Posted in Dating / Relationships

Can men and women be friends?

This story comes around every once in a while but apparently, “they” are still saying that men are only friends with women to whom they are attracted.

I call hogwash. It is dishonest and paints all men as slaves to our libido when around anything in a skirt that is even remotely pleasant to us.

Those who have been following this blog from the start and had come over from 30 something and breaking up will no doubt remember the saga I have with a female friend I refer to as “Miss X”.

Yes I am deeply attracted to her, I freely admit that. She is my type in every conceivable way. When I confessed those feelings they were not reciprocated. Right now those feelings have not gone away but I am trying to put them out of my mind. I’m still hoping for something happening in future when I am out of my situation, but I am not counting on it. I am totally open to meeting somebody else. My feelings for her may never go away but I can accept the very real possibility that we will never partners. She has been a good and loyal friend to me and she tells me semi-regularly how much she values our friendship and how proud she is of me that I’ve come so far. But she also gives me a proverbial kick up the backside when I need it.

I feel I most protest this article. Even if I did not find Miss X desirable, the qualities she has makes her the sort of friend that I would like. I have no doubt that we would still have contact over a decade after we first starting talking and I have no doubt that we would still have met this year.

There are currently two other women I consider friends and I am attracted to neither of them. To both of these women I have given greater detail about the breakdown of my marriage. They have been supportive and offered advice. I value their council and when I move out of this area I want to stay in touch with both of them. I have been in this situation before. In the past I have had female friends toward whom I had zero sexual desire and that did not have any bearing on our friendship. In some cases they were very attractive women – looks and personality-wise.

Participants of the study, published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, said benefits gained from friendships with members of the opposite sex included getting good advice and boosting their confidence.

This bit I certainly agree with. I’ve said before that there is an honesty between opposite sex friends that is rare between same sex friends. It is usually a a kick up the backside followed by a warm hug and a comment like “I know you can do it and you know you can do it so go get ’em tiger”. Also, never underestimate the ego boost you get after a break up from somebody of the opposite sex expressing concern, wanting to talk to you and spend time with you.

What do you all think?

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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