Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

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Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#1  Postby PCS » Jun 15, 2013 6:56 pm

In work I had a discussion on woman-men friendships with some of my colleagues. One of them made the point that a true friendship between a man and a woman was impossible and that the feeling of closeness and friendship will always end in one of the two wanting more, they mentioned that only gay men could truly have a non-sexual friendship with a woman. One of my colleges claimed that every single female friend a man has is due to a social link to you but are not true friends, i.e. they are a sister of someone you know, a mate's girlfriend and her friends...

They claim that if sexual attraction is not present and once that social link is for whatever reason broken, these girls would no longer socialise with you and so they cannot really be called friends in the same way you have your mates which you can call and meet up for a pint in a bar no matter what. If one of these friendships develops then they say the sexuality of the man would need to be questioned. I think he has an interesting point but I still maintain that it is perfectly plausible for two heterosexual individuals of the opposite sex to maintain a non-sexual friendship.

I am half Spanish and half Irish and I believe different cultures could be different in this regard. From what he says I cannot successfully point at any one Irish girl which I would considered a true friend independent of any other social connections as he puts it. I would imagine that this is in part due to the fact that I have attended an all boys school here and most of early education in the area is sexually segregated and approaching women now later in life has that obvious sexual tension, so I do see his point. On the other hand I have plenty of female friends in Spain from when I lived there and went to a mixed school. It could be that Spaniards tend to be more open and direct about their sexuality and somewhat more comfortable and they glorify it less.

I made that point to them and told them that they were just glorifying sex, putting sex on a pedestal and giving it to much importance. Good sex is not all a woman can offer (good sandwiches and cleaning too, ;) )

He made a personal accusation of promiscuity by saying "You couldn't spend 10 minutes in a room with a woman without thinking of having sex!" which although it might be true, I truly believe that it is possible for a man and a woman to have a successful non-sexual friendship.

What is the ratskept view on this issue? Is it possible? Do you have any truly good friends of the opposite sex?
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#2  Postby Animavore » Jun 15, 2013 6:57 pm

Yes. If she's your mother. :coffee:
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#3  Postby PCS » Jun 15, 2013 6:58 pm

That would be a social link, doesn't count!

EDIT: And you are obviously not thinking of tanking her when you are talking to her, (I hope not :eh: )
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#4  Postby lobawad » Jun 15, 2013 7:04 pm

PCS wrote:In work I had a discussion on woman-men friendships with some of my colleagues. One of them made the point that a true friendship between a man and a woman was impossible and that the feeling of closeness and friendship will always end in one of the two wanting more, they mentioned that only gay men could truly have a non-sexual friendship with a woman. One of my colleges claimed that every single female friend a man has is due to a social link to you but are not true friends, i.e. they are a sister of someone you know, a mate's girlfriend and her friends...

They claim that if sexual attraction is not present and once that social link is for whatever reason broken, these girls would no longer socialise with you and so they cannot really be called friends in the same way you have your mates which you can call and meet up for a pint in a bar no matter what. If one of these friendships develops then they say the sexuality of the man would need to be questioned. I think he has an interesting point but I still maintain that it is perfectly plausible for two heterosexual individuals of the opposite sex to maintain a non-sexual friendship.

I am half Spanish and half Irish and I believe different cultures could be different in this regard. From what he says I cannot successfully point at any one Irish girl which I would considered a true friend independent of any other social connections as he puts it. I would imagine that this is in part due to the fact that I have attended an all boys school here and most of early education in the area is sexually segregated and approaching women now later in life has that obvious sexual tension, so I do see his point. On the other hand I have plenty of female friends in Spain from when I lived there and went to a mixed school. It could be that Spaniards tend to be more open and direct about their sexuality and somewhat more comfortable and they glorify it less.

I made that point to them and told them that they were just glorifying sex, putting sex on a pedestal and giving it to much importance. Good sex is not all a woman can offer (good sandwiches and cleaning too, ;) )

He made a personal accusation of promiscuity by saying "You couldn't spend 10 minutes in a room with a woman without thinking of having sex!" which although it might be true, I truly believe that it is possible for a man and a woman to have a successful non-sexual friendship.

What is the ratskept view on this issue? Is it possible? Do you have any truly good friends of the opposite sex?


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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#5  Postby Aca » Jun 15, 2013 7:12 pm

Yes i can and yes i do.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#6  Postby I'm With Stupid » Jun 15, 2013 7:48 pm

Surely this theory supposes that heterosexual people automatically find any member of the opposite sex attractive? If you don't find someone attractive (and vice-versa), then I don't see how it would be any different from friends of the same sex. And of course, even that is predicated on the idea that you couldn't be friends with someone you find attractive, which isn't exactly an established truth.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#7  Postby Onyx8 » Jun 15, 2013 8:51 pm

At the risk of being accused of agism, I think when one is older this becomes more self-evident. I have many female friends, with none of whom I am interested in a sexual relationship. This held true for the last five years during which I was single and now that I have a girlfriend, and prior to that when I was in a long-term relationship. Some of these friends are from when I was in my early twenties, too.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#8  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jun 15, 2013 8:57 pm

This is the oft repeated "When Harry Met Sally" concept. It was funny in the movie, because on some level, especially at younger ages, male humans are programmed by DNA to think of making babies, pretty much all the time.

But really, once you are out in the real world, any honest guy, who is also continually self-observant, will tell you that there are plenty of females who they find so unattractive sexually, or who they recognize are so thoroughly off-limits to them sexually, that they get along with them just fine as real friends.

Only the ones who are caught up in the egotism of showing off that they are "wild and crazy sexy guys" will claim to find their sex drive getting in the way of being plain old friends with all sorts of women. Every single one of them are lying (or at least wildly exaggerating). Or, they are legally insane, and should be placed in protective custody.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#9  Postby james1v » Jun 15, 2013 8:58 pm

I haven't any female friends outside family acquaintances, or friends wives etc. Its a shame really,as i do prefer women's company rather than men's.

A few years ago, an old school friend (female) got in touch with me on friendsreunited website. She asked to meet me for a drink. But, she said she would have to make some excuse up to her husband, as he wouldn't like her meeting a man for a drink.

I told her not to bother if that's what the situation at home was. We never met.

And there's the problem. I think men and women can be friends, but the rest of the world seem to be suspicious when they are seen alone together. It can be more hassle than its worth. It shouldn't be, but... :think:
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#10  Postby Ironclad » Jun 15, 2013 9:22 pm

I have had an extremely strong friendship with a woman who was in a long-term partnership with a guy she went on to marry. The bond seemed sexual to some outsiders, it did put off a girlfriend or two who wouldn't believe the truth, even the 'other man' was unsettled from time to time.
Our friendship disintergated after nearly 20 years, sadly. But we were strong mates, never snogged, played away or had sex. We occasionally flirted but despite finding one another attractive we'd never have done the dirty. I respected her and her children too much.
Oddly I never had a close bond with her man, despite being best-man at the wedding.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#11  Postby Ironclad » Jun 15, 2013 9:26 pm

Oh, and I've had a small handful like this. Like James, I often find women better company, in my old circle some of the girls were more cerebral. Not great drinking partners though.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#12  Postby Delvo » Jun 16, 2013 1:32 am

This isn't even really a question at all. The truth that of course it's obviously possible, and in fact quite common and routine, is so utterly indisputable and beyond doubt that it makes me wonder what in the world some people think could be the point in pretending to think it's impossible or even might be. It's the kind of lie that's so ridiculous it can't even be meant to actually fool anybody because nobody could be fooled by it.

The only potential answer I've come up with so far has to do with the fact that the person they accuse of thinking this way is always the man, never the woman, despite the fact that other common claims about the alleged differences between the two would inevitably mean it has to be the other way around. It fits in with our culture's general obsession with man-bashing, constantly coming up with a stream of ways to ascribe one bad thing after another to men and depict men as worthless sociopathic scum.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#13  Postby DaveD » Jun 16, 2013 2:14 am

Friendship is about trust. If you can't even trust yourself not to try and have sex with anyone you happen to find sexually attractive, even when to do so will cause problems, then you probably aren't going to be much of a friend to anyone.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#14  Postby Imagination Theory » Jun 16, 2013 7:57 am

Delvo wrote:This isn't even really a question at all. The truth that of course it's obviously possible, and in fact quite common and routine, is so utterly indisputable and beyond doubt that it makes me wonder what in the world some people think could be the point in pretending to think it's impossible or even might be. It's the kind of lie that's so ridiculous it can't even be meant to actually fool anybody because nobody could be fooled by it.
...


I agree with this part.

Is this normal: "you couldn't spend 10 minutes in a room with a woman without thinking of having sex!"
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За мертвый холод глаз,
За то, что мир жесток и груб,
За то, что Бог не спас.


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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#15  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jun 16, 2013 8:11 am

Aca wrote:Yes i can and yes i do.

:this:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#16  Postby Animavore » Jun 16, 2013 10:17 am

Imagination Theory wrote:
Delvo wrote:This isn't even really a question at all. The truth that of course it's obviously possible, and in fact quite common and routine, is so utterly indisputable and beyond doubt that it makes me wonder what in the world some people think could be the point in pretending to think it's impossible or even might be. It's the kind of lie that's so ridiculous it can't even be meant to actually fool anybody because nobody could be fooled by it.
...


I agree with this part.

Is this normal: "you couldn't spend 10 minutes in a room with a woman without thinking of having sex!"


10 minutes is an over-estimate :lol:
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#17  Postby Blip » Jun 16, 2013 11:16 am

Yes, I can attest that it's perfectly possible. I had been close to my friend Phil, who died last year, for 33 years: our relationship was never sexual. I'm still in touch with Mick, whom I met at university: our relationship was never sexual either.

I've also struck up platonic friendships with a number of fellas on here (you know who you are!). It's their conversation, wit and evidently kind natures that draw me to them, as with Phil and Mick.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#18  Postby kiore » Jun 16, 2013 1:00 pm

I guess that a question like this will attract anecdotes and that in some cultures friendships such as this seriously curtailed, there is also the possibility that sexual attraction could occur within a more platonic setting in a transitory way but never be acted on..
I did a little review of my social networks and find that indeed I do have friends, some very long term ones that I have not only not had sexual relations with but that this has not ever been part of the friendship equation.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#19  Postby I Punch Your Face » Jun 16, 2013 1:43 pm

You can have friends of the opposite sex, but only under two possible conditions :

1) There's no attraction involved, or very little. But bear in mind that sometimes women see friendships in terms of their usefulness whereas men tend to value qualities, attributes and general companionship.
2) You're already doing the horizontal dance and you develop the friendship as time goes by. In other words, the friendship must be based on romance / intimacy and the natural dynamic between male and female.

Other than that, friendships between men and women are fake.
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Re: Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

#20  Postby Blip » Jun 16, 2013 1:56 pm

I Punch Your Face wrote:You can have friends of the opposite sex, but only under two possible conditions :

1) There's no attraction involved, or very little. But bear in mind that sometimes women see friendships in terms of their usefulness whereas men tend to value qualities, attributes and general companionship.
2) You're already doing the horizontal dance and you develop the friendship as time goes by. In other words, the friendship must be based on romance / intimacy and the natural dynamic between male and female.

Other than that, friendships between men and women are fake.


My emphasis. That's a bold assertion to make: do you have any evidence for it? Disappointing personal experiences, if any, don't count.

I query your point (2) and conclusion as well.
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