When it comes to relationships, women are idealistic and overly-optimistic…women are often blind to things that are in plain sight. When it comes to friendship with the opposite sex, women have this warped notion that they can have a friendship with heterosexual men and no feelings will be involved. This is one of the biggest fallacies that women feed into. I’m not saying it is impossible to sustain a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex but it is an exceedingly difficult task.
First of all, when you are friends with someone of the opposite sex they possess several of the qualities you value in a companion. Friends are loyal, trustworthy, understanding, kind, and provide you with a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen; these are all valuable qualities people look for in a potential mate. Secondly, if you’re friends with someone usually you share the same common interests with them. Usually we surround ourselves with like-minded people. Having a lot in common with someone is an excellent ingredient in a relationship. If you are enchanted by someone’s personality, I think it’s safe to say their character makes them attractive in some way. Someone that you may not think is your type could win you over because of their humor or kindness. Would you call any of your close friends unattractive? Probably not…they have great personalities which make them attractive in some way. The point that I’m getting at is with all this circumstantial evidence, how do people maintain platonic friendships with someone of the opposite sex? That’s the thing…they don’t. It is increasingly difficult to have a friendship with someone who has all the qualities you look for in a partner albeit you may not have ever thought of them in that way, they may have emerging feelings for you.
Our friends have seen us through the good, the bad and the ugly in our lives and that’s refreshing; if you date a friend there is no awkward honeymoon phase where you’re on your best behavior and want to display your most endearing qualities. Your friend knows everything about you and knows exactly what they are getting into, if you decided to pursue a relationship with them. I think some of the best and strongest relationships stem from friendship. But it is foolish to think a man and a woman are capable of having a platonic relationship without one or both parties developing feelings for the other. Since when does unrequited love equate to a friendship? Women are often naïve, especially when it comes to how men think. Men have quixotic expectations and are dying to break free from the shackles of the “friend zone.” Let’s be realistic: most men are looming in the wings waiting for their chance to pounce.
Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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