Can Single Men and Women Be Friends?

With the increasing number of alternative lifestyles in America, the one in recent decades that seems to have gained social acceptance is single men and women forming friendships with each other in lieu of sexual relationships. On the surface it may seem like men and women can be “just friends” with each other but there is another all too neglected factor that usually comes in to play: the desire to have deeper human needs met by others even though in reality, those needs can really only be met by oneself. What does this mean for male-female friendships? It means that sometimes these friendships can in fact turn into a sexual relationship with only one of the individuals ultimately being on the giving end of the sexual relationship (usually the woman).

For those who are conscientious about their self image, it also means setting boundaries so that even though they may be single, they do not want to be perceived as indulging in casual sex with every person of the opposite gender in the city, and this is especially true of females. The only exception would be a person of the opposite gender who is gay, which would also be acceptable if that person’s friend is heterosexual and married. But smart married couples do not engage in friendships with the opposite gender simply because it is not possible. At some point or other, one of the parties is going to develop intimate feelings about the opposite gender, thereby hindering the possibility for a “just good friends” relationship to exist. Believed to be coined by a man, “just good friends” has become all too much of an excuse for any male to have multiple mates at once, which can result in more than just broken hearts, but the possibility of STD’s and eventually, unwanted pregnancies. In such relationships, there is no platonic friendship at all but rather a full-blown sexual affair.

Given the above scenario, some single men and women may entirely forsake the concept of having friends of the opposite gender in order to prevent anyone from getting hurt. Then, too, friendships of the opposite gender can be difficult to develop for some people simply because they recognize the fact that men and women are simply too different, and might prefer friendships with their own gender. In this case, same gender bonding can be far more rewarding, and women will not feel like they are being used or taken by men who insist on having lots of women around them due to low- or non-existent self-esteem.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200109/can-men-and-women-be-friends