Friendship Between Men and Women

Introduction

The question about if men and women can just be friends has been there for decades. Barely there are any two people that share similar opinions. If one happens to sample a group of people and ask them this question, he or she is likely to get varied answers from each person. While it is difficult for many to form a friendship with opposite sex and have it remain that way, there are men and women who can just be friends.

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Men and women can just be friends

According to McLynch (para. 3), it is possible for men and women to be just friends with no intimate relationship. Men and women do set boundaries in their relationships. There are issues that both parties ought not to bring up in their discussions. As a result, there are men and women who set such boundaries and commit themselves to upholding them. Such parties are not forced to stick to the established boundaries but they do it at their will. Human being is a rational being. Hence, a woman and a man are capable of making out the difference between friendship and intimate relationship. This helps them remain as just friends without getting involved in other activities that may tarnish the friendship.

McLynch posits that men and women can be just friends if they embrace the elements of understanding and trust in their relationship. However, she warns that this trust and understanding ought to be carefully treated as it may lead to confusion thus spoiling the friendship. For person that is involved in a romantic relationship with another party, it may be difficult to become just a friend to a person of the opposite sex. Nevertheless, McLynch gives an advice on how this may be made possible. He posits that for one to be just a friend, he or she ought not to bring up issues to do with his or her intimate relationship with another partner in the discussions one engages in with a friend. Such discussions may lead to one’s friend expressing his or her sympathy or consideration eventually changing the friendship to something else (para. 5). While McLynch feels that it is difficult for men and women to be just friends, he still believes that there are men and women that are capable of becoming just friends.

Grosvenor asserts that there are men and women who are tempted to date people of the opposite sex based on their attractiveness. This is during their tender ages. Nevertheless, this trend gradually changes as one grows older. For Grosvenor it is possible for men and women to become just friends. Beliefs that men and women can not be just friends are implanted in humans mind. Hence, for a man and woman to be just friends, they ought to avoid being influenced by the society. She claims that she has come across a situation whereby a man and a woman have shared a cordial friendship without engaging in any romantic affair. This is made possible by both parties committing themselves to abiding by the established boundaries.

Most of the friendships are ruined by the society. No matter how genuine the friendships may be, some people may fail to believe in it. In the end, those engaging in the friendship may end up succumbing to people’s believe either terminating the friendship or converting it into intimacy. Men and women can just be friends if and only if they stick to their initial motives and turn a deaf ear to the society. There men and women who are principled and are never swayed by people’s opinions and believes. Such men and women live as per their convictions and are therefore capable of becoming friends.

There are people who argue that men and women can not be just friends simply because they are heterosexuals. They assert that there are hormones that lead to jealousy among the spouses and these hinder the ability of men and women being mere friends. Men are associated with predatory characters while women are believed to be aggressive. Consequently, coexisting as just friends can turn out to be a nightmare. According to Sapadin, these are just human assumptions and they do not necessarily apply to all men and women. She believes that men and women can engage in a friendship and not turn it into a sexual one. Today, there are men and women who work, play and live together without being in a romantic relationship. There has been great cultural transformation from the past ways of living. This transformation has made it possible for men and women to keep aside their sexual thirst and live as just friends.

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A problem arises when the parties engaging in a friendship turn out not to be treading in the same path in their friendship. Moreover, when the friendship poses threats to a stanch relationship it becomes hard for the parties to remain as friends. At times one or both parties that are in friendship may feel to be physically attracted to one another. It is naturally and beyond ones control. However, this is not supposed to spoil the friendship. Sapadin believes that men and women are more than their hormones and thus their sexual desires and flirtations ought not to take charge of the friendship. If one of the parties in a friendship is in an intimate relationship with another parson, the parson may start doubting the friendship. One ought not to ignore this feeling as it may end up breaking the friendship as well as the losing the person one is in a romantic relationship with. Rather, Sapadin asserts that one need to come up with strategies of bringing in the friendship into his or her devoted relationship. By ensuring that the friendship is not kept secret, one is capable of safeguarding the friendship and going on with his or her romantic relationship.

Dobbin (para. 2) claims that it is possible for men and women to remain as just friends. She considers the assumptions that men and women can not be just friends to be ridiculous and based on mere prejudices. She believes that not only can men and women be just friends but their friendship may transform to intimacy and back to friendship. In such a case, the two may end up having a platonic friendship that is stronger than it was before. The more men and women remain in friendship, the more they become less sexually attracted to one another. It reaches a time when both parties are convinced that their friendship can not go to an extent of being intimate and that they were not meant to be lovers. To such parties, they believe that there are other men and women who they need to get into intimate relationship with. Theirs just remains to be just friendship. Despite it not being publicized, there are many men and women who share platonic friendship with their colleagues at work, churches and other social gatherings.

Men and women can not be just friends

Numerous scientific researches and forums have been organized in an attempt to unravel the mystery of whether men and women can be just friends. It has turned out that in spite of many people perceiving the issue of men and women being just friends as charming, most of them believe that it is not feasible. They believe that the friendship does not end there and it always leads to the parties engaging in an intimate relationship. As men and women continue with their friendship, emotions come in their way changing the nature of their friendship. One of the parties starts feeling covetous or becomes possessive. It becomes hard for one to control his or her libido while sharing happy moments with a person of the opposite sex.

In most cases, the friendship between men and women acts as one of the stage in growth of a more fêted connection of getting intimate (SLY.com para. 2-6). Eventually, the parties gets attracted to one another, starts flirting and in the next minute they find themselves in an intimate relationship. For friends who are in a devoted relationship, it becomes even harder to nurture friendship with people of the opposite sex. Their intimate friends start doubting the friendship especially if one spends a lot of time with his or her friend. The intimate partner may feel to be shortchanged thus issuing some ultimatums. When it reaches such a time, it calls for one to decide on whether to continue with the intimate relationship or let it go and retain his or her friend. This makes it hard for men and women to continue being just friends with most people faced with such situations opting to bring to an end the friendship and stick to their lovers.

Sihera (para. 1-5) adamantly plays down the possibility of a man and a woman being friends at their first encounter. According to her most of the men get attracted to women because of their physical attractiveness. Generally, they become sexually attracted to the women thus expressing their interest in knowing them more. She believes that there is no way two people of the opposite sex and not known to one another may get into a platonic relationship. Physical attraction plays a role in uniting the two. At least one of the parties hopes that by becoming friends, the friendship will progress to something intimate. Such a friendship can not be termed to be platonic. Conflicts always arise as one of the parties tries to maintain their friendship as platonic as possible while the other strives at raising the friendship a step higher to one that is intimate.

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Sihera claims that platonic relationship comes after the expectations of both parties are completely satisfied. This is when their sexual desires goes down leading to the two spending a platonic friendship. She believes that men and women can only be just friends after several conditions are fulfilled. They first begin as lovers, fall out of the intimate relationship before learning to appreciate one another and lead a platonic relationship.

Guhname believes that it is difficult for men and women to be just friends. To support his arguments, he brings forth a social survey that was conducted to determine the number of inter-gender best friends. Most of the men who were interviewed confessed that it was difficult for them to have girls as their best friends. None of the married men confessed to have a girl as his best friend. For widowers and divorced men, they were found not to have many friends making it possible for them to engage in friendship with women. For married women, it was realized that only 3.1% claimed to have men as their best friends. Married men and women are reluctant to allowing their partners make friendships with persons of their opposite sex in spite of the friendship being platonic. For those people that were found not have ever been married and had friends of the opposite sex, there were doubts if the friendship would continue that way or would in future transform into a romantic one.

Conclusion

The question about if men and women can be just friends has been a bother for a long time. People share mixed views with some arguing that the idea of friendship only exists in people’s minds but the reality on the ground is totally different. Those with such views believe that for men and women to be just friends, they start by being lovers, fall out of love and learn to respect one another. Others believe that men and women can be friends if they respect, understand and trust one another. Setting boundaries in their friendship can help in men and women coexisting as friends.

References

Dobbin, Emma-Kate. “Can men and women just be friends?” 2010. Web.

Grosvenor, Linda Dominique. “Can men and women be just friends?” 2007. Web.

Guhname, Ron. “Can men and women just be friends?” 2008. Web.

McLynch, Jennifer. “Can men and women just be friends?” 2010. Web.

Sapadin, Linda. “Men and women can be just friends.” Self Help Magazine, 2008. Web.

Sihera, Elaine. “Can men and women be “Just friends”?” 2007. Web.

SLY.com. “Men and women: just friends?” 2009. Web.

Friendship Between Men and Women
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