Is it possible or not for a man and a woman to have a platonic friendship? (especially if one or both are married to different people?)
Yesterday I browsed around the internet and found that it's been an "eternal" debate everywhere. The conclusion in most sites I found is:
Any specific experiences on this matter? Do share as I'm SO curious about it.
When it comes to my own personal life, I think I only have one guy friend so far, but he lives far away from me, so that won't give me any trouble. We never really hung out together, but when I was in Bandung and he wasn't married yet, we used to call each other every now and then. Funny thing is that he actually became my friend until one of my girl friends dumped him on Valentine's Day. Then he called me and asked me to find out why his ex dumped him, so I did and we became sort of buddy-buddy since then. I knew that we could become friends only since he wasn't my type and I wasn't his type.
So you see, I haven't had that many experiences being friends with guys (well, first I was a good friend of my hubby but then it turned out to be a romantic one in the end). LOL!!! That's why I decided to write this post, to get feedback from fellow bloggers who have more experiences than me.
I also found some interesting bits and pieces from some sites. Here goes:
From Platonic Relationships More Realistic for Women:
In a survey conducted by www.match.com, more than 1450 people were asked which sex is more likely to misinterpret the intimacy of friendship for sexual desire. While only 25 percent answered women, 64 percent answered men.
In the same study, when asked who is better at keeping sex out of a platonic relationship, 67 percent said women and only 13 percent responded men.
Actually, I have a female friend that I would *like* to remain friends with, and vice versa, as we are both married to other people. But, for some reason (unconscious body signals? pheromones?) she thinks I am attempting something more, and, after three weeks of aggravation, we may have to dissolve the initial friendship. -- B-K.P.
Two good looking people cannot be "just friends" and if they do, there are certainly "non-friendly" thoughts going on which can clog any sensible thoughts. I think it is difficult for both sexes. I know I've wanted to be "just friends" w/ men and they want more - sorry, I told you up front what I wanted. It's tough on guys, women are such teases and it makes it difficult for them (men) to know where they stand.
Just a woman's perspective. -- Deborah
Here're some excerpts taken from this site, Can Women and Men Be Friends?: (I encourage you to read the whole article as I can't possibly write everything down here)
In a major 1988 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sapadin asked more than 150 professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Topping women's list of dislikes: sexual tension. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships.
Truth #1: ...as people develop serious romantic relationships or get married, making and maintaining cross-sex friendships becomes harder. "Even the most secure people in a strong marriage probably don't want a spouse to be establishing a new friendship, especially with someone who's very attractive," says Monsour.
Truth #2: In Sapadin's study, men rated cross-sex friendships as being much higher in overall quality, enjoyment and nurturance than their same-sex friendships. What they reported liking most was talking and relating to women--something they can't do with their buddies.
Truth #3: "Friendships with men are lighter, more fun," says Sapadin. "Men aren't so sensitive about things." Some women in her study also liked the protective, familial and casual warmth they got from men, viewing them as surrogate big brothers. What they liked most of all, however, was getting some insight into what guys really think.
Conclusion of the study: Cross-sex friendships are emotionally rewarding.
One last excerpt from The Soko:
Do platonic relationships exist – in my opinion? Yes they do and no they do not. The possibility of a platonic relationship depends entirely on the situation.
A Simple Scenario
Did the friendship form while both or at least one party was single? As cold and shallow as it sounds, nine times out of 10 we physically evaluate with whom we form bonds when we are single (not a scientific statistic). I do not say this out of desperation; rather it is a matter of genetics. When we are single, we tend to look for a partner. If the friendship was formed in one of these times, there is a chance that physical attraction exists between the two. Once this attraction is acted upon the relationship is no longer just friendship, it is not platonic.
Thus the relationship can only be platonic if the two people involved can strictly be friends. Basically, the question “why are we just friends” must never arise!
I have to add one last thing written by Blake Roeber:
...being "just friends" takes a lot of caution. It takes care and a realistic appraisal of one's ability to avoid temptation. It also takes the humility to admit it when one's gotten oneself in over one's head.
To say that Platonic friendship isn't possible is also to recognize that, even where a guy and a girl do exercise enough caution to be "just friends," the friendship they form will still be one between a guy and a girl, not one between two neuters.
Let me end this post by telling you one funny conversation I had with my hubby yesterday:
Me : "So, babe, do you think men and women can be JUST friends?"
Me : "Really? So, what do you think if I have a hunk as a guy friend?"
Him: "Nope, then you can't have him as your friend."
Me : "Really? Why?"
Me : "ARRRGGHHH!!! OK, so what if I have a guy friend whom you consider not handsome at all?"
Him: "Then you can be friends with him."
Me : "Oh dear!!!"
Yeah, you got that right. Actually both my hubby and I are jealous types (our jealousy level is THANKFULLY similar so we understand each other pretty well in that area), so we'll both be wary about this cross-gender friendship thing.