Check out more sex and dating advice from Anna here. »

Anna Pulley is a RedEye contributor. Want to ask Anna an anonymous question about love, sex or dating? Send it below, or email


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