Why Men and Women Can't be Friends

by talkbackty on Oct 31, 2011

This is my first post in what will become a fairly regular series beginning next week. The idea sprang when one of the people I went to college with wrote a blog about dating, and then another friend wrote their thoughts, and then another, and now me. We started this chain reaction of thought all circling around one concept. So over the next week or two we will solidify our plans to create a weekly blog on one topic- viewed from different perspectives. 

The originator was Izzy. The reply was from Allison. The idea came forth on Kandace's blog. Katelyn soon joined in. And now it is my turn.

Men and women can't be friends. Not shouldn't, or it's not a good idea. They can't. At the end of the day, sexual tension will always get in the way.

Fans of movies will realize that I'm just rehashing a point made much more eloquently in When Harry Met Sally.

The funny thing is that this is a perfect example of art reflecting life. Men and women can not be friends. I suppose our societal structures are partially to blame, maybe it is not as biological as I make it out to be. I fully admit that there is a possibility I'm wrong.

Except for all the men who are agreeing with me already.

The biggest problem comes with people's definition of the word friend. It's too casual at the moment. What you're thinking of is an acquaintance. Someone you know from social interactions or school or work. You know them, you are aware of their existence as another human being, you may even exchange pleasantries from time to time. 

That does not make them a friend. 

Friends are confidants. They are the people you are closest to and can share everything with. It's the guy you call to bail you of jail or the girl who leaves her sisters' wedding because you broke up with your boyfriend and can't stop crying. Friends are rare.

Most importantly, you are attracted to your friend. There personality is interesting to you. That's why you're able to play video games for 8 hours straight, or talk non-stop, or not-talk non-stop; and you still find them pleasing to be around. You like being around them because you are attracted to them.

You're attracted to them for reasons that are completely beyond physicality and biology. You are attracted to their soul, their essence, their actuality. You are attracted to who they are as a person.

When it comes to men and women, the first reason you are attracted to a member of the opposite sex is because they are a member of the opposite sex. The soul, their essence, their actuality? That is nice...but it is a secondary concern when you're presented with your biological nirvana only meters away. 

Now whether that dynamic is one-sided, or mutually felt is irrelevant. It doesn't matter that you don't like him, or you think she is ugly. In fact, you could both not like one another. If you're "friends" eventually it will all lead back to the same place. If you hang out with a person because you enjoy their company, because they interest you, because you enjoy them as a person...eventually, you'll start wondering why you aren't sleeping together/dating/married.

The line, "I want to marry my best friend" is misleading. It's more like, "The person I marry will become my best friend." You can't marry you're best friend. That would imply that sex was never a factor in your relationship...which is obviously false because you are getting married. It would imply that you already reached a point in your relationship when sex was not an issue. That you saw beyond it, that you saw the real person sitting across from you. And if you were able to accomplish that then my reaction is first, that you're lying to me or yourself, and second that you are the exception not the rule. 

The simple truth is that everyone you know who enjoys your company, who wants to spend time with you, who likes interacting with you; is interested in being more than "friends." And the even simpler answer to your next question of, "Why?" is, "Why wouldn't they be?" Why would a person who enjoys everything about you not want to spend as much time with you as possible? Why would they not want to experience, what most consider, to be the one thing that brings two people closer together than anything else?

I know this is disagreeable material, but if you are honest with yourself I think you can understand what I'm saying. I think you'll realize how often the issue comes up. How many times you've wanted something with someone and when those feeling weren't returned you played it cool so you could still be "friends." Be honest, if you're still friends it's because you are hoping that one day the other person will change their mind.