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.
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?