Men And Women Be Friends
by Michael Ferrell
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Men And Women Be Friends? Or When Harry Met Sally Did He Really
Just Want to Jump Her Bones?
Men and women
can't really be just friends, can they? Of course not. There’s always
that pesky sexual tension to contend with. And what about the spouse,
spousal equivalent, or boyfriend/girlfriend who’s sure to be jealous?
Plus, there’s the biological/sociological nesting imperative that
women contend with and the hunting imperative that seems to drive
A number of
years ago, a landmark study published by Dr. Don O'Meara, a sociology
professor at Raymond Walters College, identified the following four
key obstacles to the success of male-female friendships
- The inability
to define the relationship
- A fear of
confronting feelings of sexual attraction
- The inability
of both partners to see each other as equals
response to a non-romantic relationship
(This is all
of the above rolled into one: What’s going on here? Who do they
think they are? They just won’t admit that they’re hot for each
Let’s face it,
when you come right down to it – there are just too many impediments
and too many inherent differences between the sexes for cross-gender
friendship to work. Right?
and double-wrong – at least in today’s world.
ago, when Harry met Sally, he was a breadwinner who worked outside
the home and she was a stay-at-home mom (or stay-at-home spinster).
Harry and Sally had very little in common and very few opportunities
to explore their commonality. Their paths never crossed except at
a church social, perhaps, or in situations that were specifically
created to foster romance and, by extension, procreation and the
continuation of the species. (Not the stuff sonnets are made of,
perhaps, but good for society.)
then. This is now.
men and women follow their passions inside and outside the home
and stand shoulder to shoulder as equals in most situations. In
2002, Harry and Sally work side by side at the office. They argue
head-to-head at the boardroom table. They run hip to hip on the
jogging trail. They may not see eye to eye on every issue, but they
freely debate them in Internet chatrooms.
So today, not
only do Harry and Sally have a solid foundation of shared interests
on which to build a real friendship, they also have time and space
to pursue a cross-gender friendship and a society that encourages
them to do so. In fact, experts tell us that in today’s world, men
and women in platonic friendships enjoy dozens and dozens of benefits
from their relationships.
men seem to get more out of cross-sex friendship. In a study by
a psychologist in private practice on Long Island in New York State,
men rated cross-sex friendships higher in overall quality than their
same-sex friendships. Men reported they most enjoyed talking and
sharing with women - something they didn’t do with male friends.
All that sharing
that men find so appealing – organic though it may be to women --
can be a bit of a drain, so les femmes say they turn to les hommes
for a different dynamic. With men, women say they enjoy the lightness
of not having to carry someone else’s emotional ‘baggage.’ Women
may also derive a sense of safety and protection from their male
platonic friends – much as they might from a big brother. Interestingly,
women say the chance to learn ‘what guys are REALLY thinking” is
the number 1 benefit of cross-gender friendship.
So does Harry
WANT Sally? You bet. But if he can’t have her ‘that way,’ friendship
will do quite nicely, thank you!
Ferrell is the owner and operator of PerfectLoveLetters.com
- Discover How YOU Can Quickly & Easily Create A Love Letter To
Express Your Love & Devotion In Only 3˝ Minutes Without Writing!
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