is it possible for men and women to have strictly platonic friendships? or is it as harry told sally that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way?
entertainment certainly suggests such friendships cannot exist –see cheers or friends or any romcom to confirm the notion that all men and women eventually sleep together. people suggest you can have friendships with people of the opposite sex, but they’re merely social and not confidants. eventually one (or both) will develop romantic feelings and the friendship is ruined.
quite frankly, i think it’s a load of archaic bull.
i’m a little late to the coed party–i went to a women’s college and spent most of my early life riding horses, which is quite the estrogen-heavy activity. in college, we had a brother school we partied with frequently. friendship was always just a pretext for the inevitable boning (or attempt). many of us had male friends, but none were close friendships.
enter law school. i have a great, albeit small, group of close friends here who are the exception to the law-students-suck rule. one of my closest friends is a boy i call tomtom. between undergrad and law school he was a professional sailor–he’s snarky, old school preppy, and we have a very similar sense of humor. we sit right by each other in the library (we’ve dubbed it the office) and frequently go out in newport. he’s introduced me to a lot of his sailor friends (many are gorgeous, many are fun, while many others are, well, questionable). he’s not just a social friend–he knows a lot of my secrets and about my relationships, we confide in each other as i do with the handful of others i consider close friends.
because we spend so much time together at school, people assume we’re together. i don’t really care about the gossip, but it makes it super awkward when people actually ask, particularly since he got married last year. it’s become routine for people who don’t know us very well to ask “are you and tomtom together?” “uh, no. we’re just friends.” “really? huh.” WHY IS THIS SO SURPRISING? his wife, C, is absolutely lovely and we’re good friends. if she felt uncomfortable about the friendship between tomtom and i, i’d back off immediately.
but here’s the thing: there is no reason for any discomfort. we’re not boning, we’re not going to bone, we’re just friends. why can’t people accept that men and women can be just friends? why does it make it impossible for us to be just friends because he has man parts and i have lady parts? it seems to be a remnant of some past time where the only real interactions between men and women were based on romantic relationships–trying to find or strengthen one. interactions, by design, fostered romance when women were mothers and men worked. but this isn’t necessarily the story today. men and women are equal(ish)–we work together, interact more, and have more opportunity to share interests. why can’t we just be friends without a romantic subtext?
i’m really interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. do you guys think that boys and girls can be just friends? or am i totally wrong?