Why Men and Women Can't Be _Just Friends

Why Men and Women Can’t Be Just Friends?


Have you ever thought about Why Men and Women Can’t Be Just Friends? Or do you feel they can be friends?

The idea that men and women can’t be friends is not new. But a popular romantic comedy movie released in 1989, When Harry Met Sally clearly settled this question that men and women can’t be authentic friends. However, the debate continues to come up again and again.

One of the biggest reasons is that we still have not got a definite answer to this question. In human history, men and women lived in a homosocial world until they got married. Means, men only hang out with their male friends and women did the same with their female friends. Even after marriage, male and female continued to have separate social lives. The cross-sex friends were not in until 20t century.

As time passed, more and more women entered the once predominately male workforce, both had to figure out how to have bonded with each other that were not romantic. A hundred years later, we are still trying to find it out.  

So, can men and women be just friends? If we consider women, this is possible. But if we all thought like men, we find it a serious overpopulation crisis.

Survey On Male Female Friendship Psychology

A survey was done by Bleske and Buss in the year 2000 regarding men and women friendship. In general, it was found that most of the benefits and costs were the same for men and women. Both genders enjoyed opposite-sex friends for dinner companions, self-esteem boosts, social status, sharing resource and much more. Men and women both had to go through similar issues like jealousy, confusion over the relationship status, love not being reciprocated, cruel behaviours and being less attractive to the partners because of the friendship.

Why Men and Women Can’t Be Just Friends?

Why Men and Women Can’t Be Friends

There are two sides of the coin. Let’s go through both points from what male and female feel about being friends with each other.

Ladies believe that this is not possible to have a real friendship with men. It is because as the friendship develops, men will want something more than a plain platonic friendship.

They always want to take the relationship to a romantic level, or take it further sooner or later- in most of the cases.

In the same way, men think that this is impossible to be friends with women, mainly when they find them attractive and like to spend time with them.

In my point of view, men and women both want to be friends they can, but they need to have trust in each other.

For women, friendship is more about having trust than anything else.

When a lady says she needs a hug, she just wants a hug. But when it comes to man, he wants a hug, he might have different motives in mind.

Here, in order to maintain a good friendship bond, men and women have to confront and control the existing feelings they have.

They should discuss the straightway and learn to deal with it. But again, you cannot dictate your terms, no can you ensured that they will be okay to be friends without such feelings.

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So Men and Women should not be Friends?

There are problems between men and women friendship but without friendship, there can be no true understanding between the sexes. We get stuck in the retrograde concept that men are from Man are from Mars, and women are from Venus. Friendship is a unique bond that connects men and women outside the bonds of marriage and childbearing.

In the absence of this relationship, we might go back to a de facto segregation that used to happy until the 1970s. The era of ladies lounges, men moving to the drawing-room after dinner for port and cigars, the lady in the kitchen, the blokes crowded around the barbecue, the girls’ weekend away.

Men discuss sport and politics. And, ladies talk feelings and kids.

We don’t want to go back to that. Right?

Some Real-Life Facts

Why Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends"?

The situations of every person are different, and so the opinions on the subject are different. Here, I’ll go through the different real-life facts to find the answers.

  • Some of my male friends are lifelong friends. It helps vanishing any concern of ever becoming attracted to one another. Probably if you have been friends since childhood, and you have never developed a crush on each other, it will not happen in the future also. When you have spent time with your friend fighting with each other like siblings, there is just not a lot of mystery with someone who feels like your brother.
  • Many girls ask this question, can you be friends with an ex? See, one cannot give any set of reasons for it. You can have a good bonding with your ex if you have really solid boundaries in place and stick to them.
  • In my circle, I have seen many friends who have a good friendship with their exes. They make each other laugh and have no hidden motive when it comes to the other person. But let me tell you not all exes are meant to be friends. Because there are still intense feelings involved and this is not right to try to have friendship with something that you are still very much emotionally attached.
  • “Let’s just be friends”- it has become a very common line, people use to keep someone whom they love or attached to keep that person in their life. Trust me, any ‘friendship’ that is built on desperation to hold on to something to keep them in life is doomed to fail.
  • Men and women can be better friends until they get married. Here, it does not mean that married men and women cannot have friends of the opposite sex. But this is difficult to properly maintain a close friendship with a married person without making their spouse uncomfortable. And this is a fact that no friendship is worth putting a strain on your friends’ marriage. Here, maintain a distance can work great. You can love and support your male best friend without inserting yourself in his day to day life when he is busy with his wife.  

Ultimately, men and women can be just friends, but it always depends upon the health of the two parties involved. How they take their relationship. It varies a lot if you are single and married, and that’s when a major difference comes up between men and women being friends.

You can be great buddies. But chances are that either one of you might want to take things one step further. And when that happens, you lose a good friend.

In many movies, we have seen that misunderstanding takes place between both of them. It happens mainly because for one of them the bonding shifts from being friends to a romantic one. Such one-sided transformation in a men-women relationship breaks up the friendship.

So, if you want to keep your safe distance, control your feelings, there is no problem in being friends. Just be honest with each other.

Suggestion on Relationship

Suggestion: No one person can provide you with all you need. It is vital for any successful relationship to maintain a true sense of autonomy, here I mean having your own friends. Generally, this is not a problem. Girls have girlfriends and men have their buddies. It is when the possibility of physical attraction exists that it can get messy sometimes. Here, it does not matter what your gender is!

But if this is clean and purely platonic friendship, ensure your partner. If he or she does not understand this, then, unfortunately, you need to think about your relationship again. As with anything else in life, take care of you first and everything else will fall into the right place.

Can men and women be just friends?
Men and Women Can't Be _Just Friends_ Pinterest

What do you think?

I want to know what you think: can men and women be just friends? What are the major problems? How do things change as we get older? Share your point of view on Why Men and Women Can’t Be Just Friends in the comment section below.

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Puja Bhardwaj

Hey there! This is Puja Bhardwaj from India. After 4 years of the editorial and inbound writing journey, I started #Female Insight with a passion to empower women through words and covering all aspects of a woman's life. I'm looking forward to hear from you!


20 thoughts on “Why Men and Women Can’t Be Just Friends?

  1. I never agreed with the idea that men and women can’t be friends. I think the general society only thinks that because it’s the most pervasive idea (as I think you touched on a bit). What’s also the most pervasive is heterosexual/heteronormative relationships. If the tables were turned, and we lived in societies were heterosexuality was as taboo as homosexuality is, would we even be thinking about whether or not men and women could be friends?

    Thanks for your post as is has (clearly) provoked my thoughts, haha. 🙂

    1. Ya, it varies from person to person. I have tried to touch all aspects. In my life experience (as shared in real life factors), I have felt that if you have proper control on your feeling and you are sure about it your friendship goes well otherwise, it may lead to various problems.

  2. Thanks for your insight. I think men and women can be friends, several of my good friends are male. The phrase”let’s just be friends” just put a negative connotation on this in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me

  3. LOL so my husband started off as my friend in high school and we see how that turned out. Honestly it is for the best because he knows me better than anyone and while we have chemistry we also have other commonalities too which makes the relationship and marriage fun.

  4. Thanks for your perspective. I do think that men and women can be friends. It all just depends on each person’s initial intention in forming a relationship with that person.

  5. Interesting post! I totally agree with you that men and women who are attracted to each other can’t be friends. But I have a few male childhood friends and we are just friends. Thanks for this lovely read.

  6. I personally feel that men and women can be “just friends” but IF everyone respects each other’s boundaries. Oftentimes I would think I was in a friendship only to later find the other person liked me. As you said it definitely breaks the trust and those relationships never really recovered.

  7. It’s a tough one! I do think men and women can be friends. But as a married woman, I think there have to be boundaries. I don’t hang out with men one on one and I expect that same respect from my husband.

  8. I’ve had a few really good friends that prove this theory. My husband and I were close friends for five years before we started dating. I will say, though, that he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

  9. I have been reading out a few of your posts and I must say clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your blog.

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