Platonic Men and Women friendships?

Ahh, the age old million dollar question. Can men and women just be friends?

Well, there are quantifying statements to help explain better.

At one given moment, perhaps a man and a woman can be purely friends, but when you take away the snapshot and look at long term, the answer may be different.

At some point, one will fall for the other, but the other is not interested. And then later, if the friendship sustains and survives, perhaps the other person will fall for the first person, but that person has already moved on. And then it continues, guy likes girl, then switches, girl likes guy, until one day, theylike each other at the same time. And then?

So even if they were friends for some moments, over time, there will be attraction.

Why do I say this?

Lets switch into a situation.

Jeff and Jenn are good friends. Both are dating each other. When Jenn gets in a fight with her boyfriend, she vents and talks to Jeff. Jeff, being Jenn’s friend, listens intently and is always on Jenn’s side (hey, what are friends for). Jenn and boyfriend starts having more issues, Jenn starts running to Jeff to talk more. And now, Jenn’s starting to think, “Wow, Jeff is a great guy! See? He understands what I’m talking about! Unlike my insensitive boyfriend!” Now Jeff may be entirely enamored by his current girlfriend and is truly just being a good listener and a friend for Jenn. But, it’s a slippery slope. Jeff may also start thinking, “Man, this guy is treating Jenn so badly. She’s such a great girl! I love her as a friend! Man, if I were her boyfriend, I’d treat her so much better!”

Oops, mistake number 1. We’re going down the slope.

Say Jenn and boyfriend breaks up. What’s Jenn going to do now? Find Jeff? Ask him to console her? comfort her?

And Jeff’s response? Comfort and console his friend? or realize that this is going down a slippery slope? Jeff starts wanting Jenn? Isn’t that cheating? Since Jeff is not a single man?

Platonic friendships?

Hmm, very very rare. And I think if we’re going to call it friendships, it’ll be the more surface level type, and not the heart-to-heart, venting type.

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2 thoughts on “Platonic Men and Women friendships?

  1. Agreed. I really don’t think that platonic “intimate” friendships can occur… at least, not easily. In order to maintain a platonic state, they’d probably have to clarify every now and then that they both indeed are not attracted to each other or something, haha.

  2. Hey there Third Culture Kid,

    Awesome post, awesome blog. Love it. The complexity of the male-female dynamic is definitely fascinating. So much so that me and a group of my friends co-wrote a book that we’re giving away for free about it. I would love to get your take on it. You can find the link to it via my/our blog http://menandwomencantbefriends.wordpress.com/.

    If you like it, tell us, if not, still tell us! We’d love to hear your take on it to continue the conversation about whether or not men and women can be friends. It’s way too fun of a topic to let it go without being answered definitively.

    Can’t wait to hear from you.

    dudeships@gmail.com or blog!

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