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Can Men and Women Be BFF’s?

Category : Favorite Articles

Can men and women JUST be friends? This is at the core of an article this past Sunday in the New York Times written by essayist and author William Deresiewicz. If you are newly divorced this is an interesting area to consider. I have had many women call me and say they met a guy and after an evening together with no romance, they were not sure if they are going to be “just friends.” If two people are straight, can they both be only friends? Sure you make friends at work, but I am talking about the one you meet out at a bar or through a mutual friend at a party. Where does that go? Also, is it different at different ages. Deresiewicz says in the Times piece,  ”CAN men and women be friends? We have been asking ourselves that question for a long time, and the answer is usually no. The movie “When Harry Met Sally…” provides the locus classicus. The problem, Harry famously explains, is that “the sex part always gets in the way.” Heterosexual people of the opposite sex may claim to be just friends, the message goes, but count on it — wink, wink, nudge, nudge — something more is going on. Popular culture enforces the notion relentlessly. In movie after movie, show after show, the narrative arc is the same. What starts as friendship (Ross and Rachel, Monica and Chandler) ends up in bed.”

The article goes through a bit of the history of men and women relations, the changes feminism had on society and how times have changed. He even discusses his own experiences and how platonic relationships were not something that was rare to him.  He said, “Friendships with members of the opposite sex have been an important part of my life since I went to high school in the late 1970s, and I hardly think I’m alone. Consult your own experience, but as I look around, I don’t see that platonic friendships are actually rare at all or worthy of a lot of winks and nudges. Which is why you don’t much hear the term anymore. Platonic friendships now are simply friendships. But doesn’t the sex thing get in the way? At times, no doubt. It’s harder for the young, of course — all those hormones, and so many of your peers are unattached. In fact, one of the most common solutions to Harry’s quandary is to have sex and then remain friends. If the sex thing gets in the way, the answer often seems to be to just get it out of the way.”

To read the rest of the article click here. Do you have any men in your life that are just friends? Let us know your experiences.

Comments (1)

In my experience, the female-male “tension” exists in every relationship between women and men.

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