Ok so this question is an old age question that leads to many heated debates and often isn’t answered.
For some people, they think you can, however, only if a strict criteria has been stuck too. Such criteria appear to include (though it can vary as too how many):
- That you have not have sex or any form of sexual intimacy.
- That you have a met in a neutral and platonic environment such as a classroom, lecture theatre or in some cases work.
- That you have met through other people, i.e. someones ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, family etc.
Others think that you can despite how you met each other or what their past may be, whether it be ex partners, met on a night out or meeting on an online dating website.
And then there are those who believe that you explicitly can not be friends as deep down there is a sexual desire, need or a selfish reason as to why the friendship is occurring.
For me, I think it truly comes down to the individual. Some of the people I have met in my life are what some people describe as people who wear their hearts on their sleeves, who are romantics and crave the security of a relationship. These people I have found are the ones who are unable to be friends with the opposite sex. They may begin with the intention of being just friends, but once a ‘connection’ is felt, they question whether it is too good for a friendship and instead begin to think whether it should become more… and then the drunken kiss or more begins, regrets happens, relationships fail, expectations weren’t met and what does it mean….friendship over!
Now I am not saying that being friends first isn’t a good thing, as for some, it works, it’s a natural progression without the horrendous dating scene or the getting to know you part over awkward meals and coffee afternoons and then trying to work out if this has any future or is going anywhere, instead it’s natural, one day you were going to the cinema as friends and then the next you were holding hands during the movie. Now I could be slightly romantisizing this due to watching far too many movies and I have only witnessed this happening in real life once, majority have ended with the horrific incident of unrequited love.
Unrequited love…. hmmm potentially one of the worst feelings that one could experience that doesn’t involve admission to A&E or being sent to prison. You have choices when you have feelings for someone, which are becoming deeper than friendship feelings these are:
- Tell them
- Or keep quiet and live with it, forever and forever
- Or just cut off all contact, go cold turkey and leave someone and yourself with an unknown entity in their life forever (yours being if I said something would we have got married, had 10 babies and won the lottery and he will become perfection. His being what did I do wrong this time, though let’s be honest most men will just assume it’s a prolonged time of the month and leave you to it).
Unfortunately this can only be stopped by never having male/female friends and often it is people who have experienced this situation who are the ones who say, no…no…and NO… to male/female friendships.
However, I find having friendships with both male and female refreshing, Some people find if all you do is spend time with women you can become bitchy, bitter, more often they are the jealous type and will often be unable to think for themselves as they have to consult ‘the girls’ first.
In my experience a friendship with the opposite sex offers something different, a different perspective for one, but also a different context, one that you crave after going to get your hair done or meals out with the girls.
But for it too work you have to be logical about things and not to turn them into fairytale situations, to not allow yourself after being dumped the 100th time or feeling horny to begin to look at your friend differently because they are the closest or like the last chick flick you watched you start to wonder if they are right in front of you all this time. If you were meant to be, it will happen naturally but not because of an emotional turmoil at that time, otherwise just forget it and see that person the same way you would see your same-sex friends. That way the friendship may just work, but hey, it’s only my opinion,