I’ve always believed that men and women can be friends, mainly because I’ve drunkenly made out with at least half of my guy friends. The sexual tension is definitely there, and if you claim you have a platonic male friendship without it, you’re wrong. I think of it more as a tool that makes the friendship more interesting, rather than an awkward deficit that will one day blow up in your face and run your relationship into the ground.
A research study out of the University of Wisconsin is suggesting that it’s actually impossible for men and women to be just friends. The study analyzed 88 pairs of cross-sex friends and had them individually answer questions about their romantic intentions within the friendship. They found a couple things. The first is that the friend zone is real, because the women were generally not attracted to their male friends, while the men had stronger romantic feelings towards the women. The second is that each misinterpret the other’s intentions; the women think that men are just being friendly through kind gestures, while the men think the women’s actions are romantic gestures. The third is that as each friendship progresses, the overall satisfaction of the pair decreases as at least one person will most likely begin to feel dissatisfied with the platonic nature of the relationship.
In short, someone will always catch the feels. Which you might think is ridiculous, until you remember the hundreds of guys for whom you caught the feels. Even when you start by saying, “He’s just a friend,” you’ll eventually move towards, “We’re just hooking up,” and eventually, “I wonder what my monogram will look like with his last name in the mix.”
I’m sure this will strike a chord with many of you who feel that you have genuine guy friends, and I don’t mean to disprove that. I’m just explaining the evidence of a study, which may or may not relate to you. Maybe you two really are just friends. Maybe you’re friends now, but you’re eventually going to realize you love him. Or maybe he’s been in love with you for years and you’re too oblivious to notice.
Whatever the case, science has spoken, and it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. .
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