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Post Reply Can men and women be "just friends"?
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22 / M / California
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Posted 6/8/12
I've gone back and forth on this with a couple of my friends and to the irony of my own thoughts and philosophy on the topic, the majority of people that I have spoken with happen to women.

But I feel that women and men can't be "just friends". Close friendships between women and men always have one end wanting more than just friendship whether it be hidden or known. My explanation for the men-women friendships that are strictly platonic is that one point in time one of them had an attraction for each other and by attraction I mean physical or emotional.

I bring this up solely because I'm kind of in this situation that has been happening for more than 3 months.. To put it bluntly: I'm interested in this girl that has a boyfriend. How we became close is both of our faults because we are past the level of "just friends." She refers to me as her best friend, but we both know deep down that we're both attracted to each other. And now that her boyfriend is back in town (he went 3 hours north for college and had been gone for 9 months. So the last 3 months he was gone, that when me and her had met and started getting to know each other) I haven't talked to her since.

The friendship started out as a friendship, but as we spent more time together and got to know each other and eventually, let each other gravitate towards one another things got out of hand. And now.. I believe that I can't be her friend anymore solely because I believe that women and men can't be "just friends." And it sucks because she was my best friend.

But enough about that, what do you guys think on the topic? I'm interested in what everyone has to say.
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Meep meep
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Posted 6/8/12
Well. Opposites attract you cant change that. but i dont think the whole men and women cant be friends.. because its not always the case that they like each other. but i guesss what you are saying is true. because i had a guy bestfriend also ;/ and.. well i honestly was to dense to figure out that he liked me. and vice versa. and im not sure what happened but after a while we just didnt talk much anymore. and like he was my bestfriend since. 3rd grade.

so i do think men and women cant befriends. unless their sexual orientations make them not attracted to the opposite sex.

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22 / M / California
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Posted 6/8/12

underlock wrote:

There's bound to be attraction, and most of it revolves around appearance.

If both sides are more or less on the same scale of physical attractiveness, i.e., good looking, both sides are likely to eventually be attracted to each other. Even if it doesn't happen at the same time, it could occur separately.

In case there's too much of a gap in physical appearance, the less attractive side is likely to have had a crush on the other since the encounter.

People can claim that they aren't shallow as much as they want, but as much as we deny some of our strongest instincts, there's no way it's ever gone from our nature. It happens, and most people won't know why, or even accept it.


That's definitely true and I agree that if someone is equally as good looking as the other then both sides will eventually be attracted to each other. The fact that we are driven by aesthetics is proof enough that there is an underlying need to have someone be "pretty" or "beautiful" by our own standards no matter how shallow we think it is.

And that's a good catch as well. People would initially be interested in someone if it weren't for someone being interested in someones appearance. Another thing as well though is that as you get to know someone, their appearance can get uglier or cuter as you see fit. You start comparing personalities with appearance and if someone is hot up front, but a jerk or an asshole or a bitch inside, the personality starts to show through and eventually will degrade their appearance to you no matter how beautiful or pretty they are.

The above idea/opinion was from a woman. Haha.
Rajyrr 
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23 / M / Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posted 6/8/12 , edited 6/8/12
You need to make a choice between listening to your heart and listening to your instincts. You're heart has little to no interest in romantic encounters or feelings, unlike your instincts.

Learn to differentiate between the two and decide for yourself how you want to behave after you've embraced those feelings or instincts you have fully. Only by actually fully embracing what you are can you actively make decisions based on how you want to behave in life.

If you constantly surrender to either your heart or your instincts, then you're what I like to call .. spineless. It's not about denying the existence of instincts or emotions, it's about learning to tame and control them in a way that you not only feel comfortable with, but won't regret, either.

This applies to everything you're ever going to do in life, now that I think of it.
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22 / M / California
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Posted 6/8/12

Rajyrr wrote:

You need to make a choice between listening to your heart and listening to your instincts. You're heart has little to no interest in romantic encounters or feelings, unlike your instincts.

Learn to differentiate between the two and decide for yourself how you want to behave after you've embraced those feelings or instincts you have fully. Only by actually fully embracing what you are can you actively make decisions based on how you want to behave in life.


While I agree that one must differentiate between the two, wouldn't an instinct be the thing that drives a man to go after a woman that he feels is attractive? And your heart dictates what you really want. So the thing to manage morality would be your mind right?
Rajyrr 
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23 / M / Nova Scotia, Canada
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Posted 6/8/12 , edited 6/8/12
It's Conscious Mind vs Subconscious Mind vs Genetic Instincts. When you realize that you're actually only one of these things, it becomes a matter of subjugating the other two.

Self-control, basically.

It's kind of like how "courage" doesn't imply your fearless. Courage actually indicates you're frightened, but go ahead and do something anyway in spite of the fear. It has nothing to do with erasing your fear so much as defying it.

Likewise, I'd say if you start developing feelings for someone you don't consciously wish to develop feelings for, figure out whether it's a sexual attraction or an emotional one, and deal with either the subconscious mind or instinct, respectively, how you see fit.
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35 / New York
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Posted 6/8/12
Can men and women be friends? Sure, but can they be long term friends? That's a better question.

I should probably point out that people's conscious reaction to any given situation has almost no bearing on their emotional reaction.

We generally all walk around pretending like we're actually aware of our own minds, but we aren't, our conscious inner voice is only a small part of the machine. Just assume that the unconscious side of your mind is completely and utterly shallow and assume it's the same for everyone else. Because it is.
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20 / F / United Kingdom
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Posted 6/8/12
Wouldn't it be biological? Pheromones, scent or just breeding ability or something?
I guess being in a situation where you have a lot of close contact brings up a physical attraction. Or something.

That said, I've mistaken friendship for love before, ended up sleeping with the guy, and then regretted it. We're still best friends and I don't THINK he likes me that way anymore, so it's possible.

That wasn't the best example, but if you try it, you might realise that there's nothing romantic there after all.
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27 / M / Gotham City
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Posted 6/8/12
Haha, of course men and women can JUST be friends. Case in point, gay guys and women. Or lesbians and men.

Even if it's a straight guy and girl, I myself have girlfriends who I have no physical/sexual/romantic feelings towards. We're friends because we get along, share a lot of common interests, and like being around each other.

But I have to say, I'm proud of you Scott. Being the "other" man in the relationship and trying to have the other dude cuckolded, lol.

It's something I would do.
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22
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Posted 6/8/12
The friendship started out as a friendship

Sure males and females can be friend. Sometimes the lack of sexual attraction is mutual. I have a few friends of the opposite sex, and have experienced mainly what I would with a friend of the same sex as me...
Sometimes I get along better with tho opposite sex than with the same sex...
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29 / M
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Posted 6/8/12
I have plenty of female friends that I have no romantic inclinations towards. Not that I wouldn't sleep with them if the opportunity came up, but I couldn't ever picture us in an actual relationship.
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22 / M / California
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Posted 6/8/12

Winterfells wrote:

Haha, of course men and women can JUST be friends. Case in point, gay guys and women. Or lesbians and men.

Even if it's a straight guy and girl, I myself have girlfriends who I have no physical/sexual/romantic feelings towards. We're friends because we get along, share a lot of common interests, and like being around each other.

But I have to say, I'm proud of you Scott. Being the "other" man in the relationship and trying to have the other dude cuckolded, lol.

It's something I would do.


Haha, yeah.. I can't say I'm too proud of it, but it's happened.


ruserial wrote:

The friendship started out as a friendship

Sure males and females can be friend. Sometimes the lack of sexual attraction is mutual. I have a few friends of the opposite sex, and have experienced mainly what I would with a friend of the same sex as me...
Sometimes I get along better with tho opposite sex than with the same sex...


Yeah I know a few girls who are like that as well, and I have yet to hear their side of the stories.


Charagon wrote:

I have plenty of female friends that I have no romantic inclinations towards. Not that I wouldn't sleep with them if the opportunity came up, but I couldn't ever picture us in an actual relationship.


Right, right. We all have those friends we would F on the spot.




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18 / F
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Posted 6/8/12
No. They may start out as just "friends" but if they're compatible enough to become very close eventually along the road one person is going to catch feelings for the other. As much as they want to keep an innocent friendship, it can't be helped.
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28 / M / New Hampshire
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Posted 6/8/12
I don't think that people can't be friends just because one side feels more strongly than the other. I personally only have one friend, male or female, that I am not actually attracted to. That doesn't mean that I'm going to try to get into a relationship with any of them. its usually just the first thing that interested me about them.
I do believe that if it happens it is something that should be communicated between both parties however. More than likely if you're attracted to someone they're going to know it on some level and having something like that hanging between you can destroy a friendship before it even has time to begin.
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42 / F
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Posted 6/8/12
Funny how this topic reminded me of the film When Harry Met Sally. You should watch it with your best friend.
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