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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Do you have friends of the opposite sex?

In the movie When Harry Met Sally, Harry argues, "men and women can never be friends, the sex part always gets in the way." Well, The New York Times published an article this week debating if Harry was right or wrong. And their answer was...

It's complicated.

The writer explains how, for a long time, male-female friendships were unthinkable--after all, women were considered inferior. But the feminism movement in the late nineteenth century began to change that. "The terms 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' also began to appear in the 1890s," he wrote. "We take the words for granted now, but think of what they imply, and what a new idea it was: that romantic partners share more than erotic passion, that companionship and equality are part of the relationship."

So, we can have sex with friendship. But what about friendship without sex?

Nowadays, the writer says, even if you have platonic friends of the opposite sex, people around you generally still wonder if, wink, wink, there's any funny business going on. In our culture, he writes, "We understand romantic relationships, and we understand family, and that's about all we seem to understand. We have trouble with mentorship...comradeship...friendship....When we imagine those relationships, we seem to have to sexualize them."

I'm curious: Do you have friends of the opposite sex? Is one of you secretly attracted to the other? Or is it completely, totally, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die platonic? If you have a romantic partner, does he or she mind?

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
.Tinacious Me. said...

of course i do. I tend to feel more comfortable with the opposite sex. maybe lack of competition?
xo, Tina
TINACIOUS.ME

HiLLjO said...

As a married couple, we do have friends of the oppostie sex, but they are mutual friends. In my past experience I've never had any guy friend who hasn't either liked me or whom I have liked at one time in the relationship. Hubby feels the same so we disagree with friends of the opposite sex who are exclusive to one spouse. To us, that's how we feel and what works for us.

Besides, my friend works with an unmarried gal at my work who has all these "work friends" who are married men. They'll pair up and go for walks and lunch dates and leave little presents on each others' desks... that kind of behavior would hurt my feelings... and my husband's if I were to do that to him.

Joanna Goddard said...

hilljo, the leaving-presents-on-their-desks thing is kind of strange, that would make me feel so weird as the significant other!

Joanna Goddard said...

i have guys friends for sure. a couple i used to date, but most are just actual friends. it was more sexualized before i got married, when we were all single...but now i don't even look at them that way. i think once you've known someone for so long, they feel almost like a brother or sister.

Punk Rock Mom said...

Most of my friendships with guys either began or had that underlining tone of sexual attraction. We were friends because one of us was originally attracted to the other. I only have one real platonic friendship with a man. He is one of my best friends and so much a part of my family that he is considered my brother. My parents call him son and he is in all our family pictures. So I believe it is possible but rare.

Eliza Ligaya said...

I have one guy who is my friend and it works with him, but thinking back through my life every friendboy (as my husband calls them) I have had was only such because I didnt want to date him, but if I changed my mind he would make out with me no questions asked. So I think that boy girl friend relationships only work if there is something real in the way making it so you couldnt get together, ever.

Uftade said...

i am a girl and have just 2 close girlfriends,all my other besties and friends are guys :D but we are all like brother sister :)

LC said...

I have a best friend who is cross my heart, hope to die my platonic bff. Don't get me wrong, he's wickedly handsome, smart, funny, successful, but it has NEVER EVER been like that, even though it's been 20 years.

Liz said...

Definitely do: some of my boyfriends male friends I definitely have strictly platonic relationships with. (as well as others, including coworkers and class mates)

Wouterra said...

I have many male friends. A few are ex-boyfriends, in those cases we realized we where great friends but not romantic partners. Most of my male friends are just that though, friends. I doubt most have had a secret crush on me, a few have.

As I get older though, I really try to cultivate my relationships with women, because I feel those are deeply important.

Anonymous said...

one of my best friends is a guy. Yeah, he's attractive, but I don't feel attracted to him in that way.

Anonymous said...

one of my best friends is a guy. Yeah, he's attractive, but I don't feel attracted to him in that way.

Justine said...

My friends and I have had this debate soo many times! And we all feel differently about it. I have only had many 2 or 3 truly platonic friendships with males in my entire life..one of my best friends says no, it's absolutely impossible, another says its possible (but all her boy friends end up liking her). My sister always has had many guy friends, some where the relationship gets weird because of one-sided romantic feelings, but some that are years old with no weirdness! I don't know, I think it really depends on the woman-- in my experience the guy is generally always okay with "ruining" a relationship with sex.

J+H @ Beyond The Stoop said...

i have guy friends, and my boyfriend has girls that are his friends... but only on rare occasions do i hang out with a guy friend without asking my boyfriend, and vice versa. his best friend is from kindergarten, and she's a girl. i'm ok with that, considering we didn't meet until he was 24 and there was no past relationship up to that point since they became friends in kindergarten!! haha

Simone said...

Such a great discussion issue!

I am married as are all my friends....I do have one very close male friend - he's gay which I am sure is often the case, he's one of my oldest and best friends.

I'm very much a girls girl....so my friends have predominantly always been girls anyway.

I am good friends with a girl who I know used to have a crush on my husband years ago when they were friends - before I knew either of them...she is happily married now, he never had feelings for her and I like her very much.

intowestafrica said...

My best friend in University was a guy and we were forever harassed if something more was happening. For years, we had a great friendship - we travelled together, talked constantly, and we kept things completely platonic and swore it up and down to our friends.
That is until I started to think, "wow, this is a really guy and why do I have him in the friend category?" Here I am dating all these guys who turn out to be jerks and I have an amazing guy right in front of me.
He's now my husband ;)

Ashley P said...

I have a cross-my-heart platonic guy friend who I've been BFF with since we met in college. There's never been any romantic feelings (at all) between us, but family and a few friends were very confused for a few years about our relationship. In fact, my dad told me once that as I got more serious with my boyfriend (now husband) that our relationship would have to change. Luckily, husband is awesome and loves him, too; doesn't bat an eye about our friendship!

Fancy Pants said...

I totally do, as does my husband. I still live in the same town where I went to college so a lot of the friends are holdovers from those days. They've become friends with my husband too, but we will still hang out just the two of us. I really value their friendships and I'm 100% positive, for various reasons, that neither of us is at all into the other! :)

Kelly said...

What a controversy! I have lost many a best guy friend to the "sex factor", ending with them wanting more than just a platonic friendship. But still some of my closest friends are gentlemen, (I feel in order for it to work they MUST be gentlemen) but we have still had to figure out the sexuality of an intimate yet not physical side of our relationship.

Interestingly enough, boyfriends who do mind my close guys friends are the ones who have least respected me as a woman. Interesting, no?

Thanks for the post!

Melanie said...

My first love was my male best friend, and boy was that messy. Ever since I seem to have attracted male best friends because I got used to being in that kind of a situation. Currently two of my best friends are males, and everyone around us constantly badgers either one of them or myself about if we would ever... you know..
The most important thing to note, is seeing as we're all single, there is always sexual tension. Always. But I would never act on it, because it would be weird, and complicated, and I know that if I started dating either one of them it wouldn't work because I know them so well. so if anything ever happened, my guess is it would be because we got drunk or something, but not because we wanted more... oh college!

Justine said...

PS I think it's much more possible if one/both of you is in a relationship as well.

Wouterra said...

Joanna, that notion of "like a brother or sister" is perfect. That is exactly how I would describe my long term opposite sex friendships.

Caite said...

So funny that you mention this today. I just read this Onion article (http://www.theonion.com/articles/but-if-we-started-dating-it-would-ruin-our-friends,11473/), which is hilarious, and it got me thinking about the very same thing. I don't think I can name a single male friend of mine that I wouldn't be open to dating, if he came to me and said he wanted more. (Is that awful? Maybe I just have really great guy friends. ...Also, shh! Don't tell them!)

T said...

One of my dearest friends is of the opposite sex, but I think we've been able to maintain our friendship (we're both in relationships with other people) because we set clear, firm boundaries. I think it's human to wonder a *little* (but then invoke that gut reaction of "ew, gross!" or something to get yourself to stop thinking about it). It seems better to acknowledge that that exists, even if only fleetingly, than to pretend it doesn't and then not know how to work with any complications that come up. I have to say as well that this friend and I did have to take a break from each other for several months after I was feeling really blue and venting, and he made an inappropriate comment that I think ended up causing both of us to feel incredibly uncomfortable. But we ended up making amends a few months later, and have been good buds since.

I think it just helps both parties to be totally honest about what they really want or get out of the relationship, and allow room for the relationship to change naturally.

Mia.stizzo@gmail.com said...

i have three very good friends of the opposite sex, that are my friends alone. (i obviously have males at work i have work friend relationships with, and my girlfriends' husbands and boyfriends, etc.) i used to have four very good male friends, until i made one my boyfriend 5 years ago. we had our first child last december!

www.wishdownawell.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

I thought I had friends of the opposite sex, until they got a girlfriend and then they stopped talking to me. Guess they were hoping for more than friendship...

Anonymous said...

I thought it was possible. But I've recently found that sexual thoughts will come and go. For some persons, it'll stay longer than for others. But usually there are some underlying feelings, I think..

Ann-Marie said...

Working in a male-dominated field many of my friends are male. And it can be complicated. For me on of the complications is that when you're one of the guys so much of the time how do you reclaim your femininity at the end of the day.

Margaret said...

Great question! There is a video that shows that guys will always say no, while most girls would say yes. Fascinating!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

Michelle said...

i have a couple straight male friends where cross my heart there is no attraction and then there are the guys i once dated, decided we weren't meant to be but have remained friends...
my boyfriend thinks women can be friends with guys with no romantic feelings...but not the other way around...
so i make sure that when i hang out with these guys, its in a group setting usually including my boyfriend... as to not create confusion. tricky

Ladies Holiday said...

I married young and it went unsaid, but understood by the both of us that friends of the opposite sex just wouldn't fly. I think I would be okay with it, but for whatever reason we travel in pairs...if he has a friend I become friendly with the wife/girlfriend and vice versa- like some human variation on Noah's ark.

CortneyLynn said...

I have always had more guy friends than girl friends. And it had pretty much always cause problems. There are a few guys who I can honestly say was never anything but platonic on both parts but only a few. And they are the few that I have been through hell with and have seen me in my worst. Most of the guys I have dated were fine with out friendship but some had a lot of trouble with it.

leigh said...

i have always had more guy friend then girl friends - just who i am i guess. i'm quite close with a numberof the hub's buddies. he has always had a few close girl friends too... so it's on both sides.

Neha said...

Yes, my best friend is a guy and after I got married he became very good friends with my husband.My husband is very secure with himself and doesn't get concerned about it. I have known my friend for half my life he does feel like a family member. He is not married yet and but I am worried that our friendship might change after his spouse comes in the picture.

Melina said...

My closest "platonic" guy friend from high school is now my boyfriend of over three years...

So I'm going to have to say I agree with Harry. Once a male/female friendship reaches a certain level of closeness I feel like it is hard to separate friendship and romance.

-Melina
The Caffeinated Closet

Amanda said...

I have a cross-my-heart platonic guy friend . . . who happens to be my sister's ex-boyfriend. We were friends before they ever dated and have been through a lot of the same experiences. He's truly like a brother to me, and when we first got to be "close friends" he even made a point to say that he never wanted me to think he was ever hitting on me in any way. We agreed that we would never in a million years date each other. It's just not like that!
On the other hand, I have a guy friend who my friends insist is in love with me. Needless to say, we spend most of our time together with large groups of people.

Fashionably Wed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassie said...

Two of my best friends are men. One is my husbands best friend, so that's easy to understand. I think other friends used to think something was going on with my other man-friend, but our relationship is very close to that of my brother and I. I don't really like the thought that people may think its more than it is, mostly our of respect for my husband - but I am not going to give up a friend because of it. It also helps stop that rumor mill that he just got engaged. :)

Jennifer said...

It's funny that this has come up, my husband and I were just talking about this the other day.

In my opinion, if you were friends before you got together with your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, but hadn't had romantic involvement in the past then it would be safe to continue the friendship. There must be some trust to be able to handle this in a relationship. If however, you made this friend of the opposite sex AFTER being with your significant other, then I would be very very weary.

Our friend has a girl friend that he's had since the beginning of time. Now that he's married, they're still very close... in fact, they were each other's back up, if they didn't get married. They share chapstick, she hangs off of him, and she called him to find out what he thought was sexy (so she could get his wife lingerie for the bridal shower) I find this behavior inappropriate and disrespectful to his wife. What do you think?

Emily said...

First off, I'm single, and I think that has something to do with it. I also work in a male dominated field. But honestly, I can't imagine picking and choosing my friends based on their sex. I go out, I meet people. Some men I'm attracted to, and some I'm not. The ones I'm attracted to I might date, the ones I'm not attracted to I'll probably be friends with. I have a large and varied group of friends, and honestly, I never really thougth of the girls vs. boys aspect of it.

Christina said...

I grew up with two best male friends. One of whom was my first boyfriend at age 10. Both of them and I have never had more than a platonic friendship. Although, the friendships are different. There has always been some underlying sexual tension between the one (young boyfriend), but never between me and the other.

Although the 3 of us now live hundreds of miles apart, when we reunite over holidays it still seems present. Maybe it's all just in my head...

Lauren Ashley said...

This is a great conversation. My hubs and I used to have friends of the opposite sex, but most (except for the true blue)seemed to fall away as we became more and more serious about our relationship. Now that were married (and that we've been together for a good chuck of time)all those opposite-sex friends are not our mutual friends, or our couple friends.

A very wise gal pal once told me that if your partner is your priority, you have to carefully consider all the other relationships inf your life. If someone isn't good for your relationship with your partner, you have to let it go. I think that's very true - and a little bitter sweet.

Alys said...

I agree with the first comment.

I often feel ill at ease with some female friends, though not my closest ones, as there is always something to compete over. Equally, I can be competitive with male friends over grades/work, but there are fewer points to have problems over.

You'll probably fall in love with a friend at some time, but I think the strongest friendships happen once you get over that initial phase and are both totally comfortable with each other.

Fashionably Wed said...

I agree with Punk Rock mom, it is possible but rare.

My husband and I always debate this topic. He says that "no guy can be just friends with a woman...women can but guys can't" I tend to think it's possible because I've experienced it but like another thing my husband says "he can if she is not attactive [to him]" so maybe that is the part that made my friendship work. We were just not attracted to each other. That friendship was before marriage. But now that I'm married I could never have a friendship with the opposite sex that was not mutal - between my husband and me. Even friends that I had before marriage are friends with my husband and we never talk or spend time together exclusively. That's just what we do to protect each other. I believe that men are wired differently and at time we [women] don't realize that we are sending messages are doing things that can be a turn on.

I enjoy hearing the different perspectives and appreciate this post Joanna!

Jimmy said...

So much to say on this topic. I'll try to keep it short. I'm a stay-at-home-dad, so the ability to be platonic friends with women is critical to my sense of sanity. It would be a lonely (and kinda pathetic) existence if I couldn't have friendly relationships due to being attracted to women.

This doesn't mean that I'm never attracted to people who are my friends. That would be impossible - and I don't even know how one could go about avoiding that in any scenario. You just have to know that is all it will ever be: Simple attraction and that's it, end of story.

I'm almost 30. My wife and I have been together since we were 15. It's rare either of us have friends outside of one another. They tend to be mutual. I think that helps tone the feelings down, and it also makes trust easier. We've also seen the dirty underbelly that is cheating (my brother just got divorced after discovering his wife was running around on him). It is ugly, ugly, ugly. And I can't imagine a situation where it would ever be worth it. Seriously no words to describe how unhappy those situations end, and how miserable they make both parties involved.

Anonymous said...

I was really close with my sister-in-law and her husband. We were all best friends. And then one long weekend I went to visit them without my husband. And my brother in law and I were put in a situation a few times where we were alone, which ended with us romantically making out, something I had never even thought of. What happened was a lot like 'The Facts of Life' with Lucille Ball. (it's on Netflix right now) We both told our spouses what happened and now no one talks. It's awful. So no, men and women can't be friends and if you are friends with the opposite sex, don't ever put yourself in a situation where you are alone on a couch.

Dayna Elaine said...

I just watched When Harry Met Sally for the first time the other day (took me long enough, I know)! I've struggled with this issue for what feels like forever, and with every opposite-sex relationship I've had. For me, the only truly platonic friendships I've had with men are ones with brothers or best friends of the men I've dated. I try to deny it, but any others are riddled with feelings, usually on their end. I know that if I gave them the go, they would take it..haha

Lizzi said...

I was just thinkig about this exact thing. I think that platonic relationships exist and are great, but for me there has always been an element of "We'll see what happens" with all of my boy-friend relationships. But now I'm married, and I basically feel uncomfortable having guys as friends because I can't get rid of that "We'll see" element and it makes me nervous. I have little to no self control so I just avoid the thing all together and only become friends with boys who look like potato sacks.

Lauren C.T. said...

I seem to have always had more guy friends than girl friends. Making girl friends feels like work to me, but making guy friends just comes naturally. And yes, the majority of those friendships have been strictly platonic - at least on my end. I think the problem with trying to unriddle this is that we always only get one side's answer to the question. I mean, even if you were to ask both of the friends, as soon as one of them (the girl, probably) says it is purely platonic, then the other one most definitely has to agree.

I think that when a girl gets married, there is a sort of unspoken pressure put on her to have female friends versus male friends. My husband has never said he has a problem with most of my friends being male, but he does often encourage me to make new girl friends. I think he'd at least like the numbers evened out a bit. For me, a friendship is a friendship and there's no reason to expect it to be more, and so I don't think my husband has any reason to be threatened - unless he knows something about guy-girl friendships from the other side that he's not telling me. (Though, he should still trust ME, if not my male friends...)

Tragic Sandwich said...

I have some, although fewer than I used to. They tend to be people I know through work. My husband knows about them, because we talk about everything--so it's a natural part of our daily conversation. And he has met most of them, because I think it's nice to have faces to put with names. It's interesting to compare impressions with him and see what he thinks of people when he finally meets them!

Rachel said...

I swore up and down that my best guy friend was just that- my best friend. All my friends said otherwise and made all manner of fun of us, and then one day I accidentally fell in love with him, and we're getting married next month. Haha.

Guess my story would be considered a "men & women can never be friends" one, but he and I both have lots of friends of different genders (as well as lots of gay/lesbian friends of the same gender) and we all get along perfectly platonically.

Guess he was just the one for me :)

Annick said...

This is super interesting. While I don't have any male friends in my life, or any that I see on a regular basis, my boyfriend has MANY female friends he has been friends with forever. While there was some "dating" going on with some of them, some of them were also clearly non-sexual. It definitely does not bother me to see him hang out with them - he's a really kind person and I think he simply identifies with women more. He was raised primarily by women - maybe that explains it?

Sarah said...

Hm, interesting topic. Yes, both my husband and I have friends of the opposite sex, although, as some other people have commented, most of those friends are mutual and/or couple friends. In college, I had several guy close guy friends that my then-boyfriend/now-husband didn't really get along with. (He always suspected they had deeper feelings for me, and it turned out that each did, at one time or another.) I trust my husband completely, so if he became good friends with a woman that wasn't really my friend too, I'd like to think that would be totally cool with me. But in reality, I'd probably feel some jealousy or suspicion or at least competition over it. Why is that? Is that healthy?

Petya K. Grady said...

I have guy friends and always have. I think when I was younger, I thought I "preferred" to have guy friends but as I grew older (and wiser), I realized that I was missing out so much on life by not having close girlfriends.

I think as women, we grow up learning that there are some limits to what we can have and how we can achieve it, and that makes us competitive and unpleasant with each other. For me, the real life challenge has been to let go of all that early baggage and allow myself to be real, true friends with women. Guys are easy ;)

emmy d said...

I do have male friends that legitimately are just friends, but at the same time I am engaged to the man who was my best guy friend in college!

abby said...

the funny part about this is that even if it's platonic for you, is it platonic for him? i've always had that tiny little question in the back of my mind with my guy friends. i think the only close friendships with guys that i've maintained without that question were the ones with men who weren't attracted to women!

since i've married, my friendships with guys aren't as strong as they once were . . . i guess that's a little natural, huh? besides, i married my best guy friend!

Christina Solazzo said...

I had to dump my best guy friend because my boyfriend (now husband) didn't get why we hung out so often--it was becoming third wheel, awkward-territory. (His therapist actually recommended the same thing--calling our friendship a two legged table or something and that he needed more legs.) Unfortunately, I don't see him as often as I'd like now--or really ever. Still I have guy friends--they're just not superclose friends. I'd call my girl friends about big news before I'd call my guy friends.

Anonymous said...

I have a male best friend I've known since college. We lived together for 3 years, always dated other people, etc. I still get a little offended when people always suggest we get together. I believe our relationship is more meaningful than that. He's really like my brother and always will be. Romantic relationships can be really deep for a time, but then things can go south and you don't speak to the other person again. Friendships can turn into so much more than that. I know mine has.

Catherine Masi said...

This is an interesting subject, isn't it? I think that since I grew up with mostly males in my life (my mom passed away when I was young, I am close with my sweet father, and I have A LOT of brothers!)I must have been conditioned to male company. And though I love my girlfriends dearly, most of my friends are males. Though some of them I have dated- which potentially kills my argument- BUT I do have male friends wherein there is absolutely no attraction (seriously). My husband doesn't mind at all, thankfully, nor do I of his female friends. Given respect is always present, we think it's enriching and healthy for who we are as evolving people. And that's my two cents!

Kat said...

Hmmm - interesting debate. For me I feel like there is a huge difference between old guy friends (the ones I've been friends with since I was young & single and those feel like brother/sister relationships) and new guy friends (post marriage/committed relationship). I have a bunch of close old guy friends who I spend time with 1:1 and zero new guy friends, honestly I don't think me or my husband would be comfortable with that.

Anonymous said...

one of my best friends is a boy with a girlfriend and i am secretly envious of her every day.

gia said...

I try to be friends with exes. One of my best ex boyfriends is a best friend and I have such a profound love for him... not sexual at all. Fortunately his wife and I hit it off perfectly too. When I find exceptional people in my life it is really hard for me to give them up, unless they seemingly force me for their own reasons. My parents have very similar stories, both very deep friendships with their exes, especially if they are all mutual friends. I think it is a really beautiful thing, almost a pinnacle of my values.

Katherine Summers said...

I've been in a monogamous relationship for more than 6 years now, but I figured out back in high school that it's often way easier (especially in high school!) to have guy friends. It's also nice to have a mixture of people surrounding you. My boyfriend's always been very respectful and un-jealous of my close guy friends, which I deeply appreciate (not that he's had reason to be otherwise, of course).

There were some issues in high school with my best friend and his unrequited crush on me, but our friendship was really only one piece of his problems there (though he's stable and in a healthy relationship now, happily). Most of my other guy friends post-date the (college) boyfriend, though, so if any of them have seen me as an object of affection, it's not been made known.

RTah said...

I have had guy friends in the past, and at the time I swore up and down that there was NOTHING between us, but that possibility was always there (and sometimes came to fruition). Now, me and my husband both agree that it never works out to have opposite sex friends exclusive to one partner. I think its just a part of growing up and stopping the naive thought pattern that goes along with opposite sex friendships. I'm sure it works for some people/couples, but we are both fairly jealous people I guess and it would never work for us!

Salt Lake Lovely said...

This reminds me of How I Met Your Mother and how attractive female friends start out as manatees and eventually turn into mermaids lol The idea was kind of offensive but I think if you're in the right relationship you know nothing will happen and as long as your spouse feels secure you can have friends of the opposite sex.

astrid irene natalie said...

I've always been great friends with guys, actually one of my closest friends is a guy. As I've got two brothers, he's just been added to the lot :) we always joke that we should hold a press conference telling people that there will not be anything more than this, as some people still don't get our friendship haha

lauracthornton said...

The writer is correct in that a lot of people have a difficult time not sexualizing a platonic relationship. I study in a field that plenty of mentor and students have had relationships and even get married, although it is still taboo enough not to openly discuss it.

I work & study with two men who are married with children(along with several other unmarried women), and I really enjoy my absolutely platonic relationships with my mentor and post-doc. I also have good male friends, from college as well as from childhood. I managed to not participate in the fooling around with close friends that occurs a lot during high school and college. My friends' and I were just having this conversation because most of the people in our friend group have recently become engaged, except for another male friend and myself. One person mentioned, don't just settle for each other. While a hilarious notion that both of us rejected immediately; I can still appreciate that my male friend is kind, thoughtful, attractive, and will make a great husband, but most definitely not for me. I think more than anything it has to do with respect of relationships and for each other.

laurenjeanallece said...

Two of my best friends in the world in my friends Mike and Dean. They and my (now ex) boyfriend are best friends and over the years Mike, Dean and I became best friends, too. It has always been platonic and always will be. In fact, Dean's girlfriend Robin is like a sister to me as well! Maybe it's weird to other people, but the friendships were formed without messy constraints of worrying about the fact that we were opposite genders. These guys are like brothers to me and (no offense to them!) I could never imagine anything more than friendship. And they would say the same about me (again, no offense taken! haha)

heather said...

I love this topic! I had a cross your heart, I swear its completely platonic best guy friend since elementary school! We went to dinner and movies together, but never as a date, went rock climbing, talked about everything, and were that way for about 20 years!! Then about 7 years ago I finally woke up and realized that I was measuring every guy I dated against him and was really just looking for another guy just like him!!

We are celebrating 5 years of marriage this Saturday!!! I would have denied any feelings up and down back then, especially in high school, but now I can see that lovey feelings were always there. I so love our friendship and we are still the best of friends.
I fell so lucky that our story turned out as it did, its actually like a movie!!!
love your blog!!

Lisa said...

All of my husbands best friends are women. Granted, they also like women ;) so I know I don't have that to worry about. He's even gone away on vacation with them! Most people don't understand this relationship, but it works!

kt said...

Any kind of relationship takes a lot of awareness, of yourself and others. I think a healthy opposite sex friendship can exist, only if there is a really good dose of honesty and maturity.

I am a female with one very close male friend. He honestly shared with me that he was initially attracted, but because I was in a relationship when we formally met, that he respected that and shut down the idea of pursuing me. In getting to know each other, we discovered we mirrored one another in a lot of ways, both good and bad. And in truth, you don't exactly want to be someone just like you, as it doesn't provide counterbalance.

This male friend is getting married in two weeks. Our relationship shifted and became less close once he got into a serious relationship (and I imagine will continue to do so once he's married). Obviously I respect him and his fiance, and have never felt the need to exert my presence in their lives. We still totally value each other, and care about one another's well being, and know that will remain true through the years.

Jana said...

One of my very best friends is a guy...I used to date! We realized we were better friends than 'lovers' (ha!) And, brace yourself, we lived together post-'lovers' status. In fact, we were living together when I met my (now) husband.

My husband and I were dating and he was in between apartments so he lived with us for a bit which sealed the deal with our relationship and ultimately the friend moved out and my hub moved in permanently. And for the record, my husband and my best friend are good friends as well! (I understand this is not normal.)

CCP said...

So interesting! My best friend is a guy. I love him. He (tragically) does not love me like that. I value our friendship too much to ruin it or tell him how I feel, so our friendship remains very close, very strong, and very platonic. I frequently wonder if it's possible for it to continue on like this, but more and more I think it is. He has a girlfriend now, and I am not jealous of her at all because I know that my relationship with him is closer and stronger (as of now). If/when that changes, I can see that changing our relationship. The current status is hard enough as it is!

Jessica said...

A large percentage of my friends are of the opposite sex, in fact some of them are my best friends.

I will note though that some of these friendships did start with mutual crushes and some sexual feelings that never went beyond feelings, but instead progressed into really great friendships without sex being there at all.

It doesn't bother my husband at all that I have a lot of male friends, it has been that way throughout our whole relationship. On the flip side my husband went through a program that was female dominated, and as such a lot of his friends are female. I actually struggled with this for a while, but eventually became more secure in myself, and as such moved beyond the whole "being threatened" thing.

I'm Ali said...

It's funny because I love love love this movie and I wonder the same point. I had this very attractive friend for years. Granted, I had a bf and he had a gf. We worked together and always made each other laugh to tears but never really hung out outside of work and occasionally we would text about birthdays and such. After my break up he admitted he had feelings for me this whole time and eventually we started seeing each other. It didn't work because I didn't give enough time in between my ex and him and now we don't talk but I kind of wished we never crossed that line. But it was hard being that we got along, made each other laugh and were very attracted to one another. This is a Catch 22. Totally and completely.

happilysmitten said...

Women believe that men+women can be friends. (Most) Men want to sleep with the women. I don't believe men+women can be best friends.

Molly said...

I love this debate.

Some of my best friends are guys, but in most instances, one of us wanted more out of the friendship, at least in the beginning. There's such a fine line between friendliness and flirtation, don't you think?

Jennie said...

I was raised with three brothers and no sisters and so I am 10x more comfortable being around guys than girls. I like guy things... I watch the NBA religiously, I play some of their video games, I have a dirty sense of humor, and I don't cry very often. I think a lot of that has to do with the brothers and all of the testosterone in my house. I'm not really a tomboy, just much more comfortable talking to guys than girls. They are more relateable than other women are and I don't really seek strong relationships with other woemn like I do with men. It's comfortable where I am.

That being said, I have fallen for two of my best guy friends and I know of several others that have fallen for me. I think that as long as you prioritize friendship over sexuality, then you can stay friends. And about 75% of my friendships with guys are platonic, either because we're just not attracted to each other, or because they're gay. ;)

Rebecca Campos said...

I had a male best friend for almost four years. We were inseparable and there was no tension between us. NEVER.
Whenever people would pull the 'are you guys a couple' card, I'd immediately go: EWWW NO!! He's like my brother.
That was until one night I had one too many drinks and ended up kissing him. When I realized what was going on that night, I pushed him aside and I said: what the hell are we doing???? You're like my big brother! We should stop it right now!
To cut the story short, we ended up being together for at least two years. Those were the worst two years in terms of relationship. He was in a long-distance relationship with another girl. So, there were times he travelled to be with her, however, the minute he was back he'd call me.
Our friends couldn't see one without other. After two years of not deciding if he wanted to be my boyfriend or not, I told him we were done. I lost too many chances of meeting new guys because whenever one would come along, he'd get in the way.
Last December we had this horrible argument and decided to not speak to each other ever again. I was heartbroken. Not only had I lost the man I loved, but also, I ended up losing my one and only best friend.
It was devastating. So, no, I don't believe in man-woman friendship.
I'm still recovering from that! ;/

Amazing post today. I totally related to it!

Nikskie said...

most of my best friends are opposite sex.

jessica quadra said...

this is very tricky. i think that having good friends of the opposite sex whom you keep after you're in a relationship is of course okay. but meeting/making new good friends of the opposite sex when you're in a relationship is not okay and probably not likely that it'd be 100% platonic. that's sounds so cynical! but i think it's true. :/

on another note, i just started a series on my blog called "getting married in..." where i imagine what a wedding would be like between two characters in a movie. i was thinking about doing when harry met sally for tomorrow but i did sleepless in seattle last friday and thought that might be too much meg ryan. i think you just inspired me to go ahead with it anyway!

Bronwyn said...

I know I have good friends of the opposite sex, but at a place like university, that's kind of inevitable, I think. Some of them I find somewhat attractive, but most are just intellectual compatriots, honestly...
And it's nice, being friends with all sorts of people.

windeater.blogspot.com

Erica Thomas said...

When my husband and I first started dating I had a lot of guys that were friends. Some were even ex-boyfriends. To make sure these other guys didn't hurt our relationship by filling it with insecurities or questions, I introduced Tim to all of them, invited these guys to get togethers, and never let Tim think there was anything I was hiding. He did have girl friends of his own, mostly just plain old friends and triathalon training partners and I never felt threatened by them either. My guy friends are still in our lives but not as much as they were when I was single, mostly probably because they are still single themselves and now that I'm married with a baby we don't have the same lifestyle, but we still talk.

Madison said...

My only two close male friends are both in serious, committed relationships with girls that I know very well. The first was my boyfriend's college roomate, and the second and I became friends almost solely because he became interested in my best friend and sought me out for advice on winning her over (aw). The two of them and my boyfriend and I all hang out frequently, so I feel like that alleviates any distrust or tension. Still, I wouldn't feel comfortable spending a night at his apartment without her there because I know that would upset my boyfriend, and rightfully so.

Annie said...

My husband and I both have friends of the opposite gender (and not just other couple friends). I attended a high school that had recently gone coed after being all male, so most of my friends in high school were guys. I've never understood why there's even a question about having a friend of the opposite gender. Just because you're a man and a woman doesn't mean you're automatically attracted to each other.

Bethany said...

I love their point about understanding romance and family, but not having comprehension for any other kind of relationship without sexualizing it. Hell, even siblings that are close sometimes get accused of sexual impropriety!

Thanks for sharing that article. I do have guy friends, but they definitely don't hold the same weight or significance or closeness that my girl friends do, or my marriage. It's not really intentional that I'm not as close, but kind of a result of this cultural understanding and the fact that I'm surrounded by women my age more often than men.

Jillian said...

Well, I did have a best guy friend...and then we both broke up with the people we were dating and got married!

Now, all my guy friends are gay, so sex really doesn't get in the way.

Sarah Carlson said...

Most of my friends tend to be guys! One of my best friends, there was a mutual (but definitely unspoken & ignored) timid crush. We're still best friends even though we only see each other a few times year!

JEREMYandCHELSEA said...

This movie is the best! My all time favorite! I don't really think guys and girls can be friends. Sad, but true

Erin said...

Most of my guy friends I have had a crush on at some point or another. I have hooked up with a couple and tried to date a couple. But when those things didn't work out, a great friendship came out of every one of them! I don't think about them at all like that anymore. My husband is totally fine with my guy friends and I'm fine with him having girls that are friends. We're secure in our relationship.

Tournesol said...

No guy friends. Just mutual friends that me and my man see together. I have had a few guys friends only to discover they had secret feelings for me, when I truly thought we were friends. I used to have a couple of guys who were really good friends who were gay so that worked out but we grew apart when kids started coming.

danielle said...

This is a very timely topic for me. I have always had a lot of guy friends, and since I've been out of school, I have only a few close girlfriends-a result, no doubt, of my career, my workplace, my hobbies, and where I live. There are just a lot more guys around! I constantly am on the "hunt" for more true girl friends that I can really connect with.

I definitely think you can be friends with a guy and not have it be sexual; but at the same time, like someone said, I don't think it's bad to acknowledge (to yourself) if there is a bit of extra attraction at some point. It doesn't mean it's necessarily sexual, and it definitely doesn't mean I will act on it. I crush out on people--men and women--very easily. It is exciting to really connect with someone, and it's inspiring, and I don't feel like I should deny myself those connections. And if one of my guy friends says, "Damn, you look good today!" I don't take it as a sign that they want more from me--but I do take it as a compliment! I love that I know a ton of great, wonderful, caring, strong, attractive guys--it means the world is a good place! And if I wasn't married to one of those guys, it probably could be more complicated (though, when I was single it was about the same).

I do struggle with the "old" vs "new" issue. I met a guy a year ago and we really get along well, and it does feel socially discouraged to make new guy friends once you're married. It would help if we were in the same town and my husband could meet him--then I don't think it would be as awkward feeling.

I am very upfront with my husband about all my guy friends, because if he's not comfortable with them, then I'm not going to be able to be friends with them. So far he is okay with it. Our big difference is that he doesn't have many friends at all, and I like to have a lot. He doesn't understand my need for friends, regardless of gender!

So while I think it definitely can happen, the guy-girl-friend thing definitely can be a hard situation, and in some circles is a big social no-no. I'm trying not to let it get to me, though it's hard when people (not one of the friends) only can see it as a sexual thing and start spreading rumors. You have to be very open and honest and be willing to have boundaries that cannot be crossed... and then you have to keep your head up when the rumor mill picks you as a target.

danielle said...

Whoa, that was a really long comment. I had no idea. Oops.

Lola Storm said...

In my experience, it's possible, but uncommon!

stephanie said...

Although it HARDLY EVER works, I can say with complete honesty that I have a male friend who has been a close friend for 5 years. During four of those years, I was seriously dating a guy, who did not feel threatened by my friend at all. My ex and I were long distance and he thought it was nice that I could have male companionship when he wasn't around -- when he was around, my ex and my friend got along great. My friend and I would even hang out alone -- grab lunch together, go see a movie together, whatever. My male friend was ALSO dating a girl, who was very threatened. I have NEVER been attracted to my friend, and he swears the same -- he was madly in love with his also-long-distance-girlfriend. We've both moved on from those relationships and are still friends, and with no romantic involvement at all! I really think it can work, but I've also only experienced it once.

Cranberry said...

I have guy "buddies" in my group and its great. But when it comes to getting closer, I agree that it often is ambiguous. The only "real" guy friend I have is someone I always "dated" when I was 12! After that, I think we got the dating thing out of the way and became amazingly close. We're both in relationships now, but when we were single, it was hard to hear all my friends say "you guys are so meant for each other" and not think "what if...?". I'm so glad we're still friends though.

Some of my exes had serious issues with our friendship, but he gets along great with my current bf, which I take to be a good sign. I'm also careful not to bring him up too much, say how awesome he is etc.

But guy friends can be so great, it really helped me gain perspective on so many issues to be able to discuss them with a guy rather than with girlfriends. Its complicated, but worth it!

Amy said...

In my experience, it does often get complicated. But not all the time. And I have to say, being a single woman, it really really sucks not being able to be friends with married male coworkers, because some people think we shouldn't be. Single does not mean I'm trying to steal anyone's husband! When I leave jobs I know I won't see those male friends ever again, which stinks.

stephanie said...

Also, I saw your comment above about feeling like a brother or sister. That's exactly how my friend and I are. When I explain him to people I say that he is a dear friend who fills the role of big brother, and I think he would say I am like a sister to him as well.

Amanda Blair said...

I think it can be true but it is complicated. I have a best guy friend but we have slept together in the past when we were both single and needed some comforting "love". It worked really well bc we trusted each other, were such great friends and never once effected our friendship. In fact, when one of us gets a bf/gf we are happy for each other and remain close. We talk less our of respect but there is never any weirdness.

{Liana} said...

One of my dearest friends is a guy and we've know eachother for years, never dated, and have always liked eachother's partners. We don't live in the same state, but we keep in touch and get to catch up a few times a year in person, here or there. He's like family, as are most of my girlfriends.

Catherine said...

This video comes to mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

Men just think differently than women.

Catherine
FEST

Feisty said...

I think that you're going to get responses that split along married/unmarried and age lines. There's a lot of stories on here from people who were "best friends" for 15-20 years and are now married to him.

I worked for a long time in a male dominated field and had many guy friends. Some of them had feelings for me, some didn't, I never "went there" with any of them because we worked together (don't shit where you eat).

I saw some girls in my office pursue married men they had become close friends with, and it was horrifying.

So my rules for opposite sex friends who are married/in committed relationships is that if I text or invite the guy somewhere, the wife is CC'd on the text/invite. That way there's never going to be a question of trust.

My fiancee has a single female friend that he has been friends with for 10 years, and our biggest fight to date was she invited him out to have a drink because she'd had a bad day. I'm ok with them being friends, not ok with date-like activities that I'm not included on.

Anonymous said...

This topic makes me feel so awkward. I've had male friends in the past, but that was when I was single and there has ALWAYS been a feeling of "what if". Even in situations where I don't think I'd ever date the person. I am currently in a relationship now, and in the beginning, my boyfriend still had a lot of female friends. I was fine with it, until I would notice elements of flirtation that he wasn't aware of. I feel like because I know women, I have a hard time trusting that feelings aren't different on their end. I trust my boyfriend. I don't trust other women. He still has these friendships but they aren't as strong of a presence in his life. It makes me terribly sad. Like someone else said, I feel like both parters have to access their friendships and figure out if they're healthy for the relationship.

Alicia said...

It's true that it is complicated. My friends (both male and female) and I were debating this topic recently and we remain divided. I think it is possible most of the time. If a significant other is involved then it is much easier if the significant other is friends with the person as well. If not, things might get too tricky and jealousy can ensue.

I'm going to link to this post to gather more perspectives.

mamabearuk said...

Before I met my OH of ten years I already had 4 male friends whom I love to pieces, purely platonic. There was 5 of us girls and them and we spent all our free time together, partying etc. when I met OH he had no problem that I'm aware of. Now I have a baby and they are in relationships etc we don't see as much of each other but thats life. Loved my good times with them and felt if them totally like brothers. Great post

AVY said...

Never platonic, that's close to impossible.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



Ellen said...

My best friend in the whole world is a guy. We've been friends for nearly 13 years. We initially got to know each other because we dated in 7th grade--which I'm not really sure qualifies as truly romantic or not. There have been times when we've both wondered if there was something "more" there, but have both agreed that the length and depth of our friendship would make it too weird for anything romantic to come of it.

I got married in September, and he was a groomsman. He'll be my best friend for always. As the adage goes: we simply know too much about each other not to be!

Elisha(: said...

I dont REALLY think I HAVE any guy friends... idk why. :P

Lisa said...

I have several platonic man friends, and I don't think it's weird at all!

My husband also had 2 close (perfectly platonic) female friends when we met, and they ended up being part of our wedding party as witnesses on his side. When we got married, we each became friends with each others' friends, and that really eradicated any potential weirdness.

Anonymous said...

Even more of a drag if you're gay. I'm a lesbian and new women friends sometimes don't know that when we first meet. They catch on and then they're like "You know I'm into men, right?" So brutal! Sometimes the hardest new relationships as an adult are new friendships, opposite sex or same sex.

Anonymous said...

My best friend is a guy. I've teased him that he'll have to be my maid of honor someday. (No really though - I'd want him to be.)

My boyfriend has zero issues with it.

Anonymous said...

When I've made male friends at work, they've typically invited me to meet their S/Os (or it's just happened naturally), so they've then become couple friends of ours (mine and my gf).
I don't think the attraction thing is a huge deal, and that may be because I'm bisexual: I've been attracted to almost all of my friends (male or female) at some point: you get over it, or you risk the friendship, and I don't like to risk friendships.

Chessa! said...

One of my closest friends who I worked with is male. The thought of being anything other than platonic and great friends never even crossed my mind. When we started working together he was engaged and I was already married (not that either of those things would stop some people). We had lunch every day and basically spent the entire day together at work. Then his fiancee, who was in med school outside of NY, moved to NY for her residency and we all started to hang out together outside of work. To be honest, at first he and I were worried that not everyone would get along and then we'd be just work friends but we had our first double date and had the best time ever. It was dumb to even worry bc both of our partners are so laid back and fun and they had each heard so much about the other. Anyway, he and my husband have become such good friends that he was in usher in their wedding and we asked him to be our baby's godfather.

I don't think it always works out this way and I definitely had some male friends when I was single that I felt like it might be more if either of us wanted it so I guess it depends on the relationship and the personalities of the people.

whatnomints said...

Definitely! The majority of my good friends are male - I find I have more in common with them than most women. Our relationships are absolutely platonic with no drama - I love them!!

Lizzy said...

I've always had guy friends, starting in preschool! They were more relaxed and not as dramatic (until high school of course, haha). I realize though that even though my guy friends are strictly my buddies, I do tend to think about what it would be like if we were more then friends. However, I've always liked it better just being friends, when I enter into a relationship with one it just screws everything over. I'll take men from outside my friend circle thank you. Haha.

Mia said...

Absolutely! Both me and my boyfriend do.

And like how do people who have to sexualize everything think?! What if to guys are friends? I mean they could be gay, there could be wink wink things going on there too no? I just feel that those ideas are very old. I think we're more than our sexuality today.

Raquel said...

I honestly dont see any controversy. Before being a man or a woman we are PEOPLE. People relate in many ways, including friendwise. I have male friends and I never had anything with any of them!

Emily Friend said...

It is definitely a very complicated territory. I have found that there is often confusion. One side or the other often questions the motives of being friends and then they fear that they are drawing too close or are at an impasse of the closeness they are allowed. It is a balance that must be achieved through conversation and, well, friendship. The companionship found in the opposite sex is comforting and often sought after. I have found that, like any friendship or relationship, it requires work. In the end, though, it forms a bond and a soul of two people that come together in like interests and wonder. I'll take friendship in any form, not questioning it one way or another.

Mary said...

My experience leads me to say: it depends.

I have a guy friend who I've known since the sixth grade (I'm a senior in college now), and it has honestly never been anything other than platonic. He just gets me. It's like our brains are completely on the same wavelength. To me, it doesn't matter if he's a boy or a girl. If you click with someone, you click.
I also have a large group of guy friends from high school. Some of us have liked each other at different points, but I've never dated any of them. And now we've all moved past the point where we could possibly find each other attractive. I think sometimes you just have to get that part out of the way so that the friendship can be something greater.

That being said, I've had a much harder time finding and keeping guy friends in college. I tend to allow myself to really be myself around guys who already have girlfriends because they don't feel so threatening. Time has proven that this doesn't matter. In fact, most of my guy friends have girlfriends who are practically carbon copies of me. And all of these girlfriends are long-distance. I think a lot of times they want to be around me because I remind them of their girlfriends, and then things get awkward. I recently lost my best guy friend at school because he was saying things to me that, if he had been my boyfriend talking to another girl, I would have been upset. And when I tried to draw the line, he just didn't get it.
So my current college guy friends are mostly acquaintances, really, or guys that are on the line between friend and boyfriend.

I think boys and girls can just be friends. Actually, when I start seeing someone new, I always ask myself, "Would my boys like him?" And if the answer's no, I know the new guy probably isn't any good for me. They're my standard of measurement for just about everything.

...sorry this was so long!

Devin said...

I watched a really great mini documentary called "Why Men and Women Can't Be friends" filmed at Utah State University

It's such a fascinating subject! I myself have had a recent friendship with a guy go way wrong. He ended up being very interested in me, while I was very uninterested in him (in that way) and it led to his girlfriend finding out how he felt about me, then nearly ending things with him...

I think it is very difficult for guys and girls to just be friends.

If anyone is interested, you can see the film on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA ... it's about 3 minutes long

Anonymous said...

My one guy friend with which I have a strictly platonic relationship with is gay! My best and truest guy friend I've known since elementary school has had a cruch on me forever, he admitted it a few years ago and I made it clear that I don't feel the same way. We're still friends but I'm not entirely sure he's gotten over it. Since then I still have good guy friends but of course I always wonder what they're thinking! I think it's natural and just comes with being a human being.

Cris said...

YES! I am a bit of a tomboy. I am also bit of a feminist. Growing up, I had both typically masculine interests(baseball, playing in a band, etc) and typically feminine ones (dolls esp Barbies, talking, shopping, makeup, etc). I was a teen in the 80s and loved New Wave, punk, goth, ska, etc. music and dressed more androgynous. I think the time period was important- post 70's women's lib, 80's career woman era. And the music- the equality of the fashions and music being alternative and not mainstream. I belong(ed) to that subculture and it really cultivated equality. I am truly Gen X. I have many guy friends, some still from when I was a teen. Music is the catalyst in my life. I have many musician and music industry guy friends. I still play in a band. I love it! No competition, and some things you can do and talk about or act like with a guy and not with girls. But I love my girl friends too. I love shopping, and talking about our feelings and ideas and family and babies and boyfriends/husbands and working out and skincare and makeup,etc. I have had this discussion SO MANY TIMES as well! There of course have been guys who have had crushes on me and wanted more, and vice versa, but it happens. I say YES YOU CAN! haha.

Tang said...

I have a couple guy friends. They are mainly former co-workers. I think it just depends on whether you just click as friends or not. It's easier to not fall into any feelings when you're both committed to someone else as well. Your mind is less likely to wander there!

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

Yep. One of my best friends is a dude. We've been friends for over 7 years--he even stood up on my side at my wedding! He was my "bridesman."

Kate said...

My best friends are guys. Always have been. I just get along better with them than I do girls, and I have my entire life. Bachelorette parties and girl-only baby showers are hell for me! Girls are seriously nutty. Also, I think I judge people on whether they scream when they see a spider and if they don't mind messes. I'd rather be friends with someone who doesn't mind getting dirty.

I do of course have some dear, dear girlfriends, but whenever I have an extra ticket to a show or game, or want someone to go out to eat with, I call my boy friends first.

Anna Claire said...

I'm basically a girl's girl, and all of my close friends are girls...I feel like I relate better with them. The only guy friends I really have are the ones who are married to my girlfriends; my husband and I hang out with them as couples. I think guys and girls can be just friends, but I would be kind of weirded out if my husband was best friends with a woman, and I think he'd feel the same way about me. It's just the way we are :)

sumslay said...

I agree with those that said it's possible, but my guy friends I do think would probably make it more if I wanted it to be. And of course, then there are the gay guy friends. :) So possible, but rare.

Something I find interesting is the women on here who have mentioned that they have more guy friends than girl friends. That's always a red flag for me as a chick, because (to me) those women seem to be the ones that constantly need to be the center of attention and, well, the reasons they give for not having more girlfriends ("They're so emotional and crazy!") seem like how I'd describe those women most of the time. I have guy friends too, but I'm secure enough to have a lot of girl friends as well. Anyway, I'd just love to hear more about that subject.

Tsuki aka LittleGrayFox said...

I think it's possible to have the friendship, but it's not possible that "sex" won't be in the back of one or both of the people's brains at some point. So in that case, you can't call it purely platonic! Sure, it may never get physical, but if one or both want that at some point, then it's not platonic.

If you're in a serious relationship with someone else, that can complicate things.

As much as we'd all like to deny it, at some point, your best guy friend has thought about you naked -- and most likely it was MORE THAN ONCE!

it's fun to flirt, but if you also have an emotional relationship with someone, such as a close friendship, that can create a sticky situation.

I'd say if you're in a relationship, it's healthier to have "couples" friends or "single" acquaintances. But beyond that, you're just asking for drama!

Cheryl said...

I'm totally sharing this post with my husband, haha. He completely agrees that men and women CANNOT be friends. I must agree for most situations, but when it comes to your job and office life, I think men and women can be friends in a business setting. Or, in a big group setting where couples and multiple friends are involved can women be friends with men. But on a personal level, one-one-one, it gets a little tricky.

cecilia said...

I'd like to believe it's true: that men and women can be friends. Admittedly I haven't made any male friends since I met my husband. And before, when I had male friends, I wasn't testing them out for boyfriend potential. It's a strange dynamic for sure.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I'm so fascinated by this topic. Just had dinner with my best guy friend the other day... even though we've been strictly platonic for 8 years and joke that we would never ever date, part of me always wonders what would happen if I were single and seriously suggested it.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this completely hetero-normative without even noticing? Are there only sexual relations and desires between men and women? What about lesbians have female friends? etc. etc.

Melissa Blake said...

I love this topic! I've written about it several times on my blog and still don't know where I stand. But, my mom's best friend is a guy and they've been best friends for FIFTY YEARS!! Can't believe that, but I think that says something. :)

.aubrey c. said...

My husband doesn't really believe in it, I think its possible.. on my side at least!

http://gandacummings.blogspot.com

.aubrey c. said...

My husband doesn't really believe in it, I think its possible.. on my side at least!

http://gandacummings.blogspot.com

Kate said...

I forgot...I realized a few years ago why I might have always been friends with guys - they're my height! Nothing like being a head taller than all your girlfriends at a loud bar to make you go hang out with the guys. I get sick of having to bend over to hear them. Same at concerts - I always end up standing with boys because I have to let the girls go in front of me!

Thinking about this topic all afternoon has made me realize something else, though. All my closest girlfriends have really healthy relationships with the men in their lives - fathers, brothers, friends' husbands or boyfriends - I think it shows a lot of stability and trust as an individual to be able to be friends with people as people, regardless of their sex.

lisa i said...

I think once a couple is married this becomes a little more difficult. My spouse is my best friend there is nothing I don't share with him. I've seen marriages destroyed when either one or both people rely more heavily on a friendship with someone of the opposite sex then they do their own spouse. As much as we try to say it doesn't or shouldn't matter somehow it always does. I knew my husband for 10 years before we we married and he truly was my bff. We will be married 26 years this May.

Sara Morais said...

Great topic!

I have a boyfriend and also have friends of the opposite sex...I mean, close friends.
I totally agree with the fact that sex always gets in the way but not like that, I mean, when you're a girl and you're alone in the middle of "your guys" sex is a subject for sure, sometimes they can flirt a little bit but I don't think they will ever get all serious about it. They will never tell you to have sex. They're boys, they talk about sex but we're still friends WITHOUT benefits.
When it comes to my boyfriend...that's the part I'm not sure about. He says he doesn't mind but deep inside I think he does, I think he's a little bit jealous just because of what we might be talking about or doing. But he will never get in the way and tell me not to go or not to be friends with them.

Shan said...

This is funny! One of my best friend is actually a guy, but he was friends with my boyfriend first--they were roommates all four years of college, and my boyfriend and I started dating his sophomore year. Needless to say, we practically lived together for three years in college, so he became like a brother to me. We talk almost every day, he's stayed at my house with my family, and my mom has even called him "another son." Some people don't get it (A girl in college once told my friend she thought I was dating two guys at once! haha!), but he really is like my family :)

clarity enhanced diamonds said...

I have a lot of platonic friends of the opposite sex but I admit that sometimes things get complicated!

Mina said...

I am married and I have a ton of guy friends, who mostly started out as co-workers, since I work in a male dominated field. None of them are super close, but I would go get a drink with alone and not need to worry about them hitting on me. And my hubby doesn't mind, since he has girl friends and co-workers that he wants the same privileges with.

greyskysaturday said...

I have friends of the opposite sex some of which I have known for years. My bf also has friends of the opposite sex. I think possibly for both of us there comes a point in the relationship with the person of the opposite sex where you know it just won't happen and you start to think of them differently.

Anna said...

I have lots of guy friends. A lot of which started out as crushes. But it's weird, my mom and dad always ALWAYS assume I'm dating them. Or that they are "sweet on me." I think back in the day they didn't have such relationships with men/women. While I have lots of guy friends, it will be interesting to see how my husband sees it all. I don't know if I would want him going out to dinner with "girl" friends. Ya know? But really, who knows? I'm not even dating anyone, so maybe I shouldn't get ahead of myself. ; )

What are your thoughts, Joanna?

mollie said...

My best friend for over 20 years is a man! We live in different cities now and my boyfriend of 4 years is skeptical because like you said, people don't understand it. But, we've only been friends and that's all it will ever be (even though his mother told me this weekend she prays that we get married!!).

I find it easier being friends with a man because they don't get their feelings hurt if I don't call him for months. Every time I talk to him though, we pick up where we left off and it's great. He's my forever date!

Anonymous said...

I have a guy friend who is one of my most cherished friendships. We spend alot of time together, movies, drinks, dinners, the whole thing. Nothing has ever happened between us but I must say... I am in love with him. Normally I would say something or possibly even plant one on him but there is one detail. I dated his brother for about 8 months a while ago.
For love to work out you need two things. The obvious love thing and timing!
Would love to hear what you guys think. Go for it? End things entirely?

Lauren Darcy said...

My BFF of 13 years is a man. Sure, we've considered dating many times.... frequently after bad relationship experiences, but nothing has ever happened besides platonic love. Of course, he would jump at the idea, but bottom line is, when you know someone so well, that is more important than adding the sex factor to it an potentially ruining it. Besides, if we became romantic, who would I complain to about my boyfriend?!

jacobithegreat said...

Ah, the age-old question.

As for me, I've had those "we're just friends" friendships where one or the other eventually gets hurt.

Currently, one of my very best friends is a man. After 5 or 6 years, I can honestly say that this one is (and always has been) completely platonic- more of a sibling type of relationship at this point. It would just be weird and gross.

My fiancee has never had a problem with it; in fact they are pretty good friends.

Nicole said...

Super relevant topic for me.

Most of my regular friends are men- some are closer to my husband, others closer to me.

I get the whole 'wink wink' thing. Case in point: I bowl on a Monday night bowling league (awesome, right?) and there's like fifty men and three of us ladies on the league. I'm on a team of all men and I go bowling occasionally on a nonleague night with a guy friend on my team. The staff at the bowling alley allllllll think he's my boyfriend/secret lover/whatever. It drives me insane. We're just good friends. It doesn't bother me or my husband, so why should other people get to sexualize my friendship?

I have other examples, but in short-- I love my friends, many of whom are men. Naturally people might have issues with it, but I don't.

kendra said...

i have some very close guy friends. and there have been moments where i have crushed on different ones. But honestly, i'd want a relationship to stem out of a friendship. I love that level of comfort.
And there are also the "safe" friends... a few much younger guy friends that i never have to worry about.

Amelia said...

I love this question--I grew up with ALL boys, brothers, cousins, boys for miles. Over the years, my most important friendships have been with girls, but I inherently get along with men very well and sometimes like the rules of man friendship a little better--I often feel like the conversations that I have with men are much easier than with women, not because of content, but because it's all so straight forward. I do have some friends that are men that I primarily hang out without my husband and although it's not exactly like when I'm with my girlfriends, it's awfully close. For whatever reason, we don't experience jealousy in our relationship, or if we do, we talk about it pretty openly. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us. And honestly, isn't there something a little healthy about safe good-natured flirting? Nothing makes me want to jump my sweetheart's bones more than feeling like I've still got it...kind of seems like a win-win. :)

Anonymous said...

the only 100% platonic friendship i have is with my sister's ex-boyfriend. we always got along really well and had a ton of things in common- he's like the older brother i always wanted.

oddly, everyone always thinks he's my boyfriend, but i think it just appears that way from the outside because it's obvious i adore him and am completely comfortable with him.

all my other friendships with guys have always had the underlying "maybe there's something more here" feel to them.

shoegirl said...

I used to have a lot of guy friends - some exes and some purely platonic, but they've pretty much all distanced themselves after getting married. Now most guy friends I have are part of other couples my husband and I hang out with. I always tended to prefer the lack of drama and neuroses with guys. I'm just sorry those relationships have changed with time.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of this youtube video...definitely made me laugh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

Elizabeth Benfield said...

i firmly believe that if you have a friend of the opposite sex and are already commited to someone, then your someone (lets say husband) must now be involved in that friendship.

i have a great friend who at some point may have had feelings for me or i for him, out of familiarity, comfort ... not particularly wild attraction. IF it was ever there, neither of us ever discussed it or acted on it. he and my husband are also great friends. i make sure to share with my husband when we talk and would never walk out of the room while on the phone or keep any part of that friendship a secret out of respect to my husband.

in conclusion, it depends on the situation. if single, who cares?! have fun and love. if in a commited relationship, be wise and above all else, respect your significant other and always include them in the friendship. if there is need to hide anything (besides a surprise party) then chances are, that friendship has crossed some sort of line.

the end :)

meganannpluth said...

i had to jump over to the article to read the whole thing! more than anything it just raises the question "have times actually changed?" i have four very close guy friends that i would consider "platonic" that i don't remember ever having feelings for, but you never know about the other side of the story unless one party makes the move. i do think it's possible, maybe if we just keep it real.

Anonymous said...

Well, i am trying to bealive it really works, but i am not sure about that. Such a good topic for today! I am just in UK for couple of months and here i prefer male friends. I can not say why but their company make me more comfortable. But as i gues sometimes it is out of a boardline of friendships, so here is a problem. You never know where the way is leaded.

Elizabeth Benfield said...

ps - i have had other close friendships with guys but we are no longer close. 8 times out of 10 if you are the one that would never hook up with them, they would in a heartbeat. once you are in a commited relationship, like get married, the ones that are not truly platonic will not really be in your life anymore. they slowly fade out.

when people cheat, it usually starts out as just firends, neither looking to be unfaithful. and then "its an accident" which usually involves a 3 month courtship and labeling it as friends. i have seen a lot of people get hurt this way.

Anonymous said...

I'm in college and single, and I hang around with a lot of guys and am often looking for nothing more than friendship with them. I used to think men and women could be friends but recently I'm realizing that this seems like a difficult concept for a lot of guys to grasp. So I'm not really sure anymore, I think if both parties are in a committed relationship and everyone is friends, then it can work. Otherwise it's very easy to cross into the "friends with benefits" category.

Leslie said...

First off, I adore "when harry met sally." it is one of my favorite movies of all time. with that being said, i don't think men and women can be friends if there is attraction involved, and i mean romantic attraction/ chemistry. i've tried being friends with exes or with guys who i wanted to date, but it doesn't work for me. i always fall for my cute guy friends.

Anonymous said...

i had a platonic besty man in my life. we did everything together ... and now we are about to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary.

Anonymous said...

One of my very best friends is a man . . . whom I used to date. My husband doesn't have an issue with it and he's friends with several women he used to date as well. HOWEVER, my friend's wife DOES NOT like it AT ALL so it makes it very awkward. My philosophy has always been that excising someone from your life who you really cared about is really wrong - sometimes it just doesn't work out but that doesn't mean that you don't still want them in your life in some way. Obviously that is not true in every relationship. We have a completely platonic relationship and I do think of him as a cousin/brother - which is weird I suppose since we used to date! --M

becca ann said...

Some of my dearest friends are men and most of them are not people I am interested in. I think that part of the issue is a somewhat outdated (in my opinion) that there is something wrong with entertaining the idea of someone sexually/romantically. Of course in years of friendship with someone of the opposite sex (or same sex if that is your preference) you will probably have moments where you think, "Hmm we get along so well; is this a good idea." There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this. Whether married or unmarried these feelings are inevitable at some point either about someone you do not know very well or a friend (or both). These thoughts do not negate friendship, but rather are just part of our adult human experience.

I think that the key factor here centers around choice. If someone is choosing to be friends without a romantic component you are choosing to hold your ideas in a certain way. Will we all think at some time or another about the people in our life sexually? Probably. Does that mean that we need to allow those feelings to come to fruition or act on them? Definitely not. We can weigh them and decide what makes best sense for us.

All this to say, Harry is right most of the time, but it doesn't mean that true, deep, and appropriate friendship can't still flourish.

esther said...

A lot of ladies here talk about their male friends and how they are perfect about it. I just miss a little more talking about "my husband has many girl friends and I'm sooo happy about it ;)"

Sara said...

Most of my friends have always been guys. However, I'm noticing that while I don't ever have romantic feelings for them, there always comes a point where they do and they let me know. It's always awkward when I have to tell them I don't feel the same way and most of them end up never talking to me again.

mommyiscoocoo said...

Not really but I'd like to! My husband and I were just discussing this. In his professional life, he meets and has lunch with new woman. Where are my men?!?! I'd love to have lunch with a man I don't already know. I don't want to have sex with them. I'm already trying to work on more sex with my husband. I say come on bring on the ManFriend!

Patricia Villamil said...

I believe it really is complicated. Since very young in my life, I've always had male and female friends alike. But then you start to become sexual in your adult life and those male friendships seem to take a different take from different angles, especially when there are downs in your life, and those male friends either take a sudden intense interest in your life (fishing?) or they know things can get weird, and let you be. In my experience I had a really good male friend (still do, although I'm married, he's not and we live in different cities now) which was my rock when I was single. We had the most profound conversations and most intimate talks, it was a spiritual and real relationship (hard to find) yet there was always a kind of unseen spark that we knew was there, but we tried to avoid it, and were successful at that. These friendships are at their best when both are single, and then take a more abstract meaning when either of them is in a relationship, but I think is like that for all friendships, becomes your partner suddenly becomes your very good friend too. I think is fascinating these subject, and I am now going to go off and read that NYC article.

eleise_h said...

Some guys at Utah State University made a video about this a few months ago. It was interesting because the girls always said 'yes' but guys said 'no'. All the comment posters have been girls as far as I have seen. It would be nice to hear a man's perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

Mary said...

My boyfriend doesn't believe that single guys could be friends with me without some sort of sexual intentions. He says this because that's how he used to be with girls and has never had a friend that he wasn't interested in, in some way.
I have several friends that are guys, and a few of them were interested in me at some point, but grew out of it. I think that if boundaries are drawn and it isn't disrespectful to the significant other, than opposite sex friends are great!

Moni said...

My best friend (for over 10 years) is a guy! We've been friends since middle school, met when I change schools and have been best friends since.

EVERYONE and I mean everyone, his parents and my parents included, think that we'll eventually become romantic...but I think like you. Once you have been friends with someone for over 10 years, and know ALL their secrets, it's like they become your sibling. He IS my brother, and just the thought of being "intimate" with him makes me feel SOOOO icky and weird. It would just be wrong.

We have NEVER kissed, even if we have been out of our mind drunk together, nothing has happen. For so many years people said that nothing happen because he was probably gay, but he is not, and it just made my head explode whenever I heard a short minded comment like this.

It becomes a little tricky when one of us has a partner, although we have been lucky and usually everyone gets along.

I do believe man and women can be friends, JUST friends.

Kelsey said...

My closest friends are guys. We've been in each other's lives so long, that it's just not sexual. At all. They're like brothers to me. At one point in Junior High or High School, we all took turns having crushes or asking each other to dances, but nothing ever materialized except friendship.
My closest and oldest friend was my 'Maid of Honour' (a title that he wanted to stick with so I wouldn't miss out on a MOH experience!), and 2/4 of the bridesmaids were guys.
It's never been a big deal to me, and my husband has become very close with them, as well.
My husband questioned it at first, but as soon as he met them, I think he sensed that it's completely platonic.

Anonymous said...

It's not possible for me.
I am just far too attractive, they always fall for me. Or sometimes it's mutual, Harry met Sally style.
lol.
It must be easier for less attractive people.

Anne said...

This is a great post, and so timely, as this very subject has been on my mind lately. (Not to mention, my love for When Harry Met Sally--such a great movie). Here's my thoughts: I think it is tough, and obviously there is no right or true answer. It completely depends on your context. I've had strong male friendships and they've stayed just that way. No attractions. No weird tensions. Usually it is because they were already in a relationship, and I happen to be close friends with their significant others, as well.

BUT I've also been in a friendship (well, I should talk about it in the present because I still consider this guy a friend) where I've been the one with confused feelings, and I will say it is not fun. Our relationship has kind of ebbed and flowed over the years, we've felt closer at times and more distant at others. He's dated someone else who was pretty significant (they have a long history), and I've remained single. We also work together, which I think adds another tricky element. In fact it has been mostly my co-workers who have nudged me or inquired if we're dating (To my knowledge they've never confronted him on this issue, always me).

Anyway, it is something I'm still trying to work through, because as amazing and wonderful as this friend is and as much as I care for him, I feel like it is never going to go where I want it to. I've never really shared how I feel with him either, which I realize is probably a fault on my part. I guess I fear rejection, fear losing him as a friend. I think someone said earlier that it is the ultimate Catch-22, and I have to agree.

Wow, sorry for my rambling response. But thanks again for the post, very thought-provoking.

Maria said...

My closest and best friends are guys. Both straight and gay :)

Gay guys are my most favorite! They are fun to go shopping, getting hair/nail done with, just like having girl friends with less drama and competition :D
They give you great advise on fashion, make up, hairstyle better, plus they are honest!

With straight guys, some of them were classmates, some are the guys I used to date and become good friends.

I love hanging out with guys because they don't get offended easily. They're too honest - they would say ANYTHING right on your face and not behind your back.
I love throwing sarcastic jokes and no one roll their eyes at me :D

Miss Mel said...

In my experience, "guy friends" always turn out to be more than just a friend. For instance, my boyfriend of 3 years used to be my best guy friend for 4 years before that! It just turned into a romantic relationship over time. However, I have noticed that once you are already in a relationship it's much easier to have guys who are just friends because everyone knows there's no chance of getting romantic involved. At least I would hope so!

missmelandmissheather.blogspot.com

Eliana said...

This is really only a question for heterosexual people. I would be curious to hear if people in same sex relationships feel this way about same sex friends.

Personally I feel like the sex thing doesn't fully go away until you are in a serious relationship. But even then it might still cross your mind!

Elise said...

My husband and I were best friends for 5 years before we started dating. I think deep friendship with the opposite sex always has the potential to become romantic. I guess since we know that "just friends" can fall in love and get married, we are skeptical of having other (exclusive to one spouse) opposite sex friends! but couple friends are great. on another note...when harry met sally is one of our favorite movies of all time. :)

Kiley Kate said...

My best guy friend and I used to date, so maybe we got the sexual part out of the way early? Either way he's still one of the first people I call when I have a problem and he always offers good advice and support.

Anonymous said...

I agree with our culture not really understanding (or valuing) friendship. One of the most important relationships I have is the relationship with my best friend.

The men-women-friendship questions just doesn't make sense to me. It's complicated? I must admit my first thought was "these thoughts are so ridiculously outdated!" Reading the comments I see not everyone feels that way.

I'm a lesbian though, and this question doesn't even realize I exist. So how can I not feel that way? When I change "opposite sex" to "same sex" this is still a nonsense question to me though. I have so many friendships with women (straight and gay) where there is no sexual attraction at all, and there never will be.

And I know it's possible with straight men and women too! Most of my straight little brother's friends are women, they always have been. No sexual attraction there either.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if such a question could be worded differently to include responses from individuals of all sexual orientations. I think it would be good to see topics such as this broadened so that a homosexual or bi-sexual male or female, for example, could contribute to the discussion with their experiences. Do you have friends of the gender you are attracted too? or What has been your experience in a friendship in which their was a romantic or physical attraction on the part of one or both of the individuals? Great blog. All the best.

Joss D said...

The majority of my friends are guys, and i have to admit that at the begging of are friendship the sex part did appear but the trick is to avoid it, after that i think is when you get closer as friends and everything becomes more like a sister- brother friendship.

Chelsea said...

I certainly try to, but it's been my experience more often than not that one party has feelings for the other party, and this can ruin things.

I'm not really sure how the author of this article can suggest going back to being friends after sex. I certainly don't seem to be capable of that. I'm too emotional about the sex stuff, I guess. But then I'm one of those young people with "all those hormones"...

:)

Thanks for sharing, Jo! Very interesting topic.

sprinklesandallergies said...

Love it! I've been looking for a great new swimsuit now that I'm at my ideal size! =)

Heidi Wellington said...

I had many platonic male friends before meeting my husband, over the years we have lost touch and now the only real platonic male friend I have aside from my husband is my brother and an older gent who is gay. I think my husband prefers it this way! ;

Mary said...

My best friend in the entire world is a boy and we're not "involved" at all. The night before I left to college he kissed me because he wanted "to see what it felt like" and we were like "...eh we're just best friends!" Haha. The thing I like about us is that we're a "we" without being romantic. I wouldn't be "me" without him. So it's absolutely possible for people to have friends of the opposite gender.

Coco Jam said...

i have a best guy friend. we've been friends since we were in high school and we've never had any sexual relationship, not until recently when we became a couple. and i think there is nothing complicated about that, it's just a matter of preference and respect between two friends.

Anonymous said...

I think the most complicated thing about having platonic friends of the opposite sex is people always assuming you’re together and having everyone else judge your friendship. If people weren’t so judgey about the whole thing, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal. Reading through the comments it sounded like a lot of people feel so strongly about it they can’t even imagine opposite gendered friends as a possibility. And it may not be, for them, but a lot of people posted they have them, along with committed relationships with other people! So it obviously happens. Stop assuming every guy and girl you see alone together are together! I personally HATE IT when people ask if I’m married to or dating people who I definitely am not! Why assume that, and why ask if we are or aren’t? It is none of your business, waitress/store clerk/friend of friend/random stranger!!!! I also read one comment saying girls with more guy friends “sends up a red flag” to that poster because those girls must only want to be the center of attention. Not saying that doesn’t happen, but some girls just get along with guys better. Come on, seriously, can’t we all just be friends with whomever we want, regardless of sex, race, or religion, etc. without having to listen to other people’s reactions, or have others draw conclusions on us based on face value?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but I've slept with all of them.

Found said...

I'm a single female, with mostly male friends. Actually, I guess I have about an equal number of female and male at any given time, but the male ones always seem to be the ones I’m closer with and keep in touch with on a long-term basis. I have a variety of guy friends, the kind that turns from crush to friend (or bro), ones I’ve never had any interest in, and even a couple who I know there will always be some tension with.

To uncomplicate things, I think it helps as long as you’re honest about your feelings, or lack therof! I think it's easy to turn friends into brothers once you know the many ways you're not attracted to them (and vice versa), especially if that’s all out on the table, you’ve talked about it and you’re not secretly wondering if they’re attracted to you. I have a few unbiological brothers, which makes up for not having any by blood, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Also, it helps I always seem to get along with their girlfriends really well.

And to “I am just far too attractive, they always fall for me…It must be easier for less attractive people,” Assuming this is only a problem that “hot” people have is ridiculous. Everyone has qualities that make them beautiful and special; everyone is attractive to someone. Maybe the reason you so frequently have this issue is that you aren’t honest about your feelings for the guys from the beginning. Or you know they like you and you like the attention. But I find it hard to believe that the only reason this happens to you is that you are so hot that no man can escape your unintentional feminine wiles.

Amber, theAmberShow said...

I have a large, over-lapping network of friends, and my guy friends are all platonic. For many of them, it wouldn't even occur to me to be otherwise.

That said, I'm a girls-girl, and my closest pals are gals.

Maggie said...

One of best friends is male. He is insanely hot. We dated a long time ago and never had a physical relationship. He came out as gay a few years ago, even if he were straight we would still be cross-my-heart truly platonic. Even though he is so attractive, I will always see him as just a friend.

Caitlin said...

Oddly enough I recently had a conversation about this with my best friend who is of the opposite sex. His point of view is that platonic relationships are entirely possible, and healthy, but itis almost certain that the guy wants to sleep with the girl on some level. Whether they would really act on it is another story.

Personally, I find it easier to get close to guys. And I know a lot of women feel that way. It is always a little awkward at the beginning of the friendship though, trying to navigate each other's feelings.

Michelle said...

One of my two best friends is a guy, and now it's completely platonic, but we did used to do friends-with-benefits that was leaning towards the actually dating side. And we've both admitted to having feelings for the other at one point or another.

But I grew up with a lot of boys, and a lot of my close friends remain to be guys, a few of which I've been close with since childhood and I could never see romantically.

I definitely believe having platonic friends of the opposite sex is completely doable, but some of those friendships definitely have the possibility to turn into a lot more. It just depends on the person and the timing.

LV said...

I definitely believe that men and women can be friends and yes, I do have some strictly platonic friends that have always been and will never be nothing more than platonic. A couple of these friendships go back to sophomore year in high school and that is a lot of history. And we have never crossed the line.

Of course there are always those that think that "surely you cant be just friends" especially if either party is attractive. What a ridiculous philosophy.

Your platonic friends have to be ugly. At least thats what one of my friends ex fiance said after she called off their engagement. She just could not believe her man could be platonic friends with me for over 20 years and we never got with each other. What?????????

My friendships with men are less complicated and there is not that catty, estrogen secret jealousy and frenemy bullshit that exists with women. Can I just keep it real?

Don't get me wrong, I have some amazing friends of both sexes, but friendships with men can be so rewarding because you get a great friend and someone to share the male perspective on things, especially if you are dating.

Norbyah said...

some of my closest friends over the years have been men. in high school i naturally gravitated towards the guys because, quite frankly, the drama of high school girls exhausted me. but, i do recall on one occasion, after graduating from high school and keeping in touch with most of those guy friends, one of them wrote me a letter confessing his undying love for me. i was cruel because i felt betrayed as if our whole friendship had been based on a lie and i couldn't forgive his deceit. we eventually reconciled, but i think it will always be complicated.

on the flipside, my hubby is my best friend. how lucky am i?
xo
n

lindsay said...

some of my closest friends are straight men. it's always been platonic with some of them, where it's crossed over to more with others (including the guy i'm marrying who was my best guy friend in a platonic way for several years).

it seems pretty easy for women to have platonic relationships with people they might be attracted to. i wonder, though, how much this rings true with men and their platonic relationships.

CourtneyS said...

One of my very good friends is a guy, and he at one point did have a thing for me. But I'm pretty sure its past by now, and my hubby doesn't mine too much considering it is his childhood best friend. It can be difficult to develop a close friendship with the opposite sex without love interests involving. I did end up marrying my best friend. It can be achieved though.

P.S. I love the movie When Harry Met Sally by the way :)

Rachel Elizabeth said...

I have guys friends and my husband has friends who are women. I don't think its a big deal.

Yazmak iyidir... said...

We girls are so naive :) This video is the proof.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

I always thought, well we could be friends. But it always ended up me being asked for a date, or more awkwardly guys leaning on a kiss in the middle of a conversation. And now I think, well I somehow felt that coming but ignored it...
If guys believe in friendships more than we do, it could be possible :) But they don't :P

Mel said...

I AM SO, SO, SO TIRED OF THIS TOPIC.

YES, men and women can be friends and be totally platonic.

I have guy friends, and although some of them have turned romantic "things", none ever became a full-fledged relationship. One of my best friends is a man, and we're incredibly close without any sort of sexual tension.

Aquarian by Heart said...

I do. Being an only girl, I grew up being comfortable with the company of the opposite sex. And even before I got married, I have equal number of guy and girl friends. Having a platonic relationship with guys actually gives me an edge. I can always openly ask them questions and be assured of getting honest answers. I think that sometimes, it depends on circumstances, culture and environment. Here in the Philippines, we are raised to be conservative so sex doesn't enter our minds until highschool, when we have to study human anatomy during Biology.

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