I don't believe that men and women can be just friends (for very long.)
Unless one of them is gay.
Or if they have no emotions, their minds are hearts are detached or they only want a f**k buddy. (That is like lighting matches and seeing how long you can hold one until it burns you.)You either make a move for a more solid relationship or get burned which is more likely. Both are a form of gambling.
First off, men don't understand how women communicate. And they can't interpret what a woman means either verbally or with body-language. Very few men can pick up on emotions, vibes or signals...unless they are emotion/energy vampires. Most people are terrified of commitment and being open emotionally, especially men, but quite a few women. Then again, when people have lived a long time and are familiar with both good relationships and also what it's like to be rejected a number of times, they tend to weigh the odds and opt out of taking a chance more often than not. Not worth the gamble with their hearts. Too painful. On the other hand, if they say they do want emotional intimacy, they just find some other excuse to keep their distance.
Secondly, sexual tension usually drives one of the opposite-sex-just-friends crazy and they tend to run away as fast as they can (or succumb to the temptation and make a mess of things.) Maybe it will eventually develop it into an affair, or a romance, or even a marriage. On the other hand it could result in a broken-heart. (Or a sad opinion of yourself as judged by someone who has refused your romantic attentions. My advice it keep it light-hearted until you know which way it's going.) The other way, i.e. forcing the issue too soon is like diving off a cliff, sometimes you land in the water, but more likely you will land on the rocks. Ouch.)
Perhaps the whole issue calls for some serious prayer time.
Actually if you read clues you can see what's coming. People have intuition, especially women. If it doesn't feel good or it's a little off, it's probably a mistake. Sticking out a friendship that isn't working is still a gamble but it can be like a drug or a game or contest -- sometimes you win but not often. And people bring their pasts and their baggage with them...they get into faulting each other based on what someone else might have done to them.
I guess opposite-sex friendships are doomed in the long run.
I am so glad I had the wonderful loving relationship with my late husband for the whole 22 years I knew him. And glad we were able to become friends after we were older, had been married for a long time (when he started going deaf, was worn out from working too hard and trying to make ends meet, and our love life was put on hold due to illnesses. Then he died. Without friendship we would have been miserable. We had a good foundation of unconditional, spiritual, love. Thank you, God. It was wonderful--just 22 years seems too short a time in a long life to be in love.)
As far as men of an older age, shall we say, that aren't interested in recruiting lovers among women their own age, "You have no idea what you are missing. Don't be so stupid. What are you waiting for, someone to throw the dirt over your coffin? Sorry, that'll be too late."
In fact, unless you men have the body of a Greek God and a wonderful, well-adjusted psyche, don't even think that women who aren't still 20 years old, and no longer pretty & shapely, aren't good enough for you. Maybe an older woman can offer more in the quality of a deep and equal relationship than a girl who's got the looks. Besides, how do you think the girls are gonna look 30 or 40 years from now? How will you look by then?
Does anybody, man or woman, want to be judged by looks? It's unkind. It could make us so self-conscious we'd all be incapable, if you know what I mean. Look around. There are very few movie-star beautiful people wandering around in reality.
The body is just a vehicle for the person: the heart, mind and soul. Why does it matter so much to you to have a perfect body? It's a useful tool to communicate with and touch the beauty in every person and experience. Use it or loose it.
Some guys are like dogs that chase cars. What would a chihuahua do with a Lexus if it caught one? Ha. Contrary to popular American thinking, women are not over the hill when they hit age 49. Like, if a guy has a pot-belly, where does he get off criticizing me for having one?
I HATE the double standard. Heck, I thought we handled all this back in 1965 or 1970--when was the sexual revolution?--forgodsake. And don't pretend it's okay to call a woman friend and tell her about all your young lovers (which we doubt are true anyway, and, hey buddy, it hurts even if we are "just friends." Even tho I believe just friends is a myth. We all want love which is just a glorified form of acceptance. My mentor Wally Minto said that love is allowing a person to be what they are and not what their not. I like that definition. I try to do that. If you want to disprove it, I'll take on your argument. (Add comments below, men and women.) Don't take this personally either, I might not mean YOU you. More like the universal you. All of us.
Disclaimer: This is my opinion as a writer and is, in no way, intended to be based on my own life, nor to reflect negatively on any person alive or dead. And absolutely not meant to be a psychological or scientific article, diagnosis for your problems, nor advice. You're on your own, kids, just like I am. Good luck.
Read my personal comment below. And feel free to send me a comment. Looking forward to it.