Can a man and woman be friends?  

Posted by Rudrakshha in , ,

Can a man and woman be friends? 

The great debate of can men and women be friends have kept several thinker wondering even till date. Perhaps, a friendship between the opposite sex is possible but only if both follow a set of rules and curtail the level of intimacy in relationship.
 Rudranjali 01,     Views:8210   Comments:40

“Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.”  - Oscar Wilde

FRIENDSHIP IS a gift to mankind. A relation made by our choice and not force or fate. Friends are there to help us through difficult situations, they are there to laugh and cry with us, to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand, to make bad times bearable and also to make good times even more wonderful. Friendship comes in all forms and complexities, but nothing confuses this important relation as much as gender does. Now a friend can be of an opposite sex.

The question here is: “Is it possible for men and women to be just friends without being romantic?”
Before you answer this, be reminded that there is a significant qualifier here: 'just'. Which means 'only' friends? It's probably a discussion and by discussion I, of course, mean argument.

The answer to this question would mostly be ‘Yes …’ and with the big yes there would also be an addition of ‘but’ or ‘only if’ so the answer everyone is avoiding is, no. The concept of platonic friendship that arose and was largely talked and written from the time of Greek Philosopher Plato still remains as unclear and confusing as ever.

Opposite sex friendship often moves from being just platonic and leads to romance because the qualities that people look for in a friend and mate is often similar. When men and women look for a life partner they look for someone, who is similar to them in intelligence, attractiveness, views and values. The dilemma is, friends look for people, who are similar in those ways as well.

For many people, the idea of a man and a woman being friends is fascinating but questionable. They argue, meaning that the relationship eventually becomes romantic, it leads to something else. 

It's hard not to cross the line. Being friends with the opposite sex means spending time together. In these moments may come a weak moment when emotions and libido may get in the way and friendship can be ruined. 

We come across innumerable stories and movies, where they portray male-female friendship but rarely do they portray it as an ongoing, devoted friendship of a man and a woman as an end in itself? Even the acclaimed film When Harry Met Sally, which got a lot of people talking about cross-gender friendships, ultimately proves to be another tale of romantic love. Same goes with Bollywood sizzler Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
On the other hand, some people argue that men and women can be friends if they are mature enough to understand the difference between love and friendship. They just do not buy the concept of romantic pull. 

Now let's cut to the chase and get to the bottom line: Men and women can be friends 'but' or rather 'if' only they thread this path very consciously and be careful. If they are single, no worries because the romantic pull or attraction would just make you lose one innocent friendship but if they are married, they need to be very very cautious and not ruin the marriage hence need to follow several rules. 

Certain borders cannot be compromised. There shouldn’t be exchanges of things that couldn't be read or heard by the spouse. Emails, meetings, telephonic conversations, text messages should be limited. You should not place yourself in any situation where romance can grow. Attraction really can grow in situations where you have alcoholic drinks together. Romance grows when people are alone; romance grows when people tell secrets, secrets that you don't share with your spouse.

You also need to be understanding and considerate to your spouse. You cannot be spending too much of your time, emotions, mental space and money on your friend and expect your spouse to accept that your friendship is innocent and that you are just friends.
So, men and women can be friends, but the possibility of crossing the bridge to romance will always be present. Having said that, I believe it is also playing with fire. There is a distinct possibility of being burned. And as Osho says: “I am against all kinds of relationships. For example, I don't like the word 'friendship' but I love the word 'friendliness'. Friendliness is a quality within you; friendship becomes a burdensome relationship.”

But as an individual, I still strongly believe that life is nothing but an opportunity to know self and explore. If you are alive, the opportunity is there - even to the last breathe. You may have missed your whole life: just the last breath, the last moment on the earth, if you can explore and be true friend to someone even for a second, you have not missed anything - because a single moment of love and true friendship is equal to the whole eternity. That is the joy of love and true friendship; the exploration of consciousness.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 12:18 PM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


I have a very very good friend, who is a guy. We have been friends for 8 years. He got married last year, on my birthday. He asked me if he could use that date before booking it, then he brought a present for me, to his wedding reception! We live in different cities but every time I go home I meet him, either alone or with his wife. So, I do believe that real friendship between a woman and a guy can happen without a romantic component.

June 5, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Its very difficult for a man and woman to remain just friends. Requires a great deal of maturity.

July 4, 2009 at 12:09 PM
Elizabeth Nesbitt  

I think it is easier for a woman than for a man to stay platonic.

July 15, 2009 at 10:13 PM

I heart says ...that u r right..but my ego..hold me back...

July 16, 2009 at 1:13 AM
eternal optimist  


July 16, 2009 at 12:39 PM

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