Thursday, October 7, 2010

We're just mates

Guys and girls can't be friends. There, I said it. Oh sure, you can be tight with your bestie's boyfriend. Or have a great rapport with one of your exes, having realised you're no longer attracted to each other. But these friendships only work because of pre-existing factors - i.e. he's taken (by your best friend), or you gave it a go with him, but the sex was shit. So there's really no option to be anything but friends.

On the flipside, I have never come across two single, heterosexual members of the opposite sex who have managed to sustain a friendship without a remote trace of sexual curiosity from one or both parties.

It's natural instinct to survey the opposite sex for potential mate value. And a friend of the opposite sex couldn't be a more worthy candidate. I mean, don't the qualities we like in our friends form the basis of what we look for in a partner?

You see it happen all the time. A supposedly platonic relationship turned passionate affair after a few drinks at the pub. The confession of undying love from one party to the other, often only to discover it is unrequited. Or the most heartbreaking scenario - when feelings are kept to themselves, stewed over for years, but obvious to everyone around them. And why are these feelings never publicly acknowledged? Because the girl or guy is terrified of ruining their 'friendship' with their best mate, AKA the love of their life.

Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of male-female friendships where the romantic avenue has been travelled down, only to discover they took a wrong turn. There may be no hint of it now, but my point is at one time, if only for a drunken moment, there was sexual experimentation or speculation from one or both parties in question.

The friendship gig simply cannot play out between single man and single woman, as the elephant in the room will forever be present... you get along, you make each other laugh, you agree on the big issues, you've got each other's back... so why are you 'just friends'?? Perhaps you should grab a beer with them and find out..


  1. Your definition of "friends" seems to be really strict! If either of the people involved ever looks at the other and contemplates whether or not they'd make a good mate, they're not "just friends" anymore? That's what it seems like you're saying. Which is fine, if that's the way you see it.

    I have a lot of guy friends. I'm married, so there is no potential for anything more than friendship from me. Does that mean they're not "just friends" with me, simply because they don't have a choice in the matter? One of these friends I've had since second grade, and I guess I would have no way of knowing if he were into me, but our friendship has been platonic for the last two decades regardless.

    Basically, I disagree. Though I do think it's reasonable for two friends to be interested in being more than friends, it certainly isn't inevitable.

  2. i think guys and girls can be friends if they have common interests and if both parties are also at least acquaintances with their significant others. i have guys i consider friends that i see in group settings, etc.

    however, when i've been single, all the guy "friends" i had were interested in me and our "friendship" did not work out.

  3. I completely agree. I love my best friend (Or love of my life) because neither of us admitted we had feelings. We were best friends/lovers for 4ish years. One night he tried to talk about "our future" and I just couldn't and things changed.

    We are no longer friends. And honestly I don't have any male friends that we haven't tried to date. I think it's very very true.

  4. I think you misinterpreted what I meant, Plum.. of course you can still be friends with someone of the opposite sex, even if you have considered whether or not they would be a good partner. What I meant was, the better the friend they are, the more likely it is to cross your mind at some stage the possibility of them being more than just a friend. And that's when it gets complicated, i.e. if those feelings develop, etc.

    And of course guys aren't just your friends because they can't get anything else from you. What I meant is, it's a whole lot easier to be friends with someone of the opposite sex when you're taken, as the potential for any developing romance is eliminated.

    I don't think it's inevitable that two single friends will end up being involved with each other, but I do think it's inevitable that some point in time, one or both parties will investigate whether there's any potential for something further. Whether that means they hook up and agree it's not a good idea, or whether one is up for it and another isn't, that's a different story. But it definitely results in them no longer ever being considered 'just friends.'

    But thanks for the comments, I really appreciate people reading my stuff :-)

  5. Thanks Ms. Manda. Sad to hear, but yeah, this is similar to so many people's stories that I've heard, hence why I came to such a conclusion!

  6. This is an extremely interesting topic for me. the Boyfriend & I constantly debate this question: I say yes, he says no. I found your discussion on and thought I'd take a stab at my own post on this topic. You should check it out.