Can men and women be friends?

That is a question asked by many, is it possible, or will sexuality always get in the way? And the answer is – unequivocally, absolutely, maybe. — Alright, so it’s a little murky, but then again so are human relations.

Well then, what are some of the factors, besides sex, that come into play in this equation of intersexual friendship. First off, besides sex, we have differing expectation of what a friend is, and often we are ignorant how to be friends with the other sex.

For example: let’s say you were a young man and basically your friends either played sports together, or did other physical activities together. Now, imagine a female friend, how do you relate to her, “Hey, want to play football?” Obviously, on the whole this would not be a wise approach.

OK, so how would you as a guy create a non-sexual friendship with a woman? Certainly it would not be by running away from this challenging situation; or by requiring her to behave like a man would. Ask her questions about what she thinks and feels. Ask her how she sees a friendship occurring with a man. Perhaps, both may learn about each other through this experience.

Then there may be sexual matters to lay aside, and I acknowledge this can sometimes be challenging. Ask yourself if the drive for sex is just your indiscriminate sex drive, or a true attraction to this person’s whole being. If it is not for the whole being then it is not about them. Handle this need in other ways, then be friends. If you truly are attracted to her, and she is not to you, back off. Give it space, remain friendly and communicate why you are pulling back. She will appreciate being honored by you being vulnerable and – you never know. The reverse would be true for women.

Often, a man’s sex drive is driven by sex being presented to young men as a needful thing, notches in one’s gun so to speak, the attainment of manhood. This has nothing to do with masculinity. It is simply machismo run rampant. And women are not door prizes. You will miss the human miracle they are if you see them this way. We all lose the possibility of true connection when we move into sexual materialism.

The answer to the question is yes; men and women can and should be friends. It is just there are some extra considerations that one needs to be conscious of.

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  1. Concetta Boisen

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