Welcome to the biggest cliché in history, can men and women really just be friends? It’s a question that men and women alike have been wondering for ages. Today, men and women intermingle in various circles that were gender specific in the past. But with the media constantly showing male/female friendships evolving into romantic relationships, many are convinced that a long-term, truly platonic friendship between individuals of the opposite sex just isn’t possible. It’s definitely possible, but the key is to have boundaries established from the beginning.
1. Determine how you both feel
Do you find yourself fantasizing about a relationship with him or her? Do they seem romantically inclined towards you? Are they better suited as a friend or significant other? These are some of the questions you have to ask yourself.
2. Define your friendship as a friendship from the start.
Communication is key! There’s definitely a period in most opposite sex friendships when you question whether or not you should be more. Both of you must want a strictly platonic friendship and understand that’s all it will ever be.
If your in a relationship let your partner know about your friend asap. Any insecurities or trust issues might be magnified by a cross-gender relationship, especially if the friend is attractive. Get to know the friend. By becoming friends the jealousy and doubts will vanish.
4. Minimize sexual tension
Don’t be too “touchy feely” with him/her, especially if you’re in a relationship. It’s possible to make physical contact without inciting physical attraction, but hormones play tricks on us. Don’t give those hormones a chance of confuse your status as friends.
Now, we’re not oblivious to the possibility that you and your friend could develop deeper feelings after a long, platonic friendship. Resolving whether to act on those feelings requires honesty from both sides. And it doesn’t mean you were never platonic friends. It just means the friendship has changed, like we all do. React to the new feelings in a way that preserves the friendship and makes you both happy.
The reality is, as long as you have the tools above you are more than capable of maintaining a STRICTLY platonic friendship with the opposite sex on your own terms. Which in our opinion are some of the best, insightful friendships to have!