Can a friendship between a man and a woman last?
What are the chances for people from the opposite sex to be just friends without eventually developing romantic feelings for one another?
Many believe that there is no such thing as “just friends” when it comes to a connection between a man and a woman.They argue that, eventually, one of the pair becomes romantically attracted to the other one. And as that happens, the friendship is inevitably ruined.
But what if such a connection is possible? What if you could form a strong bond with a person of the opposite sex without being sexually or romantically drawn to one another? Wouldn’t that be the most amazing friendship you could ever have?
Candidly, there is no right or wrong answer.
Theoretically, there shouldn’t be an obstacle for such a friendship to be formed and to grow stronger with time. But almost every single one of us has a story of a friendship that ended exactly because deeper feelings developed somewhere between the heartfelt laughs and honest conversations. At some point, one of the friends becomes attracted to the other to a level where they feel the need to be something more.
The great poet Oscar Wilde once said:
“Between men and women, there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”
Indeed, when stronger feelings come into the equation and occupy the mind and the heart of one of the confidants, the friendship can never be the same. And to be honest, being best friends with someone and being in love with someone is not that different.
You admire this person’s intelligence, respect their loyalty, and value their honesty. You know every little detail about them with all their flaws and imperfections, and yet, you appreciate them for who they are. No judgments, no questions asked. You share your wildest dreams and darkest fears with each other.
So, naturally, love can grow easily between the compassion, the respect, and the appreciation you have for one another. In fact, some of the greatest relationships start off as friendships. But when this love grows one-sided, all that you have been building while being friends shatters.
However, that’s only one possible scenario, and it doesn’t exclude the possibility of a man and a woman being best friends without catching feelings.
Does the friendship between a man and a woman have an expiration date?
Understandably, many people believe that the phrase “just friends” when it comes to pals from the opposite sex is meaningless. They would ask: “Sure, you are just friends now, but for how long?”
In other words, those who oppose the belief that men and women can be friends argue that eventually, you fall for the other person. Sooner or later, you stop seeing the other person as a friend and start looking at them as a love interest.
But could this imply to every single connection of this kind? Of course, it couldn’t. Not every friendship is bound to turn into something more than what it is. Besides, even when there is an attraction, there can still be a meaningful, wholesome friendship. If you respect each other enough to avoid crossing certain boundaries, you could still be close without being intimate.
There is no written or unwritten rule saying that attraction and friendship are mutually exclusive.
When we choose our friends, we look for things we are fond of. We search for people whose personality matches with ours. In other words, if we relate to someone’s interests, ideas, and goals, we automatically want to become closer with them. We are drawn to them. So from the start, there is a certain level of attraction. And that’s absolutely fine, as long as we don’t cross a line we shouldn’t.
If you want to avoid ruining your friendship with romantic feelings, all you need to do is set clear boundaries. When you define your connection from the start, there shouldn’t be any reason for doubts and concerns.
Writer Rajeet Singh explains that in one simple sentence:
“Whereas moments of attraction may be small or large, for the most part, they will be fleeting in nature, and where attraction will rise and fall, friendship will remain.”
So, yes, a man and a woman can be friends. And yes, there would probably be some attraction between them. However, they can still be just friends and nothing more. As long as they have respect for one another and a good amount of self-control in moments of weakness, their friendship would still be going strong.
What is your opinion: Can a man and a woman be friends? Let us know in the comment section!