27 Dresses, 13 Going on 30 and My Best Friend’s Wedding are more than just popular movies. What do all they all have in common?
Solid, undeniable proof: men and women can’t be just friends.
It is possible that some people have had a best friend of the opposite gender. Maybe they are still best friends, possibly one of the best friends they have ever had.
Women may claim that they like being friends with men because there is less drama. Whereas men might claim they’re just easier to get along with.
So is it true? Can a man and a woman be just friends?
“It all depends on their maturity level,” said Tracy Warnock, a marriage and family therapist. “It is possible, but in today’s society, maturation is not where it’s supposed to be. Friendships like that normally end because one of them gets a boyfriend or a girlfriend who is jealous and it’s over.”
Katie Schoonover, a researcher from Clemson University, calls these types of relationships cross-sex friendships.
In a 2011 video posted on YouTube, Patrick Romero wanders the Utah State University campus asking a variety of men and women if they think men and women can be just friends.
In the video, the women said they felt that men and women can be just friends while men tended to think that they could not.
While women are content being just friends, if a man finds his friend who is a girl attractive, it would not be out of the question to become more than friends.
The University of Wisconsin brought together 88 pairs of cross-sex friendships and asked them a variety of questions regarding their feelings toward one another.
They concluded that while women were generally not attracted to their male friends, men had more romantic feelings for their lady counterparts, according to The Art of Manliness, a website dedicated to help readers become a better generation of men.
“Thus, the study suggests that women generally think that guys and gals can ‘just be friends,’ while men are secretly hoping there’s a chance their relationships with their female friends can be something more,” according to The Art of Manliness. “Basically, this study gives us the scientific explanation for the ‘friend zone.’”
But is having cross-sex friendships necessarily a bad thing? Cross-sex friendships can turn into the most solid relationships and marriages. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to stop being just friends.
“Yes, I think men and women can be just friends,” said Ty Burgener, a sophomore studying exercise physiology. “But if I find myself interested in her, it’s a lot harder. So I’m mostly friends with girls I’m not interested in so I don’t have that problem. It’s my motivation to stay out of the friend zone. The only problem with that is if I asked any of the girls I’m friends with on a date, they would most definitely say yes.”
As far as the studies go, having a successful cross-sex friendship really depends on the couple and the person.
As far as the movies go, Katherine Heigl and James Marsden, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney all teach us a valuable lesson. It’s impossible for men and women to be just friends.