Can Men and Women Really Just be Friends?

by eHarmony Staff

Can Men and Women Really Just be Friends?

It is a question that men and women alike have been wondering and asking for ages: Is it possible for men and women to just be friends? Relationships are usually a bit more complex than a simple yes or no answer, and it’s easy to look at this question from both sides of the fence!

Society Says…

 

The truth is that we evolve in our relationships as things change, and people’s opinions on what is “normal” also evolve. For instance, not too long ago, the typical role for the majority of women was to be at home taking care of the house and children – while the majority of men were out in the world, working. Couples married earlier and although male/female friendships existed, they weren’t common.

These days, diversity is much more accepted by society, and a male/female friendship doesn’t create the scandalous rumors the way it would have then. This allows men and women a better opportunity to be “just friends,” and it’s much more common now.

Media and Hollywood Influence…

 

Although society may approve, the media doesn’t necessarily agree. Unfortunately, a platonic relationship between a man and a woman wouldn’t be as interesting as if those people hungrily fell into each other’s open arms.

It probably wouldn’t be as exciting to watch a man and a woman meet at the gym to work out together, grab a bite to eat and then return home as it would be to watch them have a shocking affair or fall in love. Hollywood and the media also have a big influence on people and the way they feel and think about things. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that men and women can’t just be friends.

Yes and No…

 

The answer to the question really comes down to who the man is and who the woman is. There has to be a mutual respect for boundaries and a lot of trust in the relationship in order for it to remain platonic. While one pair of friends may always think of each other as family and may never have any other sort of attraction, another pair of friends may experience some sexual or emotional tension.

One man may be able to be friends with a woman for years without ever wanting the relationship to progress, while another man may consider taking his chances at something more. Everyone is different and there is a different kind of chemistry in each relationship.

So, What’s the Answer?

 

The answer is…it just depends. A woman could have a perfectly platonic relationship with one man, while there may be too much attraction with another man for it to remain on a friendship level.

Of course, you have to factor in the conscious decision, as well, because we are all responsible for our actions. You obviously don’t want to make a move on someone who has been your friend for years, or you could risk losing the friendship.

Then there is always the fact that you just can’t stop love from happening. Cupid’s arrow can strike at any time and can hit any two individuals. There are so many variables that it’s difficult to answer the question with a definitive yes or no.

However, if you’re in a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex and you feel perfectly comfortable in it, then for you, the answer to the question is a yes. As long as the boundaries are respected and feelings are considered, you may go on forever as “just friends.” No one can place friendship in a neat little container with a perfectly descriptive label! We are all different and the dynamics differ from one relationship to the next.

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