It's that age-old question which can never be answered correctly. Can men really be just friends with women? Well, for me it was never a case exactly. I lost many good friends because they couldn’t control their hormones and I didn’t want the friendship to be complicated. Well for many it might not be the case, but for the rest let’s explain the details and research behind it…
Male Friends: The Common Conception Or Misconception
Friendship doesn’t exactly see a barrier – age, sex or race. I always had and still have more male friends than girls. Like every other modern girl, I too believe guys can be better friends than girls. I used to be a Tomboy as a child and played with guys more than the girls. But the neighbors always seemed to have a problem with the concept. Hearing to the complaints even if my parents were cool about it prevented me after a certain age. This bothered me somewhere but later I was regretting that I should have listened to them. These guy friends could not be my friends for a longer time as somewhere they could not draw a line and landed up liking me and making things complicated which spoilt our friendship.
Well, this didn’t stop. My gelling up with guys more than girls actually turned up against me for people around me started questioning my character even in the modern era where co-education is so common. If you have two close guy friends and one liking you, there will jealousy within them which will eventually ruin your friendship.
The Influence Of Movies
Movies like ‘When Harry Met Sally’, ‘A Lot Like Love’, ‘Definitely, Maybe’, ‘Friends with Benefits’ which spoke about how best friends fell in love with each other was an influence with greater impact on cross –sex friendships. Movies are an important part of our lives. These movies conclude “men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.”
Which even if it’s not true, somewhere plays in a person’s mind and effect psychologically creating an understanding of falling in love with your best friend is totally normal. The feelings sometimes are uncontrollable without any solution to it.
Psychological Reasons Behind It
Love doesn’t see any barrier same as friendship. Friendship and love just have a fine line in between which can be crossed very easily. Best friends barring their sex are always together, sharing every minute details of their life. There is a personal aura around a person which only certain people in life can cross – Boyfriends, Best friends, Husbands. Yes, not parents. Best friends are the first people you have ever shared anything. If the person is of the opposite sex he or she is the first contact to an outer world with whom somewhere deep down you are sexually attracted otherwise he/ she wouldn’t have been your best friend in the first place.
Second reason is habit. You are so habituated to your best friend that you majorly spend your most time with that person. It is psychologically proven that if you are spending more time with a person you will be automatically infatuated by the person. Habituated to a person does not necessarily mean love, while most of us including me misunderstand the feeling.
The Answer To The Real Question
So can men and women really remain “Just Friends”? In many cases, the answer is no. Transferring your friendship into love is not a bad thing either. Sometimes both people see friendship as a step to mutually-satisfying love, sex, and/or commitment. At other times, men and women cannot be "just" friends because only one friend desires something more and the feelings are not mutual. This gets in between their friendship and can completely ruin their bond. Many do not take the “Friend Zone” part positively.
Nevertheless, the friendship between men and women is not impossible. However, it does require finding someone with friendship goals matching your own. One solution to this if you pick a friend who is already in other romantic relationship that way, you can have a satisfying exchange, a good friend, and no frustration.