A young woman recently wrote to Dear Abby about a problem she incorrectly felt was unique. On the contrary, the same situation she discussed has caused awkwardness since the Stone Age.
She and a male friend had been hanging out for three years, attending movies and having dinner. They got along very well, but he never became romantic with her. She asked Abby what she could do to move the relationship to something more romantic, to which Abby replied that her situation was hopeless.
However, there is something the letter writer could do. She could write a song about the futility of being a friend to someone you would rather romance. The result would not bring her the guy, but it would surely be therapeutic.
Dozens of others have written songs about wishing to romance a friend, and here are ten of the most well-known.
“Don’t Expect Me to Be Your Friend” by Lobo
The folksinger had much chart success in the early seventies, but none was as enduring as this heartbreaking look from a guy who has to watch the girl he loves treat him only as a friend.
“Maureen” by Fountains of Wayne
This track was the biggest single from the Out of State Plates compilation of non-album tracks, such as “I Want an Alien for Christmas” and “Man in the Santa Suit” as well as an amusing cover of Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again.”
“We’re Just Friends” by Wilco
The title Jeff Tweedy gave this song from Summerteeth says it all, though his vocal itself exudes heartbreak.
“More than Friends” by Estelle
This non-single was brighter than the hits on Shine, the 2007 album on which pal Kanye West appeared.
“More than Just Friends” by Mariah Carey
This hit may offer the best view of the situation from a female in search of intimacy with a pal.
“Just Friends” by Jason Reeves
The young artist has been deemed pop, rock, and blue eyed soul. The one description he has not been ascribed is that of a friend become lover, according to this track.
“I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend” by Scotty McCreery
The country singer won American Idol in 2011, and on this tune he hopes to win a lover instead of a she-pal.
“I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend” by Pat Benetar
She once sang “Love a Is a Battlefield,” but it could be even more hurtful when it is a friend you have fallen in love with.
“I Wanna Be Your Lover” by the Cascades
The group had a handful of hits in the sixties, and this is one of the earliest times to address the plight of a guy wanting romance instead of a friend.
“Spell It Out” by Toro Y Moi
Group leader Chaz Bundick is quite frank with his love interest/friend when he asks, “Do I need to spell it out? We need to get together” on this track from What For.