Day 45 Question 45

Day 45 Question 45:

Can men and women be JUST friends?/Can men and women go back to being friends after dating/a relationship?

I just finished meditating.  I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each.  I have made this part of my daily routine and have found the benefits of it to be amazing so far and I believe the more I practice the more benefits I will feel/see.  I am rambling about this because I should be focused on my Grad school work but whenever I come out of meditation I always feel creative and inspired.  The thoughts come rushing into my head.  There is something I must share that I found interesting this morning (yes, it is off the topic of the question but I am getting there I promise).  This morning I got on the scale and it showed that I had put on a couple of pounds.  Under normal circumstances in the past I would freak out.  I would obsess over it in my mind and I would start feeling completely down on myself.  After I stepped off the scale I shrugged my shoulders and said to myself, ‘Well you know what you have to do.  A little more time at the gym and focus more on healthier eating.”  I realized I am currently experiencing that fun time of the month (sorry to share boys) and at that time I always weigh heavier.  I accepted and moved forward.  I realized that the meditation I have been doing is easing me a great deal.  In a weird way, meditation is helping me to re-prioritize.  This blog I believe becomes truer and truer day by day because I am able to open up more due to the lessening of stress I feel.

Anyhooooo, there wasn’t a significant point to that rambling except for my wanting to share.  I believe feeling good can be infectious so I guess part of me wanted to put it out there.  As far as the above question goes…hmmmmm…..well it is an age old one that is for sure.  Can men and women be friends?  Can men and women go back to being friends after dating/being in a relationship?  Honestly, I really don’t know.  I think most people would say yes but I am unsure.

In regards to men and women being just friends I do think it is possible.  I also think though that a lot is dependent on the type of relationship the two people have.  If a male and female spend a lot of time together, doing various things (watching games, going to bars, going to the beach, etc) I do believe at some point there is a solid chance that one will become attracted to the other.  A part of me feels that we are built in a way that either draws us closer to someone of the opposite sex or pushes us further away (either because we aren’t attracted to them or because we are and we know it will never happen so we abandon the situation).  There are very few guys in my life that I would consider close friends that at some point I did not feel an attraction to at some point.  I have a male roommate and I do look at him as a close friend (and if he read this or his mom read it by chance I would probably want to crawl in a hole and die) but when we first met and became roommates I admit that the thought did ponder my mind about a romantic or intimate relationship.  I felt attracted to him but was unsure of what my feelings really were.  I pushed the thought out of my head and I still have remained friends with him (the thought of being with him in any physical or romantic way now is not even a possibility) but at that time I realized I needed to keep my life separate in certain ways from his.  I needed to focus more on me in order to not get all wrapped up in that kind of situations.  So, yes, we are friends but there are boundaries I make sure to never cross.   I guess what I am saying is that men and women can be friends but it usually goes along with more rules and regulations.

  I can’t believe I am going to admit this (thank goodness I do not use names) but at one time, probably a year and a half back, I had a male friend that I would go to happy hour with and just chill with from time to time.  It sounds kind of mean but he was kind of the guy I went to when nothing else was going on and I was itching to get out of the house.  This guy is nice but we would not be compatible in the least.  He is your stereotypical engineer nerd (yes he even says that about himself) and our personalities are soooooo extremely different.  I am bubbly and silly and loud and he is more analytical and “know it all”.  We are not a match even a little bit.  Our personalities worked together in certain situations.  One night my old roommate and I had a party and I admit that the alcohol was flowing.  In a mere moment I found myself attracted to him.  The thought of him being snuggled up to me in bed entered my mind.  The next day I was in complete denial that I ever felt that.  I kept telling myself that thought could not have possibly entered my mind.  I know to this day I would never want to be with him but for a minute (or maybe for more than a minute and a few drinks) I felt it.  I am telling you this because I believe at some point or another, if a man or a woman has a friend of the opposite sex there will come a time they will find themselves attracted to them.  I guess what matters the most is how that person reacts to that feeling.  I believe 100% at some point or another my roommate considered me in some way or another.  I am sure it was just a passing thought but I guarantee it was there.  The good thing about us is that there is not a chance we would act on it because we have seen each other so much and know each other so well now that any attraction or romantic/physical possibilities has ceased.  I feel like I keep contradicting my answer.  See why I said I don’t know.  :0)

What I do know (well what I believe, I can’t really say know) is that men and women being friends after dating/a relationship is very rare.  The chances of a long-term successful friendship after being involved is slim to none.  I believe that it is a form of regression if people try to be friends after being romantically involved.  Obviously, if two people have been romantically involved then there is attraction there.  Attraction doesn’t simply go away.  If it does go away then I believe that there is a good chance you don’t even want to be around that person anymore.  I think people need time to heal and explore themselves and potentially meet someone else when the time is right and maybe after enough time has passes then two people that have been romantically involved may be able to become friends again but I still have doubts about it.  The last guy that I dated and I tried it and it took very little time to realize it was not going to work.  He ended us being romantically involved because he had far too much on his plate too deal with (going through a divorce, blood disorder, getting his house back in order, etc.).  A little time passed and I asked him to dinner (our birthdays were only a week apart so I thought we could go out to celebrate).  I said ahead of time that I would like to be friends with him and keep him in my life but as I sat there with him it hit me hard that it could never happen.  It sounds pretty intense but it had to be all or nothing for me.  Friendship was not an option because I was too drawn to him romantically and physically and the idea of him being with another girl just tore me up.  There was no way I could accept that.  He said he believed he would seek me out after all was said and done with his divorce and who knows if that day will ever come but I realized that keeping him in my life right now was not going to be healthy for me…and most likely not for him either.  I knew deep down that I would be constantly hoping that things would take a turn and he would realize that I was truly what he wanted and he would forget everything else and just dive in.  I finally stopped dreaming and realized I could not live like that.  So, through my experiences, and in my opinion, I do not think it is healthy for two people to “try” and remain friends after a break up.  I am not implying they should be arch enemies by any means but I do think that people need their space and time away from each other to regain their independence and their individuality.  During those times is when you realize what is truly important to you and if a relationship ends like that then long-term was never meant to be.  I may be a die-hard romantic and a dreamer but I truly believe that when it is right it is right…there won’t be a whole bunch of breaking up and getting back together, there won’t be the question of whether to date other people, there won’t be an issue of timing.  When it is right, in my opinion, there are no questions and no doubts.  A friendship later could be possible but I think initially is not the right time.

What do you think?

This entry was posted in Inspiration, Life, Love, Philosophy, random thoughts, Thoughts, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Day 45 Question 45

  1. Great post, I especially liked your reasoning at the end, and couldn’t agree more. Also, the video at the end is hilarious.

    • Diane :0) says:

      Thank you very kindly sir :0) I fond it vert interesting that all girls said yes but all boys said no. Hmmmmmm

    • Diane :0) says:

      Thank you very kindly sir :0) I found the video so interesting because all girls said yes but all boys said no. :0) Thanks for checking it out :0)

  2. alisha78 says:

    Interesting post/question. I completely disagree though. I disagree based on my own personal experiences. I dated and fell in love with a guy… thought I was going to marry him… he went away for two years… got married & divorced. We met up again about 5 yrs later… we are good friends. We are both married (to separate people haha) and each have children. My husband actually lived with him prior to us getting married. It’s possible. Each person needs to be able to realize they were not meant to be together. Once you realize that then you can move on and be friends. Another ex of mine – went to his wedding. Another ex (thought I was going to marry him too haha)… my husband and I play on the same softball team – his wife too. I had another guy break up with me and start dating my friend the next day… that was hard. We were on again off again too… then I had this moment of “well, it COULD work”… I never wanted a COULD answer. I’m married to the right person now. I met him 10 years ago and it took us 5 years after meeting to date and get married…
    Being friends with an ex is possible if there is closure. The kind of closure that says: I’m not meant to be with you, or I do not want to date you. Blunt to the point closure. Not “I just don’t want to be in a relationship right now” closure. That person then walks away thinking “so you’re saying there’s a chance”.

    • alisha78 says:

      Haha. I should have pointed out that I disagree with the second question not the first question. I agree that it is very difficult to be just friends. There is always an attraction that will lead you to people and become friends… most relationships with the opposite gender start out this way…

  3. Regarding being friends after a relationship, I think it depends on how much of a relationship you had. If you only dated a few times then realized that you’re better off just being friends, I think that works fine. One of my better female friends became so that way. If you were deeply involved, doubt that it’s going to work. Unless the end of the relationship is totally mutual (and it rarely is), someone is likely to be hurt and probably not going to make the best friend.

  4. granbee says:

    Guess what? I am very good friends with my ex-husband, with whom I raised my children! We are together on anything important involving our adult children–and his present wife really likes me and isvery easy to get along with. I think the difference between my experience, and yours, is that you are much younger and the horomones play a stronger role in any relatinoships at your age. I LOVE being a little older! I feel there are more options open now. And meditation is definitely a practice you will want to keep all your life. I am so pleased to read about the postiives in your attitude towards yourself due to meditation.

  5. Men and women can be just friends but it seems to work best if both of them are in committed relationships with other people. If you werent attracted to the other person in at least some way then you wouldnt want to spend time with them. The key to intermingling the sexes is to compartmentalize and seperate the need for companionship and emotional initmacy not romantic relations. I have a number of female friends that dont have romantic desires for me nor i for them. Having a relationship with another requires some form of emotional intimacy, but to seperate emotional intimacy and romantic inclination is necessary to maintain the friendship. I have a very close friend who is very atractive, and she find me attractive also (we’ve discussed this very topic) yet we choose to have emotional intimacy outside of romantic relations. Attraction does not necesitate romantic relations, it is a choice of escalation.

  6. Humans are wired to be attracted to one another, so a heterosexual male and heterosexual female will, at some point, at least take a moment to weigh how much each is attracted to the other and what the odds are of a partnership.

    If it turns out that you appreciate one another well enough to become close friends, chances are, you find enough redeeming qualities in them that, given the right circumstances, a deeper relationship would be worth a try.

    I think women are more likely than men to say it’s possible to be “just friends” and men aren’t partly because women are encouraged to be picky, whereas men are encouraged to consider every female an option. Then we get the well known “friend zone” situation happening.

    Personally, I definitely have very close male friends who I’ve been attracted to, even been involved with, and no longer am. I also have somewhat close male friends who I have never, ever been attracted to, but who I’ve imagined myself turning to “in desperation” when craving some evening company. Yeah, they’re “friend zoned,” unfortunately.

  7. ~Robin~ says:

    I really like the way that you went about this question – it’s not an easy one. My whole life I’ve had more guy friends then girl friends, but now and then there has been attraction that’s come along and messed things up.

  8. candienziia says:

    Thanks for following me! I’d also like to say that I have and have always had many male friends. I have a tendency to collect ex boyfriends and I know that about 90% of my male friends would sleep with me if I was willing. However, there are plenty whom I am not and never was attracted to. So I’m not sure what exactly that means, but sexual attraction doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be pining away for your friend and sexual involvement doesn’t have to destroy future hopes for friendships. If anything, I think it’s a lot easier to trust someone and keep them as a loyal, long-term friend after you’ve seen each other naked. But, that may just be me.

  9. The Old Heave Ho says:

    Totally agree with what you have posted here! And I so want to be a meditater (is that a word?) … how did you make yourself start? (if there is any other way besides just making a priority 😀 )

    • Diane :0) says:

      An old friend of mine told me about Transcendental Meditation and I started doing research on it. It is a 4 day course with monthly followups. If you get a chance check out http://www.tm.org That is the official website. I have been loving it :0)

  10. I like what Robin said. Although I am married now, the male friends I have are the ones I was good friends with prior. Nicely written post.

  11. Huw Hopkins says:

    I have many good friends who are women, in fact I’d say the majority of the friends I can count as true friends are women. At each period in that friendship I have probably thought about hooking up with them, but I think all men do at the beginning. Down the line those sexual feelings begin to fade and you can feel the friendship blossoming. I do think its harder for guys to be ‘just friends’ at the beginning but guys that learn to appreciate their girl-friends better than perhaps girls do toward the end because they’ve had to overcome so much to be their friend. Conducting a poll like that in a university is an interesting exercise but the pool of examples should have been spread across different generations.

  12. Robert says:

    Excellent post and a very cool idea to answer questions in this format. I look forward to reading more.

  13. Anthony W Daniell says:

    Good one well done.

  14. hettyfrancis says:

    Hey Diane, I’ve only just discovered your blog after you kindly read mine. You made me think a lot about the question of male/female friendships…it’s raw for me as I have just been through that exact situation…dating then friends. Not nice. I shall endevour to keep reading, thank you!!

  15. As the video suggests, a guy would expect a friendship to lead somewhere, whereas a girl would be content to remain friends, even if she knew the guy was attracted to her. Being friends is especially difficult after two people have been in a relationship; after having shared so much about yourself with another person, it’s often much easier to cut all ties with that person completely than to try to regress to relating to them in a Platonic way.

    I love the quote you included at the top, too. If I could “like” this post more than once, I totally would.

  16. Love your blog, so insightful. I absolutely think that men and women can be friends. I have three very close male friends. I made sure my husband met all three of them when we started dating. My husband is confident in our relationship so it has never bothered him. If he ever felt uncomfortable I would respect his wishes and not continue the friendships.

  17. Your experience that you shared near the end of the blog really hit the nail on the head for me. I was/am going through the exact same thing right now. What makes it harder is that this man is too ingrained in my life to simply drop the friendship. When there is a one sided attraction in a friendship, it hurts. Repression definitely occurs, as well as denial of this repression. I think the biggest question that plagues me is the “why.” Or a better translation: “Why am i not good enough?” It takes a toll on self-confidence. But this post is inspiring, and I can definitely relate. One thing I have definitely learned it to separate oneself and really focusing on the self. Than hopefully, I will be emotionally independent once again.

  18. Coffeeholic says:

    I think it depends on whether the question of possibilities is still open or has been closed between the two people at question.

    If two people split and then at some point become settled with other people, knowing there is no possibilities between them, then friendship becomes unobstructed. But if a possibility is open for at least one of them, then the “what if” is usually too difficult to navigate and most find it easier to break the relationship entirely and simply do without that person in their life.

  19. I have a theory about this. Men and women can be in a strictly platonic relationship under two circumstances. First, if both parties are completely repulsed by each other. I don’t mean mentally, I mean physically. Maybe even partially mentally, but not to the point where two people are constantly at odds. And next, if two people are very attracted to each other mentally, maybe a little physically, but not entirely physically. The catch with that one is that there has to be a circumstance where they are completely forbidden to be in a romantic relationship. For instance, one of them is very happily married. Or both are very happily married. Or, it would be extremely socially taboo to have a relationship. I mean, something that you can’t come back from, like destroying your own family by stealing your sister’s husband or something of the such.

    Now, about the relationships part. Two people can only remain friends after a relationship if there was nothing messy about the relationship, like no lasting damage. I’m not talking like best friends, but someone you can stomach seeing at social gathering from time to time and not have to avoid each other. I have an ex that I dated for only six months. We split amicably, and we both have had many relationships since. If I were to call him today and ask if he wanted to stop by to say hi to the family, he would likely take me up on the offer. We weren’t bad for each other. We weren’t good for each other either. Essentially, we were two friends who went out, had fun, and had sex a few times in that period of time. The end. LOL.

    • Diane :0) says:

      This is going to sound silly but after reading your response here I immediately thought, “I would totally be friends with this girl.” :0)

      • And the literal words that came out of my mouth when I read your response was “Ha ha ha!” I’m glad you liked it. I have a ton of male friends. It’s always been that way. One of my long time guy friends brought his friend over to meet me. After hours of pow-wowing around my kitchen table, the new friend (kind of a womanizer) said, “You know, you are the first woman that I am not even remotely attracted to that I’d actually want to be around.” I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or offended. But, we’re good friends now. Truth be told, most of my male friends are on my bottom 25 list – the last 25 people I’d sleep with if I had to propegate the species after complete global disaster. Lol.

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