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Society

Friends…to be or not to be?

Ahh its the age old question guys…can men and women be just friends? I was recently out at dinner with a female friend and she asked me whether I thought men and women could have purely platonic relationships and after a long pause I said no. It’s actually quite strange that I came up with this answer considering if you’d asked me a couple of years ago I would of said ‘of course!’  She agreed.

The reason I paused for such a long time whilst contemplating the question was that I was trying to consider a single instance in which a male friend who at one time or another hadn’t made me think “I wonder if you’re attracted to me” or whom I hadn’t considered physically attractive. I suppose though that you could argue it’s fine to be attracted to your friends as long as you don’t act upon it right? However, if your attraction is noticeable and if you in fact make certain comments which hint at that attraction, well then aren’t you flirting? Is flirting acceptable between platonic friends?

 

The problem with attraction between friends is that it’s usually one sided and it might get to a point where the so-called harmless flirting might make the other person feel uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong I have male friends, but I do wonder if I was to ever suddenly strip in front of them and say “let’s do the damn thing” whether they’d turn the offer down. That must sound incredibly pretentious and arrogant, I apologise. Nonetheless, I’m sure many women feel the same way. There are certain male friends who I honestly think of in a brotherly sense, however I’ve been told this is the last thing a guy wants to hear as it means I have ‘friendzoned’ them. It’s quite frustrating for me as I have always tended to get on better with men than women. I share a similar taste in films, sense of humour and just my general mindset and yet, to ask a guy out to dinner or to the cinema may be interpreted as a date. This is really quite infuriating! Could it not just be that you get on with someone and want to spend time with them but are in no way attracted to them? How does one go about asking someone ‘out’ whilst making this point clear? And would making this point clear be considered offensive? I suppose no one really likes having the ‘let’s just be friends’ talk as it is usually awkward or uncomfortable and someone’s feelings may be hurt. But what it really comes down to, I think, is pride. I have said time and time again that I think pride will be the downfall of mankind. It stems from insecurity and many people are inflicted with far too much of it. Pride is the reason that when you are approached by someone and you tell them you are not interested, they may respond with “well you’re not even that hot”, pride is the reason that some men won’t allow their female friends to pay for them when they go out…basically pride, to me, is a completely nonsensical emotion, it’s up there with jealously. Sorry I seem to have gone off topic a bit, but finally, consider this; is it simply that women over think their relationships? Perhaps a woman may read too deeply into a compliment from a male friend and worry unnecessarily about what it may mean. Consequently, they may distance themselves from that friend and then lose out. Personally, I doubt this happens that often as men are rarely subtle. In fact I’ve only ever met a couple whom I’ve found hard to read but in a way, I like that. Men are direct, a trait I share, and it just makes life a whole lot easier when people say what’s on their mind.

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