Can Men and Women be friends??? Read and Comment

I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know if I should try to explain, but I do know that some things in life are worth looking like an idiot over.

Our kids are one. They make me look like an idiot regularly.

Love is another.

Here’s the deal. I really like someone, could possibly one day love, given the chance. This someone doesn’t seem to feel the same way. I know they don’t feel the same way. There is no hinting around stated facts. But my heart and head aren’t cooperating, so the blog gets to bear the brunt of my emotions.

So, I am trying to not get here…

Cause you see when someone says they like you, they like you enough to want to keep you around regardless of your detachment issues.

Side note: Amidst the turmoil of recent months there have been a few rays of sunshine, and the person I am referring to in the above is one of them.

My ability to shove my foot in my mouth repeatedly or act like a complete moron have pretty much set a precedent though.

Seriously, it’s been bad.

I feel like an utter fool typing this blog, because this was over about the time it got started, so yeah my inability to just let go is also at issue.

That may take some (ACTUAL) therapy to determine the cause there.

Anyway, since that time I have tried to treat said boy as a friend. Yeah, I wanted something that he didn’t, but I can compartmentalize. I realize that the words he said were consistent even if I wasn’t. I would still like to talk, email, get together as I do with the rest of the people who I know.

I feel like my efforts are for not. I wonder if my ability to restrain myself seems to reek of desperation. Or if the boy realizes that I can in fact take a deep breath and would very much like to be a good friend.

I guess I am naive this way.

I think it is possible for men and women to be friends. I think it is possible to have a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

Then again, I think lots of guys agree with Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally

Harry Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Albright: Why not?
Harry Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
Sally Albright: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Albright: Yes I do.
Harry Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Albright: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with you.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: They do not.
Harry Burns: Do too.
Sally Albright: How do you know?
Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally Albright: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally Albright: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry Burns: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally Albright: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
Harry Burns: I guess not.
Sally Albright: That’s too bad. You were the only person I knew in New York.

All the above being said…what is it about “more than friends” relationships that make it impossible for some in that relationship to just go on to be friends?

Is it possible to be “one of the guys?”

So I am going to leave it to you fine people…what do you think?

And if you’re the boy…

Harry Burns: The fact that you’re not answering leads me to believe you’re either (a) not at home, (b) home but don’t want to talk to me, or (c) home, desperately want to talk to me, but trapped under something heavy. If it’s either (a) or (c), please call me back.

**Quotes courtesy of When Harry Met Sally, by way of IMDb.

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12 thoughts on “Can Men and Women be friends??? Read and Comment

  1. Tina Hilger Horner says:

    I can’t speak for the male of the species but I can speak for myself and I believe that men and women can be platonic friends. However, if there is pressure ( real or imagined) to be more, that can get in the way. I don’t know if I could be friends with a man who had romantic ideas about me though because I would feel like I am hurting him just by living my life in front of him.

      • Tina Hilger Horner says:

        If you both are living your lives, or appear to be, why not?? Again, speaking as a female. Men are completely different and I wouldn’t begin to even pretend to know what’s going on in their heads.
        I can be friends with a man without the sex getting in the way. Harry (being a male) may be speaking from the common man’s POV.

  2. Ronnie Davidson says:

    Harry unfortunately has it almost right. Men in general think in terms of sex. We don’t always want to, and with years of training we can get passed it, but it takes a lot of discipline and commitment to get rid of feelings we enjoy having. Therefore most of us don’t put in the work, and even then it sometimes still rears its ugly head (no pun intended).

    When I was a single, unmarried, man my relationships with friends of the opposite sex were pretty flirtatious, Megan, I’m sure you remember how many girls I proposed to in high school and the little certificates I gave out “certifying” girls as one of my many fiancees. After high school I was even more flirtatious and finally convinced a girl to marry me for real and after that I no longer knew how to treat the rest of my female friends. I couldn’t be flirty Ronnie anymore because that would be incredibly disrespectful of my wife. I have always been closer to my female friends than I have my male ones and that was really confusing to me because I didn’t know how to treat them anymore. It caused me to make closer friends of my own gender because flirty and married just sounds like a bad romance novel not the man I want to be. I am still adjusting to how to treat lady friends that is still my silly personality without the flirting after almost 2 1/2 years of being married. In fact sometimes I’m a little reluctant to even meet new people that are female because I haven’t mastered the art of not saying inappropriate things that are not meant to be taken seriously. lol

    Last week (at bible study no less) I made a comment to my wife and a friend of hers (one of my best friends wives too) when my wife sat next to her and not me. I wasn’t jealous there really wasn’t even a place to sit next to me, but I managed to make a comment about the two of them together that weirded us all out. Luckily they have been around me long enough to know I’m a doofus with a faulty filter between my brain and mouth and five minutes later we had moved on.

    Let me steer back towards topic and wrap this up before it is longer than your original post.

    I never had a problem with platonic friendships when I was single because while I was flirty I never expected anything to come of it. Most of them were in committed relationships and I’d even jokingly tell their significant others I was going to steal her from him. With Exes I wanted to be friends but I was not capable of it for years after the relationship was over. I dated a girl in middle school that I couldn’t talk to until a year after I got out of high school, without getting angry at how things worked out. We are good friends now and I love her kids and family. But I obviously wasn’t having sex in middle school! I was never anywhere near that kind of stud. lol Not sure really where I was going with that.

    Moral of the story is Harry is right, men suck as friends of women, we tend to claim women as our own, even though we know better.

    • Megan D. says:

      I do remember that…I had that in my senior book…I think. It was at least in my senior box, which I believe is now part of a land fill somewhere. Lessons of a bad break up.
      I know what you mean about no filter and flirting. It really is hard to find a new way to communicate once that is your method of communication.
      This all actually came up on the Scary Mommy message board today too. So, I am learning a lot about men, women, and communication (or really a lack of) today. 🙂

    • Megan D. says:

      Oh and is it far too direct of me to think that if you want to lay claim to something…then you should perhaps lay claim to it? Don’t dance around, don’t get mad, don’t act like it’s not what you want. – That is in response to your last statement. Are women really seemingly more able to do that?? I wish I knew…what do you think?

  3. himisskate says:

    I think men and women can be friends, and you can totally be one of the dudes…you just cannot joke around or mention sex with each other too each other…ever….I also suggest really enjoying sports…and talking about your dating life with your men friends.

  4. critters and crayons says:

    Megan- I went to a military college where the ratio was 1 woman for every 10 males. Then, I served in the Army where women were grossly outnumbered. Then, I worked in law enforcement and the ratio was off again. If men and women couldn’t be friends, I wouldn’t have any friends. It is possible. The challenge I have is that I forget that many of the women I’m around are not men. I can be a little rough for gentle company. 🙂

  5. Dian Wijayanti says:

    Oh hahaha. I have the movie When Harry Met Sally in my hard drive which I haven’t watched. Now you make me wanna watch that asap. But anyway, I’m living in a country where it is actually possible for a bunch of straight guys to hang out with each other without any girl accompanying them, and apparently my American friend was having a hard time understanding how it could be possible here. Hahaha. That’s a culture stereotype, though. I think it’s very possible for two people of the opposite sex to be friends sincerely. I know I have a bunch of guy friends and as far as I can tell (based on observation as well), I don’t think we have that chemistry. Nor do I think we’re sexually attracted to each other. Well, either that, or I’m really dumb to not understanding the signals or gestures.

  6. Tori Nelson says:

    I’ve been able to be friends with someone I liked/ liked me a few times, but mostly I think trying to keep a friendly relationship when there are other feelings hanging around is too uncomfortable!

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