Can a man and woman be just friends?

Can Men & Women Be Just Friends

Here I go, trying to answer a question that continues to engage vastly dissimilar answers from people across the world,

with Psychologists and Human Behavior Specialists too not being able to answer it in a satisfactory manner. Before you dive into my analysis, please note that I am not presenting an average guy’s opinion. This is a personal judgment that might seem a bit skewed at times.

Starting with Billy Crystal’s Wisdom

Counted among the Top Ten Romantic Movies of all times, ‘When Harry Met Sally’, had Harry played by Billy Crystal. In one scene, he declares with absolute conviction, that men and women can never be “just friends”. His ideology was based on theory than men and women eventually end-up hitting the bed together.

Can Men & Women Be Just Friends

My Opinion: To a large extent, I couldn’t agree more with the wisdom of Billy Crystal. Even you if think this perspective is chauvinistic, just give it a chance.

Among the many women you count upon as your friends, try to set apart the colleagues, accomplices, women you are nice to since you are afraid of their wrath or those with whom changing pleasantries is involved. Got my point?

What I am trying to say is that you need to filter the women you know and segregate the real friends among them. This excludes your online friends who you have never met or your email pen pal from across the shores. Your purely Facebook buddies don’t count either. What Billy Crystal was referring to, and I am trying to insist, becomes clear when you stick to the conventional definition of a friend—someone who is your pal, not an associate, someone who can offer companionship and not just superficial sympathy.

The number of female friends that will emerge, after this scrutiny, is a frighteningly, small fraction. The realization will dawn upon you that with most of your women friends, you have had or wish for some degree of romantic liaison. This includes women:

• You have dated before (the very familiar niche of Ex-)

• You always want to date desperately

• You have been fantasizing about for ages

• You like flirting with

• You couldn’t date because they are out of your league

• You secretly admire but don’t have the guts to ask her out

Any female friend that you have with any of the above or similar angle doesn’t fit into the typical definition of a friend. If the world or you were a bit more perfect, you would be dating her at this very moment!

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Busting Myths About Platonic Friendships

Can Men & Women Be Just Friends

I have to admit that Platonic Friendships do exist. Do a Google search on the word “platonic” and you will come across synonyms like non-physical, non-sexual and spiritual. Now, let me take-up each of these words and look at them through a real-life microscope:

Argument 1: You are platonically good friends with her which means there hasn’t been any sexual contact between you two. Can you guarantee that it will never happen? The argument here is that the current state of being platonic doesn’t guarantee anything for the future. The fact that you two get along so well and confide in each other establishes a great degree of comfort. So, we have companionship, comfort, faith and trust in each other—aren't these also the vital ingredients for a relationship? How can anyone possibly guarantee that this enviable blend of traits won’t make you look at the presently-platonic friendship through a couple-oriented lens later?

Argument 2: Some guys describe their platonic friendship with a lady as being spiritual. I believe this means that it transcends the normal restraints associated with a friendship. So a girl and a guy have found spiritual compatibility which essentially means that they can connect without having to express too much—one can feel the trauma or joy of the other instantly. The vibes are so strong that it seems they are carrying oppositely charged magnets in their guts. Now, look at this in a realistic and not arguments’ sake manner: if the chemistry between a guy and a girl can reach such heights of awesomeness, why would they not take the next step, i.e. beyond friendship, and enter a relationship?

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Jerry & Elaine from Seinfeld ain’t Happening, So Get Real

Can Men & Women Be Just Friends

Those who watched Jerry (Seinfeld) and Elaine would realize that what these two shared was absolutely wonderful. For the uninitiated, Jerry and Elaine are the best of friends in the sitcom called, “Seinfeld”. They are ex-lovers with a history that spans nearly a decade. They even try a friends-with-benefits kind of set-up but it seems too awkward to both of them. There are moments when they feel the urge to be with one another. They even discuss it, sitting comfortably, in Seinfeld’s sofa. The beauty of this friendship is that despite having some major differences and having been through repeated attempts, trying to rekindle their romance, Jerry & Elaine continue to be good, sorry, great friends!

So what is the problem? The only issue is that this Jerry-Elaine kind of “special friendship” is least likely to happen outside the studios of NBC. This friendship became the talking point when “Seinfeld” gained TV-viewing supremacy across the US. Their friendship had to be sustained because without this plot, the entire series would have collapsed. However, in real life, there are no pre-arranged plots and crisply-written screenplays. In the real world landscape, you either have a pleasant and formal tone with your Ex or you are out of her life and never face this paradigm. What the Jerry-Elaine equation also preaches is that being merely “good friends” is virtually impossible if the guy and gal like each other.

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A Confession: Where it all goes wrong?

Can Men & Women Be Just Friends

Evolutionary History is testament to the fact that psychologically, men and women interpret and perceive the same situation in a remarkably different manner. Why most guy-gal friendships go horribly wrongly is essentially because of Men. Yes, this confession wasn’t easy and I might have backstabbed my kind, but here is why it happens:

1. The Male Ego Just Won’t Rest

Some supposedly platonic friendships have women using men without the idiot even realizing that he is being juiced-out. I have seen so many so-called friendships where a married lady without sharing any sort of intimacy with the guy has him on a leash. He is shopping for her every week, buying her gifts and downloading apps for her. It seems that the female compliment or just being in the company of a beautiful woman is sufficient for some men to give their ego that much-needed boost. But is this really friendship? The answer is too obvious to even warrant an explanation.

2. Cavemen Evolved but Not Entirely

Women don’t understand that despite the best of education, most men haven’t been able to get rid of their Neanderthal-ness. It is coded in their DNA. We can take our eyes off the cleavage of a lady friend or even ask her to cover up but once that image is fed to our brain, it just won’t go away!

3. Most Men are Emotional Disasters

Everyone goes through an emotional crisis during their lifetime but it seems that men struggle a lot more to handle it. They are just bad in dealing with situations. If smoking or chugging beer or watching trashy women on the web doesn’t help us vent-out, we need a supporting shoulder which invariably comes from a friend. If that friend happens to be a lady, things could go wrong. When a female friend offers physical proximity as a part of emotional support, it can be wrongly interpreted as physical indulgence by men.

Concluding Thoughts

I would like to have concluded by saying that I finally cracked the question but sadly, I cannot do so. Chances are that I am horribly wrong here. However, my attempt is based upon Real Life Observations, TV, Movies and a great deal of Self-Introspection. If you think that the scientifically-progressive, contemporary world has answers to most questions, click on this research paper on Personal Relationships, to see how messy, scientific approach can be. I am at least forthright and uncomplicated in my attempt.

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