Is it feasible to be “just friends” when talking about heterosexual men and women? Few other topics have sparked such passionate discussions, uncomfortable family meals, gruesome literature, or unforgettable films. The question of why “men and women can’t be friends” has yet to be answered. Non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only feasible, but frequent in everyday life—men and women live, work, and play together, and typically appear to be able to resist sleeping together. However, it’s possible that this ostensibly platonic life is simply a ruse, a complex dance masking a plethora of sexual urges boiling just under the surface.

Researcher’s take on why men and women can’t be friends:

According to a new study, we may believe we may be “just friends” with someone of the opposite sex, but the potential (or perceived opportunity) for “romance” is always lurking around the corner, ready to strike at the most inconvenient time.

The findings show that men and women have quite different perspectives on male-female friendships. Men were far more attracted to their female friends than women were to their male friends. Men were also more likely than women to believe their opposite-sex acquaintances were attracted to them, which was plainly incorrect. In fact, men’s perception of their attractiveness to their female friends had almost nothing to do with how these women felt, and almost everything to do with how the men themselves felt—basically, males assumed that any romantic attraction they felt was mutual, and were blind to their female friends’ actual level of romantic interest.

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A new take on male-female friendship psychology:

Men are more likely to act on their erroneous mutual attraction. Both men and women are attracted to sexually committed opposite-sex friends as well as single friends; regardless of their relationship status, “hot” friends were hot, and “not” friends were not. This statement, to some extent, validates the question ‘why men and women can’t be friends.’ It is so because there is some kind of attraction between the two people, if not sexual, then at least a mental stimulation which brought them close in the first place. This is also the science behind opposite-sex friendships. There has to be at least one common ground of attraction between the two people. 

Men and women, on the other hand, varied in their perceptions of connected friends as prospective love mates. Women were sensitive to their male friends’ relationship status and disinterested in pursuing those who were already associated with someone else, despite the fact that guys were just as likely to want “romantic dates” with “taken” friends as they were with single ones.

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What did the researchers make out of it and drawing a conclusion on why men and women can’t be friends?

These findings mentioned above imply that males, in comparison to women, have a harder difficulty being “just friends.” The fact that these discoveries were made inside specific links adds to the fact that these findings were discovered inside certain linkages just adds to the mystery (remember, each participant was only asked about the specific, platonic, friend with whom they entered the lab).

This isn’t simply a validation of clichés about sex-hungry men and naive women; it’s actual proof that two individuals may have very different experiences with the same relationship.

 Men appear to find a plethora of romantic possibilities in their ostensibly platonic opposite-sex connections. The women in these connections, on the other hand, appear to have a different perspective-one that is truly platonic.

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To the untrained eye, these widely divergent perspectives on the possibilities for why men and women can’t be friends appear to be causing major complications—and individuals in opposite-sex relationships agree.

According to another study done on the mistrust of opposite-sex friendships, males were four times more likely than females to list romantic attraction as a benefit of opposite-sex friendships, and this disparity grew as men got older—males on the younger end of the spectrum were four times more likely than females to do so, whereas those on the older end of the spectrum were ten times more likely to do so.

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These findings of different studies done on why men and women can’t be friends show that men and women have radically different perspectives on what it means to be “just friends”. These differences, oftentimes, might lead to a conflict as well. While women appear sincere in their notion that opposite-sex friendships are platonic, males seem unable to suppress their yearning for more. And, while both genders think that platonic friend attraction is more negative than good, males are less likely than females to believe this. 

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For decades, the potential of romance between friends of the opposite sex has piqued the interest of not only authors and directors, but also psychiatrists and sociologists. According to specialists, true platonic friendships between men and women of compatible sexualities have existed for a few centuries. However, films depicting platonic friendships blossoming into something more appear to imply that a male and female pair of best friends may always act on a latent desire for each other. Apart from this, these movies also indicate in a very direct manner that men and women can’t be friends. 

This question pops up yet again, ‘is it possible to be “just friends” when it comes to a male-female friendship?’ Almost sure, if we all thought like women. Seeking female friendship without any goal of romantic engagement is illogical. However, men are almost always in need of the physical and psychological comfort of female companionship, so when the opportunity arises, he likes spending time with a woman and explains it as friendship (there is always a “chance”). A woman too dittos to defend her nice “character” as a “friendship” relationship with a guy.