Just Friends

Can men and women ever really be "just friends"? A series of articles at Slate magazine this week explores the question from different angles. Today's feature highlights platonic relationships in Hollywood movies, which may or may not reflect real life. The most famous example is in When Harry Met Sally.
Are we supposed to believe that Harry and Sally were once satisfied with friendship, or that they always harbored romantic feelings? Option 2 seems more likely: Their friendship was actually a courtship all along. Like Harry and Sally's friends, the viewer expects and wants the couple to get together. And even first-time viewers with the most basic understanding of plotting must realize that, narratively, romance is inevitable.

The upshot is that truly platonic cross-sex friendships appear to be easier in real life than in Hollywood movies. Link

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I used to have what I thought were platonic friendships with the guys I worked with at various radio stations. I was married, so were some of them, and we had a lot in common with our profession -and spent a lot of time together. But as soon as I got a divorce, I found out that several of them were ready to swoop in on fresh meat.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I believe you. Guess it depends on the person. I am attracted to the fact that my girlfriend is my best friend and always have been. I don't think I could not be attracted to a woman I was having a great time being around.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Splint Chesthair, they say their feelings for me are just friendly. That's all I have to go on, and I believe them. There's one in particular with whom I'm very close. About once a week, when our schedules permit, the two of us go out to a local bar and drink beer for a few hours and talk about our lives and maybe watch a football or hockey game or something. Then we give each other a hug and she goes home to her boyfriend. He's also a friend of mine, incidentally, though I'm not as close with him as with her, and he absolutely knows where she is when we're out together. I'm not one for sneaking around.

In other words, yes, I'm talking about a good, close friend. Such friendships are rare between genders, but heck, they're rare within one gender too.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

Ok, so those female friends that you have no romantic feelings for, are you sure they feel the same way? If not, then it's not completely platonic.

I dunno, maybe my definition of friend is more intimate. I have a large group of acquaintances that I would, for example, invite to a large party, or invite out with a group and yes, there are females there that I can say I don't have romantic feelings for but I don't call them friends in my mind although I might say, "yes" if someone asked if they were my friend.

Friends are people I'm excited to hang out with even one on one and that make me laugh and that I have fun with. I can't see how I wouldn't be romantically attracted to those women. I just don't understand how could anyone not be?
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I've got female friends who are totally platonic, for whom I have no romantic/sexual feelings at all. Not many, to be honest, but some.

I've also got female friends toward whom I have both friendly feelings and sexual attraction, but I keep the attraction to myself for one reason or another (one of us is in a relationship, she's not into guys, she's made it clear that she's not interested, etc.). I think that's more common, but true platonic friendship is absolutely possible.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Email This Post to a Friend
"Just Friends"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More