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Can people really be just friends?

All friendships require a certain amount of chemistry. But when twoheterosexual people of the opposite sex become buddies, sometimes thosefriendly feelings can start to resemble something more like sexualtension.

All friendships require a certain amount of chemistry. But when two heterosexual people of the opposite sex become buddies, sometimes those friendly feelings can start to resemble something more like sexual tension.


Male-female friendships can be an emotional minefield of hidden desires. Does this mean you secretly want to jump into bed with all of your friends? Of course not. But do you ever wonder how many of them might be interested if the opportunity presented itself? Maybe you and your platonic pal are just a bad breakup and a bottle of wine away from crossing that boundary and hooking up.


So can two people of the opposite sex ever really be “just friends?”


The Hollywood answer to this age-old question is a decisive HELL NO. On screen, male-female friendships always turn into something more. Harry and Sally, Chandler and Monica, Jim and Pam … do I need to go on? Even the characters in Just Friends wind up becoming much more than the film’s definitive title suggests. Cinematic clichés dictate that when reasonably attractive men and women befriend one another, they are always on the road to romance, whether they realize it or not.


But how much truth is there to this friendship as foreplay theory?


Not a whole lot. Real life isn’t a romantic comedy. Men and women go to school together, work together and hang out in plenty of platonic settings without falling hopelessly in love with one another.


Last year, a close (female) friend of mine moved in with a new (male) roommate. My immediate reaction was, “You two are definitely going to sleep together.” Perhaps I’ve watched too many rom-coms, but it seemed to me that a single man and woman living under the same roof would inevitably end up doin’ it.


Much to my surprise, the roommate romance never transpired. Almost one year later, the two of them have never even come close to seeing each other naked. Instead, their cohabitation has come to resemble a sexless marriage. They cook for each other, argue over domestic chores and insist that they never, ever think about each other “that way.”


Ultimately, just because two people can have sex doesn’t mean they want to. Sometimes guys and gals are better off keeping it casual in the friend zone.

 
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