You ask most people and the answer is ‘no’. Men and women cannot be friends because there will always be some sort of sexual desire between them or some sort of ‘what if’ in the relationship.
Even my mom claims that men and women can’t be friends a lot of the time.
People say men and women can’t be friends, yet you hear those people say “oh, my friend, ‘person of the opposite sex’…” … wait… I thought you said they can’t be friends. People are confusing, and tend to go back on their answer when it comes to them, claiming that their friendship is an exception. It’s probably not. Really think about it, do you want to bang your “friend”? Do they want to bang you? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be more than “friends”? Have they?
I am friends with almost all of my exes. Ex-boyfriends, ex-lovers, ex-sexual partners. Many people think that is some strange oddity. Who the hell stays friends with their many exes?… Well I do.
And yes. I can truly say I am friends with these men because I think there is one major way in which a man and a woman can be friends.
When you meet someone who you find attractive, a part of you wants to see it progress into something more than friends. You begin to hang out with this person, get to know them. They are interesting. You like being around them, they make you laugh, and you start to really care about them. If these feelings are reciprocated, you will probably progress this friendship into something more.
Then something changes. Maybe it’s gradual. Maybe you wake up one morning and realize. This person who you care so much for, this person who cares so much for you, is not for you. For one reason or another, you come to the conclusion that you cannot stay in this relationship.
They are still the same person. The same person you enjoy being around. You still find them interesting, and you still care. So why throw them away totally, just because you decided you no longer wanted to be in a romantic relationship?
This is where my mind lies. When I decide to end something romantic with someone, that doesn’t mean I do not want them in my life.
Now let’s pause here.
You may be thinking, just because you changed your mind doesn’t mean that they did too. Maybe they still love you.
In a lot of break ups, it is not a mutual decision. When it is, then perfect! When it is not however, it is a bit more complicated, but it can work. I find that after a bit of time, once the hurt is gone, the person who got dumped will realize that the other person was right. They just weren’t going to work out. They weren’t meant for each other. And now, there is the mutual feeling about the break up.
Once there is the mutual feeling that you were not going to work out, and will not work out as a couple, what is really stopping you from being friends? You care about each other as people, you enjoy their company, they make you laugh, you want what is best for each other, and you know it won’t work romantically.
What are friends?
People who care about each other, enjoy each others company, make each other laugh, they want what is best for the other, and you do not have the desire to be involved romantically.
Sooo…. do you see where I am going here?
I think that men and women can be friends in the case that they have tried dating or tried to be something more than friends and both eventually realized that it was not going to work out romantically. Obviously if you both hate each other after the break up, then you won’t be friends, but if you still enjoy each other as people, then it is possible.
Once the ‘what if?’ question is gone, once there is a mutual understanding about the break up, and if there is still the enjoyment of one another as people.
Once you have been involved romantically, and had it fail, that is when a man and a woman can be friends.
** Of course there can be exceptions, but exceptions are rare. This ideology is from my experience, but to each their own.