Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Friends With Benefits

Monday, a friend of mine, Tuesday, we played a game, Wednesday, you went away, Thursday, things weren't the same, On Friday, you came back, I wanted to kiss you On Saturday, On Sunday we made love Now what are we gonna do - "Seven Days" - Mary J. Blige

I have had innumerable conversations with both men and women alike on the subject of whether or not they believe men and women can be friends. I have received different replies, many of which are resounding "YES!". And for those who do say "NO" - equally as resounding, they always do list exceptions to the rule, such as a childhood friend and/or a good friend of the family.

Now, we are not talking co-workers here, or my sister's BFF, or my brothers best friend cousin. We are talking about ongoing, lasting, and fulfilling relationships, non sexual, between a man and a woman.

There are those that take the stance that men and women, for the most part, cannot be platonic friends. They argue that, even though there are onesie and twosie examples of the exception to the rule, exceptions prove the rule. There is the belief system that for the most part, an opposite sex relationship comes from: An initial attraction that dissipated quickly (from one side) and the people continued to remain friends, OR, a situation where one pines (secretly) over another person, and continues to be that great BFF until they either think a lightbulb is going to shine in the head of the other person, or that they will have an opportunity to, for lack of a better word, penetrate the best friend from a romantic standpoint. That, male/female relationships are just one person seeing the other one as 'just a friend' and the other person, knowing that they are seen in the eyes of the their BFF as someone that is strictly a confidant, takes the relationship for what it is, and continues to develop the relationship, and enjoy the person, for how they can have them. But BOTTOM LINE, if the opportunity presents itself because, the underlying attraction is there, at least for one. . .

For the argument that takes the stance that men and women CAN be friends, they cite that communication, connectivity, confidance, and comfort break gender barriers, and you cannot help who you feel most comfortable with, sharing your deepest, (and sometimes darkest secrets). THIS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT. This is the person that understands you, and can even provide you advice from the gender perspective that you are looking for, particularly if you are looking for relationship advice. They are the people that know about that someone special first, and are equally the ones that hear about the drama, and the pain as well about anything and everything in your life. Yes, even their arms you feel secure in, and so what if there is some underlying attraction there; the platonic relationship is valued so much more, you would never want to cross that line. And that there are truly Will and Grace's of the world.

Can Men and Women Just Be Friends?
Or Do You Believe This is A Pretense?


TrinaBeingTrina said...

Will & Grace is exactly what I was thinking about. But my stance is yes, men and women can be strictly friends. I have two really good male friends to prove that. One of them I'm so close with some people actually think we are brother and sister and those who know we really aren't they still refer to us the same way.

Sangindiva said...


Well first let me say-
HI P!!! *wavin'*

I think they CAN be friends...
but finding a man who is not GHEY,
and did not grow up with you
or was a family friend to be platonic friends with is a rarity. I think it is possible if you have history, but it's VERY rare (and dare I say almost impossible) if you don't go waaaayyy back or if he isn't gay.
(just my opinion)

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

Yes men and women can be friends only but sometimes they cross the line and become lovers, boyfriend, girlfriend, or one night stand, or casual lovers (not really serious but having intercourse), etc.. it all depends on whether they keep it a friendship or one of the above mentioned. A lot of the time it all depends on the women in the friendship than the men. Women do the choosing and allowing most of the time.

But I say this, if a sexual encounter happens between a male and female friend the friendship will never be the same.

Men in general have a greater appreciation for a female friend they have never slept with than a female friend they have slept with. Some women are sexually attracted to certain male friends and choose to cross that boundary, and this happens more often than you think. Also, some men and women come from cultures that already allow a lot of sexual promiscuity, so it is easy for then to go ahead and cross on over to having sex with friends. Some relationships start out as friendships and end up girlfriend and boyfriend and it works out. Men by nature are not monogamous and really neither are women, by nature we are polygamous,we are taught monogamy by culture. Men seldom fall in love twice in life, between all of the women that a man at the age of lets say 70 ever had a sexual relationship with -- there was one woman out of the bunch that he really loved. Yes, she possessed his heart, the others females that came into his life he had great affection for but truly did not love them. Sometimes the wife a man marries is not the woman that he really loved.

It was a past girlfriend that he once dated and the relationship did not work out. So a lot depends upon the moral character of the male and female friends. Women in general can fall in love more than once. Yes, male and females can be friends only, this is true.

Peach said...

Now here's my take on it, from experience. I have had dudes try to game me with "We're just friends right?" Men do not meet "friends" of the opposite sex in the club. A woman doesnt walk up to an attractive man in the grocery store and say "He're's my number, lets be friends". Friends can be people who met at work and went out together in groups and eventually became close. I find it easy to have a man as a friend when he is married, but I'm sure we all know why that makes it easy. YOU CANT HAVE HIM lol. I have a lot of male friend. At one point or annother they've all tried to date me, after they didnt succeed they have all remained friends of mine. I think it is possible, but not the way it is with same-sex friends. It may also depend on how you define a friend. I have a friend who is a guy that I can call and talk to about anything, but at one point HE WANTED ME. Sometimes I think becoming friends with the oposite sex begins with failed attempts at wooing one or the other.

onecoolhoney said...

Yes, I do believe men and women can be just friends. I have had countless male friends, some for more than 12 years, who obviously are not attracted to me nor I them.

By the same token, I've had men step to me under the guise of wanting to be friends and insisting that's all they seek even after I tell them I'm not interested in dating, hanging out, nada. Easy to tell who would hit it if I offered them the chance.

P said...

@ Trina, Diva, and Unruly Sista:

I dare y'all to ask one of those BFF's y'all call your best friend to come and break you off something and I would bet the farm that they will be over there, in, the words of Chuck Woolery, two and two. Later on, they might sweat bullets over what they have done, but I can't imagine that they haven't thought about what it was like to spread honey all over your ass. (But Unruly, Imma give your friend the exception clause)

@ Chance:

What girl do you have in your possession that is pining away at you but she had resigned herself to being your BFF because she is a butterface and you haven't thought twice about her?

@ Peach:

Sometimes I think becoming friends with the oposite sex begins with failed attempts at wooing one or the other. - You would be correct. Had to be said, enough said.

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

@ P
P ASKED: What girl do you have in your possession that is pining away at you but she had resigned herself to being your BFF because she is a butterface and you haven't thought twice about her?

BFF (Best Friends Forever)
Butterface -- A girl with an exceptionally hot body (nice looking body physically) but an exceptionally ugly face. Everything but-her-face is attractive.

Miss P, yes I have had a female friend who wanted more but I felt it was not right because I did not feel that way about her. It has happened more than once but I say this, it all depends on how I feel about that woman too. I am not very inclined to date a women who I am friends with if we have been friend for a long time. But if we have been distant friends who don't see each a to face to face a lot -- then it is, easier to date a female friend if she or I is willing to give it a try. I enjoy friendships and I don't want to see some friend ships end because of a date that did not work out. Also, I am not promiscuous. I have had white girls who wanted more, black girls, and Hispanics, I am serious miss P I have had all of this happen to me.

I will date a black woman of any skin complexion dark skin, caramel (brown skin), light skin, etc also I am not fascinated with light skin because I am already a half white. I will date women from any racial group I am open minded. I will date a women who has a nice body but an unattractive face if I have feelings for her.

I would like to say that I am grateful to females of all skin complexions and ethnicities because when you ladies give attention it does not have to be me. Because some men don't get a lot of attention, and this angers them. Plus I am not that great looking physically myself, so I really appreciate it ladies it means a lot too me.

Rashan Jamal said...

What's the deal, P!!! How's things over on this side of blog world?

You are right about the exception proving the rule. I only have one friend like that who neither one of us wanted to cross the line. All the rest of my female friendships either was more than just friends or at least one of us wanted to be more than friends.

chele said...

This is weird because I DO NOT believe that men and women can be just friends even though my best friend for the last 25 years is a man.

We met in high school and we just started hanging out. I have never been attracted to him and he has never been attracted to me. Many people have questioned why we never got together. I always answer with "ewwwwwwww!" He always answers with "there's a difference between my best friend and my partner." I have to agree. I could never be married to him ... He runs his house like a drill seargent. His wife is a SAHM and he handles all the money and she seems to be fine with that. That definitely could not be me.

So, yes we've managed to be friends without any underlying attraction but I truly believe that we are rare.

Miss Ahmad said...

i dunno i would like to believe that it can happen but i have a bad habit of making out with my guy friends when i'm tipsy on occasion. mostly i do it just to get it out the way, and to see if there is an attraction. but i'm no good at this thing.

if a guy is hot and i'm single, we might kiss. maybe not much more, but we might kiss!

Miz JJ said...

I do not have very many people I call friends. I have a few male friends, but generally someting happened, but we have now transitioned to be strictly platonic. I think men and women can be friends it depends on their level of maturity.

Aly Cat 121 said...

Men and women can not be the same type of friends as same sex relationships. Even if the other person is married. Why? Cuz most folks ain't honest about how they really feel about the other person. If there is ANY type of attractions and feeling "ohhh if I had a man/woman like you" even if not spoken aloud, forget about it.

I just think most folks ain't honest about how they feeling towards an opposite sex friend. And then what happens when the friend gets a man/woman hubby/wife? All hell breaks loose.

Altho, I think men and woman CAN be freinds if they've had an actual relationship with each other and know why they could NEVER be with that person again, then they'd make GREAT friends.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

I love the fact that you and I are good friends and I know a little more about you (just barely you SECRETIVE ASS BITCH) than the rest of your readers.

Men and women CAN be friends. I have plenty of male friends and the line is VERY clear. And since just mentioned something bout someone not being wrapped too tight...hehehehe...what if this BFF (a'hem) wasn't wrapped too tight? HAHAHAHAHA (sorry yall, this is some inside joke shit) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

Umm...cuz when ML and LL turn 13, NO MORE EASTER FOR THEM! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That's the best shit ever!

P said...

@ Rashan:

Yeah, likka said there are exceptions to the rule. I have one, but I strongly suspect that if I slept in the same bed sumpin would happen.

@ Chele

Just to reiterate, my friend, I have been knowing since Junior High, I feel the same, but I also know that he DID start off as trying to hang tuff with me, and then yes, we did become friends, so it can transition, but I think those are friendships that you developed in your K-12 years.

@ Glam

Um, yeah, I can totally picture you trying to sneak a kiss in, 'just to see'. hahaha. :P

@ Miz JJ:

Um, they already know if they try something with you, in your own words from one of my previous posts "All Bets Are Off" I get the impression that you have a baseball bat somewhere in your house.

@ Aly Cat:

Couldn't have said it better myself.

@ Tam:

Um it's 12 thankyouverymuch.

@ All Y'all that think y'all can be friends:

To the men: You tell your female friend that you have a hurricane tongue and see if she won't be in her bathtub with her shower apparatus thinking about you. (Um, I don't know anything ABOUT water masturbation, I just HEARD about it)

To the women: Tell your man friend that you can suck a golf ball through a garden hose and see if he doesn't come up with some tickets to Essence Festival for you.

So go on now. . and as Katt Williams would say "Don't Worry, I'll Wait!" :P

jenstillinak said...

Well, I'm going to take both sides of it.

Can I be friends with a man 100% platonically? Absolutely. I have alwyas been a girl who gets along better with men anyway, so it makes sense that I have 2 guy friends who I just adore, but only see as friends. I could never see them as anything else.

On the same token, would I be comfortable with my boyfriend having really good girl friends? HELL NO. Why? Cause I don't trust other women. It doesn't even have anything to do with him. I don't trust the girls.

So, he feel the same way and my one guy friend always texts me when we're together, just something dumb like, 'Are you glad it's Friday' or 'I know of a BMW for sale' and he gets all pissed off about it.

I think everyone believes that men & women can platonically be friends until they are in a relationship with someone who has a platonic friend. :o)