Can men and women be just friends?

In a recent YouTube sensation, two guys set out to prove a point: men and women can’t be just friends. To demonstrate they went out on the Utah State University campus and asked the question, “Can men and women be just friends?”. The hilarity ensues as each woman says “yes” and each man says “no.” If you have not seen the clip you can do so here. (*DISCLAIMER* after 90 seconds the conversation turns away from friendship to hooking up.)

When I previously asked the question what characteristics make up a high quality man and high quality woman, many people answered the question in relationship to the other sex. Manly men were defined as treating women in such and such a way. Impressive women were described as relating to men in this sort of way and not that. It was the relationship between the sexes that produced much of the descriptions of manhood and womanhood.

Digging further along those lines, do you believe men and women can be deep and true friends, yet still just friends?

  • If so, why do you believe this? What’s your rationale for holding to this in light of the YouTube video?
  • If not, please explain further. Is how you view this similar to the rationale and findings of the YouTube film producers?

For the sake of greater conversation, and opposed to the Utah State University survey, let’s assume that they can. Comment on the following:

  • What ought a friendship between a man and a woman look like? What makes up a healthy, caring, and encouraging friendship between a man and a woman?
  • How do you believe a man should treat a woman in friendship and what would be attitudes, behaviors, and comments (the A,B,C’s) to avoid?
  • And how do you believe a woman should treat a man in friendship and, again, what would be attitudes, behaviors, and comments to avoid?

I’m a believer that your comments hold a valuable key to this conversation. Please, share your thoughts.

Posted on by Cor in LIFE

26 Responses to Can men and women be just friends?

  1. Graeme

    I’m not sure this video proves anything, except perhaps for the old quote from Billy Crystal: “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

  2. Faith

    No no and no. But maybe under certain circumstances. I will elaborate my personal opinion after I complete my ten mile run.

    • Cor

      I can’t wait. This could be goooooood!

  3. Derek Hanisch

    This is such a difficult question to answer. I think yes, a guy and a girl can be just friends. But it takes a lot more effort compared to same gendered relationships.

    I think the key is communication. One of my best friends is of the female persuasion. When we first became friends there were feelings that developed on my side, but not hers. When we DTRed this made things difficult. It took a long time, and a lot of open communication, but we were able to salvage our friendship, and actually become good friends. It wasn’t easy.

    I think inter gendered friendships are healthy if they have a purpose. Guys and girls think differently. If you go to that person for advice, and support because they have a different worldview, that’s great.

    The problem comes when you start to rely on the different gendered friend to fulfill the emotional/relational/physical needs that a significant other fulfills. When there’s intimacy of any kind without the commitment of a relationship, trouble can ensue.

    I think the most important thing is to have open lines of communication. Keep things honest, address feelings if/when they come, and inter gendered friendships can work. They just require effort to maintain.

    One of my friends wrote an article on this that you might find interesting. I believe that it was originally published in Susie Magazine: http://realteenfaith.com/2010/11/19/real-story-just-friends/#more-3616

  4. Cassie Andersen

    C.S. Lewis is such a wise man in the area of relationships and I think there is a lot of truth in his ideas about love. All platonic love can start out good. Guy/girl friendships are so good and necessary for understanding the heart of God in a deeper way. Both male and female portray the heart of God in an unique way that shares something about the God we serve. And our ability to be in relationship with others allows us a rare capacity to show case his beauty. The problem comes when that love doesn’t eventually flow into a Divine love. Divine love can often be called agape or “unconditional” love too. This love is outside of itself.

    In my experience, I have learned so much through my guy friends in the areas of letting my feelings submit to reality and truth. They have challenged me to be more punctual, they push me to grow in knowledge and they even teach me how to communicate more effectively at their best.

    At their worst, I am frustrated, hurt, confused and left angry. I think guy/girl friendships are vital, thus they are under such a heavy attack from the Enemy.

    Friendship love is a tricky thing in general, because it is the only love that is not necessary for survival. Most friendships start out at the moment we realize we have something in common. Metaphorically speaking, we don’t look at the person in a friendship love, instead we are both looking forward at the common interest we have. At some point either your friendship can fizzles out or demands a deeper kind of love. For same gender friendships, there are less options for healthy individuals to choose. Opposite gender loves get tricky because they can either flow into eros love, which in and of themselves can’t be the end all, or we can move towards agape love. It is not a need based love, it is selfless love and requires no love in return for it to function. The love of friendship must at one point steam from another form of love to sustain itself. It can either expand (whether eros or agape love) or turn into a hatred or better put, frustrated love.

    All this to say, there are still boundaries in guy/girl friendships (as well as same gender) and I just don’t think they function in the same way same gender friendships do.

  5. Danielle

    What a fantastic question, Cor! These are the kinds of questions I wish more people would ask and discuss in life.

    In regards to guy/girl friendships, I think things get tricky very fast. I’ve found that when people ask me whether or not guys and girls can be friends, they are asking because they’re in a “best friend” kind of relationship with someone of the other gender. They’ve gotten to a point in their friendship where it can be confusing sorting through feelings and figuring out what your friendship/relationship looks like and what you want it to look like.

    I’ll put my cards on the table and say that friendships with the other gender are incredibly vital and help us to understand more of the heart of God.

    However, I don’t think that those friendships should be a “share your whole heart” kind of friendship. If you find that your “best friend” is someone of the other gender, what is keeping you from finding someone of the same gender to share your heart with? Just from experience, spending a lot of time with, talking about deep heart issues often, and in general sharing your life/heart with someone of the other gender without an expressed intent of a relationship commitment causes hurt and pain in one or both people. When you are sharing your lives in that way, you are (even if it’s not explicit) in a relationship. You are putting yourself in a place to be treated as a significant other without the commitment of actually being the significant other. Of course, those boundaries and lines are different based on the person involved, but there needs to be boundaries regardless.

    Then there’s the fact that being friends with someone of the other gender is vital and important for our lives. Some of the people that have taught me most about the heart of God are the men in my life who are men after God. I’d say healthy guy/girl friendships are along the lines of hanging out in groups. I try to ask myself this question, “If I were in a relationship with someone right now (or if the other person was in a relationship), would I be spending time with this person in this way?” If the answer is “no” I choose not to be in that situation, if the answer is “yes” I choose to spend time with that person.

    I don’t know if I’ve explained myself well, and I can’t say that this is for sure the right answer. But that’s been what I’ve learned from experience and what I try to follow in my life.

  6. Seth

    I can only go by years of my own personal experience and I would have to say that, based on that, a male can have a meaningful friendship with a female. I have close female friends that might as well be male, sexually speaking, because there is no thought of being “more than friends.” I guess I respect them and our friendship too much to allow myself to even think of anything more. Female friends provide things that I do not get from male friendships–they are often easier to talk to and provide a very different perspective and will call me out on things that others may not. I treasure my male and female friends equally, but one cannot replace the other.

  7. sturner2

    “What makes up a healthy, caring, and encouraging friendship between a man and a woman?” This is, IMO, the key question. What are friends? Friends share moments, ideas, emotions, and activities building a history. Does friendship begin with hello? Does friendship end when the activity is sexual in nature? What, when, where and how is friendship defined?

    The “friends with benefits” concept is the acceptance of sensual relations as “just” another activity. It is nothing more or less than fishing, shopping, dining, jogging and watching TV. Shake my hand, brush my hair, help me with a splinter or excite my libido. The worldly perspective is love is love (agápe, éros, philía, and storgē).

    Cassie makes reference to the different aspects of love; I assume from the Christian perspective at the mention of C.S. Lewis. In an “agape world,” girls and guys might be friends without any physical attraction. As a Christian I am called to this standard of agape. As a man…Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12) Sweat beds form on my forehead and warning message flash in my mind, “FLEE.”

    Mature Christian women and men may have a chance at this platonic, agape, non-sensual engagement. Physical and hormonal changes may reduce this attraction. I don’t trust myself. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

    I have heard a story of a seminar presentation where the speaker was addressing the nature of men. In the audience as a well know pastor in his late 90’s. The speaker pauses, specifically addresses this Shepard with this question. “At what age does a man lose his desire for the opposite sex?” The reported reply, “You’ll have to ask someone older than me.”

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate. I look forward to reading more from the experience of your “followers.”

    • Cassie Andersen

      Agape love is not a no attraction kind of love. But it doesn’t need attraction. All forms of love whether motherly love, brotherly love or romantic love should in the end flow into this love-it’s the source of love. I would say that even marriages need to be rooted on this kind of love ultimately. (And I hope that they are physically attracted to one another.) But human love for another person cannot be a primary love, it is a secondary thing. When C.S. Lewis talks of this love he talks about a love that doesn’t need to be needed or loved in return. It will sacrifice it’s own desires for the better of the other person. It is a God kind of love. But through the Holy Spirit working in our lives and redeeming Love we have the potential to love like this.

      Sorry for geeking out, I studied a lot of C.S. Lewis literature in college

      If I can recommend a few good books…
      The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis is great in terms of philosophical thought

      Till We Have Faces and even The Great Divorce give you great stories and pictures to put with these different types of love

  8. Matt

    I don’t know. I think there would have to be lots of “DTR”ing. I think it would work best if there was no attraction on either side, or, no possibility.

    Most of my friends are married. The best female friendships I’ve had (other than with my actual sister) is with friendship with my friends’ wives. It feels like women are never truly “off the hunt” until they are in a happy marriage. And, I’ve had trouble with single women taking off their “single woman” hat and donning their “my friend” hat. It gets to be a battle of the genders. They will open up conversation about my dating life. Then, advocate for a woman they’ve never met before thinking about what’s going on
    with me.

    If you’re both single and the guy is attracted to the girl, its not mutual, he’s a “nice guy”, something nobody wants. If, she’s into him and he’s not into her, he is judged to be “judgmental”.

    Single opposite gender friendships are hard. I agree with Cassie, and think this is a product of the fall.

  9. Evan

    I think this youtube video offers some good insight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmrmZ6wNvZc

    • Cor

      How so? What are your thoughts?

      • Evan

        The most important thing about each of these friendships and relationships is the amount of time spent with the other person. I have many great friendships with my female friends from high school as well as my ex-girlfriends. However, I only see each of them on rare occasions. I don’t know if you’d call that a friendship or not, but I think it is. The problem arises when you start spending enough time with each-other where it looks and feels like you’re committing more to each-other than just a friendship. I agree with Danielle that it’s really important to have friendships with the opposite gender, but the conduct has to be measured and understood by both sides.

        I like the Mike Falzone video because it highlights some interesting things about honesty and boundaries that isn’t touched on in the initial youtube clip. A man and a woman can be great friends if there are clear lines that show where a relationship cannot develop.

  10. Dave Nelson

    Wow, lots of good comments – I especially liked Danielle’s comments.

    I’d basically say that you can be friends, but not close 1-on-1 type friends with people of the opposite sex – unless you’re single, in which case I would assert that you’re pseudo-dating that person anyway, though perhaps not exclusively. And for the singles, I’d encourage that, and encourage them to consider their opposite sex friends as potential marriage partners – yes, even if they don’t have certain types of feelings for that person. We have this notion in our culture that feelings are of paramount importance in determining who you should date and marry. Well, you can develop feelings over time for people – feelings can follow facts. Why do you think some many arranged marriages work out? Now I’ve just lost everyone. Oh well.

    But quick everyone – go read Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” I am not kidding, that book is awesome, and singles perhaps would get even more out of it than married folks.

    • Cassie Andersen

      I have a book crush on anything Tim Keller lately.

      But as for your comment on singles seeing their opposite sex friends as potential marriage partners. Not that I don’t agree with opposite sex friends getting married and having feelings grow over time.

      The problem I have is this mentality that we will get to know a friend of the opposite sex for awhile, but once I realize they don’t have feelings for me or I realize I am not interested in them romantically, I move onto other people. (maybe it’s because I graduated from a Christian college)But this is a user-mentality! What can I get out of this friendship.

    • Matt

      I’m going to disagree with this too.

      For the first 15 years or so of my dating experience this was pushed on me. I am now quite honestly quite bitter about it, and working through it.

      I’m not sure if you’re thinking of the guy who’s not into the girl, or the girl who’s not into the guy.

      But, I’ve never heard of an instance of a guy changing his mind once he’s decided he’s not into a girl romantically.

      My parents and Paternal grandparents have had something similar to these arranged marriages. The two previous generations of men in my family picked a mate they are not into for pragmatic reasons. Both have turned out horribly. I have done better. I’ve stayed single. Are you married? Are you into your wife?

      There are movies, books and magazines lying to women telling them, that they can change a guy by manipulating him. I’ve never seen it happen successfully in real life. It doesn’t even work in reality TV. (unless there’s a bachelor/bachelorette that has panned out that I’m unaware of).

  11. Samuel

    So, yes it is possible for guy/girls to be friends. I would like to point out that this video only asks “horny collage student” this question.I don’t think this accurately represents the question. It has been my experience so far that your age and stage in life play a role in how easily these bonds can be formed. In elementary I has female friends these friendship somewhat stopped when raging hormones came into play, but these friendship have returned in recent years as I matured into an adult (at least I think I’m adult) and I am tankful for them.

    @Cassie Anderson did a great job of explaining why these relationship are needed and how they need to be structured in order to be lasting friendship.

    To answer the question how do you treat friends of the opposite sex? well you treat them like friends. I will put this in context of just my male friends. Sean is a friend I can rough house with and is also a workout buddy, Travis is not very physical and dose not care to participant in these kind of activities. While I recognize that there are different boundary lines of what is appropriate behavior for same sex and opposite sex interaction. each friend is going to have there own limitations of what they are willing to do and share with you. Being open and respectful of the other person are the A,B,Cs needed in a friendship regardless of gender.

    SAM SMASH

  12. Alicia

    I believe it is possible for men and women to have good, healthy, frienships. Just as mentioned with other comments it does take alot work and alot of very honest, open conversations. I have several guys who are very good friends and I love them dearly. To allow these friendships to work though there were difficult conversations and setting of the boundaries. Boundaries are an absolute must. They are needed to maintain respect for not just ourselves but the other people involved (wives, girlfriends, fiancees,and boyfriend) and the relationships we have with them. If you aren’t looking outside your friendship to see what the ripple effects could be, then you aren’t going into that friendship with an unselfish heart free from ulterior motives. You aren’t going into that friendship to serve your friend.

    Finally I always check the pulse on the friendship from time to time to make sure that I am keeping my friend’s interests above my own as well as that I am not starting to rely on them in ways that I should be reserving for that special man in my life. Am I there to help them live a happy, healthy, god-centered life (for those that aren’t christian-yet- am I loving them as Jesus loved his disciples?)Or am I there for the benefits I can get from them?

    If there is any doubt, put it through the God filter. Is this friendship being conducted in away that God would approve of? Am I feeling conviction in any way? If so, where has this friendship been exposed to sin and the Enemy has gotten a foothold in? Is this friendship getting in the way of my connection with God, time spent with God, or causing me to hide from God?

  13. Joey

    Let’s define “friends.” I don’t consider my female friends from before my marriage to no longer be friends. I don’t considered my married buddies’ wives to be people I can’t be friends with. I’m defining “friends” in a fairly loose sense in these cases.

    But “friends” in terms of someone who would be one of my 5 closest friends, someone I rely on and would be close enough to stand in my wedding (gender restrictions on the conventional wedding party aside)? Absolutely not. I think it’s totally toxic. I can think of couples who I consider “close friends,” but that’s more in a collective sense. I don’t generally communicate directly with the wives in those relationships, and if I do, it’s typically briefly coordinating something or gathering facts about something, not a lengthy personal conversation.

    It doesn’t matter that you’ve found a way to put feelings aside. Feelings have a funny way of popping back up. Additionally, you can’t simply rely on your feelings to be kept in check, but the other person’s must be kept in check too. That’s a lot of emotion to keep in check. Besides, people change over time. The fact that you don’t have feelings for someone now doesn’t mean you can’t 5 years down the road.

    Married people who want what’s best for their marriage will avoid close friendships with the opposite sex. Single people who want what’s best for themselves and their friends of the opposite sex won’t get close to someone without either turning it into a dating relationship or scaling back.

    I should note 2 things that are relevant with this: 1.) I don’t know if I always would have said this as a single person without the perspective of marriage. 2.) I just had a lengthy (hour-long) conversation (after numerous text messages) within the last week with a girl I haven’t seen in 6.5 years and rarely talk to. I kept my wife appraised of the conversation throughout it. My wife understands the nature of the relationship. We had worked together during a 3.5-month summer job, both liked the other but never pursued anything, moved back home to our separate states and have rarely popped up on one another’s radar since. But she has consistently tried to keep the friendship active, even suggesting that our spouses and kids meet one another. She had been texting me because she was 4 hours away for work and was trying to figure out a way to get over here to see me and my family. I’ve never pursued maintaining our friendship but she has. She’s actually gone out of her way to tell me how significant I was in her life and has called me one of the closest friends she’s ever had. Now, we’re both happily married now and I absolutely trust her sincerity and don’t think there’s any sinister motive, but I have no desire to maintain the friendship. I feel a little guilty about that since I know how important it is to her, but I just don’t see it being a positive thing. No matter that any feelings from 7 years ago have been laid aside, I don’t want to know what it might take for them to come back. So, while the conversation was enjoyable, I’m not making any plans for a trip to reconnect.

    • sturner2

      I stand with Joey,

      “Married people who want what’s best for their marriage will avoid close friendships with the opposite sex. Single people who want what’s best for themselves and their friends of the opposite sex won’t get close to someone without either turning it into a dating relationship or scaling back.

      “I don’t know if I…would…said this as a single person without the perspective of marriage.”

      Matt, I have heard of many men, “Didn’t mean it to happen. It just happened. I got blind sided.” Men in Christian mens groups. Good men fail when stressed, tired, emotional, over confident or think no one is watching.

      In the video Evan presents, the speaker MikeFalzone, is entertaining. I would point out that Falzone presents sex as an activity like building a house, “…it is possible to build a house with a friend (Friends with Benefits). Falzone’s solutions are: be a good friend; talk it out; scoot and boot. Talking it can lead to emotional connection. I agree with Falzone, get over yourself. The Christian pursuit is to get over yourself and to be like Christ. Some day we will arrive yet on this side of heaven, we have a tempter prowling around like a lion.

      Alicia uses a God filter. My God filter looks like:
      1) My wife and I are friends with the couple, and we interact as couples.
      2) We are working on a project together; this is guarded if it is one on one.

      I married my female friend. I have no business just hanging around with another woman without some legitimate cause. Just to talk, share, care, shop, remember, fish or work out are not legitimate.

  14. Faith

    Okay. 98% of my response is going to be from my experiences in life which in turn forms my opinion.

    I totally appreciate Cassie’s responses on C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves. Oddly enough I had a “guy friend” tell me to read this book-this friendship was not at all healthy and he did not consitently point me to God, this was after we dated and tried to “be friends”- I tried to read it and could not for the life of me undertand it. I just cannot understand C.S. Lewis, as in his books are forein language to me and I need an interpreter.

    My background with can guys and girls be friends and why I ulitmately say no or maybe is due to the following. I didn’t grow up with a father figure in my life. He was there, now and then. But by no means did he father me or teach me or show me how to love. He didn’t and still doesn’t know God. So I spent my whole life trying to find that father figure in men.
    Relationships mostly. I let them fulfill me instead of God. I would also have these friendships we speak of and there would be no committment to a relationship. I even experienced this by someone who I thought followed God right after I gave my life to the Lord and was totally misdirected. Since then I have consistently tried to discern God’s voice in this area of my life. There are some sins or areas in a persons life that they just cannot seem to overcome and it comes down to the gospel. (What wasn’t I believing in?) Men was the area for me, so God has protected me, loved me, and shown me how to be a godly woman in this area and honor Him.

    I like these thoughts from Alicia:
    If there is any doubt, put it through the God filter. Is this friendship being conducted in away that God would approve of? Am I feeling conviction in any way? If so, where has this friendship been exposed to sin and the Enemy has gotten a foothold in? Is this friendship getting in the way of my connection with God, time spent with God, or causing me to hide from God?

    And I like this from Danielle:
    I try to ask myself this question, “If I were in a relationship with someone right now (or if the other person was in a relationship), would I be spending time with this person in this way?” If the answer is “no” I choose not to be in that situation, if the answer is “yes” I choose to spend time with that person.

    And this from Derek:
    The problem comes when you start to rely on the different gendered friend to fulfill the emotional/relational/physical needs that a significant other fulfills. When there’s intimacy of any kind without the commitment of a relationship, trouble can ensue.

    Someone also said something about boundaries and DTR’s. Boundaries is key. I really don’t think you can spend one on one time or at least I can’t and not grow an attraction for that person and have to have a DTR. Someone usually catches feelings. At least that is what seems to happen to me! Me or the guy. And where are you spending that one on one time? What time of day? Is it honoring God? I still think Trike says it best that when you take it outside the group, it’s a date whether it’s discussed or not.

    So when you have to constantly have DTR’s and watch your boundaries-can you just be friends? Or is this part of the “Christian life”? I agree seeing the heart of a man after the Lord teaches us much. But to me, that just attracts me to them even more! Can someone who is wiser and maybe gifted in biblical knowledge show me where it talks about male and female friendships in the bible and how it shows us the heart of God? I am simply just curious/want to know.

    The you tube video, so a worldy point of view. I agree with whoever commented on that.

    I think you can go deep and be friends, when you’re in a gospel centered environment with others-at least for me. The Lord should be at the center of any friendship and relationship. That is the foundation that needs to be built and the seed that needs to grow.

    What should it look like? Respect for eachother, pray for eachother, set boundaries and communicate. And keep it public. Meaning in a group. I am a firm believer in that. If you want to get to know me more than that you have got to spell it out for me. And then keep me informed of where God is leading you once you have gotten to know me a bit, and I will do the same.

    Tim Keller. I love everything Tim Keller. He has much to say on relationships. That book is a good one and I paraphrased some of that book that I read in an article and heard on one of his podcasts.

    Here goes:
    Assumption: there is that just right person for us to marry.
    … Truth: We always marry the wrong person. Marriage changes us. We have to learn to know and love the stranger to who you find yourself married.

    When you fall in love with somebody, you shouldn’t just be falling in love with what they are, you should be excited about their future. You should be attracted to what God is going to make them that you can discern.

    Falling in love in a Christian way is to say I am excited about your future and I want to be a part of getting you there. I’m signing up for the journey with you. Would you sign up for the journey to my true self with me? It’s going to be hard but I want to get there.

    That future orientation. That hope that you’re going to get there is the goal of marriage that Paul talks about. What a long journey. Stainless wthout wrinkle….raidant….beautiful.

    Make Me your one true love (Jesus) or you will never know love.

    This is the highest view of sexuality possible. Paul is saying, the Gospel says that human sexuality is a dim reflection of what it is going to be like to fall in the arms of the Lord on the final day.

    That is the lover we need.

    That’s the closure we need.

    You cannot have intimacy with God unless you lose your independence. God had to lost his independece. Where did he lose it? On the cross. He became human. That’s how he became intimate with us.

    Don’t get married out of of social obligation or personal fulfillment. Find somebody you want to go on a journey with and somebody who understands that there is a journey.

    Make Me your one true love. Come to Me.

    Now that I have written a novel. In summary for me, no I can’t maintain a one on one, deep friendship with a man, because I am single and it is my desire to find someone who wants to go on a journey with me….. If it is God’s will….. He is preparing my heart and I am letting Him lead. Growing in my faith and maturing to discern his voice in my life versus mine or the enemy.

    Having brothers in my life is essential, I am sure. But the boundaries and respect for my heart have got to be there. There is too much temptation for me, and probably for them.

    Songs of Solomon 8:4-Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

  15. Tim L

    Here’s some more insight:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtb7f_lcvkQ

    And by “insight,” I mean “I different take that might all be as serious as this discussion is.”

  16. kj

    If either are physically attracted to the other it won’t work. If neither are physically attracted to each other(or basically incompatible), it can work; I know of a guy and girl who are practically best friends. also, the girl is more rational, and the guy is more emotional/talkative(no, they aren’t gay)

    If a guy says he doesn’t like you, it’s true; this means in some way he is not attracted to you, no matter what levels of wonderful relational compatibility the women sees.

    time spent is huge, that’s why arranged marriages can work. I’ve worked with so many guys and it never fails that attractions develop, as long as there’s some reasonable compatibility and physical attraction.

    And, really, what kind of relationship is worth that much effort? to maintain some kind of guy girl thing if it’s going to be so difficult? I feel like it’d just be a situation where they both want to be married but haven’t foudn the one yet, so they both become really good friends. to get that masculine/feminine perspective(which is important) or maybe sooth their loneliness(instead of bringing it to Jesus) and then have to cut it off when either gets married because then they’d be cheating on their spouse. until the other person gets married, then they can be friends again, in couple world.
    (the previous guy girl friendship I mentioned where not Christians)

    there’s a reason why monks and nuns developed convents, because being opposite sex celibate friends becomes mental torture and does not allow them to lead a happy, spiritual life.

  17. Billi

    I agree with Dave and Joey completely. When I was younger and single I had plenty of friends of both sexes and often it worked well, but there were also many times that there were difficult feelings that needed to be address on one side or the other. Now, my male friends are my friends’ husbands. As a married person, I believe that you are setting yourself and your spouse up for disaster if you pursue a deeper friendship with someone of the opposite sex. My husband is my best friend and has been for nearly 20 years. I don’t need a deep relationship with anyone else of the opposite sex.

  18. Jeremy

    I haven’t read any of the comments (I have to go to bed in a minute. But I’ll read them later! :) But this post reminds me of a conversation from about a week ago, and I thought I’d briefly share.
    This exact question came up, and after several minutes, one of the women pointed out that we were starting to sound like Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory”. What she meant was that Sheldon always tries to find exactly how human interactions work, and the why, so that he can know exactly how everything will end up every time. He assumes there are precise formulas for every encounter, just as in science. And so we were also trying to do the same thing by trying to reduce every guy/girl encounter to a formula. The more I thought about it, I thought it was a very good observation by her. To give the absolute answer of “no” to this question implies that there is an exact formula to this; one that is impenetrable and applicable to every relationship in human history.

    So all of this to say that I think the answer is yes, there can be devout friendship between a single man and woman without the confusion of attraction. Beyond the reason I have just given, I guess I don’t have much beyond personal experience to back this up (though I’m guessing most are in the same spot). But when getting to know a few specific single women in my life, we have remained friends through some years now; wanting to share company regularly, and without ever needing to address the ever-obvious fact that neither of us were ever attracted to the other. In one case, it has been 11 years. I have always thought of her as the sister I’ve never had. And fortunately, her soon-to-be husband is a good guy, so I don’t have to beat him up. :)

    If I think of anything regarding the latter questions, I’ll write again. I look forward to reading through everyone’s thoughts.

  19. Joel Onyshuk

    Great question. I wrote a blog on this very question recently, and it was also commented on a lot like yours. People tend to really have varying opinions! :)

    I say “maybe.” There are three different ways that we become friends with anyone of the opposite sex. And depending on how and why, the answer may differ.

    http://jonyshuk.weebly.com/2/post/2012/06/can-men-and-women-just-be-friends.html?

    If you get around to reading it, let me know if you agree! :)

    – Joel Onyshuk

Add a Comment