Male Week: He Said, She Said… Can Guys & Girls Just Be Friends

A while ago someone asked me the question: ‘Do you think that guys and girls can be “just friends”’?

So, I decided what better way to tackle that question than by a)answering it during the week that the guys are pretty much taking over this site, and b) by asking a guy to give his perspective while also answering the question myself.
Thus, below you have a ‘he said’, ‘she said’ response to this popular question. The ‘he said’ portion was written by… in homage to his heritage let’s call him Mr. Ireland… and the she is me.
Although I tried to provide different perspectives on the matter, I couldn’t really find any men who thought that they couldn’t. That said, I do think that we answered the question differently, so hopefully you find something helpful in both of our answers.
So here are our individual opinions on the matter….

He Said…..
In my opinion, men and women can definitely be “just friends”. If there is no, or only minor attraction, then there isn't really sexual tension to overcome. If you completely shut the door on a romantic relationship, you can open the door to a platonic friendship. Men and women can, and I think should, be friends. You can learn a lot from each other and talk to each other about things that you normally do not with friends of the same sex.
If, however one person already has feelings for the other person, then it is more difficult. I still think they can be friends, but from my experience it is dangerous and can be painful for one or both of the people, so it has to be absolutely crystal clear that there is no possibility that things will go beyond a friendship. I don’t think that you can be close friends until the feelings are gone. And I definitely don't believe in "friends with benefits". That always ends badly.
I’ve had female friends and they have been some of the best, closest and longest lasting relationships that I’ve had in my life. Some of them even started with attraction, but once the door was permanently closed on that idea, our friendships were able to grow. The catch about all of this is: you cannot let yourself think of them in “that way” and visa versa. If you find the idea of a romantic relationship slipping into your mind, you have to try to get rid of it quickly because once you indulge that thought your friendship will never be the same.
She Said….
I personally believe that it depends on whether you are single or not, (and when I say single I am talking about marriage).
The reason why your marital status matters is because once you are married, I don’t believe that you can behave in the same manner that you did while you were single. You no longer have to think about and consider just yourself, but now you have to consider the opinions and feelings of your spouse as well. The two of you have become one, and if you respect him then you have to value his opinion. And regardless of how innocent your friendships were previously with the opposite sex, I don’t see too many people wanting their significant other turning to the opposite sex and telling them personal business about the relationship and being comfortable with that. You want your significant other to want to turn to and to depend on you...not someone else. Furthermore, leaning on and depending on anyone else (of the opposite sex) other than your spouse provides the opportunity for your emotional needs to be met by someone other than your other half, and that can lay the foundation for an emotional affair. Obviously this doesn’t happen in every case, but why even open the door and create an invitation for it to arrive. Thus, I believe that if you are married you can still be friends with the opposite sex, but it should be more of you and your husband and him and his wife; never a solo type of friendship.
If you are single, again, I think that the answer is yes and no. No if you have any types of feelings for the other person, are intimate with them, or they have feelings for you. Yes if you don’t see yourself being involved with the person but you just want to be friends.
At the moment, a few of my greatest friendships are with males so I know that it is possible to have friendships with the opposite sex and it not be a complicated situation. That said, I do think that you have to be up front and clear about things before whatever type of relationship that the two of you are embarking upon gets started. You can’t be thinking that the two of you are just friends, while he thinks that he wants to be in a relationship with you, because that is going to create all kinds of tension and confusion.
Just talk about it, be honest and open, and care for people for who they are. Everybody is NOT trying to be in a relationship with you; some people genuinely just want to be your friend.
So that’s our opinion on the topic. What are your thoughts?
-Virgin Monologuez

****Oh, and be on the look out for Mr. Ireland’s Male’s Perspective Interview next month, but tomorrow’s interview will be the conclusion of Part 2 of An Athlete’s Perspective. Stay tuned….

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