It’s widely debated and argued that it is not at all possible for a man and a woman to be just friends. You have either heard or been a part of the discussion that a man and woman simply won’t work on that level.
So, is it really possible to be just friends?
Yes! Of course it is possible for men and women to have a platonic relationship.
We live in a generation where people don’t believe in one another’s genuineness and even honesty, so the idea of a man and woman being just friends is a hard concept to believe in and accept.
I personally have a good number of friends that are men and I call them my brothers. And I can say for certainty that we are not attracted to each other at all. None of us are unattractive and we all possess great qualities and personalities; we just don’t see each other in that way.
Now, the argument between people always states how it’s against our “nature” to see an attractive man/woman and not instantly want to jump their bones. That all has some truth to it but, if a man and woman get to talking long enough, they either realize they would be better as a couple or friends. Not every person you meet is going to be a great partner for you, and there is nothing wrong with being friends.
That being said, difficulties may arise because one or both people have different goals in mind.
Research shows that while possible, it may often be hard for men and women to be friends. They often have very different expectations for what that “friendship” will entail. However, there is some common ground. So, with a bit of effort, satisfying friendships can be created (at least in some situations).
1) Understand different friendship needs. It is common for people to think about what they want only. They may even think what they desire is somehow more noble, important, or urgent. That simply is not the case.
When entering into any relationship, even a simple friendship, what others desire may be different. Each person’s goals for the friendship may be unique. Some people want companionship, others resources. Some want sex, others commitment. To have a friendship of any kind, it is important to respect those differences. Don’t let anyone shame you out of your desires. Don’t do it to your “friends” in return either.
2) Communicate your intentions. Frustration and difficulty starts when both individuals are not honest about their goals. For example, a man may claim he desires only companionship, when he really wants a girlfriend. Or, a woman may hook-up, when she really desires to be dined, protected, and dated. Without knowing, their “friends” may not take care of those needs (taking them at their word and deed).
So, if you want something specific out of a friendship, it is important to show it. That may mean a conversation and asking questions. It may also mean acting more like a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” than a simple friend from the start, making sexual or commitment requests early on. For example, some men say that “they don’t pay for outings, unless a woman is looking to be their girlfriend”. Some women communicate that “they don’t sleep with men who are not interested in a longer relationship”. Yet others talk about their pre-existing “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, letting others know that “friendship only” is available.
In any case, it is important for both parties to be clear what will and will not be part of the “friendship”. It is essential to communicate your desires and listen to those of others.