Men and Women: Can They Really Be Just Friends?

Jessica Hoppe

We all remember that famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” right? No, not the Meg Ryan fake orgasm one, the scene where Harry (Billy Crystal) claims men and women can never be just friends. Meg is appalled, of course, although they are a prime example of the blurriness that can so often occur between male to female friendships.

Where do you stand on the issue? My opinion was recently requested by a reader who finds himself in a platonic pickle. Read below for his question and my answer:


Hey, I know I don’t really know you . . but i read your stuff, so kinda interested in what you have to say, esp about relationships. So here is one: why can’t two good looking people be just friends? Have you been in that situation? Is it possible for two good looking people to respect each other, have each other’s back, yet be 100 percent platonic? I think so. My homegirl is very good looking, but we’re straight-up friends, although everyone thinks we got something going on just because we are always seen together. But we both do our own thing and date other people. Still people just can’t believe we are just friends.


Dear Friend:

I am extremely flattered that you are “kinda” interested in what I have to say, so I’ll be honest. I was raised in a house full of women, always considered myself a girl’s girl and vehemently believed that men are for love and women are for friendship. But in the past year, I have accumulated some platonic male friends, so I am having to eat my words a bit.

The thing is when you have attractive people who get along so well it’s virtually impossible to never have a thought of taking your friendship to the next level. It is so rare to have such a great connection with a person the logical idea is that it could easily translate into the ideal relationship.

My best male friend and I have known each other for almost a decade. And recently our relationship seemed to have come under fire. Perhaps because for the first time since we’ve known each other we were both single. Questions about why we didn’t give it a try were so rampant it made us second guess. But when you know you know. And I am sure you and your girlfriend feel the same.

I care for my male friends very much. They’ve held my hand, wiped back tears, spun me around the dance floor, told me like it is and given me important insight into the male psyche. But has it been completely platonic? No.

Although there has been no actual hooking up I cannot say that the tension has not been present from either party at one moment or another. But it’s a conscious choice to value the person more than fleeting desires. Chances are if you’ve been wonderful friends for so long and never felt compelled to throw caution to the wind you two are meant for friendship.

But it sounds like you and your friend have it all figured out. So who cares what anyone thinks of your relationship? Just be sure you two are supporting each other truly as friends and not filling a void that could deter you both from finding the one. If that’s what you’re looking for…

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