Men and women that work together, neighbors, and those acquainted for many years can be just friends, but in the true definition of the word friendship, people often wonder if it is possible for a male and female to have a fully platonic relationship free from emotional attachment and/or physical attraction. What starts out as simple friendship can turn into something far more intense, and the feelings evoked are not necessarily shared. Read on to find out if a man and woman can be just friends. A male/female relationship could be a ticking time bomb that will someday go off and cause irreparable damage. Is it really worth it?
The Third Wheel and the Definition of a Friend
A definition of friend is different for everyone, but according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a friend is “one attached to another by affection or esteem.” Most people would also say a friend is someone to spend leisure time with. It is also someone that takes the bad with the good while providing emotional support in all situations, but is it possible for a man and woman to be just friends without causing someone else unnecessary pain? A man and woman unattached can just be friends without consequence, but when a third or even a fourth person is part of the equation, it can become a serious problem.
When a man and woman are dating or married, having a friend of the opposite sex can be a real and justifiable concern, especially for the significant other of the person with the buddy. This third wheel might be viewed as a threat from both sides, even if real romantic feelings are nonexistent. The boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse might feel that time and attention that should be theirs is being given away to a rival. This is why some people wonder if a man and woman can just be friends. Even if nothing physical is going on, this type of friendship can create jealousy and emotional pain.
When wondering if a man and woman can just be friends, put yourself in your significant other’s shoes before deciding they are wrong. This type of concern does not necessarily have to do with a lack of trust. Would you want your significant other having a good friend of the opposite sex? Friends can turn into lovers, and someone that is just a friend one day could become a love interest the next. It happens, and many started out as just friends.
Emotional Affairs Between Men and Women that are Just Friends
Emotional affairs can be as devastating as physical affairs. A man and woman start out as just friends, and one or both end up falling in love. The article entitled Emotional Affairs: When Friendship with the Opposite Sex Borders on Cheating provides insight into why it might not be okay to have friends of the opposite sex. It explains how a man and a woman that are just friends can end up embroiled in an emotional and/or physical affair.
If someone you love does not want you to have friends of the opposite sex, consider their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes, and really think about it. Many people believe they cannot be assured that a man and a woman can just be friends. It really cannot be guaranteed, no matter what anyone says, and the one having a problem with the friendship does not want to take a chance because they value their marriage or relationship.
Read the many heartbreaking comments left by emotionally wounded people looking for help. Many also wonder if a man and woman can just be friends, and they have nagging suspicions. Why continue to make someone you love feel uneasy or insecure in the name of friendship?
Would You Continue a Friendship that Could Ruin your Relationship?
I love my boyfriend with all of my heart, and I would never want him to think I valued the friendship of another man more than I value his love and the attention he provides. When I have problems or something exciting to share, he is the first person I think of and the first person I call.
I do not want my boyfriend to have female friends – not because I do not trust him. I trust him fully. What I do not trust are the intentions of other women that are satisfied just being friends. Someone wanting his emotional support and attention should find a significant other, a close family member, or a female friend to confide in – not my boyfriend. They can just be friends with someone else!
It is possible for a man and a woman to be just friends, but when considering the feelings of a significant other that enters the picture, do you think it is okay? What if it is clear that someone is in love with you, but it is not possible to return romantic love for whatever reason? This type of one-sided fantasy friendship should not continue. It is a waste of time because eventually one or the other will become angered by undesired and even inappropriate attention, and the other person will inevitably feel ignored.