Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just Friends?

Been doing some research recently on the man-woman friends thing--always been intrigued by it so recently a mini-series on Slate Magazine (Strictly Platonic piqued my interest.  The author, Juliet Lapidos, explores modern "cross-sex" friendships & discusses the history of why this type of relationship is a recent development.  Which makes complete sense--historically men & women have been very segregated until quite recently--the structure of roles, society, etc.--when was there an opportunity for men & women to be "just friends"?  She also talks about how Hollywood has certainly influenced our perceptions of friendship with the opposite sex.  The classic "When Harry Met Sally" comes to mind--and the statement that Harry makes,"Men & women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way."  So what do I believe?  Does the sex part always get in the way?  I think that yes, perhaps it does, in some way, but it doesn't always play out that way in the friendship.  It just depends.  So here are my thoughts:

I have a male friend that I've talked about--Zen Cyclist.  He's like my brother & like part of the article by Lapidos, we talk about everything & I can get a really good impartial male perspective: 

"But when men and women start hanging around each other platonically, they meet somewhere in the middle in terms of emotional exchange. Research shows that cross-sex friendships are more emotive than male-male relationships and less emotive than female-female ones. In my own survey of nearly 600 Slate readers, I heard from men who said that what they like about their cross-sex friendships is the ability to share without fear of judgment, and from women who said they valued the opportunity to watch sports, for example, without having to pick apart their feelings."   

I totally agree with this--we hang out, talk about our various relationship stuff, & chill--like guys.  But this was only after we got the sex stuff out of the way.  At one point we decided to try it out--I guess that there was enough sexual tension at the time between us to give it a go & we were both in between relationships--bleh!  It was like kissing my brother! And we both felt like it was like kissing a sibling so neither of us had any unrequited issues.  That is one example of this platonic relationship between sexes & yes, there was the sex thing at some point... 

And we are great friends now with no sexual tension whatsoever--in my humble opinion, perhaps sex does play a role but you can get beyond it in some cases...

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