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  • Writer's pictureEmma Nguyen

Can men and women be "just friends"?

I have a guy best friend and a group of girl best friends. The things I talk about with my girl friends are similar to what I talk about with my guy best friend. We laugh about the same things and know everything about each other. However, the relationship I have with the guy is always seen as solely romantic, which is not true. Is it just because I talk to him? Following that logic, does that mean my girls and I are in romantic relationships? I’m straight- the guy is too. Does that automatically mean we flirt with each other during our conversations? The issue of whether or not girls and guys can be friends has been raised many times, especially in high school.

Can men and women be “just friends”? Can you have a guy friend to talk to about anything without having romantic feelings for him? Can you talk to a girl without thinking of going out with her?

First, I asked a bunch of my friends, and here are a bunch of their responses:

- “I mean, like, if they’re unattractive you could just hang out with them for their personality, which means there’s no sexual tension.”

- “Same reason why girls can be friends with girls and guys can be friends with guys.”

- “People can hang out without having sexual feelings towards each other. Plus, girls who are friends with guys probably just treat the guy like they’re one of the girls.”

- “Not everything has to be about sex. Humans have developed so much that sometimes things are just about friendship.”

Makes sense, right?

The internet says otherwise. If you Google “Can men and women be just friends”, you get countless psychology reports saying they cannot. And, I mean, it kind of makes sense that there’d be scientific reasons behind why opposite sexes cannot hang out like girls and girls or guys and guys do. Females and males have lived together since the beginning of time. When times got rough, humanity has aimed to maintain the population, and the only way that was possible was through reproduction (considering there were enough resources to sustain that). The biological duty we all have is to reproduce and continue expanding our population. So it makes logical sense that heterosexual females and males have an innate sexual attraction to each other.

But, is there a moral aspect to this? Why is everyone saying “yes”?

Society is changing. There is less of an obligation to the population as a whole compared to living your life to the fullest extent. People do impulsive things, taking advantage of little moments here and there, and use new technology to enhance their lives. But, regardless of this change, they are still creating friendships. Because of this, male and female friendships aren’t (and shouldn’t be) seen as sexual relationships. Yes, there will be some friendships, in the future of my life and others, where there will be sexual appeal, but not all.

And also, why can’t guys and girls be friends? Even if one thinks “oh, I wouldn’t mind screwing her” or, “Wow, he’s really hot”, does not mean the friendship isn’t a friendship anymore. You can talk to hot guys and hot girls but not aim to be in a relationship with them. Your friends will be in your life for longer than most romantic relationships will. Take advantage of them, no matter who you end up spilling the tea to at the end of the day.

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