Can men and women ever really ‘just’ be friends? Beth Currall and Lewis Johnston argue both sides of the coin
Even though I’m the first to admit that a lot of friendships between the opposite sexes do not always remain friendships, I think it’s wrong for people to assume that lads can never be ‘just friends’ with girls. My best friend is a girl, we spend loads of time together and I love her to bits- but if I had to describe my worst nightmare of a girlfriend, she would be it. I just consider her on the same level as my male friends, in the sense that we get on, but there’s absolutely no attraction between us. Nowadays, I know loads of lads that get on with girls better than their mates of their own sex, and vice versa, and if you enjoy spending time together, why should that be an issue? Yes, I have overstepped the mark with some of my female ‘friends’ in the past, but I think that if your friendship is genuine, then it will survive this test. My best friend is way more reliable than other lad mates that I’ve known for years, and I always know that I can rely on her. I think that those who don’t believe the opposite sexes can be friends have obviously just not matured yet.
I have seen many male-female friendships form ever since high school, and almost every time I can write the scripts for these ‘friendships’: mates for a couple of months, one falls in love with the other, the pair gets physical, and/or one is most definitely left heartbroken and friend-zoned at the end. Time and time again, lads and girls form friendships believing that they are ‘different’ to others; but the simple fact is, we are not biologically programmed to have lasting, platonic relationships. It is in our blood to be attracted to the opposite sex, and sexual desire will always find a way to form.
Think of your favourite TV sitcoms, and I bet all of them feature friendships that eventually turn into relationships. Where would F.R.I.E.N.D.S have ended up if Ross and Rachel hadn’t had the most on/off relationship of the Nineties and Noughties? Would How I Met Your Mother be half as entertaining without Ted’s countless attempts to get himself out of the friend-zone with Robyn? We all fall in love with someone that we can be friends with, and this is exactly why friendships with the opposite sex rarely end well. Yes, I have lad mates, but there’s no way that I could talk to them in the same way I do my girl friends, or hang out with them regularly. In my opinion, if you want to spend a large amount of your time with a member of the opposite sex, then you’re in denial about your feelings towards them! We may as well admit that these friendships will never work, and save millions of people the heartache (and embarrassment) of being launched into the friend-zone sooner or later.