Can men and women be “just friends”? This question has long been debated, most notably in the critically acclaimed romance film, “When Harry Met Sally.” The truth is that the answer is fluid. There are so many factors to consider, depending on who you are asking and what the relationship dynamic is. However, Norah Ephron’s famous dialogue still stands as the benchmark opinion on the matter: men think it’s impossible, while women think it’s possible.
To start with, it’s near impossible for a guy to be “just friends” with a woman if he’s attracted to her.
A guy can try. I mean try really, really hard. And when I say try really hard — I mean, he will stifle his desire by masturbating to you in private, so that he can respectfully operate as your friend in public. On the surface his intentions are genuine, but deep in the confines of his man brain, he can’t deny and hold back his attraction for long. He’s banking on a friendship fling, not a long-term friendship.
When guys have attractive female friends, they’re really just girls they haven’t fucked yet, or girls who won’t fuck them, or girls they hope they get to fuck eventually.
You might be into the friendship for the long haul, but it’s highly unlikely he can keep his true feelings in his pants forever.
Even if he’s not attracted to you, there is still almost always some sexual tension.
In a way, the only fighting chance for a friendship is when the guy isn’t attracted to you, or doesn’t view you as his “type.” But…even still…there is always some level of sexual tension below the surface that he has a hard time shaking. The occasional bump or graze, being drunk and alone together, even sleeping in the same bed, or engaging in flirtatious behavior, makes it difficult to shake those underlying, nagging questions: “Does she find me attractive?” “Does she want to hook up?” “Will we ever hook up?” The curiosity can paralyze him to the point of confusion: where he blacks out one day, only to regain consciousness with his pants at his ankles as he’s rubbing one out in your honor.
Men will ruin your friendship to sleep with you.
Most women wouldn’t sleep with their male friends because they wouldn’t want to jeopardize or compromise the friendship. I have news for you: men will ruin the friendship the first chance they get, if it means they get to have sex with you.
You control the physical nature of your opposite sex friendships.
Men and women can sustain a platonic friendship when the woman prohibits sex from entering into the relationship. This is because women have an easier time compartmentalizing sex from friendships with the opposite sex. For us, it all just blends together and we get confused about things rather quickly. This could be because of the classic biological imperative: men strive to spread their seed while women want to find the one strong seed in the pack. Or it could be because of bullshit social stigma that’s attached to women sleeping around.
If you previously slept together, men can only be friends if they were the ones who put an end to the sex.
The male ego is a fragile thing. Most men have a hard time reverting from a sexual relationship with a woman to something strictly platonic, if they weren’t the ones to put an end to the sex.
If the woman cuts the sex off, it always feels like a demotion. It’s near impossible for a guy to go from friends-to-fucking to fucking-to-friends.
Men don’t move backwards on the sex hierarchy very easily. We’re like sexual kangaroos in that way. It’s because we’ve already been inside of the castle, eaten gourmet grapes and knocking silk sheets with the Queen. Now we’re outside the castle walls, delegated to fighting for breadcrumbs with the peasants. What’s the natural male reaction? Fuck this, I’m going to go find a new castle.
But there are exceptions.
For example, a guy grew up with a girl and has known her for forever. You know, they used to take baths together and put on pretend Spice Girls concerts in the basement at family dinners. This is a situation where a platonic friendship can definitely be pure and genuine. It’s because he saw her naked before he hit puberty. If you see her tits before she even has tits, that’s an undisputed lifelong sentence of platonic friendship.
Or a guy and girl are platonic friends by default. You know, it’s his buddy’s girlfriend, or his girlfriend’s friends. In both cases, those are strictly platonic friendships. You don’t really ever hang out with her without your buddy, and you never really get that close, for obvious reasons.
Still, friendships between men and women happen. The secret: make a choice. You have to decide to fuck or to be friends. Because once you fuck, your friendship is fucked. You can’t unsee each other naked. You can’t unknow the face you both make when you cum. At that point you either steal a page from Harry and Sally’s book and marry the shit out of your best friend, or you say bye forever.
If you make the choice not to fuck, we’ll eventually come to terms with the friend status, It might not be easy. There might be some resistance along the way, but once we know with utmost certainty that it’s not going to happen, we’ll put our dick in the vault and be the guy friend you’ve always dreamed of.