Why Can’t We Be Friends? When Platonic Friendships Fail..

Been a rash of this lately, in and around my circle so I am hoping someone on the other side of this coin will enlighten me….

Say there is a platonic friendship between a man and woman (or the homosexual equivalent of this). The thing is good, the thing is grand. The people are compatible and enhancing each others lives over some period of time. Significant time. 1 to 5 years, say.

Then all the sudden one of the parties makes an unwanted play for the other person, almost always destroying the relationship in the process. Have you ever been on either side of this equation?

What happened and where is your Venus?

35 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Be Friends? When Platonic Friendships Fail..”

  1. I have quite a few long-time male friends: they go back 8-13 years (those in recent years have not come so close). Of these loooooooongtime friends two had a crush on me, but when we were teenagers: we ‘separated’ but got back in touch a number of years ago, and now it seems it works fine – no problems at all. The other category are the friends who are not my type and I am not their type: we have a different connection, often mental: I like talking to men. More recent friendship/crushes did not work out – no friendship left because it is just too obvious that either of us wants to be touched not talked to. That often happened too, so no turning back from there. Venus conj mars in 5th in scorp

  2. Yes, that happened to me and it almost ruined everything. My best friend confessed his feelings for me and it wasn’t mutual, even though when he did that he made me wonder if anything was possible. It wasn’t. Eventually things got back on track but I’m always afraid that he still has feelings for me.
    I find it hard having significant friendships with men – I suspect they have other feelings for me. And anyone, I wouldn’t want the friendship part to come before the lover part (Venus in Scorpio, 7th house, conj Pluto and Saturn) 😛

  3. This used to happen to me all the time, before I was married. I’ve always gotten along really well with guys as platonic friends. I think sometimes when people are feeling lonely and afraid, they start thinking about the people in their lives who make it bearable, and the emotion can become twisted to thinking it’s a different kind of love. A few shorter term friendships have been whacked that way, but I haven’t lost any long-term ones; I just see the situation for what it is and ride it out. It tends to resolve itself when their confidence returns, or they meet someone who can return their feelings. Venus in Virgo.

  4. A good majority of my good friends are male (my BFF is female), and though I know there have been instances on both sides of attraction, we had cultivated such a relationship that we’ve always been able to discuss and move on. I can only think of once that it ended and completely ruined our relationship.

    I think it’s possible, but I also think that you cannot possibly be completely blind to the fact that the other person is attracted to you. I mean, these are people who’ve seen you with snot running down your face, bedhead, before and after break-ups, and they are still there. They still love you, and there’s always a distinct possibility that can naturally progress beyond the platonic.

  5. I’ve been on both ends of this situation, and have watched friendships fail as well as friendships grow past it. I’ve found that when the person who is receiving the unwanted advance is very clear about how they feel (i.e. no, there’s no chance, we can be friends but you have to respect that we are JUST friends) then a friendship can survive past the embarrassing moment of one person admitting feelings for another.

    It gets muddier (and the risk for losing the friendship altogether is greater) when someone waffles or tries to “be nice” and gives false hope because they’re afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings. That’s where I’ve seen friendships like this fail.

    Capricorn Sun/Moon, Venus in Sagittarius

  6. It’s never happened to me, I’ve felt it for friends, but never followed it up because I figured it was just an illusion anyhows.

    What kills me is when people do this even though the person, their friend, is already partnered. Pisses me off extremely. I mean, what the hell are you supposed to do with that?

    Venus in Scorp in the 8th.

  7. I’ve had a number of platonic male friends over the years too and sensed they liked me more at the beginning but i’ve always made it very clear that i dont fancy them so fortunately most have never tried. Venus in Aries so pretty blunt when i need to be.

    Most of my male friendships have come about from bantering insults at each other so it’s pretty easy to define the line if need be with humour. Once they know where they stand they can decide if they still wanna be a mate. I have a male friend that i’ve known for over 20yrs and when i first met my ex he kept his distance for a year or so until i ordered him to meet him. Once they’d met they got on brilliantly. He’s now married and i get on really well with his wife too.

    I did have one colleague who i really got on well with and one xmas after a few too many we had a snog..da da da..end of friendship. We tried to have a thang but to be honest he was way outta my league and my insecurity got the better of me. Luckily he left not long after so i didnt have to cringe for too long.

    There will always be some guys who decide they dont really want the friendship thing or cant handle the one way thing. One guy who i knew fancied me and who I’d made abudantly clear to that the feelings weren’t mutual kept trying for years and i did relent once, disastrously..end of friendship. Ho hum. But very venus in aries.

  8. Every time this happens to me (on either side), it takes some time, and then it ultimately resolves. I usually don’t stay friends with the person at the time that things go down, but we often end up good friends later, unless we don’t actually like one another. Libra Venus seventh house.

  9. I’ve been the person making the “unwanted” play… I told my friend my feelings and he told me he did not feel the same… after a while, things changed and I was fine with just being friends while he came to tell me that maybe there were more feelings there than he admitted. That said, we’re still very good friends.

  10. I hate to say it, but Harry Burns was right most of the time. The few male friends I’ve had and kept that didn’t have this going on were already taken, or I didn’t get very close to them at all (sometimes that doesn’t stop it, though).

    Venus in Taurus.

  11. The couple of times this happened to me, I was the pursuer, and the guys weren’t interested like I thought they’d be. (Aries ASC-taking the lead in exploring and developing the relationship.) They freaked out and disappeared. So after those experiences, I compartmentalized friends and lovers, and stopped mixing them up, though I’ve been tempted to try again.

    Venus at 29 Virgo, 6th house, conjunct Pluto (25 Virgo) and Uranus (5 Libra).

  12. Avatar
    Little Miss Hermit

    I have Cancer intercepted in the 7th house, and 3 Cancer friends have fallen for me, but not I for them. My Venus is conjunct Mars and Pluto in Libra…

  13. Hmm, my neptune is in a bad hookup in Sag in the 7th so… take what I say with a grain of salt. I’ve had guy friends who’ve had a thing for me but I’ve been clueless until years later when the friendship is mellow and easy. I’ve had one guy friend “pull the wool over my eyes” twice claiming he loved me while seeing someone else.

    But most recently I’ve begun dating a friend of 7 years. It’s easy and difficult all at once. Easy because we know eachother. Difficult because we know eachother. The funny bit was that neither of us really believed that the other was actually interested or serious about a relationship at first. There had been so many comments, jokes, teasing over the years that … well it took a bit to cut to the chase as it were. Both have had feelings for the other since day one – either dating others, too busy, different city etc.

    Also, venus in pisces.. which might also explain my slowness of getting around to things. Him venus in cancer, very shy guy.

  14. Eh, I’ve got Uranus and Neptune hanging out in my Sagde 7th house… Um, haven’t many male friends, but the ones I did have always ended up harboring feelings I never reciprocated and needless to say, I sort of uh, eject out of my seat due to discomfort, awkwardness. Yeah, yeah, I know. The ones that I did feel something for were and still are always unavailable (in another relationship, distance, amongst other reasons).

    Oh yeah, my Venus is in Aquarius (8th/9th cusp).

    Very unstable, unpredictable and unconventional, is all I can say.

    So… I sort of suck, eh.

  15. Venus in Aries, 6th house (conjunct Mercury,on Descendant)

    Yes it has happened to me in the past. Fortunately, we had good communication and continued to be open and honest so no hard feelings. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with unwanted feelings from a platonic friend but this doesn’t stop me from continuing to be his friend. What sucks is when a new platonic male friend has hidden motives… and is only interested in one thing, but pretends to be a platonic friend.

  16. It’s happened, and it went badly for the most part, which surprised me. I always assumed that if you’re really friends with someone, and something goes wonky, one should be able to smile and recover… because you’re *friends* right?

    And yes, I DO have Venus in Aquarius… why do you ask? 🙂

  17. I never had a friend like this that I didn’t have sex with. Lots of Scorpio in the 3rd, a sexual dilettante. The sex was often the basis for the friendship.

    I am in a monog thing now, so none of these people are still around. We both have lots of Scorp. There would be a murder, I’m sure.

  18. This happened to me, possibly more than once. I say ‘possibly’, because I have 3rd h. Neptune/Scorpio; I’m blind to this stuff. I have a 11th house Venus conj. my Leo Sun. One that comes to mind is a neighbour whom I befriended whilst she was going through a very difficult time. Her advances toward me were very subtle, and I had a tendency to overlook subtleties back then. I was so ignorant, that I tried to fix her up with a man I KNEW was hotness incarnate; and she dropped the ball — and in retrospect, seemed a bit offended by it. I am S-L-O-W on the uptake with these type matters, to the point where I finally figured it out was like, 18 years later ! *facepalm* She was a beautiful woman, but she was blind to the fact that I’m into dudes. Oh well.

  19. Yes, I told a guy I worked with how I felt. Luckily we were able to talk about it and agreed to just let it go and move on. His ability to be gracious just made me like him even more.He never said that he did or didn’t feel anything for me – so I assume he felt nothing. We are both married so its a complicated situation.I didn’t really think the situation through as to how it go could wrong if he had’ve freaked out and told everyone. He left after 6 months. 1 year later we worked together again for 4 months. Fast forward 2 years, we both have new jobs…and are working together again.And I am still madly and hopelessly in love with him, but situations seem to make sure our paths keep crossing. We are still very good friends and always there for eachother. Me- Venus in Pisces/9th house – him venus in Leo.

  20. I’ve experienced this many, many times. Earlier in life, I was often rather oblivious to my male friends’ “secret” crushes (both hetero- and homosexually identifiying guys), until they exploded in messy ways (like C, I have Neptune in Sag in the 7th). Bigger messes and help from friends got me to be less blind about things. I’ve never dumped a friend because they wanted to get me naked (in fact, my closest male friend likes to point out that I’m the only woman who’s ever rejected his advances), but I have dumped friends for losing their minds in scary, destructive ways with that motivation. It sucks.

    Venus in Scorpio conjunct DSC.

  21. This comment is somewhat inappropriate – but funny – an yet disturbing also.

    This happened to my friend, they agreed that he was attracted but nothing would happen and they would remain friends as though nothing had been said. He lives out of town and my friend has to stay the night when visiting because she has bad eyes and can’t drive well at night. He has one bed, she’s very open and shares beds with all her friends (as in to sleep – no sexual innuendo), so she felt no problem in doing this.

    She woke up because they bed was practically shaking – he was masturbating over her while she slept.


  22. I can only remember this happening once and I’m wincing with the memory.

    I had had a platonic friendship with a guy for about 3 years. We both were new to designing and we were helping each other learn. Then, my husband and I separated, and all of a sudden this ‘friend’ of mine spilled his guts and told me how he had always been ‘in love’ with me! At first I thought he was kidding and I blew it off (wince), which I later found out was very painful for him. I really, really had no idea.

    Venus in Aries – I’m usually very direct when I’m attracted to someone and would never ‘pine away’ – so I just didn’t get it.

  23. I love this post because lately most of my new friends in my new town are men and well…they have all tried to go in for that kiss at least once. In the past I’ve had male friends who have almost always confessed their interest in me…flattering of course, but if you are my friend chances are I wouldn’t want to be romantic with you.

    I’m a sag with a sag venus so friendships can get intimate for me but I still need my freedom. Sometimes I think venus in sag is best suited for “companionship with benefits when we’re in the same town”.

  24. I’m in the midst of this now, sort of. Acquaintances for over 11 years, turned romantic-ish on both our parts six months ago (living in distant cities). But now I think we’re just friends – nothing’s been ruined. I have 2nd house Venus in Virgo and his Venus is in Aquarius (don’t know the house). It’s just blah – not much of a spark, but no hard feelings and I think we’ve actually become better friends.

  25. I have had it happen both ways, I guess. Mostly where the other party ( men and women,) has made the advances. I usually have stayed friends if THEY have made this advance…but a couple times they have dropped out of my life. I have Venus in Virgo conj. Mercury in Leo in the eleventh house. Oddly enough I will add that most of my actual relationships where we have broken up, the other party ends up with their longtime partner right after me, or sadly has either still alone or dead (one committed suicide) I am still very good friends with most two of those exes to this day. I guess the critical nature of the Virgo with the way the Leo puts it truly makes people think long and hard about what I say…plus the eleventh house is the hose of groups…so I guess you stay in my “group”, find your new group, or die…YIKES!

  26. Yeah, been on both ends of this; never lost a real friendship over it. Aries Venus 5th, so I’m pretty blunt about matters of attraction. If I really am interested in a guy, there wouldn’t be time for the thing to develop in friendship mode, so this invariably constellates as a guy friend developing feeling for me overtime, or I find myself suddenly single and looking for sex. I’m usually very clear about rejecting any unwanted advances as soon as I notice them, which does seem to help guys accept it’s only a friendship. When I’ve made the hit, my good male friends usually recognize it for what it is and tell me to go get laid elsewhere. Never really tried the friends with benefits thing. Pretty sure my drama queenitude would suck at it.

  27. in the midst of this. venus in leo retrograde. he made the first move. the feelings are strong between us and acting on it would upend multiple lives. it sucks.

  28. I’ve always had male friends and always been cluelessly caught off guard to discover some had deeper feelings. Nothing ever came of any of them, I suppose because I didn’t feel the same, and the “friendships” would eventually dissolve. Is that my Venus in Aries at work?

    Anyway, still smarting from an incident last summer with a longtime (5+ years) friend. Mutually affectionate, admiring, highly connected friendship, easy camaraderie – me occasionally wishing for more but knowing it wouldn’t, couldn’t happen at this time as he had a gf. Never a clue that he had anything other than platonic interest in me. Presto-chango, one night all the stars and planets in the universe aligned just so, we were attending the same fun party, (the gf was out of town) and he literally swept me off my feet with passionate declarations of his attraction “since always”, yadda-yadda, kissy-kissy, huggy-huggy. We ended up in his bed.

    Months of periodic heart-to-hearts later and a couple more close calls, he’s still with the gf, and I’m wounded and wary. He’s resistant to completely cutting ties, because I’m “so important” to him and he “values our friendship”, while complete avoidance sounds good to me for now, yet not likely given the many intersecting relationships in our lives. Meh.

  29. I wanted to toss out the opposite, not to be contrary, but to add a placement out there where this has never happened…my chart has Venus in Virgo (in it’s Fall) in 5th, square Uranus in the 7th (conjunct Mars in Scorpio in 7th). I have a few very close, long-term male friends, where there certainly has been attraction, but it’s as if unspoken boundaries exist between us both where we would never dare ruin a great friendship. If I want to enter into a relationship with a guy or he wants one with me, it has to start out as romantic first, and then the friendship can grow, otherwise there seems to come this point of no return into the Friendzone.

  30. ugh. this topic is the bane of my existence.

    a) i make it very clear it’s friendship, i make it clear that there will be no hitting on each other or we’re not friends from the start because i’m not into people faking friendship when they are actually interested in the person romantically. i mean, if they can’t be upfront and honest with themselves about their emotions or romantic intentions then what chance of friendship or a romantic relationship is there anyway?

    b) fake friends who secretly have a crush and they hit on me with no invitation at all, then i have to revert to a and tell them to take a hike until they get over it or learn to draw the line.

    c) friends and we feel a romantic attraction and the feelings are mutual, then we can try to build a romantic relationship and go from there.

    d) friends – clearly treat each other as friends respectfully from the start, no silly business. if they can’t respect my values, they aren’t my friend.

    to be clear, i don’t flirt ridiculously and blur the line with friends. i make it a point not to. joking and talking is one thing, but we’re all adults and know where the line is between joking and flirting with intent.

    i have serious beef with women who blur the lines on purpose and pretend to be open and eccentric and “sexy” when really they are just feeding their insecurities and neediness. can you say insane attention-whore who gets her kicks off teasing people? i had an ex-guy friend who became friends with a woman like this a few years after we were friends. he slowly became needy and ridiculous too and decided my acting like an adult with boundaries wasn’t as fun.

    Venus in Aries – I’m guessing this is where the direct attitude comes in – trine Saturn – well-defined rules when it comes to my heart. No funny business allowed!

  31. all shades of everything… people making plays, friends becoming controlling and obsessed, nutty behavior (crazy gluing my lock)… you end up having to peel people off you kindly and if they get really crazy, you have to back burner them, sometimes forever. most of the time it’s fine… I’ve got venus asc merc conjunct in gemini, nice to have a balance of male and female friends.. you can’t sleep with all of them but it’s great to have them in your life, right?

  32. Me,Virgo with Venus in Leo, Him, Scorpio with Venus in Scorpio. “Friends” who saw/hung out with each other virtually every day for about 6 months….no moves on me at all. Then, one day, he looked at me funny…you know the “look” when a guy wants to kiss you, but I wasn’t ready, cause, he was just a “friend”. It really freaked me out and then the next day, I was bothered by it a lot, so I just asked him…”hey, do you like me?” and with that, he was on top of me literally!!! No more questions asked…..We lasted about a year, and we have been in touch and friends now for about 17 years or so. We still flirt and still have a lot in common. He told me he broke up with me because I was a pushover…there was no fight in me and no opinions about anything. lol Now that I am older, I DO have opinions and fight in me, and he likes that. I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I do enjoy his friendship.

  33. Well, it´s happening to me right now so i won´t go into many details.I just feel I have to be extra careful if I don´t want to end up in a real mess.I´m a double Sag with Venus in Cap, conjunct the sun of the composite with this guy (pisces w venus in aries)

  34. Too many times to count! Relatives, teachers, married men, homosexual friends I’ve supposedly ‘turned straight’ and vice versa… It’s horrible, and sometimes dangerous. I’ve actually stopped befriending members of the opposite sex as a result, but as you can see from above, this still leaves room for trouble. I have venus in pisces and really bad boundaries.

  35. I´d like to add that I totally relate to ariel when she says “I think sometimes when people are feeling lonely and afraid, they start thinking about the people in their lives who make it bearable, and the emotion can become twisted to thinking it’s a different kind of love.”

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