Can Men and Women just be friends?

Anonymous Guest's picture
Submitted by Anonymous Guest on Fri, 2009-06-12 00:35

Can Men and Women just be friends? That is the question.

One man, having been placed in the dreaded “friend zone” complains of the damage done to his friendship with a woman for whom he was attracted to:

"It is a bitter irony. I got the impression that you wish to see the friendship preserved and that you have been trying to salvage it, but as soon as you put me in the “friend zone” you pretty much pulled the trigger killing off all those “awesome” things you enjoyed experiencing when interacting with me. The very same thing you wanted to save---was the very thing you killed off. That is irony."

Advice to the female wise: you can’t emasculate a guy and expect him to be the same guy.

This brings me to another point: friend zoning women want all those things a man can offer, e.g., strength, decision-making, solid advice, logic, support, conversation, common sense, and so on) without the “entanglements” that sex brings to the table.

But since men aren’t commonly encumbered with psychologically crippling emotions, they aren’t burdened with the ridiculousness of separating friendship from sex. In fact, for them, it’s just the opposite: When a man likes a woman, he naturally wants to express his feelings by making love to her. Sadly, some female minds can’t process this logic. Instead, she quickly “either-ors” any guy they encounter: Either he’s going to be a lover or he’s going to be a friend--but, in this view, you can’t have both.

Why would a woman “either-or” a man with whom she is drawn to? A certain line from an article related to this subject is very telling—-telling in its absurdity: "You're so funny and smart and amazing, any girl but me would be lucky to date you."

This is where we have a deeply dormant psychological conflict: sex and friendship are opposites. In this view, you can’t have sex with a man with whom you have a strong bond with. Friendship is associated with everything that is “conflict free” and relationships are associated with most things negative.

Love relationships, from this point of view, are ultimately undermined and associated with loss and disappointment—where as “friendship” is seen as a safe haven. In this mistaken outlook, relationships are invariably fraught with problems—based on previous bad experiences—and so are doomed to pain and disappointment. So women seek out what they need in a man, feeling that happiness will be secured by placing that man—with whom she feels a strong attraction to—into the “friend zone.” Now, finally, it is concluded, she can have a male companion and all the benefits of a “relationship” devoid of all the messy pain associated with romantic relationships.

The thing to be discovered and accepted is the following: there is no inherent clash between friendship and sex. In other words, when two heterosexual individuals of the opposite sex establish a bond—a friendship—the natural order of things calls for them to move forward into a man/woman relationship. It is only a psychological aberration that would block this natural course of events.

Women need men—they need men for all those traits they alone possess and that are not commonly found in women. (Conversely, men need women for traits they alone possess, besides different genital).

No, I’m not saying that there aren’t any traits that men and women share in common, but I AM saying that there is a different dynamic that the opposite sex brings to the table—a dynamic that both men and women need and want in which only the opposite sex can bring.

So the answer to the question “Can men and women just be friends”—the answer is NO. Not when both parties are romantically free, and not when the parties share a deep affinity. The answer is NO because, devoid of hang-ups and psychological blocks—there is no reason why they should remain just friends!

To the question “Can friends be lovers”—the answer is YES.

I would like to hear what you have to say. Eye


( categories: )

Sharon

Leonid's picture

And what it is exactly platonic love? Does it mean that two people fall in love but avoid to consummate their relations? If it so,they commit unspeakable sin of sacrifice. If their relations have no romantic nature, then how it's different from friendship and why to call it love?

Christianity

Luke Setzer's picture

I absolutely must embellish the most recent comment from Marcus.

I was raised in a Lutheran household and bought the message about "chastity" and "platonic" love hook, line, and sinker.

If there is anything my religious upbringing has taught me, it is not to believe everything "authorities" tell you!

There is so much I have had to re-think over the years and I am still not done, e.g. how much tolerance parents should have for sexual escapades of their dependent adolescent children, a notion I still find absurd on its face for reasons having nothing to do with religion.

It is true...

Marcus's picture

...that the entire concept of 'platonic' love is evil.

It assumes that a 'chaste' love is somehow superior to love with sex.

It falsely claims to be a more pure and perfect form of love than one that includes sex.

It is just a product of the Christian hang-up about sex, which is in turn a bastardisation of the Greek ascetic movement.

In other words, pure evil!

True

Kasper's picture

[But, as Luke further pointed out-- "for a straight man and a straight woman each to have no partner while being 'best pals' with each other strikes me as, well, unnatural"--most especially when an emotional intimacy has been established. ]

That's why I banged and continue to bang my best 'pal'..... Eye

"I think we are talking

sharon's picture

"I think we are talking about the pitfall of falling into the contradiction of platonic love."

Yes, that’s right. I didn’t say that men and women have to bang each other every time they come across someone for whom they share a friendship or warm affections.

"I am sure it is possible for some men and some women to form lasting platonic relationships, especially if they already have committed romantic relationships into which to direct their sexual energies," says Luke. I agree. And even where you do find otherwise involved platonic friends who are married to other people—they do not have a close and regular and highly interactive friendship. But, as Luke further pointed out-- "for a straight man and a straight woman each to have no partner while being 'best pals' with each other strikes me as, well, unnatural"--most especially when an emotional intimacy has been established.

A male and female friendship that has a foundation of emotional intimacy does not see itself splinter off to finding “other people” for satisfying relationships when they have already found it with each other. That doesn’t make any goddamn sense at all.

.

Perhaps

Kasper's picture

I think we are talking about the pitfall of falling into the contradiction of platonic love.

Sharon

Leonid's picture

"Can Men and Women just be friends? That is the question. "
What a question! Some of mine best friends are women. On more serious note-it's possible that man and woman have very good friendly relationship, but sexualy not attracted to each other. Friendship is only one precondition to love, there are many others.

Luke

sharon's picture

I read it, thanks. In one post, following the article, you write:

"I am sure it is possible for some men and some women to form lasting platonic relationships, especially if they already have committed romantic relationships into which to direct their sexual energies. But for a straight man and a straight woman each to have no partner while being "best pals" with each other strikes me as, well, unnatural. I can understand close relatives like siblings and cousins doing this, but not unrelated straight people of the opposite sex."

I agree.

Never Again

Luke Setzer's picture

I made the mistake of letting myself get into one of those "platonic relationships" you describe and it ended badly as I described in this old SOLO article:

"Houseguests from Hell"

Never again!

Sharon...

Marcus's picture

...is it not possible for a man and woman to be 'emotionally' close, good friends, but not sexually attracted to one another?

For example, if the woman was much older, they might consider it a sort of mother-son relationship.

If the woman was much younger, they might consider it a father-daughter relationship.

I couldn't imagine screwing Ayn Rand, no matter how much I admired her and she me, if such a thing were ever possible. She's just not sexually attractive to me from what I have seen of her in photos and video footage. There are woman like that - they just don't float your boat - no matter how wonderful they otherwise seem.

The interesting thing though, Sharon, is that I think Ayn Rand would agree with you on this. If the couple are indeed close and share values the relationship should properly become sexual, she would say.

However, we all know what tragedy that led Ayn Rand herself to in the end. Indeed, there are massive numbers of posts on this very website, and a poll, really down to that one decision of hers to have an affair with a like-minded male friend.

At least, if there was no sexual element involved, I'm sure the break wouldn't draw as much attention as it does.

Yes Sharon absolutely

Sandi's picture

And that is where the sexual aspect kicks in.

Obviously it goes both ways. Blokes and girls who have no desire for a relationship play the friendship decoy to garnish their plates when the larder runs dry.

It boils down to second fiddle and those who would settle for it against those who will not.

That said, how many men or women would truly respect any man or woman who would be content to fuck or hope to fuck for a silver medal?

Sandi

sharon's picture

"I have a couple of male friends. Good friends that I have known for many years".

I do understand that a girl can have “guy pals,” but the issue addressed in my post is when a woman is emotionally intimate with a man and yet places him in the “friend zone” while having no trouble sleeping with “jerks”. This, for me, becomes a psychological issue, and an ugly one behind it.

In my opinion it is sex that is the cruncher

Sandi's picture

I have a couple of male friends. Good friends that I have known for many years. I suspect the reason to why we have been such good friends is because we never had sex. Sex wasn't part of the friendship. Admittedly we don't meet up too often these days as we all live away, but we still catch up on the phone and chew the fat.
Sex can not be a catalyst in destroying a relationship if it has never occurred.

I'd like to quote Bosch Fawstin - "Table for One"
"I don't fuck with sex"

This is a fascinating

Luke H's picture

This is a fascinating subject. I've come to view the "friend zone" as an excuse used by women when they are insufficiently attracted to the man involved. He may be intelligent, kind, show affection, etc - and tick all the boxes in terms of socially acceptable 'boyfriend qualities' - but he usually fails to arouse her interest in other, not-so-socially-acceptable ways - by which I mean he fails to get her juices flowing.

I tend to place the majority of the blame on the man for suppressing his sexual interest in the woman, and often trying to 'buy' her affections with dinners, movies, etc. Men who try to do this lack balls - they aren't KASS enough.

To a lesser extent, I object to the woman being insufficiently honest about why she isn't interested in a relationship - but then again, people aren't obliged to give honest feedback in social situations.

If only the grammatical problems...

Ptgymatic's picture

...did not extend into the syntax of relationships!

Kasper

sharon's picture

Thanks for your feed-back, Kasper. I am able to step into a man’s shoes and see his side of this issue, and it is no wonder that I am largely empathetic. For men, to be placed in the “friend zone” is extremely painful. I have never done it, but I have witnessed it. It is not pretty. One’s masculine self-esteem can take a serious battering.

“Can men and women be close but still be friends? Well I don't think there is a unanimous answer to that. It depends on the confidence and emotional security and stability of the individuals involved.”

I am speaking, of course, of close friendships between men and women who are, presumably, both romantically free and share sufficient time together, as opposed to the “female friend” who you may chat with and occasionally have lunch with at work.

I am speaking of a deep intimacy that two such people may experience--and then one of them, the female--puts the "breaks" on the emotional qualitiy of the relationship. Why would she do such a thing?

And, of course, so long as there is sufficient attraction—so long as the idea of kissing the other person isn’t akin in feeling to kissing a sibling—then, perhaps even morally, these individuals owe it to themselves to explore and strengthen the bond they have created, for it is truly a gift.

Everybody is looking for that connection. How dare these people (to be overly dramatic) dampen and lessen what they have come across in each other?

Personally ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

One man, having been placed in the dreaded “friend zone” complains of the damage done to his friendship with a woman for whom he was attracted to: ...
In this view, you can’t have sex with a man with whom you have a strong bond with.

I could have neither sex nor friendship with someone who used two prepositions when one would suffice. Such a person is someone with whom I'd have no truck with. Eye

Very good Sharon

Kasper's picture

Quite an insight into some individuals of your own sex Smiling
In my experience it is the insecure women type that hind behind psychological frigidity that want all the masculinity, companionship, emotional intimacy and guardianship but won't commit to a relationship. In a huffed kind of way I always think 'sort your shit out'!!!!.
I think it possible to be very fond of the opposite sex and to have some common grounds where a companionship lies. But indeed I agree some distance both emotionally and physically needs to be upheld to keep the relationship as friendship.
In my experience the 'lets just be friends' can be a bubble that women come up with when faced with a man that has feelings WHICH SHE HAS ENJOYED THE HOSPITALITY OF but doesn't wish to commit. It maybe entirely innocent, simply she isn't interested, and that is fair enough. This effect on the guy however, is quite cruel.
Can men and women be close but still be friends? Well I don't think there is a unanimous answer to that. It depends on the confidence and emotional security and stability of the individuals involved.

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