A healthy debate to interpretate


Spelling mistake aside (because it is an inside joke), the subject line of this post refers, in both parts, to a lively conversation I was a part of at the dinner table last night.  The age-old debate of whether men and women can really be friends circled around the table and the argument became quite animated.  There was a noticeable divide between those who thought men and women could be friends and those who thought the dynamic of sexual, or chemical, energy disrupted any potential of a platonic relationship.


(image credit)

Since I have many cohorts of the male persuasion (sans benefits), I was vehemently arguing the fact that men and women can, indeed, be friends.  And now, as I sit in my darkened living room writing this post, it is difficult to have a Star Trek movie in the background talking about “Nebular penetration” as I argue for the chastity of an idealistic friendship. However, it is a fitting continuation of my earlier conversation.

Perhaps I am slightly obtuse when it comes to reading signals, but I am relatively confident that I am able to decipher whether or not a man has intentions beyond a nonphysical affiliation.  I have always had male friends and I have never had the slightest doubt that those male friends see me as just that, a friend.  But some of my litigious dinner companions made every effort to dissuade me.

Our conversation became heated at times but we continued to volley the notion of platonic friendships back and forth until the strings on our metaphorical racquets unraveled.  We eventually had to concede the match and nobody was declared the winner.

I came home with the same point of view I had during our impassioned debate.  I truly believe that men and women can be friends – no strings, no ulterior motives, no hidden agendas.  Convincing the others involved in that discussion may be a no-win situation but I will continue to maintain my opinion and defend it with all the intensity I can muster.

So now, I have to ask…..where do you stand on this debate?  Can men and women just be friends?



15 thoughts on “A healthy debate to interpretate

  1. Of course they can! I’m assuming the main focus of the debate was all about the sexual frisson. That can be there, and sometimes part of the friendship includes flirtation where both sides understand it won’t go any further. It can also include narcissism on one or both sides – and sometimes it is a real attraction. But lots of times it is just friendship – because you just don’t see each other that way. Anyway,did your friends consider what might lie beneath same sex friendships? One might be drawn to the other. I remember being flattered when a friend told me that both she and her partner had a crush on me. I had already sussed that she had a thing for me, but it hadn’t occurred to me that she might be talking about me with her partner! I’m grateful for the attention 🙂

  2. I sure hope they can! There would be more infidelity if they couldn’t. But if two people are attracted to each other, that’s a friendship that should probably be kept at a distance.

  3. I have always had so many male friends! And I still do. Sometimes there was interest that was not reciprocated by one of the parties but the relationship moved past it and thrived differently. But I have very many friends who never had the slightest romantic interest in me, and vice versa. I am also the one who stays friends with some former lovers so maybe I can more easily separate the “sexual frisson” than others.

  4. I agree with you completely. I’ve had this same argument severally with friends, peers. No matter their points, I still maintain it’s possible. I argue from personal experiences. The male folks have always been my best friends – no strings- for as long as I could remember. Although these repeated arguments often makes me wonder if I had been naive, unobservant. I think not though… platonic friendship often happen among guys/ girls who have friend-zoned each other. Probably due to familiarity. If any of my male friends ever felt/wanted more, then it was well hidden. It never interfered with any of my friendships. There are boundaries though from the onset. If there’s strong attraction between the two involved, they can’t pull it off.

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