Sunday, November 4, 2012

Can Men and Women Be Just Friends

 A recent experiment took eighty-eight heterosexual pairs who claimed to be friends and invited them to a coffee experiment. The designers of the experiment did not want to risk any resulting data leaking out to the participants and destroying the friendships. With this in mind, the city where it took place remains anonymous, but the participants were English speakers. Are you aware in many non-English speaking countries the concept of platonic friendship between a man and a woman is a laughable.

The couples drank coffee, then, separated for an interview supposedly about their beverage. The interviewer digressed into an offhand conversation about the friend. Questions regarding their friend’s hotness factor, or if they would ever consider their friend in a romantic fashion. The females assured the interviewer their friendship was only platonic while the large majority of guys were very interested in becoming romantic partners. The few who didn’t confessed to an attraction to their female friend may have just been lying because they felt the question was suspicious.

Ah, ha, it is pretty much what every guy has ever told me, but I refused to believe. One male blogger grabbed this topic and told his tales of unrequited love where he stayed friends with a girl over thirty years in hopes he’d work his way into her bed. He did, after her last divorce, but then found he could no longer be friends with her. He has now entered The Twilight Zone of friendships. Things were good before they slept together. Truthfully, he was grooming her for romance. He had a goal, but once he reached it he had nowhere else to go. The things he did that made him such a wonderful friend from remembering her birthday to sending her positive messages when she was down, he no longer had any motivation to continue. Men are very goal driven. They are more about the hunt, than the eventual catch. Some men are more like catch and release fishermen. The two drifted apart after a thirty-year long friendship.

So can men and women never be friends? All the movies, magazines, and trendy books tell us we can. Women can be friends with men they don’t find sexually attractive. It is like having another girlfriend or a gay best friend. No man wants to find out he’s not attractive. His platonic friend will lie to him, and tell him he’s attractive, which he translates to having a chance with her.

My DH assures me that men do not talk to women they aren’t interested in. Even casual conversation with a stranger is meant as some type of hook to reel you in. The man who settles for the friendship role is playing the long game. Women argue that they have great male co-workers or long time family friends. The male co-workers are people you have to work with, but it does not mean there may not be some underlying flirtation there. That’s why people use the terms work husband, work wife, and emotional affair.

If you have a trusted male friend, keep in mind he may not want to hear your relationship tales. Well, he might if they’re bad. That way the two of you can gang up on your latest guy. Keep in mind; he may just have ulterior motives for disliking your most recent date.

What do you think?


Rolynn Anderson said...

Morgan, one wonders how much biology is at work here in both cases...the man keeping the reproduction option open and the woman encouraging the presence of a protective male. All very interesting.

morgan said...


The biology viewpoint makes sense, but even after the reproducing years are over most men don't want to be friends.

Now that doesn't mean you don't have great male co-workers, or people you bump into due to shared interests. What you don't have is a guy friend that you'd go to the movies or shopping with.

Thanks for commenting.

Josie said...

Very, very interesting. My daughter is a senior in high school and she'll mention that some of the guys she hangs out with are just friends. Maybe, or maybe not...