Can Men & Women REALLY Ever Be 'Just Friends'?

Love & Learn 10

Every since the world fell in love with When Harry Met Sally, people make the grand assumption that the movie was, indeed, true, and that men and women can't be friends because one of them will always have romantic -- or sexual -- feelings for the other.

I call BS.

As someone who's had a zillion guy friends in her life (even now!), I can't imagine myself feeling romantically or sexually attracted to them. That's because I have very clear boundaries about friends versus lovers.

Here's why I think men and women CAN (and SHOULD!) be friends!

Now, I've always been "one of the guys - with boobs," as my friend Evan glibly states. By that he means that I'm more comfortable having male friends -- not for the male attention, but because my brain is hardwired to relate better to men than to women.

It's unfortunate, but this HAS caused problems in other relationships for me. It's hard for a lot of folks to understand that two people of differing sexes can be friends without wanting to get down and dirty, and I don't KNOW how many jealous girlfriends I've had to reassure that I'm not trying to get with their man. It's not a lot of fun, and I always feel badly about it.

But, I explain to them, when I meet someone, I have two buckets in my head. One for friends and the other for possible romances. With my male friends, the moment I meet them (or within a few weeks), it becomes clear that I do not have romantic feelings for them, but that I'd like to become their friend. And friendships come with boundaries - sure, we can make sex jokes and horse around, but when it comes to getting it on? I'd much rather have sex with myself than my friend.

In the other bucket, obviously, go the other guys - the ones I may one day be able to date or, at the very least, have casual sex with. But once someone is dumped into the "friend" bucket, it's there they stay. Because I love my dude friends like I love butter, I'd never jeopardize my friendships with them to get my rocks off. I do know that once sex is involved, things change. So I don't. And I wouldn't.

Having guy friends is like having a secret map of the male mind, and it makes me a better girlfriend/wife because I understand the way men think. I also serve as translator to my male friends so they can understand what THEIR girl is thinking.

And generally, after the initial wariness of our partners wears off, his are pretty happy to have a guy who gets girls, and mine are glad to have a girl who gets guys.

It's a win-win for everyone!

Do you think that men and women can be friends?


Image via Tobyotter/Flickr

quotes, romance tip


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nonmember avatar Cass

Agreed completely. I even have guy friends which I flirt with, but if they asked me out, I'd say no.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

IMO no. Either one will always catch feelings.

Kediset Kediset

It's as Maias says... you kind of forgot that we're not just talking about you... the other person might have feelings for all you know and won't admit it. Kind of bugs me in that sense because then I never know if we both like each other or if it's just me doing the liking :P not to say there aren't guys I communicate with whom I have no romantic feelings for ;o

amiec... amiecanflie

My best friend is a guy, and we call each other 'life partners" because we are literally two sides of the same coin, except we're not romantically interested AT ALL. I've hooked him up with a few dates now and then, and SO is cool with it since we all talked about it and he understand the special bond we have. :] 

early... earlybird11

Hell yes ___ two of my best friends are guys !!!!!!! One of them is over at least once a week and hangs out with me and sometimes my husband if he is around. We never ever ever hooked up. Never ever ever would and he is a buff guy, generally good looking and an all around sweet heart ... doesnt mean id ever look at him in a sexual way. I have been friends with him for over 10 years, and when my husband met him he was worried ( admitted it ) I told him when we r dating it is what it is , I'm sorry but if u can't deal, we can't be together. He agreed as one of his close friends was a female at the time, although they lost touch because apparently she DID feel sexual feelings and wasn't thrilled when we got engaged.. oh well. To each their own

Karma... KarmaGrant

Yes it's possible for many but not everyone can do it. Depends on how you're wired. I have quite a few male friends who are viewed as being "like a brother". We interact much like siblings would. There's absolutely nothing romantic or sexual about those relationships. Just the thought of doing that with them makes my skin crawl! Those are my good for a laugh, a playful insult, the absolute truth people and nothing more.

katyq katyq

Well I watched this video these uni. students made where they went around and asked a ton of women and a ton of men if men and women can be 'just friends' and almost all of the women were like 'yea of course!" but ALL of the men were like "NOPE!".

MrsYo... MrsYoung1287

Yea, i'd be pretty pissed if my husband was flirting and making sex jokes with female "friends". Even if its as innocent as you claim, it's still inappropriate & disrespectful behavior to BOTH partners.

tbruc... tbrucemom

I think if you're not married or in a committed relationship it's easier. If you add another person's potential jealousy to the already possibility of one or the other wanting to be more than friends, it makes it difficult. Also I can't understand leaving my husband and kids at home to hangout with another man. I guess if it's a work lunch or a double date kind of thing that would work. I also think women are usually able to be just friends with men easier than vice versa.

Blues... Blueshark77

Absolutely! As someone who has also been considered like "a guy with boobs" I have no problem with opposite sex friendships. My guy friends and I have zero romantic interest in each other. We like to crack crude jokes and watch sci-fi. They have their girlfriends/wives and I have my guy and it isn't a problem. Early on in my relationship I made it clear I have guy friends and wouldn't give them up. Well, my guy has lots of female friends and completely understood. We also were doing the long distance thing for a while so either the trust is there or it isn't. Somehow we managed to control ourselves around our opposite gender friends all these years prior to us getting together so why would it be a problem after a relationship starts? Fortunately we both get along with each other's friends too. 

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