Can men and women be friends?

“I kept thinking about you last night, and the other day I almost called my boyfriend by your name. I don’t know, it’s just, when he cheated on me, you were there for me. Since then, I can’t stop thinking about you. Maybe we shouldn’t be friends because I don’t want anything to accidentally happen between us.”

A lady friend of mine from college gave me that little speech about a year into our friendship.

Honestly, she kind of pissed me off by assuming that because she had developed feelings for me, that I had developed feelings for her also.

I hadn’t.

I had just tried to be a good friend when she called me in tears because her boyfriend had sex with some girl that was homeless. Yes, homeless.

This has happened to me repeatedly. I become friends with a girl and eventually, one of a few things happen.

#1 One of us develop feelings.

Either I or the young lady begin to like the other romantically.

#2: One of us starts dating someone new.

Either I or my friend develop a new romantic relationship. The new significant other has a problem with the friendship, and the friendship is swiftly destroyed.

Or, my friend feels as though they can’t maintain our friendship and be in a relationship at the same time, and they choose to end the friendship.

Some version of those two things has happened to me EVERY TIME I’ve had a friend that was a woman.

So I gave up on having women friends. To hell with it. They never want to watch wrestling with me anyway.

However, I’m sure somewhere out there is a guy and girl who are in a perfectly happy and healthy platonic relationship.

But like many other answerers have said, men and women being friends is hard as hell.

19 Replies to “Can men and women be friends?”

  1. In my life, I have had many friendships with straight men.

    Here’s how they have gone:

    80% OF THE TIME:

    They’re my friend but secretly they had/have attraction to me. They care for me deeply but the line isn’t clear cut.

    They may never have done anything about this but we both know the attraction is there.

    This can be conscious or subconscious.

    These guys tend to either not make any effort to get to know my boyfriend OR they make too much effort to befriend him (overcompensating).

    10% OF THE TIME:

    I secretly have had feelings/attraction for them. Lines were crossed (usually when we were drunk)

    Subconscious feelings dribbled out leading to awkward situations.

    10% OF THE TIME:

    This is a genuine friendship. We both have different physical tastes in who we like and have no romantic/sexual interest in one another. We closely resemble a brother/sister relationship.

    They give me a sense of stability and I am always there for them emotionally without any fear of repercussions. This relationship is one of the healthiest in my life.

    These guys want to get to know my boyfriend and I actively make effort with their girlfriends.

    #

    So my answer is that a girl and a boy CAN be friends. But most of the time, a female/male friendship is complicated.

  2. Well it's not an Objective question or neither the Answer is!!!!

    I went through many answers, people saying, I have "n" no of best friends (of opposite gender).

    Here I am going to stress upon the "BEST FRIEND" as key.

    If you are including "CASUAL FRIENDS", the answer is "YES" for sure. All of us must have many causal friends of opposite gender in real life, as in the form of classmates, mutual friends, family friends, colleagues, neighbors etc.
    And the answer ends here.
    ———*********———-

    But if it’s best friend, I have doubt. As the best, titles a single person (At-least as per English Grammar).

    I still remember one story about true friendship from "Chandamama Stories" (Used to read this monthly in my childhood). 
    That was about a Father and his rake Son. The son was spoiling his life with his vague friends n bragging about them as his best friends.
    The father decided one day to make him upright and puts his son in a very difficult situation. He tells his son to seek help from friends to test friendship. But surprisingly no body helps in his miserable situation. Later the father sends his son to his only best friend, to edify about true friendship, who helps him without hesitation.
    *Keeping it short, don’t want to bore with Friendship story*.

    Remember this “Cadbury Gems BFF Best Friend” adv. 

    Or
    You may watch Hindi movie “HUM TUM” Hum Tum (2004) (One of my favorite), which is kind of based on this Question. or the popular movie "The Ugly Truth" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1142

    My point is…. it's very difficult to find out a single true friend in these days, and if it's of other gender, at-least one of them must have subtle or strong feeling for other.
    As the friendship grows stronger, you start catch feeling for other and love grows proportionally.

    Without having feelings for other, you can't stand for them against all odds, care for them, share with them your very secret and support them at their hard times.

    In general people may lie for various reasons or they simply don't recognize it.

    Why?????

    I don't have any conclusive answer. (As you know the mind reading machine is still a subject of experiment.)
    But the truth is ineluctable.

    Hope you got the answer. 🙂
    All this is, just my perception which can be in different!!!
    Any suggestions are most Welcome.  😀

  3. Dear Aimon,

    Absolutely men and women can be friends! Over the years, from my time studying Physics & Maths at university to befriending neighbours and colleagues, I've become very fond of (in a platonic way) men in much the same way as I feel about female friends.

    I'll give you an example:

    I met my boss, Vishal, two years ago. We pretty much have lunch together everyday. Usually we will sit and eat while watching a documentary ranging from science, religion, politics, culture on his phone.

    Other times we will have a laugh and a joke about Asian culture. His parents are Indian Punjabi and mine Pakistani Punjabi. As second generation British born Asians we can relate to many things:

    Him: “I have a bad back.”

    Me: “As a kid, my dad used to make me take off my shoes and walk on his back. It was really odd.”

    Him: “That's not odd, my dad used to make me do the same thing. I wish I had a small kid right now.”

    Me: “Lol”

    Him: “My dad was really strict on education. His motto: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

    Me: “My dad said the exact same thing!”

    Him: “Not surprised, Asian parents love discipline.”

    Him: “Open your hands. I will give you some coconut butter.”

    Me: “Love the smell, reminds me when my mum would massage coconut oil on my scalp as a kid.”

    Him: “My grandmother did the same thing.”

    Me: “What did your parents call you?”

    Him: “Beta” and you?

    Me: “Beti”

    Me: “Do you call everyone Aunty and Uncle?”

    Him: “Yes”

    Me: “My favourite fruit is mangoes from the subcontinent – the yellow ones.”

    Him: “Same”

    Me: “Are you religious?”

    Him: “Yes, I'm a Hindu, but I don't really talk about it in front of people, as they poke fun at believers. You?”

    Me: “No, but I respect that you have faith. It's ok if you want to talk about it.”

    Him: Pointing at the window. “Look at that guy shouting at the road sweeper. That poor man is doing his best, I hate people who look down their nose at others less fortunate.”

    Me: “Yes, there's no need for that behaviour.”

    Me: “Who was that guy who just walked into the office.”

    Him: “A Pakistani man who looks like my father's age, wanted money for train ticket. So I went to cash machine and gave him £100. You never know when that might be you, so help people if you're in a position to.”

    Me: “That's nice of you. Same sentiment as what my parents taught me.”

    Me: “Look at Pakistanis and Indians fighting on Quora. I'm glad there are no borders in the West.”

    Him: “Me too. I think ignorance exists on both sides. The problem in the subcontinent is that you are judged not as an individual but as a group, either by religion or whether you are Indian or Pakistani. In the West, generally we don't define people by these labels.”

    Him: “What do you think of the partition?”

    Me: “Too many people suffered. Ideal world should have kept everyone together. Religion and state separate.”

    Him: “Agreed.”

    For my birthday this week, he asked me where do I want to go. There was only one place we've been a couple of times as an office, my favourite Indian restaurant in London, Dishoom:

    Him: “I'm organising it for the office not on your birthday but Friday so everyone can stay out late. The deal is I choose the dishes a mix of vegetarian and meat, as you're useless at making decisions and I know what you like.”

    Me: “Lol”

    I got spoilt. I was so full I couldn't eat the next day. He got the waiters to sing happy birthday and put a candle on the dessert 🙂

    He also made a speech as we had some bad news earlier in the week, that I will no longer be reporting to him as a boss, but we will still be colleagues. He thanked me for having his back when people were being difficult when he first joined.

    I grew up in a White community, and while I love my friends there are certain cultural differences they cannot relate to like second generation Asians can.

    He is happily in love with his long term girlfriend, whom I've met and get along really well with. I’d say we’re more like brother and sister. He will have an opinion on anyone I'm dating. Him: “Make him respect you. Don't date time wasters. Sounds like he treats you well.” He's strict and expects a hard work ethic, but fun outside of that. We’re firm friends.

    Thanks for the A2A.

    Kind regards,

    Abi

  4. Can Men and Women be friends? – A big Yes!
    Can they continue being friends after marriage? – It depends!

    Here is my personal story. I had this good friend back during college who was 4-5 years elder to me. Lets call him Arjun. We were introduced through a mutual friend. I was pursuing my BE and he was working as an Engineer after his MS. We had this great rapport which lets us discuss pretty much everything in life. About science, fiction, life, God, nature, our past relationships, career etc. My day wouldn't end without sharing. Our folks knew us quite well and didn't bother even if our calls went longer than usual even into late evening. Both our family had their doubts about us.But we were good friends. Nothing less, Nothing more.

    Fast forward few years, they starting looking for wedding proposals for Arjun and I was in college final year. I was excited and certainly loved our conversations about his match and proposals he was receiving. Meanwhile, I have this two best friends from school and they were looking alliance for one of the girl. Lets call her Priya.
     Long story short, I sort of played cupid for Arjun and Priya who belonged to same community and they eventually got engaged and an arranged married. My joy knew no bounds and I remember being in tears as he tied the Mangal sutra on her. I was dreaming on how awesome can life be with both my friends marrying each other!

    Fast forward few years, they are happily married with a child. But my friendship with him? Nope. Things changed over night. No more calls from him, he seldom responds to my messages (Note, i was not intrusive of their privacy and was trying to reach out only months after their wedding). I check with Priya (from school friend) and I checked with him whether everything was fine. Both just smile and claim everything is cool. Every time they spoke, they called as a couple spoke for few mins and hung up.I remember being hurt, let down and puzzled over their strange behavior.

    However over the years I sort of figured out that his new wife doesn't entertain friends who are girls. Even if that girl is her best friend from school or the one who brought them together! Or this friend doesn't have the balls stand up to his wife. Whatever be it, iam glad I was instrumental in bringing them together.They are happy together, that's all matters.

    This experience gave me a take away for my future marriage (I was unmarried then)
    1. How "Not" to be an insecure prick if my future husband would have a friend who is a woman
    2.How not to let down a Male friend because my future husband would have second thoughts of me continuing my friendship after marriage.

    Now that iam married, I can strongly say Iam standing by my learning.
    Thanks for reading.

  5. Nope.

    Unless One of them is FRIENDZONED by the other.

    Following is a excahnge from the movie, When Harry Met Sally:

    Harry Burns: Would you like to have dinner?… Just friends.
    Sally Albright: I thought you didn't believe men and women could be friends.
    Harry Burns: When did I say that?
    Sally Albright: On the ride to New York.
    Harry Burns: No, no, no, I never said that… Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can… This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted… That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends.

  6. Depends on the guy and the girl.

    There are lots of people who will tell you that men and women can't be friends, or can't be close friends. They are absolutely right…for them. Many people have poor social skills, or attitudes of entitlement, or a starvation mindset about love and sex.

    Those people will have a difficult time being friends with folks they're attracted to.

    On the other hand, people who understand that attraction in one person's part does not constitute an obligation on another person's part, who have good social skills, and who recognize that opportunities for love and connection are abundant, absolutely can be friends–even close, intimate friends–with members of another sex.

  7. It is possible.

    As User-11382914805573998567 mentioned, I can account for at least one male friendship I have that is strictly platonic. And there are many others. In fact, I have maintained at least 8-10 close platonic male friendships over the course of the past 10-15 years, and none of them materialized into a hook-up or relationship.

    Why?

    1. I don't send signals or make moves unless I am prepared for or truly want the outcomes that may follow. Of course I can be a bit flirty and I enjoy a compliment here or there (and love giving them as well), but I create a line and I live on one side of it in order to keep things as I like them. Most people understand what to/not to do if you do/do not want to enter into a sexual or romantic relationship with another person.

    2. I mostly have male friendships with guys I'd never date anyways. As an avid conversationalist and frequent knowledge seeker, I just enjoy being around people who have interesting perspectives and a genuine desire to talk and think through a range of topics. As I've found men who are capable of performing that function, I've usually found something on the other end that I considered incompatible with what I want in a boyfriend/husband. Whether it was physical attraction or downright being turned off by their behavior/stance on specific topics/inability to be emotionally mature, something has almost always stood in the way.

    3. If I wanted to be in a relationship with one of these guys, I totally would have gone for it, and immediately. As a person who is extremely romantic and truly measures attraction as a matter of chemistry, I would never be able to be just friends with someone I wanted sexually or romantically. For me, attraction is black and white. Of course, over the course of getting to know someone there could be a change of heart or new information could make it possible to develop a chemistry, but I live a pretty defined life as far as relationships go, so I am not really a likely candidate for The Big Reveal four years into a close friendship with a guy.

    A short confession:

    I have had brief crushes on two of my close guy friends over the course of my years in male friendships, and when they occurred, I withdrew. These crushes were fleeting and happened when I was lonely/feeling needy. I knew better than to jeopardize these amazing relationships and stayed away until either of the men in question were safely out of reach (see: in committed relationships) or I was more secure and confident in my own dating life.

    What is this a lesson about?

    Self-control. People who aren't able to control themselves, are victims to temptation and lovers of impulse will likely have a very difficult time being in a relationship with a person from the sex they are attracted to. I think I have been successful in my ways because I'm typically quite principled and am good at putting a lid on the temporary by being mindful about consequences and factoring those consequences into decisions I make.

    That's not to say it's irresponsible to engage in sexual/romantic relationships with "just friends" — it's just a good explanation for why I've never converted a "just friend" into a more-than or a used-to-be-but-then-we-hooked-up.

  8. Can heterosexual men and women truly be friends with no hopes or expectations of anything more?

    In my own personal experience, the answer is definitely yes!

    As Mac Friday so eloquently pointed out, it takes two to tango. Communication is important for any relationship, friendship or otherwise. Always communicating intentions and feelings to the other person is important so that both parties feel secure.

    I have had many close male friends, some who ended up being interested in a relationship and some who are still my closest friends. Another, as it turned out, was only interested in being my friend because he wanted to date my closest female friend at the time. People will be deceptive; male or female, everyone lies sometimes.

    This doesn't mean that men and women can't be friends. The conclusion I would come to from this isn't that the gender difference is prohibitive. It's that certain people will be deceptive and others won't. It's just as easy to find nice, caring male friends as it is to find shallow female friends who are using you for some other reason.

    My male friends, I feel, provide me with a different kind of friendship than I can get from female friends. I discuss music, politics, favorite concerts and bands, philosophy, and psychology with my male friend. We often walk to the beach and talk, and no sexual inclinations have ever been implied. With my female friends, I get emotional support, life advice, and a non-judgmental ear about my problems; I do the same for them. We have our favorite TV shows and “wine and whine” night that I'm sure would drive my male friends crazy! 🙂

    The point is, limiting oneself to only one gender when it comes to close platonic friendships means excluding 50% of the population: a whole group of people that might enrich your life if you gave them a chance.

    Being afraid of hurting a male friend’s feelings if they come on to you is a perfectly natural fear, just as feeling disappointed if a supposed male friend turns out to have an ulterior motive is a reasonable reaction. But being open minded and giving people a chance contributes to the adventure of life.

    I hope this was helpful!

  9. Why, of course, yes! What else would I name my relationship with my dear friend R.

    R and I met in 2012 through a common friend and from the get go, I HATED him.

    This was no cheap quality I’ll-pelt-pebbles-at-you-from-a-distance-and-run-away hate. It was hardcore If-I-get-a-free-pass-at-murder-I’ll-smother-you-to-death-and-laugh-at-your-stupid-face hate.

    But it is almost unbelievable how time brought us this far where, today, R is one of my closest, most dearest friends and I absolutely LOVE him.

    We have shared so much with each other over the years. Been together through the worst and the best of times.

    We know each other’s most embarrassing secrets. We know how stupid the other can get. We are aware of some fatal flaws in each other’s character.

    We have shared our deepest sorrows and painful regrets.

    We have, quite literally, laughed together and cried together (He does the cutest thing of bringing a tissue and wiping my tears. And then goes to say ‘cry it all out, I’ll hold you till you’re done’. And he really does do that).

    We have gotten drunk together, seen movies together, played video games together, gone on late night walks, spend nights talking, met and have spoken to each other’s parents.. and so much more!

    Don’t get me wrong, we still fight. A lot of leg-pulling, name-calling happens. It is bitter-sweet.

    He, very often, does things that make me want to put his head through a wall. For example, he was the perpetrator of the Kangaroo-testicle prank where he, very proudly, rubbed authentic kangaroo balls on my face. I mean, who does that? (I have an answer on this somewhere that I can’t at the moment find)

    I return the favor by describing his epic-fails here in my answers. He often ends his conversation with “Please, don’t tell Quora about this! Or at least make me look like a Hero” (Apparently, writing gives me some kind of power over him)

    Despite all these wonderful memories, we are friends and are just that. Nothing more. There isn’t the slightest romance.

    We love each other but we are not in love with each other. We are two people, a man and a woman, who are the best of friends.

    Here’s us —

    And here's me asking his permission (to post his picture and write this answer)

  10. Yes! Definitely!

    It actually depends upon both the person.

    Let me come to my story now.

    Me and A became friends in first few days of B-Com college in Belagavi. Initial few months, we were just hi-bye friends. Until in December, we both cleared CA-CPT exam. And we both had plans to go to Pune for CA-IPCC tuitions. And we had to be in Pune for atleast 6 months thereon. We both enrolled into same institutes in Pune for CA-IPCC classes.

    The 2nd day after our classes began, we had come down to a cafe where we could eat something as we were very hungry. I don't know what struck into my mind at that moment but I told her “you know, I read somewhere that a boy and a girl can never be best friends”. And her reaction at that moment was “we'll prove it wrong”. I just smiled.

    We continued to go to classes together. I don't know, for some reason, we both hated each other. Both knew it but never said it in each other's face. As an introvert, I didn't have anyone in Pune except her as a friend and she didn't have anyone except me. So I had to be with her as even her parents had asked me to take care of her and I too loved and respected her parents.

    Time passed by and we used to go together to classes everyday and eventually we shared our sadness and happiness and our friendship grew. She already had a boyfriend before coming to Pune and I had a huge crush on her best friend. So there were many things to discuss with her.

    Later, after completing our classes in Pune, we came back to Belagavi. We were best friends and knew each other very well by that time.

    Nowadays we rarely talk as we are in a different cities, and because of some misunderstandings and well. But I would give my life to her if necessary. She was there with me when I had nobody in the city. I really don't know if I would even complete 6 months in Pune if she wasn't there with me. I'll definitely be there for her in any situation till my last breath.

    PS: I love you! (There is more meaning to love!) 🙂

  11. Yes, they can! I wonder what made you feel that a real friendship is impossible between a guy and a girl.

    Let me give you my own example here. I have 4 male best friends who I am comfortable with sharing everything that happens in my life.

    Two of them are my childhood friends (apparently 20 year old friendship). I have shared almost all my worries, happy moments and secrets with them. I am comfortable in telling them the secrets which I might feel uncomfortable to share with my female friends. They are more like the brothers I never had – who tease me around, snatch things from me, fight with me; but support me every time I hit the bottom. They are my lifesavers!! 🙂 🙂

    The third one, (who also follows me on Quora :P) is my best friend who used to live in the same city as I. He works for the same organization as I, but is based in different location now. We are two exactly opposite people even in behavioral aspects – he is a total introvert, and I am an ambivert – I talk a lot to people who I am comfortable with (he might strongly disagree on ambivert statement, but this is my answer, so I would like to keep it this way :P). Yes, I do feel comfortable in sharing everything with him. I ask for his opinions in certain topics, where I feel that I might not take the right decision. Yes, he is my agony aunt, and I know he will stick by me in thick and thins. I call him my intellectual friend – who I can debate with on almost any topic.

    The fourth one is my colleague. He works in the same department as I. We share a lot of things in common- we like similar kind of food, we like to travel, we both like music (he sings!), we like to talk (I – a bit more than him :P), same birth months (only two days gap between our respective birthdays, though he is a year older than I am), etc. Even with him, I can share anything and everything. It would not be an overstatement if I call him my soulmate who understands me like almost no one does.

    To sum it all up, YES! A girl and a guy can be best friends and NOT have anything fishy going on between them. And yes, I personally feel that it is never about gender, caste, or anything else.. Friendship just needs two people who can trust, love and accept each other fully, including the negatives (and of course, the positives too!!) 🙂

  12. The question asks: Is it possible for a male and female to be "just" close friends?

    I propose the following:

    1. I am male.
    2. Jennifer Pritchett is female.
    3. We are close friends who have not had, do not have nor intend to have a romantic relationship. We are both extremely happy with this relationship.

    I can personally attest to #1. I have very good reason to believe that #2 is true, but I would ask that Ms. Pritchett confirm this herself. (Perhaps in the comments?)

    As for #3, I can attest that we've not had nor do we currently have a romantic relationship. Personally, I do not intend to enter into a romantic relationship with her in the future. I would consider our friendship close, and I would also say that I am extremely happy with it. Again, I would ask that Ms. Pritchett confirm those last points.

    Now given Ms. Pritchett's confirmation (now in the comments below!), you have before your very eyes (through the power of Internet) a male and female who are just close friends. YES! It is possible!

  13. Actually yes, men and women can be friends. I haven't watched JHMS so I won't speak on that but I'll tell you what I've learned empirically.

    Men and women can be best of friends. They grow close together so fast, it's amazing.

    Sometimes it happens that one of the two starts developing some feelings for the other that makes them cross the line. As long as this situation is not developing, men and women can be badass friends.

    Since I have always believed in this theory, I've never developed such feelings for my girl-friends.

    Contrary to the Indian belief and common saying of Hasi To Phasi (You are set of she laughs) I have always believed that if a girl is laughing around you, that doesn't necessarily mean that she's interested in taking things to the next level or pitching sex there. It just means that she wants to be friends with you as well. This is what I believe though.

    I would be lying if I say the otherwise hasn't happened to me. Sometimes, even with me, it has happened that I grew close to a girl with the believe that we're good friends but later on, it turned out that she was infatuated or had a crush. When these things first happened, things went south for that friendship. A lot of my friendships have been ruined because of this. We were so close. I almost miss them.

    But, to answer your questions, yes, they can be friends!

    I have too many girl-friends!

    Cheers!

  14. tl;dr: Assuming you are talking about heterosexual men and women: Of course platonic friendships are possible. Given the inevitable tensions, they just tend to demand a mix of self-awareness and restraint.

    Evolutionary psychology (which is where I always turn when it comes to questions of human nature) suggests that platonic relationships between the sexes are likely to be fraught with risk. Here are just a few of them:

    • Unrequited love (Males): One of the big evolutionary prerogatives of the heterosexual male is to find a mate who is relatively unlikely to become impregnated with another male's sperm. Straight women who are capable of platonic friendships with straight men tend to fall into this category, so assuming she is also passably physically attractive, a such a woman makes an ideal mate. Because of this, there is a risk that the male side of the friendship will fall in love with the girl, but find his feelings unreciprocated. Friendships involving unrequited love are unsustainable.
    • Unrequited love (Females): Given the burdens of pregnancy (and the mortal risks faced during childbirth in earlier eras), the worst evolutionary outcome for a woman is to get impregnated by a guy who then takes off. A male friend who consistently demonstrates the positive values of friendship (loyalty, etc) therefore looks like a relatively safe bet. If the woman sees the safe bet as an ideal mate, but the man doesn't reciprocate the sentiment…see above.
    • Jealousy from existing mates: Fending off the competition is one of the big evolutionary goals of both sexes. No matter how much reassuring you do, there's a good chance that if you already have a significant other, he or she is reflexively going to see your friend as competition. The level of trust you have (and maintain over years) with your existing mate will determine whether or not the natural jealous tendencies we all share will strain or destroy your platonic friendship.
    • Falling into bed. Assuming unrequited love does not become an issue, it is perhaps inevitable that sexual tensions will arise between heterosexual friends of the opposite sex. The potential for these and other moments of weakness to lead to the bedroom is arguably the biggest risk facing long term male/female friendships.

    If this array of risks sounds daunting, that's because it is. But we live with an insane amount of risk every day and most of it is out of our control. If we weren't fundamentally capable of stocking cabinets of china while living on fault lines, life for all of us would be a story of unending dread.

    But unlike the risk of being buried alive in the rubble of your beautiful Bay Area home, the risks of friendships with the opposite sex are entirely in your hands.

    You just need the wisdom to know the limitations of our nature and the restraint to not let these limitations define you.

  15. It depends on the current status of the two. Its natural for Humans to have a tendency of getting attracted to the opposite gender. Till they find one, there's always a search going on.. If both the guy & the girl are in their own SMOOTH committed relationships, then they'll already have a partner & so, they can easily be best friends. But if both of them are single, there are very good chances of the two falling for each other in the course of being friends. Well, this kinda situation isn't problematic because if both begin to like each other, they can get together. But say the girl is committed & the guy is single & the guy begins liking the girl who however considers him to be her friend.. In that case, the girl starts feeling uncomfortable being friends with the guy who starts feeling for her. The guy on the other hand can't digest the fact that the girl is with someone else. This makes the situation awkward for both of them & eventually the distance between them increases & their friendship gets ruined. Also the girl's bf can get uncomfortable with her being friends with a guy who likes her.. That may cause the friendship to end. The only way to be friends is that neither of the two nurtures feelings beyond friendship for the other. Even if one is single, he/she should be happy for the other who's in a relationship & shouldn't ever try to destroy the other's relationship. This way the friendship will work out wonderfully. I'm a girl, I've more close male friends than female friends.. & I can say that it works perfectly because we all know what we share is friendship & nothing beyond it

  16. Old-school heterosexual men have a particularly hard time being “just friends” with women but, of course, it is perfectly possible. All depends on heterosexual men attitudes towards female friends.

    The macho’s estimation of how attractive he could be to his female friends usually has nothing to do with reality. In fact, it has to do mainly with how the macho himself feels and thinks. Let me give you an example, the friendship between gay men and straight women has been sterotyped but not the friendship between straight men and lesbians because of the hegemonic masculinity. Our genetics drive our attraction to the opposite sex but the belief that men and women cannot be friends is more a social construction than something biological. It comes from a period in which men were at work and women were at home and the only way a man could be alone with a woman was for dating and flirting. It is a matter of knowing and respecting the boundaries. It is a matter of adaptation to an inclusive masculinity.

    I am in a happy and satisfying relationship with my lovely wife. When there are strong professional or interest reasons to be friends, male, female or transgender does not matter for her or for me. I got used to seeing women as people, not objects or potential romantic captures, and it has helped me to create more healthy relations. Should we feel jealous? No way. Jealousy is a combination of possessiveness and lack of self-confidence, this is, jealousy is about oneself, not about the others.

    Finally, mind that there are good reasons for an heterosexual man to be a true friend of a woman and nothing else: you get a different perspective and sensitivity, your language and opinions become more respectful. What is more, men are pretty bad at making friends as they get older with consequences for health and life expectancy. Cutting down our potential true friends, just because they are women, seems to me a luxury we cannot afford.

  17. The Answer to your question can’t be a simple Yes or NO, but it most definitely is a complicated YES.

    Pure Friendship can stand long between two people of the opposite sex, provided they are not influenced by what others say (sounds easy, but isn’t so) and also treat their relationship (as a friend) like just any other.
    Our society (Indian and other sex sensitive/eccentric nations) have one common ideology – “ek jawaan ladka aur ek jawan ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte” ( A young boy and a young girl can never be just friends” – by Monish Bahl (Bad Guy in a Bollywood movie). You have to realize that no matter how absurd, ridiculous and out of this world this world it may appear, it is the harsh reality. You also need to realize( this point being more important) that the society needs to change, and they can change only when we break these age old shackles and do not have to think about the gender of a person as a criteria for being a friend.
    I think I have deviated from answering your question and have moved on to a twisted path of a social lecture. So coming back to the topic – I see no reason why a man and a woman (not joined in the bonds of holy matrimony) cannot have a long lasting friendship, it is going to be tough, they need to convince their near and dear ones about their friendship, but if it is pure then I don’t see any reason for it to fade away/break. You don’t need a petition or candle light march to prove your friendship, what you need is a stable state of mind and good vocabulary to explain/outsmart/outspeak (if that is a word) those who comment/have doubts about your friendship, and help them realize that since they are the misogynists/ idiots/ sexists of this era, it does not give them the right to dictate your personal life.

    On a personal note, I have studied in about 7 different schools all across India mostly coed (not because I was expelled or had to flee the city under a new name, you see, my Father is in a transferrable job), went to an engineering college (coed again) and work in an MNC (with over 40% women professionals and number's increasing). I have many friends and many of them are of the fairer sex. I consider many of the women I know as really dear friends, so either I’m dating all of them (\m/  \m/) or even better, I have the rare opportunity and I am truly lucky to have met these people whom I can trust and party with, without even thinking twice of which gender they belong to, and call them “Old” friends.

  18. Friends? Sure, friends not close friends. Close friends are defined as friends who spend copious amounts of time together and share feelings/thoughts freely.

    Long-term close platonic friendship with a reasonably attractive lady friend? Difficult, but not impossible. Women will say all kinds of sugar-coated, socially acceptable things like yes, it's possible and all. (And so do men, but anecdotally women generally more so. Just assume I mean that when I speak of women.) Perhaps they've made close guy friends and maintained it for many decades. But in reality, the ones that truly mean it or know they really mean it in the long run are in the minority.

    If you settle down and get a girlfriend, any close lady friends are awkward even if your SO is completely open. She has to fully accept and be open to you regarding a close platonic relationship with another woman. She might say she's cool with it, but women are sometimes fickle with what they say.

    She has to completely trust you. Trust is slowly built and it'll be easier to trust you with an unattractive lady friend or a guy than a close, attractive lady friend.

    She can't be jealous – ever. People inherently are jealous. It's in human nature. You'll likely have to spend much more time with your SO than your close lady friend or she will get suspicious or jealous. Less time means it's harder to maintain that close friendship

    If you ask me – to be fully open, completely trusting and never jealous is difficult for any human being. It's possible but why leave it to its own accord when you can make a wise choice from the start?

    To maintain that close platonic relationship with another woman who's attractive is going to even more time-consuming. I would avoid it if I could because you don't need BS in your life. Less hurdles means more success in life. All things equal, a close guy friend is better than a female friend. Going out with your bros for a drink sounds much more better than with a close female friend. 

    I'm not telling you to dismiss women as friends. Female friends are great to broaden your exposure to a woman's perspective of affairs. Just no close female friends, especially if they are attractive. In the long run, it's for the better. Unless you plan to be single until you die.

  19. Yes, Male and female can be in a potential platonic friendship, and I have been witnessing it for last few months now. Here I'm adjusting my glasses as I write this post while pinging my same friend over Whatsapp over 100 times about how I believe my boobs are uneven and how my crush is looking cute today.

    We met through some friends (If you know what I mean) during last week of September when I was leaving for Thailand, and we gelled well during my little week-long vacations over texts. Well, I was getting all the 'High school love' vibes from him, I believe he too was getting similar vibes. (Spoiler Alert: NO, THERE WERE NO VIBES AT ALL)

    We met, two people opposite to each other, sat and had coffee. He made it very clear that he was not interested in anything other than being friends to which, I surprisingly agreed because a part of me was still not over my cancer like former relationship. When you are in your 20s, little settled in life and overcoming complicated emotions and anxiety, it is hard to find the person you can gel with.

    It started with dinner together, to binge-watching TV series, it started revolving around shopping, and then it became more or less around getting done with work and meeting at each other's place and spending nights talking about things. Sometimes you just run into people you don't want to lose at all, you are fine under their halo and will do anything to protect it. And lastly, sometimes, you run into people you don't want to date or marry, you just want to hold on to them with no baggage or expectations.

    Fast forward from that CCD coffee, we have been on endless dinners, experimented around movies in the theatre, ate food we regretted, been on a jumpy bus to travel, shared problems and scars, homemade food, drama, funny videos, endless articles on films, start-ups, relationships, and funding. And heard each other snore to sleep after a hard day at work while watching some movie on TV.

    Interestingly, Yesterday we mentioned how we are almost like a couple. We share our fair share of likes and dislikes, love for food, excitement about traveling, learning new things every day and well, close to everything other than the fact that we don't share physical intimacy or sexual desires when it comes to each other. He has family commitments so he can't date; I find the concept of dating and being in relationship overrated, so I want to stay single. We are a fucked up generation; we love being lonely together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *