Can Men and Women Be Friends?
I see it time after time. A man and a woman are “best friends” and one of them is in love while the other is completely oblivious. I am dedicated to my research as a social scientist so I always ask them about their situation. But before I get to my results let’s dig a little deeper into this phenomenon.
The reason that we believe as a culture that men and women can have such great, long-lasting friendships is that we see it in TV and movies constantly. And of course in these scenarios when one of them falls in love with the other, they eventually end up in love with the perfect relationship. Once again the media has lied to you.
I want you to sit there right now and think of a single pair of coed best friends you know in real life.
There are three types of relationships men and women can have in the friend sphere. In the first relationship the man is the dominant person. He has a great deal of self-confidence and he’s very comfortable around women in general. In this situation the man is often sleeping with the woman here and there. This is obviously the ideal situation.
In the second scenario the man is submissive or beta in the relationship. The truth is that this relationship is far too common. In this scenario the guy fills in part of the boyfriend role. He protects the girl in certain areas of her life – he pays for things a lot, he’s there when she gets dumped and often he “protects” her from dating other men he doesn’t approve of.
The final relationship is where the relationship is completely equal and there is no sexual tension between the two friends. They both date whomever they want and the other person never gets jealous. The only reason anyone even believes in this relationship is because it has existed in movies since the 80s. Unfortunately, like unicorns this relationship does not exist in real life.
I can tell you from my personal experience that if you are close friends with a girl and she’s not sleeping with you, she is sleeping with one of her other “friends.” Eventually you will find out and you will probably freak out. I used to be exactly that guy. It’s actually how I ended up studying social sciences.
Now I am the guy at the other end of the spectrum. Because I am so comfortable with my sexuality and who I am, girls in my social circle often hook up with me because they know there won’t be social repercussions. I am not going to tell all of our friends about a little fun we had on the side. The irony is that the beta guy wants to sleep with the girl he’s in love with a thousand times more, but she knows that if anything happens he will become super clingy and also probably tell a ton of their friends. He believes that if their friends know that something happened, then she will have to start dating him. He’s actually shooting himself in the foot.
So let’s get back to when I run into “best friends” when I’m out on the town. I always run into a pair where the man is in love with this “close friends.” So I ask her how long he’s been in love with her. It’s like poking a pin into the bubble of her false reality. Most women will say are you kidding? He’s not in love with me. I could never date him. So I push a little more and they always have some story about the guy making a weak move and how she rejected him because she “doesn’t want to lose the friendship.”
Unfortunately, “lose the friendship” is code for lose all the benefits of having a pseudo-boyfriend slave. She has a situation where a man takes care of her, buys her stuff, gives her rides etc and she doesn’t have to give him anything back in return.
I would love to tell you that it’s possible for men and women to be friends without sexual tension, but I would be lying to you. So you need to decide when you meet a girl if you want to have sex with her on any level. If you do, then you need to deal with that at the beginning of the relationship first. Don’t be the fool who says you want to be best friends with a girl and then see about dating. Because I guarantee some guy like me is going to sleep with her in between those two events and you will be left in orbit.
Here is advice on whether you should be “friends with benefits” with an ex: https://www.tsbmag.com/2012/01/30/when-your-ex-wants-to-be-friends-with-benefits/
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About Paladin Paladin (Jonathan Green) is a professional social dynamics and dating coach. He has traveled the world changing lives and living his dream. To learn more about living your dreams, visit him at www.organicseduction.com