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Old 12-09-2007, 05:04 PM   #1
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Can men and women just be platonic friends?

The age old question.

From personal experience, my answer is no.

All the male friends I've ever had, either they or I wanted it to develop into something more. Once I have/am told that I/they want something more, the friendship will never be the same again when the other does not feel the same way. In all honesty, the friendship dies slowly.

With my OH and my ex, we met and became a couple almost immediately. I've never experience dating a 'friend'.

What are your experiences of having friends of the opposite sex? (presuming you and they are both straight) Do you feel men and women really can be just friends? Have you ever thought of them romantically? And how does your OH feel about it?

 
Old 12-09-2007, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by princessanna View Post
The age old question.

From personal experience, my answer is no.

All the male friends I've ever had, either they or I wanted it to develop into something more. Once I have/am told that I/they want something more, the friendship will never be the same again when the other does not feel the same way. In all honesty, the friendship dies slowly.

With my OH and my ex, we met and became a couple almost immediately. I've never experience dating a 'friend'.

What are your experiences of having friends of the opposite sex? (presuming you and they are both straight) Do you feel men and women really can be just friends? Have you ever thought of them romantically? And how does your OH feel about it?
First, what does OH stand for?!!

To address your question, even before the current situation that I've gotten myself into, I would say NO, men and women, in general, cannot just be platonic friends. Usually one or the other has more-than-platonic feelings for the other one, who has just platonic feelings, making a true friendship virtually impossible. It's a one-sided situation.

Like you said is the case with you, all the male friends I've ever had, either they or I wanted it to develop into something more. I'm currently in a situation where *I* am in a friendship with a guy, I want it to develop into something more but he doesn't (I posted a thread about it here).

 
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

Apologies, OH = Other Half.

My OH has friends of the opposite sex and to be completely honest, I do feel slightly uncomfortable about it which my OH knows about. I sometimes feel as though that people who do have friends of the opposit sex, have them as some sort of 'reserve' if that makes any sense.

 
Old 12-09-2007, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

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Apologies, OH = Other Half.

My OH has friends of the opposite sex and to be completely honest, I do feel slightly uncomfortable about it which my OH knows about. I sometimes feel as though that people who do have friends of the opposit sex, have them as some sort of 'reserve' if that makes any sense.
I can understand your feeling slightly uncomfortable about your OH (thanks for explaining what this stands for, by the way!) having friends of the opposite sex. I'm not involved with anyone right now, but if I was and that person had friends of the opposite sex, I would also feel slightly uncomfortable.

I think it all boils down to TRUST (which in my opinion is the foundation of a good relationship) -- meaning if someone's signficant other has friends of the opposite sex, the person would have to TRUST the SO not to fool around with any of the friends of the opposite sex. And the SO would have to be TRUSTWORTHY and not fool around.

Also, I think it depends on the individual situation as to whether people who have friends of the opposite sex have them as some sort of "reserve" (although I know what you mean by this).

 
Old 12-09-2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

I was good friends with a guy for a few years. I was single at the time, but never thought of him in any other way. He was actually at the time engaged, so I surely hope he wasn't harboring secret thoughts for me. If so, it certainly never came into play.
We were friends for 2-3 yrs. He has since moved away, which is the reason we are no longer close. He is now married to the at the time finacee. A few times he has come into town, and we had a quick catch up visit.

So in my opinion, yes, men and women can be platonic friends.

 
Old 12-09-2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

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I was good friends with a guy for a few years. I was single at the time, but never thought of him in any other way. He was actually at the time engaged, so I surely hope he wasn't harboring secret thoughts for me. If so, it certainly never came into play.
well that's the thing right there, one of you weren't single at the time. if both are single i'm pretty sure BOTH of you would have thought about it at least once and one will likely want more...so...i too will say NO, you can't be platonic friends and hanging out on a one on one basis for an extended period of time and have no feelings develop from at least one of you.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 01:37 AM   #7
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

well i was friends with this guy for quite a while. he liked me but i didnt feel the same. i still had feelings for my ex at the time. he was a really nice guy, never made a move on me because he understood. i even stayed at his place, watched dvds with him and he tried NOTHING. well one day he invited me out to a friends birthday. he always invited me out places. anyway as the night ended he went to kiss me. i kissed him back. this was a year and a half ago and now im crazy about him lol. in two weeks we are going on out second interstate trip and are also talking about moving in together. its crazy but im now madly in love with the guy. we were friends for nearly a year when we got together.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 02:27 AM   #8
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

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well i was friends with this guy for quite a while. he liked me but i didnt feel the same. i still had feelings for my ex at the time. he was a really nice guy, never made a move on me because he understood. i even stayed at his place, watched dvds with him and he tried NOTHING. well one day he invited me out to a friends birthday. he always invited me out places. anyway as the night ended he went to kiss me. i kissed him back. this was a year and a half ago and now im crazy about him lol. in two weeks we are going on out second interstate trip and are also talking about moving in together. its crazy but im now madly in love with the guy. we were friends for nearly a year when we got together.

That's a lovely story which also goes to show that men and women can't just be paltonic friends as one or both of you would eventually want something more.

I agree with Paddler that there must be a level of trust involved but what I've found to be very very important in a relationship too is COMMUNICATION and HONESTY. Admittedly, I don't always trust my OH 100% (does any woman?) but I always tell him about my feelings and I trust that he will respect them. I tell him when I feel uncomfortable about a female friend he has and he does his best to reassure me but putting his phone on loudspeaker if she calls, and I've met most of his friends and colleagues.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 05:43 AM   #9
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

Everybody's experiences and such will differ in this subject.

I've tried to have guy friends and have succeeded. However, I know if I gave them the chance they would have slept with me in a second. Most successful "male friend" relationships I have had where this hasn't been an issue have been with guys who have either been married or in a long-term relationship.

My husband, on the other hand, is really good friends with an ex. She is married and the four of us are great friends. There is no awkwardness there at all. I know not everyone can have that experience, but it can happen.

There definately has to be a level of trust involved. I can't even tell you how many people have thought I was crazy for "allowing" my husband to be friends with an ex. But she is a really nice and decent person. Both her and my husband described their relationship as "dating a sibling". Neither her husband nor I have any worries. I'm sure this is a pretty big exception to the norm.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 07:45 AM   #10
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

Yes, they can be friends. I have quite a few men friends, my husband has a few women friends. A few of these friends have been around long before him, so why would I give that up jsut because I'm with someone? And no, I've never been keeping them on the back burner just in case, and I'm pretty sure they haven't either as a few of them are even married. I think of someone is really a friend, they are, and that shouldn't change just because you are with a partner. I'm sure sometimes things get messed up. I once had a great friend, we were friends for years. I had boyfreinds during this time, he had girlfriends, but that never changed our freindship. Then he met this girl ( who incidentally I set him up with), and she was the most insecure person I have ever met. And the sad part is, he ended up ending our freindship because of her. Honestly, I lost a lot of respect for him after that. I don't believe in ditching friends, men or women, because of a partner. It all comes down to trust, either you trust someone or you don't, and if you don't, why be with them? I have had boyfriends say they wouldn't " allow " me to continue these freinds, , and lets just say those boyfreinds didn't last long. I could never be with soemone who even attempted to tell me what I can and can't do.

Last edited by jennie250; 12-10-2007 at 07:47 AM.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

Quote:
Originally Posted by princessanna View Post
...

What are your experiences of having friends of the opposite sex? (presuming you and they are both straight) Do you feel men and women really can be just friends? Have you ever thought of them romantically? And how does your OH feel about it?
This is a very difficult question to answer, because there are so many variables. In theory, I'd say it is quite possible for a man and a woman to be platonic friends or simply friends, but you don't find such a combination very frequently. Maybe friends, but very seldom best friends or intimate friends. I myself have a few female friends, all of them being from my workplace. I admit that I have occasionally thought, with regard to some of them, "what if...?" Maybe they thought about me in those terms, too, but none of us has ever crossed that line. I think it's maybe a question of accepting the rules and never breaking them: friends are not supposed to share a bed.

I like having female friends, it's good to have feedback from a woman friend, but my best friends have always been of the same sex. I'd feel clumsy to share all my problems and issues with a woman and only with a woman. The only exception seems to be this board.

I think my "OH" feels the same.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 09:25 AM   #12
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

I haven't read the other posts yet, so sorry for any repetition..

I'm gonna say no to that. Women may be more capable of having only friendly feelings towards a guy.. but all the straight men I know and have known, even if they don't have romantic feelings, would never turn down anything physical if it were to happen. So for that reason, I say that men and women cannot be platonic friends.

Edit: I'm adding more after having read some of the posts!!

I have a lot of male friends that are "just friends." But... if I (or both of us) were single, and I made a move on any of them, I know they wouldn't stop it from happening. Even if no romantic feelings are involved, I don't think that most men would turn down a chance for sex...even if with a good friend. Or maybe my friends just have poor morals!!

Same goes for my boyfriend. He has a lot of female friends, some are exes. Yes it makes me uneasy sometimes, but I trust him and know he would never do anything behind my back. BUT-- if he were single and (like above) if one was to make a move on the other, I don't think too many people would stop something from happening, even if just a kiss.

My point of view is just based on what I've seen...

Last edited by jen52983; 12-10-2007 at 09:34 AM.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 10:58 AM   #13
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

I personally have never had a male friend that was purely platonic on both sides straight down the line, but my brother has had several female friends that he has had no romantic feelings or involvement with. But I think my brother is very very rare, he's much much more ethical and respectful than most men.

 
Old 12-10-2007, 02:58 PM   #14
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

From my personal experiences, men and women can be JUST friends. However, almost always, one or the other WOULD pursue something. As sexist as it sounds, I think women like and want to have platonic friendships, and men don't. I am in a relationship and completely honest and faithful (always will be) but I have several male friends, some of them ex's. Many of the male friends I have would jump at the chance for something more if I offered but they are 100% respectful of me and my relationship. They know me very well and know there's not a chance I would ever cheat. One difference though, I don't see or hang out with them often at all. If I were going out with them a lot or spending a lot of time alone with them, I think it would be more of an issue with my bf. I am fairly close to some of my male friends, but our actual contact is usually limited to texts,ims, or the ocassional phone call. So, with all that said, yes, I do believe people can do it. However, when in a relationship, there is a fine line between acceptable friendship and unacceptable.

 
Old 12-11-2007, 09:08 AM   #15
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Re: Can men and women just be platonic friends?

I think it could be possible sure...It's just not for me and I certainly wouldn't want my husband out and about with another woman. That would take away from the time we spend together. I consider my husband to be my very best friend. I have had associates that are male that I have really enjoyed sitting around in the break room chewing the fat with but I wouldn't want to hang out with them. I believe it's totally different if you are single though and you can be friends with anyone you dang well please. Don't expect your partner to think it's hunky dory to go out and chum around with someone of the opposite sex though!
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