Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can men and women be friends?

1st thought that runs through my head: of course.

Now... watch this:

Then I continue with my thought, "Of course they can just be friends. They just took a lot of interviews and cropped them to make the audience view this statement how they want them to." When confronted about how predictable my response was to the video because I'm a woman, I thought about it and said, "No... I really believe it!" The first person I thought of to use as an example was a co-worker I am good friends with and completely open and honest with about everything... and then I had to re-think about that friendship and came to the conclusion it doesn't count... because he's gay. Can men and women really not be friends?

I decided to begin interviewing. First I began interviewing the people I work with. Considering they're all guys... I was really interested to hear their opinions. I asked them a few questions. 1. Can men and women be friends? 2. Do you consider us friends? Work friends? Or not friends at all? Here are the results...

Opinion #1: No... no they can't. And a friend is someone you've hung out with outside of work. And it doesn't count if one of the two are in a relationship. You're a work friend, which is different, because I don't consider work friends, friends. (I felt a stab in the back with that harsh statement!)

Opinion #2: Yes... but 90% of the time, no. We're friends, but most of the time for other people it's not that way. (Ok, I'm beginning to warm up to this way of thinking...)

Opinion #3: Yes. I agree with opinion #2.

Opinion #4: Yes. And I consider you work friends, but note that I do see you more than my family and close friends, so... (yeah, that was my boss. I felt special. He specifically told me not to get mushy though.)

Opinion #5: Yes. (Long discussion, can you tell?)

Opinion #6: What is a definition of friend? Because, if one of the two is fantasizing about the other, then no... but the other person doesn't know, yet they're still friends. You can't eliminate that sexual tension, especially if the two are single... even if it's in the back of your head.

Opinion #7: Yes, IF the girl is ugly. (My personal favorite.)

Opinion #8: (Random girl checking in book that I asked) No. I didn't know that my best friend growing up was totally in love with me, so... nope. (Come on girl, you're not helping my case here!)

Opinion #9: Yes. Wait... why wouldn't they be?

Opinion #10: No. Unless, not to sound like a douche, but unless there's no attraction. Then yes.

Opinion #9: (after hearing opinion #10) Oh... ok. Yeah, Kelsy, I think this might create a problem between us.

Is it possible that men and women can't be friends, no matter how little the interest may be? Over the process of these interviews I've heard a lot of different opinions, which has caused me to reflect over this question. Why do I believe they can be? Am I in denial? Is this just a protective cover that I (or we as women) put up when in reality we know that every time we meet someone of the opposite sex we judge their character or their looks or whether or not something someday we could possibly date them? Is it just to save face? Do we deny the sexual tension that lies in between the sexes, even if the guy is a total douche? (OK, that one I can answer... YES.) These are all questions that have been raised during my informal research... and came to a surprising conclusion. (Surprising because I felt so strongly about my first opinion... but as I spell it out, nope, not surprising.)

This is the result that I came to, after hearing opinions (from mostly men): Men and Women, 90% of the time, cannot be friends (the other 10% is when the other person may not be attracted to that particular sex... as well as if BOTH parties are not attracted to each other). I have this handicap: when I am around a guy I'm interested in, I become a total idiot and become a stupid girl rather than the really cool girl that I am (yeah, I just said that. What of it?) Too often, I'm that really cool girl around guys I'm not interested in and they take my totally awesome personality the wrong way.

So after a week of questioning, pondering, and debating with my inner self... I came to this conclusion based on answers primarily from the male sex:

Men and women CAN be friends!

I'm a girl and I will always believe that men and women can be friends. While I think that we can, most of the time it isn't mutual... because men don't think like women. I will continue to say that I consider many of my male friends JUST friends... but I can't always say that's mutual. Like my friend Kim said, "This has made me question a lot of my male friendships... So, do I even have male friends?? Have all my male friendships been lies??"

For me, I believe fully that men and women can be friends. Men might not have the same viewpoint, but my viewpoint is the only one that matters to me. 


  1. The reason you think they can be just friends is because THEY CAN and you've seen it. Travis, Johnny, Jack, Enchaladas...girls and guys can be just friends- but just like any friendship, it just takes the right two people to click in a particular way. It's hard to find good girl friends, why wouldn't it be just as hard to find good guy friends.

  2. Gordon B Hinckley said, when talking about "bridling our passions", that sexual desire is actually one of the most powerful human instincts and that only the will to live POSSIBLY exceeds it. This proves why it may be difficult to just be friends with someone. God put this desire in all of us for a reason so we could follow through with his plan, get married and bring children into the world. Let us not forget though that we are all brothers and sisters anyway. Therefore, im sure He also placed the ability in all of us to be brothers and sisters to each other. To love and serve one another; to help make the kingdom of God stronger here on Earth and help us all return to Him.
    What happens when someone gets married? Does that mean that their sexual desire for other people other than their spouse stops completely? Absolutely not. It wouldn't be human. What happens is we "bridle" these passions and have them only for the person we married because of our love and understanding of that person and life. Of course this isn't the case in all situations, looking at the divorce rate. But there is something that happens in most of us when we become involved with someone, married or single relationship. We tend to "reserve" or "lock" our feelings for other people that we are "friends" with or new people we meet.
    Men and Women can absolutely be friends if they are constantly striving to live a Christ-like life, serve others, and work on getting back Home worthy.

  3. There are so many people in the world (or even just at USU) who are all unique individuals, that obviously there's no viewpoint on this subject that applies universally. But I agree that, generally speaking, heterosexual males in the age range of those in the video are unlikely to become good friends with women they would not be interested in dating given the right set of circumstances. (As I've moved into my 30s, I don't relate as much to what the guys in the video were saying, but in my early- and mid-twenties I would've answered just like they did.)

    However, along the lines of the above comment, I think a more important question than that asked by the video is: "Can men and women have true, sincere friendships while harboring some level of not-acted-upon physical attraction? And I confidently answer "yes" to that (poorly worded) question.

    Have you seen this? Good times.