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This is an age-old question that is still widely disputed and there is no unanimous opinion on it. It has been argued, proven and disproven both ways. EliteSingles spoke to international relationship coach and dating expert Sami Wunder to get the real low down on can men and women be friends or not. Are we seriously talking about this in a day and age where men and women walk shoulder to shoulder, work together and play sport together? And yet, I would venture to say that while men and women can definitely be friends, cross-sex friendship is still quite tricky, if one cares to investigate this topic deeply and with honesty.
Here, I am referring mostly to deep, connected friendships between a man and a woman, and not the more casual and circumstantial interactions that happen between people of all sexes in groups of friends, work buddies or colleagues.
As I offer this standpoint that close cross-sex friendship is tricky, I am also completely aware that we live in a society where expressing the trickiness of this situation can make you quickly get judged as archaic, traditional, too stuck up or living in the past century. I beg to differ and I am very much a modern woman of the 21 st century. While I Can a man be friends with a woman technically believe that cross-sex friendships are possible and do existI also believe they require a huge sense of self-awareness and the willingness to admit to yourself what is behind your real motivation.
There is a reason why cross-sex friendships become the talk of the town or your ificant other feels jealous or threatened by your close, cross-sex friendship. Here are two primary reasons why cross-sex friendships can be tricky:. In such cases, the man stays friends with the woman because they are hopeful there is a possibility something could still happen in the future.
These available men will give a shoulder to lean on during the hard times and be a safe space to turn to in case of need, as should be in the case of friendship. Only that, for the man it may al that something more is possible.
Sexual tension will be present in most cases between a normally functioning Can a man be friends with a woman male and female, even when they are just friends. While this tension may be extremely visible and palpable in certain cross-sex friendships, and hence raise concerned eyebrows, in some others it may only rise to the surface in rare moments.
These rare moments could include situations like when your cross-sex friend has had a break-up and is suddenly available or during drunken rendezvous when the defenses are low. The idea is to bring to light the slippery slope that cross-sex friendships can be for both parties, unless pursued with extreme self-awareness.
In one study published in the Journal of Social and Personal RelationshipsSapadin asked more than professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship with a female. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships!
As I have stated above, I do believe it is possible for men and women to be friends, when both parties involved practice self-awareness. Here are some tips that will help. It is okay to have a strikingly good-looking male or female as your friend, alongside your marriage or committed relationship. What is important though is that you are extremely clear on why you are friends with them.
If the motivation is purely platonic, great. If not, be honest with yourself that you are attracted to this person. I recommend to my clients that there are some situations you should avoid being in, in case of cross-sex friendships, no matter how emotionally intimate. For example, not sleeping in the same bed even though it may feel like the most innocent and harmless thing to do in the moment is a good idea.
So is not criticizing your ificant other to your cross-sex friend as it may unnecessarily trigger jealousy and feelings of inferiority in your SO, if you have one! In conclusion, I Can a man be friends with a woman believe that male and female, cross-sex friendships are possible when practiced with self-awareness and good boundaries. In fact, they are not only possible but also healthy and much-needed. Without them, we would be living in a primitive world where half of the population does not talk to the other half of the population.
Having said that, it is also important to not close our eyes to the natural attraction instincts that exist between a heterosexual male and female. Once we can acknowledge this truth and factor it in our friendships, we actually have the chance to create true and lasting platonic, cross-sex friendships. About Sami Wunder: Sami Wunder is a leading international love, dating and relationship expert.
Sami is an author, wife and mother. For more info, visit her website. By paying a visit to some of the most famous couples in history, can we learn how to build successful relationships in the present? EliteSingles surveyed the pressing relationship questions you have about love and dating today.
Gathering advice from leading experts, we answer your burning love questions. Get started. Can men and women be friends — for real? Related posts. Online dating tips for women: 5 steps to success! Online dating tips for single women looking for love: 5 ideas for a better time online.
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