The Age Old Question

MichelleMichelle California
edited September 2018 in General
...can men and women *really* be just friends?

I was watching When Harry Met Sally this morning (for about the millionth time) and I always come back to this question.  Throughout my life (since late high school probably?) I've had male friends who have been just friends.  However, with a lot of them I had the thought at least once, usually a fleeting thought that is soon gone, of "what if we got together?".   I still have male friends who are just friends, but I also have two who are very much the Harry to my Sally (without the hookup).   So, I'm not sure.  Maybe it depends on the dynamic between the two?  Level of attraction?  Just friends, but then one grows to fall in love with the other?   It might be kind of a silly question but there are so many serious threads here that I think we can use a little lightheartedness.  What are your thoughts on this?



Freiberg
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Comments

  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 2018
    Well first we have to eliminate the people who are pre-disposed to not be sexually or romantically attracted to the opposite gender as well family members and inappropriate age gaps and then determine what the actual question is:
     Can a heterosexual Male/Female be friends with a member of the opposite gender without any romantic feelings or sexual attraction for them? Also, does the question differ based on the gender of the person you’re asking?
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 2018
    Personally I have had both female friends who I have found very physically attractive but never even considered having some type of long term romance with them for various reasons and I have also had female friends whom I have had romantic feelings for (or more likely a mix of intense infatuation and sexual attraction but I’ll use romantic feelings for simplicity’s sake to differentiate between “oh yes I suppose she’s quite beautiful but it would never work out” and “oh I sometimes wonder what it would be like to date this person”) but never really followed up also for various reasons. 
    Freiberg
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    It's always felt obvious to me that the answer is yes. But probably it's more true that it depends on the person. 
    KingKobraFreiberg
  • NoelNoel Dallas, TX
    I have lots of friends who are women. They’re called my cousins.

    But in all seriousness, I do think men and women can be just friends. I just don’t think it’s very common because it’s in our nature to act on certain feelings. Example: my best friend’s wife is an awesome person, I consider her my sister and have never seen her as hot or sexy, even though she is an attractive woman. But there have been a couple of times (because of what she was wearing or doing etc) where I have thought to myself “wow. I can see why he fell in love with her and started a family” but I didn’t act on those feelings because it would be weird and inappropriate. If it were someone else, I might have acted on those feelings. 

    That’s how I feel. I also tend to crush pretty hard on women so I might be in the minority.
    Freiberg
  • I mean there’s a philosophical part of this question and then a practical one: the philosophical part is “can two people have a meaningful friendship with each other without some degree of sexual tension if they both objectively fit within each other’s range of preferable romantic partners” and the practical one is “the average person doesn’t just go around hitting on everyone they think might be cute so does this question even matter?”
    JaimieTFreiberg
  • Yes, one of my best friends is a woman who I’ve known for close to 20 years. I’d consider her more of a frister than anything romantic. 
    Freiberg
  • Alkaid13 said:
    I mean there’s a philosophical part of this question and then a practical one: the philosophical part is “can two people have a meaningful friendship with each other without some degree of sexual tension if they both objectively fit within each other’s range of preferable romantic partners” and the practical one is “the average person doesn’t just go around hitting on everyone they think might be cute so does this question even matter?”
    Well, this is why I said it might be a silly question. Of course they can. I just thought it might be fun and/or interesting to see the reasoning and people’s thoughts.  
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  • JoshuaHeterJoshuaHeter Omaha, NE
    edited September 2018
    I kind of think that most (interesting) questions with the form “Is ________ possible?” might just be poorly phrased. 

    Is it *possible* for men and women to be friends? I don’t know about anyone else, but I think I have a fair amount of empirical data to answer (fairly confidently) “yes”.

    That said, does maintaining a friendship between a (heterosexual) man and a (heterosexual) woman present unique challenges that make it harder (and therefore less likely) than maintaining certain other types of relationships? I’d say I also have a fair amount of evidence to answer in the affirmative.
    JaimieT
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  • I think most of the people here have agreed on similar points mainly being that a man and a woman can be just friends but it all comes down to the individual people.  One of my best friends is a female that I grew up with.  She was my neighbors step daughter and we hung out every Wednesday night when we were toddlers all the way through middle school and then she moved in next door during High School.   She is drop dead gorgeous but we both had the same mindset that we were just friends and nothing more would ever come of it and we were both 100% good with that.  In the end it comes down to the person whether it's possible or not but I feel like most people have the ability to be just friends with someone of the gender you are attracted to.
    Freiberg
  • Jealousy from partners is the main obstacle to friendship between the sexes, in my experience.
    KingKobra
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  • Jealousy from partners is the main obstacle to friendship between the sexes, in my experience.
    Oddly the only time my husband was jealous of a male friend, the friend was gay... What's that about? 
    Maybe he was jealous of the relationship. It’s not always about how “good” they look but also the type of friendship you have. 
    Noel
  • NoelNoel Dallas, TX
    KingKobra said:
    Jealousy from partners is the main obstacle to friendship between the sexes, in my experience.
    Oddly the only time my husband was jealous of a male friend, the friend was gay... What's that about? 
    Maybe he was jealous of the relationship. It’s not always about how “good” they look but also the type of friendship you have. 
    Just about to add this. I had a similar experience with a co-worker my girlfriend was jealous of. I just assumed my girlfriend knew that she was gay so I was caught off guard when she brought it up.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Sometimes people think people aren't "really gay" too. I don't mean that in a judgey way. I'm gay and I still have all this internalized homophobia.
  • I guess it doesn’t count but my best friend is a lesbian and I’ve never looked at her in a sexual or romantic way. She’s cute and gets lots of attention from men and gorgeous women but I just don’t look at her like that, it’s more of a bromance. I would rather hang out with her than any of my guy friends. 

    I do have several heterosexual female friends but in most of those cases there is at least some level of attraction, even though I wouldn’t act on it.

    It wasn’t possible in my younger years but I know it’s possible now. 
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  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited September 2018
    Man. This really through me off. I was expecting 1 of 3 questions.

    1. Was 9/11 an inside job?
    2. Were the moon landings real?
    3. Did Aliens crash at Roswell?

    anyways in honestly. I think the question is complicated.

    i think you can be friends with another sex.

    but there’s a few things that come into play. 

    The ultimate question is are you sexual attracted to that person. 

    If the answer is no then it’s an easy yes.

    if the answer is yes, it becomes more complicated. It reminds me of the garden of eden. If you can resist temptation and just be a good person and not act on any desires then why can’t you be a Friend with that person? But on the flip side proximity and being close to s person you are attracted to can potential lead to stupid decisions. 
    JaimieT
  • KingKobra said:
    Jealousy from partners is the main obstacle to friendship between the sexes, in my experience.
    Oddly the only time my husband was jealous of a male friend, the friend was gay... What's that about? 
    Maybe he was jealous of the relationship. It’s not always about how “good” they look but also the type of friendship you have. 
    I thought so but then he literally accused me of having an affair with him when we were fighting one time... So weird

    JaimieT said:
    Sometimes people think people aren't "really gay" too. I don't mean that in a judgey way. I'm gay and I still have all this internalized homophobia.
    He's not like that, we've both been around/cool with/close with gay people forever and his brother is gay. The closest I can figure is some combination of "didn't notice" and/or "felt left out."
    That’s the thing. If you and your workmate had a close relationship then it may appear like you’re having an “affair” because of how close you are. Sometimes it’s about what you are not sharing with your partner and what you are sharing with your friend. 

    Also, saying something like that in an argument is just a little “knife” even if you know the person is not having an affair. 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    KingKobra said:
    KingKobra said:
    Jealousy from partners is the main obstacle to friendship between the sexes, in my experience.
    Oddly the only time my husband was jealous of a male friend, the friend was gay... What's that about? 
    Maybe he was jealous of the relationship. It’s not always about how “good” they look but also the type of friendship you have. 
    I thought so but then he literally accused me of having an affair with him when we were fighting one time... So weird

    JaimieT said:
    Sometimes people think people aren't "really gay" too. I don't mean that in a judgey way. I'm gay and I still have all this internalized homophobia.
    He's not like that, we've both been around/cool with/close with gay people forever and his brother is gay. The closest I can figure is some combination of "didn't notice" and/or "felt left out."
    That’s the thing. If you and your workmate had a close relationship then it may appear like you’re having an “affair” because of how close you are. Sometimes it’s about what you are not sharing with your partner and what you are sharing with your friend. 

    Also, saying something like that in an argument is just a little “knife” even if you know the person is not having an affair. 

    Yes, true. You see someone is having a good time, then you get mad at them, then you want to pollute their good time. I've done that.
    KingKobra
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas

    Hatorian said:
    Man. This really through me off. I was expecting 1 of 3 questions.

    1. Was 9/11 an inside job?
    2. Were the moon landings real?
    3. Did Aliens crash at Roswell?

    anyways in honestly. I think the question is complicated.

    i think you can be friends with another sex.

    but there’s a few things that come into play. 

    The ultimate question is are you sexual attracted to that person. 

    If the answer is no then it’s an easy yes.

    if the answer is yes, it becomes more complicated. It reminds me of the garden of eden. If you can resist temptation and just be a good person and not act on any desires then why can’t you be a Friend with that person? But on the flip side proximity and being close to s person you are attracted to can potential lead to stupid decisions. 
    1. Yes, but not by the most likely suspects.
    2. Yes.
    3. Only once.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited September 2018
    On a related note... I think maybe some people are more attracted to more people than others? I have a decently healthy sex drive when I'm with someone but I'm not really attracted to that many people and never was. So it might be why it's easier for me to be friends with guys.
    Same here (I think). My ex had a lot of issues with it. We were crazy attracted to each other, and it drove her nuts that it was so easy for me to be friends with attractive members of the opposite sex and not try to sleep with said members. It's all about the person you're with when it comes to sex, right? Probably didn't help that she was bi and wanted to sleep with my women friends. Well now... in retrospect, that was unhealthy.
  • Me - yes

    Vice President of the United States - no
    Freddy
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited September 2018
    Freddy said:

    Hatorian said:
    Man. This really through me off. I was expecting 1 of 3 questions.

    1. Was 9/11 an inside job?
    2. Were the moon landings real?
    3. Did Aliens crash at Roswell?

    anyways in honestly. I think the question is complicated.

    i think you can be friends with another sex.

    but there’s a few things that come into play. 

    The ultimate question is are you sexual attracted to that person. 

    If the answer is no then it’s an easy yes.

    if the answer is yes, it becomes more complicated. It reminds me of the garden of eden. If you can resist temptation and just be a good person and not act on any desires then why can’t you be a Friend with that person? But on the flip side proximity and being close to s person you are attracted to can potential lead to stupid decisions. 
    1. Yes, but not by the most likely suspects.
    2. Yes.
    3. Only once.
    1. putting my conspiracy theory cap on and forcing myself to come up with some perpetrator outside of Al Queda(not saying this is my belief but just saying if I was to look at this through a different lense”

     Saudi Arabia did it as they knew the war would eventually draw the US into Iraq which completely eliminated their number 2 oil competitor. It was really a genius move. And to add to the conspiracy 16 of the terrorists were Saudi’s. The Saudis benefit from being a US ally and having a completely unstable Middle East where they are one of the only countries able to trade with the west. Also many people in high government positions all greatly benefited from the war through defense industry and Halliburton was the biggest beneficiary of the rebuilding of Iraq.

    And the argument that Osama admitted it doesn’t hold much weight in my eyes simply because it would make absolutely sense from a recruitment and prestige status to take credit for it. If he didn’t do it, it still makes sense to take credit cuz it greatly benefits him and his cause to fund terrorism and recruit radicals. Also if he really had the money and capability to attack the US in such a manner he wouldn’t have stopped with one attack. The whole strategy of the Viet Cong and other guerilla units has been to draw out and protract a deadly war with consistent and regular attacks to lower morale and drive American public support to waiver. It’s makes no sense to stop at one major attack. He should have conducted a guerilla war of attrition but he didn’t because he didn’t have the capability to do so in the first place. 

    There’s a lot of holes in the Osama/Al queda theory. But once again I’m just stating an alternative theory. And no, I didn’t just get this from Farenheighf 911

    2. Yes

    3. We will never know but I find it hard that aliens that can traverse space and Long distance would crash. Unless they are shot down. But even that’s a stretch considering missiles were in  its infancy. I do nfind it fascinating though that this happens a year after we detonate atomic weapons. It seems like the perfect time for s superior alien race to come to earth to Ensure its not blown into oblivion. Not to mention the undocumented or unaccounted situations such as a Russian sub that may have been rogue and considering fire on the US to suddenly drown. 



    Freddy
  • I blame @Hatorian for the new track this thread will now take... :D 
    Freddytom_gMichelleNoelHatorian
  • I thought this thread would be about pineapple on pizza.
    Michelle
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited September 2018
    KingKobra said:
    I blame @Hatorian for the new track this thread will now take... :D 
    Please no. I don’t want to talk conspirsacy theories.....

    back to the thread...

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T3wcxHiorJ4
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    KingKobra said:
    I blame @Hatorian for the new track this thread will now take... :D 
    For once it wasn’t an Australian! 
    KingKobraFreddy
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