Disclaimer: This myTake will discuss the topic mainly about heterosexuals. Some points discussed such as sexual attraction can apply to people who aren’t heterosexual. Other than that, I can predict that this Take is going to trigger many people. Some who aren’t even going to read past the title and start talking crap in the comments. That reflects more about your character than anyone else.
This myTake will explain general reasons to why it rarely works for both men and women to be ‘just friends’. We will go through the general points to why this rarely works, debunk some shaming tactics as well as telling what requirements there should be in order to make it work. At the end, I will provide insight to why I personally choose to stay away from friends of the opposite sex.
There is often sexual attraction involved
Often one of the two (usually the guy) is sexually attracted to the woman. When at least one of the two finds the other sexually attractive, it will cause the other person to often want more to just be friends. As soon as one person wants more than the other, then that’s a one-sided friendship. Both parties are not on the same frequency in terms of how they perceive the ‘friendship’. Too many people (perhaps even you who reads this) are unaware that they are IN a one-sided friendship. Just because YOU don’t see it anything more than friendship, doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t have desires for it. Ultimately, you don’t know what’s going on in their head. Take a quick look here:
Then why do they remain “friends”?
There is a reason why the “friendzone” is such a known term. One that people hate to be associated with. So why do they still remain “friends”? Well, often this happens because the one who wants more decides to stick around in HOPE that the other will one day to become more than “friends”.
In the case of women, they often know that their guy friends want to become more than friends. They know they want to have sex with them. But they don’t see them in that same way. What they DO enjoy is the free attention/validation and fulfilled favors that they are getting. In many cases, these guy friends are also used as a potential back-up plan when things go south with the current boyfriend. Or perhaps they keep them as a back-up plan if the guy they truly want won’t come around. So these guys would stick around and often trying to simp their way into her graces and then end up frustrated that she doesn’t come around. So win-win for her. She gets “boyfriend energy” without needing to give a piece of her in return.
To those who say “NO THEY DON’T, WE REALLY ARE JUST FRIENDS!”. Yeah to you... Go ask your guy “friends” to come sleep or be in a relationship with you and let’s see what happens. Just like Steve Harvey says in the video, the only reason why you’re not more than friends is because you didn’t allow it to be anything more.
It complicates things
So many “friendships” have ended because one of the two got in another relationship. They get ditched like it’s nothing. So much for “friendship” eh? I have an ex who ditched her “guy friends” to be with me, and as soon as I ended the relationship, she immediately ran back to her old “guy friends”. Because she knows they will chase her again. Way too many people had dealt with broken relationships that were a result because of influences from “friends” of the opposite sex. Some by cheating, some by “playful flirting”, others by having these “friends” cross lines etc. Eventually someone is going to lose it. And often, it's the person who is "friends" but having secret feelings.
Let's not forget that many people out there would not want to date someone who has friends with the opposite sex for the very reasons we have so-far discussed. So you're missing out on great relationships because of this. And no, it doesn't have to do with insecurity.
Which leads me to my next point...
“You’re just jealous and insecure!” “You have trust issues!” Oh Really?
This is probably the most common shaming tactic in regards to this topic, in order to discredit the person who has an issue with their significant other having friends of the opposite sex. The reason for this is that they try to manipulate and gas light the person into believing that they are the problem despite their intuition and healthy skepticism. This shaming tactic removes all nuances just to shut down a legitimate concern. The reality is, these people don’t know the difference between having standards and being insecure. They don’t know the difference between someone who is being insecure and someone who does not allow having a partner who allows others to sniff around his/her “territory” (No, that doesn’t mean “property” for the snowflakes out there who get triggered easily). They can’t distinguish insecurity from someone who is wise enough to refuse having a backdoor open for potential problems.
On the contrary, these shamers are trying to hide the fact that this is confidence and knowing what you seek in a relationship rather than allowing a backdoor open to potential problems. The funny thing is, these are often the same people who would have an issue or start to develop feelings of jealousy when THEIR significant other would have friends of the opposite sex. At the end of the day, there is a reason why so many people feel uncomfortable if this happens. That’s their intuition ringing a bell that this isn’t “normal”. Because with everything mentioned above, no self-respecting person would allow this.
And when it comes to trust --> Trust is earned, not given. Don’t expect someone to trust you when you’re sitting there entertaining other people, playing with other people’s feelings knowingly or unknowingly. Don’t expect trust when you’re turning a blind eye to warnings about problems that have been the downfall of many relationships due to “friends” of the opposite sex.
So don’t let anyone try to guilt-trip you into feeling like there is something wrong with you for not accepting it. In the end, if you’re tolerant of everything, then you stand for nothing.
“When someone you have an intimate relationship with objects to an opposite-sex friendship, it is a very big mistake to assume that this is jealousy stemming from insecurity. Partners with high self-esteem will not tolerate the disrespect of poorly handled opposite-sex friendships. This is a sign of their emotional intelligence and their understanding of what is required to maintain an intimate bond. Translation—the problem very likely isn’t the partner who is objecting, it is likely the way the opposite sex friendship is being handled by one or both of the friends.”Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/living-forward/201912/when-are-opposite-sex-friends-threat-your-relationship
So how CAN they be friends?
- If both parties have absolutely no sexual attraction to each other and do not desire each other for anything other than the friendship. This is extremely hard to achieve as it doesn’t work for the majority (especially the young people).
- If both guy and girl grew up together. Westermarck effect. Google it.
- Perhaps later in life when you’re older and the sex-drive has dwindled.
Why I personally choose not to have female friends (anymore)
Sexual attraction got in the way:
Well of course the general things mentioned above apply to why I don’t believe in it. Because I have dealt with these points myself. I’ve had female friends whom I felt attracted to, but they didn’t feel the same. I also had female friends whom I didn’t feel attracted to, but they did. One girl wanted to ditch her boyfriend who didn’t satisfy her needs, so she wanted me to give it to her even though we were “just friends” in my perspective. So either I would separate myself in order to preserve my mental health or they did aswel. I also had a female friend who ended the “friendship” because she got in a relationship only to come back to me when it ended. And the funny thing is, when I refused, she wanted to smash.
It was always one-sided:
I’ve never had a single female friend who didn’t only focus on her own “problems” or life. Whenever we hung out at school, in private or talked on the phone, it is always about them. I was that “listener”, but rarely was I getting listened to (yes I tried many times to turn the conversation and I had the “we need to talk” with them more often than I should). I don’t have this issue with male friends where things are balanced. I never got truly helpful advice from my female friends. Their advice always revolved around what I wanted to hear rather than what I needed to hear. The reason for this is because they cared more about keeping the connection between us well rather than taking the risk with some cold-hard facts. Or perhaps they just didn’t know better. My experience with male friends (who also have big plans) always had some quality advice to give whenever I needed them.
Limited similar interests:
Unlike my guy friends, I have very limited interests with the female friends or women in general. Even though I can work and socialize great with them, my interests do not suit them and neither do theirs suit me. So I always ended up talking about things that THEY were interested in. Often things which I considered unproductive. While I share many similar interests with guy friends.
Most importantly: I respect my girlfriend and our relationship:
I’m currently in a relationship for quite some time and both my girlfriend and I share the same views. She didn’t have male friends when we got to know each other and I didn’t have female friends. She shares the same belief system as me. And as she says it herself, she only cares about my attention/validation. And her actions prove her words flawlessly. This applies for me aswel. I don’t need other women around me in order to feel validated. I’m not going to give “boyfriend energy” to someone else other than my girlfriend.
My girlfriend and I respect each other's boundaries. And we respect the relationship enough to not allow a backdoor open to potential problems that could compromise the relationship. She has her female friends and I have my male friends. And even though we have different interests, we always find a way to find a middle-ground and find interesting things to discuss or do.
And thanks to this, we NEVER had any issues poisoning the relationship that come from “friends” of the opposite sex. Like so many people have experienced...
I have no issues working and socializing with women outside a “friendship” setting. And so far, it has always worked great without any issues.