Whether there is a friendship between a man and a woman is probably a question that should be classified as rhetorical. Someone will always argue that this is impossible, someone will argue that this is the place to be, but there will never be any indisputable confirmation of the position of one or the other side. In this article, unfortunately, we also cannot give an unequivocal answer to the question of the existence of friendship between a man and a woman, but we will try to examine it in detail from both poles.
The arguments of those who believe in the existence of “friendship between the sexes”
Let’s start, perhaps, with a more humanist version. Those who support the theory of the existence of friendship between a man and a woman usually argue the following arguments:
- Not every member of the opposite sex causes sexual attraction. A woman does not have a passionate desire for every man, and a man does not want to have sex with every woman. Therefore, it is quite possible that a friend of the opposite sex will not cause thoughts about transferring relations to another plane.
- True friendship is something in the spirit of kinship. In the modern world, we have a lot of opportunities to find people with whom we feel good and comfortable and maintain relationships with them. For many, friends mean even more than a significant part of relatives (although some century ago the main circle of communication was, just the same, their own relatives and relatives of the spouse). This is a special kind of communication that should not be reduced to the commonplace attraction of representatives of different genders.
- It is unreasonable to limit the circle of friends to the same sex. There are so many interesting people around with whom it would be interesting to talk, have fun, and talk heart to heart. And “cutting off” a good half of them simply because they belong to the opposite sex means to deprive oneself of a huge number of opportunities for communication.
- Friends are tied to common interests and hobbies, not gender. In the current environment, there are many opportunities not only for communication – but there is also a huge number of possible hobbies and tastes. Finding someone who, for example, will love the same music as you, and treat it the same way as you, is not easy. But if such a person is found, then it is precisely common interests that bind you, and gender is not important here.
- Adults are able to understand what is possible and what is not. In the end, the advocates of friendship between a man and a woman do not deny that, perhaps, someday, some of your friends will have some kind of “unfriendly” thoughts or their beginnings. But we are adult intelligent people, who are able to control themselves and not allow these thoughts to grow. After all, the ability to appreciate true friendship does not depend on gender.
No less impressive is the camp of those who believe that in a friendship between representatives of different sexes, someone will certainly have a desire to make it not just a friendship. They most often cite evidence like the following:
- Sexual attraction inevitably arises between opposite sexes. To someone, it is more obvious and perceived, to someone it is not, but it is absolutely natural and predetermined by our nature. The exception may be only representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation.
- From such friendship to love – one step. Not all opponents of such a relationship answer the question of whether the friendship between a man and a woman happens to be unequivocally negative. But many say that it always balances on the verge. At any moment, or on the one hand, or the other, or both, romantic feelings may arise. And, quite possibly, they will remain unconscious or unspoken, hidden deep inside.
- It is natural for a person to look for a partner. The situation becomes especially difficult when one or both participants of such a friendship do not have a “second half”. In such circumstances, he will inevitably have a desire to find a partner. And a friend with whom it is interesting to communicate, who has similar hobbies, who understands well and, in addition to being a member of the opposite sex, is the first to whom the eye falls.
- Understanding and support make you dream big. It’s no secret that relationships with friends are often fewer conflicts than with loved ones. It is just a different type of communication, with other needs and expectations. But when a friend belongs to the opposite sex, it is difficult not to start comparing him with his partner. And let it be obvious that if a relationship with a friend developed in the direction of romantic, then they would have to go through the same problems as with the current lover. Yet it is so difficult not to start dreaming that with him, understanding, and kind and attentive, one could become happier.
- Such a “friendship” complicates the relationship with the wife/husband. This moment is connected not so much with the question of whether there is a friendship between a man and a woman, but rather with an understanding of whether it is necessary for principle. Even if such friends had passed the time of the bachelor of youth and youth, retaining (or pretending to retain) exceptionally friendly feelings, their spouses will eventually come into play. And the overwhelming majority of husbands and wives will not like the close relations of their partners with other members of the opposite sex, which will create a lot of difficulties.
When friendship ceases to be such: alarm bells
So, your answer to the question of whether the friendship between a man and a woman is possible is up to you. In the end, it is for you to decide with whom and how you communicate and how to relate to this. Which of the positions is closer to you – stick to it. The psychology of relationships is too complex a sphere, like the human soul, so there’s just no one answers for everyone. We will finally give you a list of eloquent signs by which you can guess that friendship for your friend of the opposite sex has ceased to be a friendship and has become something more.
If you notice any of these signs, then you need to think seriously and talk no less seriously:
- Obsession Let’s be frank: how often do you see your friends? It is clear that much depends on personal characteristics, place of residence, working mode, and so on. But still it’s normal for an adult to meet friends once a week, or even two (and sometimes even once a month). If your friend wants to see you much more often or throws you messages in messengers and social networks – it means that something is unclear here.
- Underlined “reluctance” of sexual intimacy Friendship between a man and a woman is a relationship where it doesn’t hurt to periodically remind each other that you are just friends. But if your friend systematically emphasizes that in no way would you have sex with you, then it is quite likely that in fact, he would not have refused to do so.
- Attitudes towards other members of their own and opposite sex. If a friend, consciously or unconsciously, began to have romantic feelings for you, he, firstly, will react painfully to your intimacy with potential partners (and always take your side). And secondly – in the presence of you will not show interest to potential partners for yourself, paying all attention only to you.
- Primary importance. A good friend will come to the rescue when needed, and sometimes even to the detriment of his interests and plans, at three in the morning, and so on. But situations where something like this is really necessary happen extremely rarely. And if your friend from the opposite sex is really just your friend, then he understands it. He will not fall for you at any time of the day if there is no real need for this, because he has other things to do, and other people who need his attention and, in the end, his own interests and plans. If he is just that – immediately rushing “on the wings of love” in order to save you – most likely, you are not quite a friend to him.
- Uninteresting classes. Let’s say this: with each close person we have certain similar interests, and there are different interests. If this person is a husband or wife, then sometimes he has to do something even uninteresting for himself. If this is a friend, then there is no special need for this. Friends usually gather to spend time on something that both of them like. A friend who systematically deals with you with what he does not like (goes shopping, allows you to choose films of those genres to which he is indifferent, and so on) probably wants to become something big for you.
In conclusion, we note that your relationships with people are only your business, and no moral police will forbid you to develop them as you wish. And if a strong friendship between a man and a woman grows into a marriage – there is nothing wrong with that. If it ends with sex, about which both will regret it, this will not cancel the pleasure and joy that she has given you many years before. With any relationship at any moment something can happen, and at any moment they can end. But this is no reason to not communicate with those who you like. In the end, all that we have is our present.