Haven’t been here for quite some time, but this is something I have been thinking about. They say that one will develop romantic feelings for the other and then it will either become a relationship or the friendship itself will disintegrate. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?
Absolutely not. I have a number of male friends that I have absolutely zero interest in romantically, and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
I know my husband often goes out to lunch or dinner with people he worked with before he retired, and considers them all his friends. Most of them are women, and there is no way he is romantically interested in any of them.
“They” are wrong. I (a guy) have several longstanding female friends which I will strive to maintain until the day I die, which my girlfriend is not at all threatened by.
The statement you reference presumes that unless you wanna have sex with someone, there is no reason to continue socializing with them. Clearly that’s not the case for your friends of the same gender (unless you’re gay, which disproves the statement even further, but let’s not digress), so it then presumes that men and women "like different things (and/or) are inherently different people across the board.
That’s not to say its unnatural to have some physical attraction (note I didn’t say romantic feelings) for a friend of the opposite gender, but most socialized humans have evolved to the point of having this thing called impulse control.
Barring evidence to the contrary, I think those who subscribe to the notion you reference are either mildly sexist or somewhat emotionally immature.
That is entirely untrue. I have formed great friendships with many, many female friends throughout the years and have only had sex with around 90 to 95 percent of them.
Untrue. You’re not going to be romantically attracted to every single member of the opposite gender just because you hang out with them.
The “When Harry Met Sally” theory. Wrong. I have plenty of women friends I have no interest in and who have no interest in me. And I also have plenty of women friends with whom we feign no interest due to marriages. I know the difference the same way Potter Stewart knew what obscenity was.
My very bestust friend in the whole wide world, going on 20 years now, is a dude and I am a lady. He’s been dating and then married to the same wonderful woman (my other bestust friend!) the whole time we’ve been friends. Aside from the one time when I was a teen and I had a dream that I kissed him and it pissed me off, I’ve never once felt romantic towards him.
I have zero interest in guys who are married, and almost all of my guy friends are married, and I indeed have zero interest in them.
My handful of single guy friends…I will admit I had feelings for them at some early point in all the many years we’ve been friends but we’re in our mid-to-late 30s now and any interest I once had is gone. I love being their friends and that’s it.
Remaining friends with someone you once dated? That’s slightly different. I am not close friends with any of my exes, but we can’t all be Jerry & Elaine. Besides, I don’t need those duds I have my real guy friends
My sister would be astonished to learn that she and I can’t be friends without becoming romantically involved.
More seriously, it may only be a metaphor, but I have a number of very good friends to whom I have feelings that are more “brotherly” than romantic.
The guy friends I had when I was in university - it’s true that either I developed feelings for them or they developed feelings for me, no exceptions. Well, except for ONE guy, and he was always dating someone during our entire time in school.
Out of all these guys, I am still friends with one (the others I naturally fell out of touch with).
After university, I haven’t had that much trouble making and keeping guy friends without any romantic feelings developing on either side (as far as I know).
There was one guy I briefly developed ‘feelings’ for nigh on 30 yrs ago. Then I realised he was a misogynistic arsehole, and we’ve been best friends ever since.
Every now and again we joke about hooking up together, but then I remind him that he’s a first class jerk…so we have a good old chortle and get back to being best friends again.
Works for us.
I’d say, two people who find the other physically attractive will not remain friends in perpetuity. That sounds more like a true statement, though it’s not with out exception.
And conversely, two people who find the other physically repulsive, CAN stay friends in perpetuity.
And if one finds the other attractive while the other does not; they too can stay friend forever although their reasons for staying friends may be entirely different from one another.
Why on earth not? You’ve seen plenty of examples here in this very thread. I understand your proviso, ‘not without exception’, but given the responses here, I’d wager that it is far more common than you’re prepared to acknowledge.
First, this board is hardly representative of the real world. That’s been my experience at least.
Personally, I lean more towards Chris Rock’s “Dick in a glass case” mentality.
I’ve had hot female friends that I was close and chummy with. I’ve even shared a bed with said friends and managed to keep my hands to myself. In my head, I truly felt like ours was a brotherly friendship.
Having said that, I cannot say with absolute certainty that I would refuse an offer for sex if said girl offered. Especially if you throw alcohol into that equation.
That isn’t true. What is a strain is the constant assumption by outsiders that one of you is secretly longing for the other. You must be. It’s simply not possible to be friends indefinitely. It’s actually sort of sad so many people feel that way, because to me it doesn’t bode well for that person’s relationships.
There’s a saying that your friends are the family members you get to pick yourself. My best friend is like a sister, except we actually have things in common beyond biology. But because we’ve been friends so long, dating her would be creepy.
There was no mention in the OP of a ‘friends with benefits’ scenario. We’re all grownups here (mostly), and we can negotiate all sorts of weird and wonderful liaisons with friends and not-friends that sit outside the commonplace in-a-relationship vs friends-we-sometimes-fuck-but-aren’t-in-a-relationship-with.
I’m not so fond of the either-or options. YMMV of course.
One of the nice things about being bisexual is that it provides an automatic ‘reductio ad absurdum’ to theories like this. If it were true that it’s impossible to have lasting friendships with anyone who’s the right gender for you to be attracted to, I wouldn’t be able to have any long term friends. And since I know I do, I don’t need to give the idea any credence.
I do think it matters what you mean by “friend”. Hang out with? Talk philosophy with? Play games with? Watch movies with? Do favors for? Mixed gender is no problem there. But there is a sort of emotional intimacy I can have with my female friends that I would avoid developing with a male friend, because once you’ve started down that road, romantic feelings are likely to follow on the part of one or both. And romantic feelings are largely beyond one’s control–you can control what you do about those feelings, of course, but it would suck to fall in love with someone that was inappropriate for whatever reason (in my case, it would be inappropriate because I love and am committed to my husband).
So yeah, there is a type of friendship–the type where you share your hopes and dreams and fears, where you cry all over each other, tell your deepest secrets, rush to share your good news and bad, etc., etc. that I think will very often end up with romantic complications if the two people are basically romantically compatible (appropriate ages, appropriate genders). But there are a great many other perfectly healthy and valid models of friendship that aren’t like this.
Manda JO - i think that’s a great answer to the “When Harry Met Sally” question. all the friendships you have aren’t really relevant to the hypothetical if you aren’t spending nights on the phone falling asleep together.
This would pretty much suck for women, as “they” also say that women can’t be friends with each other because they are all jealous back-stabbing gossips. No friends for women. Can’t have 'em. You either wanna bang 'em, or you’re gonna have a cat fight. But friends? Nope.
Or we could just grow the fuck up and accept people as people. Frankly, making such statements about “women” and “men” as if they are monolithic groups is dehumanising and profoundly stupid as it ignores the fact that individual differences outstrip those between men and women.
Anyway, I managed. I have lots of friends. Despite my vagina. :dubious:
Definitely not true. I have female friends of long standing, with no romantic attachments. One in particular I’ve known so long that she would not thank me if I told you HOW long.