I am sure most of you remember the great 1989 film ‘When Harry met Sally’ and Billy Crystal explaining to Meg Ryan that men and women cannot be friends as the sex part always gets in the way. However, is this really true for 21st century society? Opinion seems divided on the matter.
I’m a heterosexual male and have many heterosexual female friends who have been close friends for many years without any sex/romance issues ever occurring. I don’t fancy them and they don’t fancy me, we are just mates. However, several of my male friends think this is complete rubbish and that maybe secretly the women fancy me or I secretly fancy them.
They also say that ultimately men and women cannot be friends as the friendship is always doomed as one will always end up being unhappy as they will have unfulfilled romantic desires on the other and will need to end the friendship to move on. Think about your own friends, don’t you have a friend that sometimes you think about in an amorous or lustful way or that you suspect that they think about you in that way?
I am certain that many male-female friendships are hiding romantic feelings, especially at the start of a friendship, but it cannot be the case for all of them and even the ones that do begin in such a manner, these feelings can pass and a genuine friendship can be formed. It is not an easy situation though, as I know of a few recent cases where friends have been disappointed when an apparent close friendship has fizzled out due to the other party having feelings for them that were not returned and as a result they were not able to be as close to them anymore.
The worst situation is when a long established friendship falters, which my male friends say is inevitable, due to one developing feelings for the other. This is very tricky as the natural approach is to bottle these feelings up for fear of ruining the friendship but can this really be maintained long term without it effecting the relationship?
I firmly believe that men and women can definitely be friends, I have the proof! However, you need to be careful of these friendships in the beginning, as if one person develops feelings it could end up with both being sad and disappointed.