The argument regarding whether or not men and women can be platonic friends has raged forever. Both proponents and opponents have lined up a couple of reasons that support their sides of the view. It has been a cause of frustrations in relationships, and has seen people putting harsh rules on their significant others regarding their interactions with members of the opposite sex.
We hear it all the time. “He’s just a friend”, “we are only hanging out”, “she’s nothing more than a buddy.” It sounds like a broken record replayed over and over again. Chances of this matter being put to rest once and for very slim.
According to science, the simple answer is no. A study documented in the journal Evolutionary Psychology concluded that men and women read signs differently. She thinks that his sexual interest in her is friendship while he thinks that her friendship conveys sexual interest. It summed up the usual stereotype that men think only of sex.
Another study, this one published in the Journal of social and personal relationships agrees. Most of the men interviewed said that “ sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship.”
In comes Steve Harvey, a man who has made quite a name for himself in the love department. He reasons that a male-female relationship is nothing more than a fantasy because the man is just being patient, relishing thoughts of being something more one day.
“Trust and believe: that guy you think is just your buddy, he will slide in that crack the moment he gets the opportunity because we’re guys,” he says
There really is no right or wrong answer here. There have been many cases of men and women getting along just fine without any issues arising. There are women who fit perfectly within a click of male friends and become “one of the boys”. In the same way, some women have male friends that are closer than other females. Not the infamous “friend-zoned” male but an actual friend who has no sexual or romantic intentions.
There are experts like psychotherapist Silvia Dutchevici who feel strongly that the two can in fact co-exist without any strings attached. But the obvious remains. A friendship with someone we are attracted to is doomed to fail.
“If you’re physically attracted, romantically interested, or if they can make you jealous by what they say or do with other people, you can’t be just friends,’ says relationship guru David Coleman.