4 Mar 2015

Inter-Gender Friendships: Possible or Myth.

American romantic comedy made in 1989 “When Harry Met Sally” is a movie that has tried to solve the old age long question of whether men and women can be just friends. This question has led researchers to try finding an answer by conducting experiments and surveys in order to establish whether two people of the opposite sex can be just friends.  A research by Bleske and Rechek in the 2000s suggests that there might be hope of men and women being just friends although men have a harder time of keeping their emotions platonic in such relationships.

“In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sapadin asked more than 150 professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Topping women’s list of dislikes: sexual tension. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships.”
The truth of heterosexual relationships is that it is next to impossible for a guy to be just friends with a girl. There is always the risk of an attraction developing for him although a woman is less like to develop an attraction to a guy she considers a friend. Her belief is that since she does not find him sexually attractive, the lack of attraction is mutual. She is more likely to be dependent on him for conversation and relaxation, she might not find anything wrong in giving him a quick kiss or a tight hug. In truth these are seemingly innocent actions that can be easily misinterpreted by men.
If a guy is making an effort to hang out with you, it’s probably not just “as friends”. He’s merely accepting friendship, in lieu of dating you, because it beats the alternative. And what’s the alternative? Having no female friends, and, therefore, no one to confide in. According to an article online, a man is not interested in getting between a girl’s legs only if he falls under any of the four categories listed below:
·         He hooked up with her already.
·         He is not remotely attracted to her.
·         He is in a satisfying relationship (do keep in mind that temptation abounds however)
·         For a man to be friends with a woman, but he has to be a very experienced, very evolved man. (this requires a lot of maturity)
If you are a female reading this, you might want to take the above listed points into consideration and if that guy you believe you have a platonic relationship with doesn’t fall into any of it, he just might be fantasying at night about getting into your pants.

In the writing of this article, I got inspiration from a short piece titled RECOIL and you might like to give it a quick read. Till I again, I remain @iamposhkid on Twitter and Instagram. 

Akinwale Akinyoade
University Of Lagos, Department of English. 

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