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Could a man and a woman be "just" friends?

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Olga Olga | 11:59 UK time, Monday, 19 March 2012

Can it be possible or is it just one of the old myths? Are we able to believe and find ourselves in a non-sexual relationship between man and woman?

Personally, I think there isn't any "true" answer to this question. Everyone has different approach and experience regarding true friendship. A coin has always two sides, that is why one of the sides, he or she, will be probably interested in more than just a platonic relationship.

Have you ever heard a saying: "men are from Mars and women are from Venus". I think the catchphrase is commonly used for both genders to show and to explain basic difference in thinking, communication style or expression of feelings. Nowadays the difference between two sexes is winding up and is becoming more and more unclear. Generally speaking, women were considered for a long time as a weaker sex. In these days, females have become as active as males in many countries; taking part in elections and in social events or even they have appeared to be more competitive in "typical'' men's jobs or sports. This shows that a man might see in a woman not only an object of beauty and physical attraction but think of her as a "workmate" and good a "buddy".

As it was believed many years ago, a platonic relationship couldn't be possible between male and female. Most probably it would end soon or later in "crossing the sex line". Women have been seen as sexual objects and created to give birth to their offspring. On the contrary, men have been taught and conditioned to hunt for food and protect their family.

I think that we can't contradict ourselves or better to say our human nature. What happened with human attraction, lust and tension? In my opinion, those feelings are inseparable from us- "human beings" but can be fully controlled. A simple platonic hug can't be for "her/him" something more than a friendly cuddle. The basics of friendship are interest and confidence, not gender! What is worth to remember that woman and man should have the same crystal clear view regarding the matter in platonic relationship.

As far as I'm concerned, I think that the question about man's and woman's friendship still remains open. What do you think about it?

Thanks! And see you soon!


  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, I think a friendship between man and woman can be possible. I love my girlfriend, and we are only friend, no sex.

  • Comment number 2.

    If you're only friend she is not your girlfriend, is she? I don't mean to be rude, actually, I'm from Spain and I'm not very good at english. The point is that I thought that if you've got a girlfriend you are supposed to have some kind of special relationship with her, different from the other girls, which includes to have sex with her or, you know, at least kiss each other...

    In my opinion I think that a frienship relationship between man and woman is completly possible. However, I think that most of the times one of them crashes on the other sooner or later.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Olga

    Your question is pointing out an evergreen dilemma between the genders.

    I am quite sure everyone has a lot of personal experiences in this topic.
    As far as I am concerned I have never had a very close friendship with a man. But I have some nice male friends in our circle of friends.

    During the years at the university the friendships with other girls were very important personal connections for me such as going to parties together or chatting with them about girlish stuff. Those years are perfectly suitable to find our partner for life.
    Later when we are setting up our own family life with children some new obligations are created in the new situation. Searching and finding new friends among the persons on the contrary gender are not the most advisable thing to do but keeping friendly relations with others for example at the workplace without reference to gender is very good.
    I can consider myself as a very lucky woman because my husband can be regarded as a very best friend and a partner of mine at the same time.

    Have a sunny spring day for everyone.

    Krisztina from Hungary

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes. I think it's possible to be friends without sex, but for some people it's not easy .Fortunately nowadays the relationship among the people is diferent to another times , for example I have two friends they are gays but they are good people and our relationships run out from the respect each other.
    Please I don't speak english very well I¡m learning and you can correct all my mistakes
    Thanks I'm Santiago from spain

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, I don't think that a platonic friendship exists. To have a closed relationship, we must invest a lot of time. When We spend time together, with the human attraction, lust and tension, we'll easily waver.
    If you're simple friends, you don't take care a lot of each other, you don't mind if your friend has a girlfriend or boyfriend and it takes him/her so many time, this relationship can exist.
    But if you used to have your close friend all moment. you will be jealous!!!
    I had a close friend 5 years ago. We were so intimate that when people wanted to find one, they could call the other. But when he had a girlfriend, it finished. We are still friends but nothing like in the old days.
    On the contrary, i don't think that my present boyfriend can stand our unclear emotion ^^

  • Comment number 6.

    May or may not depend on what the other think about us. For example if you think of some person just friend but we don't really know that the other thought and it will be miserably end up. On the contrary if you love him so much but the guy just take you as friend that will also be sometime occurred. The best way is to have some trial period, to know that what he or she really think about us. Then there won't be any misunderstanding occurred.

  • Comment number 7.

    It varies from culture to culture. In western culture it might be possible, that a man and woman can have "platonic" relationship, but in eastern part of the globe, it has been seen as "Affairs" or "Romance" between them.

    Although, both start relationship as a friend; man as a sexual beast, on some stage, wants to quench his thirst, which in turns in sexual relationship.

  • Comment number 8.

    we can be friend all of us, and don´t have sex, it will be great anyways. One of my best friend is a woman and I have never had sex with her. I like your writing very much but I think in ourdays we are open mind and we don´t have to close our freedoom.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi, Olga.
    I think being able to have a friend with another sex depends on your personality. As for me, it is easier to communicate with men, their conversations are more substantial then women's one. Also I think it depends on the age. When you're a teen, you have a lot of friends of both sexes. In these ages your relationships don't connect with sexual desire, then it becomes more difficult to differentiate these things. In any case when you are getting married, you lose almost all friends, who has another sex, because men don't like to be in a supporting role and they hate competition.

  • Comment number 10.

    I don't believe a man and a woman can be just friends... I speak ( write ) for myself
    Because I desire to date all my women friends.
    I'm right it

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Olga,

    You've intelligently put forward a sensitive subject about the relations between men and women. I am sure every reader here has their own personal experiences on this. Though I am a male but I try not to be male-chauvinist and try to see women as equal as men. However, the world is gradually turning to a worse place to live, especially for women. Everyday I see newspapers filled with reports about crimes against women. It happens because there're plenty of men roaming around the street who consider women as material objects, just as a piece of meat. There're even some women who helps those men in their ill intentions. Anyway, this is totally a different issue and we must hope and expect that good education and proper laws can slowly eradicate such menace to women.

    Now, coming back to your original point of platonic love between a man and a woman, my feelings are quite mixed on this. I say, up to an extent, we can keep the relation platonic - however I am not certain on this. I'll tell you one of my personal experiences. Once I loved a girl madly, as madly as one can imagine, she was my colleague at work. But she never reciprocated my love, despite she met me and talked to me nicely. And, one day she got married to someone else and she left the job. I got broken. I cried. Though it took time, I realised she was not meant for me and I prayed all the happiness for her and decided not to meet her again in life. This all happened around seven years ago. After that I never saw her. This part of my life, I call 'pain of love'. I learnt how terribly it pains when the heart breaks. I just made it a point to call her once in a year, only on her birthday, but no e-mail, no text message, no facebook or twitter. Thankfully she has not changed her cell no. since the time I'd known her. She has now got a kid who's just started going to school. What would you call such a relationship - friendship or love. Even I don't know. Certain feelings express best when remain unanswered.

    Best Wishes,

  • Comment number 12.

    For me, men and women can be friends, it doesn't matter the sex, I actually have quite a few girl friends and they are only that, friends. I know that perphaps you can't be with someone from the opposite sex as good friend as you may be with someone of your same sex because you won't talk about the same things with each other but you can be friends anyway

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Olga.

    It's my first time here.

    I'm from Brazil and I think this question is an old dilemma. But, I think a frindship beteween men and women can be possible. Why not? I have female friends and we don't have sex.

  • Comment number 14.


    Sometimes we meet somebody and at once we know that nothing else will not connect us with that person like only the friendship, sometimes we know that the friendship can't be exist, because we want something more, simply the love... Some describe this emotional state chemistry, love at first sight, fascination... Anyway, whether somebody from us can determine love, probably not... We can speak courageously that if someone behaves strangely can be fall in love. It seems to me that nowadays in general difficult of the friendship, but if we have the happiness take care of it.

    At last my favourite season...

  • Comment number 15.

    This is reality without any physical relations man and women friendship can't go long, because God made women attractive for man and many women wants to appreciate their body from man, so both are responsible.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Olga and everyone,

    Thank you Olga for your interesting topic. I really enjoyed reading your post and all the comments from everyone here. I know there're a lot of different ideas about this topic from culture to culture. And even in the same culture, people in my parent's generation might think completely different from my opinion.

    I myself believe that we can maintain a good friendship even between man and woman in some cases. However it is difficult to being a friend when one of them has a special interest in another as some of you pointed out. Camaraderie between friends in opposite sex is possible only when both of them do not have an interest as a man or woman in another.

    For example, I have a friend in opposite sex at my workplace. We've been having lunch together every day since we joined the company at the same time. We've never gone out on a date together because we do not have such an interest in one another, but we talk about ourselves, things happend in our workplace and everything during lunch time for several years. We've been a very good friend, I believe. In this case, this is clear that we're just a friend.

    In another case, making friend with a person in opposite sex is difficult. Some guys want to see me as a girl even in a workplace though I'm not really interested in them in that way. In this case, I can not be a friend with them because they would expect more if I do so.

    So, if one think of making friend with a person in opposite sex, she/he have to share the feeling with another that they want to stay being friends. If it could be achieved, they can be friend regardless of gender.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hello Olga, well I think that it´s possibly to have a good friend male but fall in love with a friend that you spoke very litlle and then he became you´re boyfriend its a bad thing.
    I tell you this because its happens tome and I got really upset with the guy because he was selfish with his money , I always call him by phone , so finally I Finish that realationship. So for now I want only friends male and not relationship.

    Greetings from Mexico

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm extremely proud to share you in your opinion i thinks it is creative topics, let us go and makes the conversation more deeply , a relationship means tow persons or more switching each other a values either is spiritual values or ecnomical values whatever in this formulation we says this is a friends or not I have to go an explain some more If only i want to say women are injoiable and she had soft hurt that could makes relationship between men and women too easier .I have study with a lot of girls I feel pretty comfortable when I in relationship with them than men .

  • Comment number 19.

    I think it is possible only if each doesn't like the other physically.

  • Comment number 20.

    For me men and women can be a frends. I know some persones who are very nice frendship whithout sex!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    I think it's possible because you can decide whatever you do.You see your opposite sex whatever you want.If you want to be good friend with your friend,you can tell your everything and share a secret to him or her.It depends on you.Sometimes,you can face with turn of events but it's not always like that.Everything can possible like i said before.. :)

  • Comment number 22.

    hi ..
    unfortunatly in this days its difficult to find someone to be friend with him without asking you about sex or marrige also its depending according to persons but only i can say i hope that i find platonic relashinship to see eachother like brother and sister

  • Comment number 23.

    NO i think it is Impossible.because men and women are two opposite gender.there is no true friendship between these two gender because men only want friendship for sex and after sex they leave that female.that friendship are for sex its not good.but on the other hand if you marry that female so it become your wife now it also become your friend now you can share your ideas,problem anything you want because that friendship is not for any reason its a true relationship between husband and wife.so try relationship with your wife not any other female

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Olga!
    I have the right answer on your jigsaw puzzle!.(Talking on my own experience):
    After thirty four years of marriage I´m pretty sure that one men and one women turned out to be "just" friends.:)
    All the best,


  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Olga;
    Men's creation is exactly different women's creation. For example men like protection but women like trusting men. Men are mentally in spite of that women are emotionally. Although of course a woman and a man can be friendship out of sex. But there are some conditions for that. Firstly, both of them must be knowledgeable or cultured. In my opinion Each other must be faithful. Voltaire saids "I am an atheist, but people trust me to be faithful"


    Cibrili emin from Turkey.

  • Comment number 26.

    Anyway, friendship can develope into love.

  • Comment number 27.

    ...or love can develope into friendship.

  • Comment number 28.

    i agree with you, @nourakamara.
    friendship can develope into love then until married mybe..
    nice to meet you to all, i excited to learn english here. :)

  • Comment number 29.

    I can say in a few words :
    I heard that can be possible , but I have not seen it to be .
    Let us discuss this topic realistically, and away from the personal experiences, because we do not know the details surround them .
    In every man and woman, there is human instinct , I mean sexual attraction for each other that prevent them to be (just) friends without sex intercourse , or making out, or thinking of it at least .
    according a survey released in USA , the percentage of virgins before marriage is very low . What does this mean ? it means that friendship can not usually continue between m &w without thinking of love making , because sexuality is a part of human being .
    The relation (not friendship) between m & w can be, but under two conditions :
    - 1st : They must not to be a lone .
    -2nd : The contact must not exceed the limits of necessity , like working or education affairs .
    in summary, I say : platonic friendship is not found , or it is out of ordinary .
    Thank you for all .

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi Olga, this is a really interesting topic and it is important to everyone. As far as I concerned I think it is possible that men and women can have such a close friendship. Indeed, it may difficult to think that men and women only have such a “just” friend. People always think that men and women must have some special relationship to get along with, such a girlfriend, boyfriend, and even sex. However, I have some female friend and we are really “just” friends. I think that I can understand them by chat with them and learn more things from them.
    So, I think that if men and women can share their feeling with another easily. I am sure that we can be friends regardless of gender.

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes, I think a man and a woman can be “just” friends. It’s possible to be friends even without sex. Like me, I have many good male friends and we are really just friends.

    In our spare time, we would call and chat, simply just to update on our daily lives. If one of us has a new girlfriend/boyfriend, we would even introduce them to each other and get to know them! In order not to cause any misunderstandings, we would stop contacting each other that often so that our girlfriend/boyfriend won’t be worried about our relationships. However, this doesn’t affect our friendship at all because we can think for each other!

    To be honest, sometimes when I have something on my mind, I would choose to discuss with my male friends because I think opposite gender may have a different point of view. In addition, there are also some matters that I will turn to my male friends. For example, they carried me up and down the stairs when I had a broken leg from a car accident. I am really appreciated it. They are much stronger than girls and I am glad they are always willing to help me.

    All in all, I believe that everyone should have friends from both genders. In that way, our life can be more wonderful and meaningful!

  • Comment number 32.

    I think a man and a woman could be just friends. This is a gender equality society, traditional conception has been changed. Gradually, woman can do something that we thought only man could do before. Having friends mean I can discuss with other people. Because the women have different opinion on analyzing one matter, if I discuss with a woman friend, I perhaps could make a better decision. Therefore a man and a woman could be just friends.

  • Comment number 33.

    Hi Olga,
    In my opinion, I believe “platonic relationship” is real because I have some experience about my male friends and me.
    I have two close male friends in junior high school and senior high school life. First, when I was a junior high school student, we talked about anything by exchanging diary. In addition, we often encourage each other to pursue our dreams. Second, when I was a senior high school student, we always do anything together, such as reading, eating, participating in the competitions, and so on.
    It’s a very funny experience that these two male friends always are mistaken for my boyfriend. However, we are platonic relationship until now.
    Best Wishes,

  • Comment number 34.

    hi olga
    in my opinion, i think we have to realize that woman and man are different. But we don't need to talk more about that. We have to learn and teach our own that nobody is perfect. we always need each other. it likes when we have family, man and woman make a agreement to complete each other.
    like a quotation "life for learn, learn for life". :)

    dewa mas, Bali Indonesia

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi olga
    After reading your article, I totally agree with your aspect. I believe that platonic relationship does exist in nowadays. Since female and male become more even in nowadays, there is a possibility that women and men can be “just” friend rather than the stereotype that we are familiar. Moreover, I agree with you that the platonic relationship would end up in “crossing the sex line”. It probably is the most significant thing that we have to learn to control.
    Best regard

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi Olga,
    Well, to tell the truth i don`t believe in amiable relationships between men and women( Because, as it was pointed out sooner or later it grows into love, sex...etc. It`s because our way of thinking is quite diffrent. I`ve experienced it many times in my life. Mostly men approach women offering friendly relationships, of course, it`s not true. By "friendly" relationships they mean "i like you". Maybe it often happens in my country.... People just cannot resist the attraction, lust, beauty. there can be some exceptions, but they are too little, to my mind. In the end, i want to add that, this question is very interesting and exciting and it still keeps thinking..... but to my mind it refers to personal experience
    Ulyah from Azerbaijan

  • Comment number 37.

    Nowadays, friendship is hard to exist, even between same sex persons.So when a girl meets a boy ,they hardly believe to anything else but getting in love together, particularly when they 're single. Today for many persons, friendship is a waste of time.
    Meanwhile , i think that after failing love ,many people decide to keep their ex partner in love as friend...

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi Olga!I think friendship between women and men can be...Why not?And this kind of friendship is stronger,than between woman...As for me my friendship with girls always ended,and I always felt disappoitment,many of them betrayed me at all...Truly speaking I m afraid of becaming close friends with girls))Men have another understanding of friendship,and we can learn a lot from them!

  • Comment number 39.

    In our country, India, people see women and men friendship as love affairs. The people over here always believe that if a men and women having a chat then there must be something going on between the two. But I think, Yes, certainly Men and Women can be a great friend with out having physical relationship but one should have clean mind and heart.

  • Comment number 40.

    The basics of friendship are interest and confidence, not gender!

    I agree with you.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'ts all true. O.K. by rosy_67

  • Comment number 42.

    friendship in good manner

  • Comment number 43.

    I must say that you gathered up all the arguments and consequences of everyday situation.
    At the first glance I think we are very individual and what bad in a friendship of male and a female. But… There is a popular quotation of Oscar Wilde: “"Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” Don’t you agree?
    When you’re an adult, you have a family, a husband or a wife, what link can be between you and a man of another sex? I don’t take into a consideration the closest friends of your husband or wife. For me it’s another topic of discussion.
    Another point of view, when you’re young it’s more possible to have a friend. When I’m bringing back to a memory we were very sociable, all of us, were open to any friendship. And it was ok. Maybe there is a fact that the age of being studying (nearly 18-23) it’s like a period of finding of your second half. As deep I’ work in these theories of friendship as these things become complicated and inextricable. Even now, sitting in the office, looking at my colleague-friends-men, I realize that some of them feel a sympathy for me, some of them are being felt a sympathy by me. Only one colleague who I work with is my friend without any doubts, this friendship began with the common work, common goals and achieving good results in a work affairs. We can talk about his girls that he loves or likes or about my boys and people who I like, and it eases to understand the world of men. But anyway i don’t believe in a close friendship between people of different sexes. Maybe somebody have another experience, and persuade me in a contrary?


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