Can men and women be just friends?

What science can tell us about sex.
ledgemoor
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Can men and women be just friends?

Postby ledgemoor » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:07 pm

I would be interested on ya'll's comments on this:

https://youtu.be/XsFJFfegkj4

A 10-minute video.

Thanks!
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby reillyj » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:30 pm

I think so but i think it isn't the norm for a man and a woman to become close friends and never enter the sexual arena and i think it is usually the man that would like for the relationship to move toward sex.

I have male friends that are both my and my husbands but i don't think i would nor desire, a male friend outside of him being also my husbands friend, i just wouldn't feel comfortable but then again that is speaking from a married woman's standpoint.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:51 pm

To answer the question, I say, yes.... but I wonder if "friend" may mean something different to different people. Some of my closest friends are men.

In response to the actual video, I did find it interesting that he mentioned how the relationships do face the sexual attraction, but they choose to work through it, rather than act on it. I don't know if I fully buy that is the truth of every opposite-sex friendship. I personally believe this is where the church culture has swung too far to one side on the pendulum, and have done a disservice to the body of Christ through hyper-vigilance.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby be64 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:56 pm

I have female friends that I see and talk to in public situations but I would never be in a situation where I was alone with one of them.

My son and I do Taekwondo and there are several women in the class that I am good friends with. I’m also friends with their husbands. We see each other two or three times a week in class and go out to eat together as a group after tests and tournaments. We even spar each other in class and at tests but again there is nothing romantic about it and we are never alone.

So I would say men and women can be just friends but being married I would not suggest doing anything alone with a member of the opposite sex.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby SteveS » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 am

I would say the definition of "friends" is really important. People you see at a Dojo and spar with may be frineds only in that setting, but that's as far as it goes. You might not go to them for advice say...or like SC mentionedI'm suprised the way they said people work through sexual attraction. For me (cause I failed at this in my marriage) if a woman ever told me she felt sexually attracted to me, Id run!...Fast! I can't be put in the position, I draw into that too much. I think being told that would make me feel more attracted to her than if I'd never heard that. It isn't all about looks for me.

Personally, I can have friendships with other woman, but only if my wife is very involved...i.e. I'm in the Navy and my Command Master Chief is a woman, and we are friends, but my wife is always making sure where the lines are.
I could not have the kind of frinedship they displayed in that video.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby MayDayGirl » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:40 am

In some ways, being married makes it easier to have opposite sex friends because you've already erased any expectation that it might turn into something more. I think everyone in the video was unmarried, though?

It would have been interesting if the couples had talked more about how they dealt with the attraction, rather than just admitting to it. Is it something they talked about early in the friendship? Did they have any 'ground rules'?

My feelings are that yes, you can be 'just friends.' However, as a single person, I always had the sexual aspect in the back of my mind, whether it was concern (I hope he doesn't really LIKE me) or the other end of starting to have romantic feelings even if I wasn't initially attracted to the person at first. I certainly wasn't mature enough in high school to ever bring it up to a male friend, but it got easier in college to acknowledge the attraction aloud, while also saying, "I think we're better off as friends" without hurting each other's feelings.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby Job29Man » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:03 am

I can be friends with a man and it can be private, alone, and even to the point of keeping secrets.

I cannot be friends with a female if it's private, alone, or about keeping secrets.

My friendship with a male would almost never stir jealousy in my wife. So it would seldom need my wife's approval.
My friendship with a female could very well stir jealousy, and it would be reasonable for her to object, and it would need her approval.

Both are friends, but the rules of friendship are very different with a MOTOS.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby be64 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:05 pm

Job29Man I agree with you completely.

However something that I think most of us don’t consider is the fact that a same sex friendship could also become sexual. There are a lot of married guys out there who have male lovers on the side. A closeted bisexual married friend could entice us to act inappropriately with them. We can’t just assume that just because our friends are of the same sex that everything will always be okay.

I say this in part because I do have gay male friends whom I’m sure would love to have me. I don’t spend time alone with them.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby neilethere » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:18 am

be64 you are so lucky ........ my gay mates tell me I am particularly unattractive.

If only because I am straight.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby smilemaker » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:45 am

From what I have seen in life, I would say the odds of a married person having an affair with a one-on-one friend of the opposite sex to be right around 50-50. So yes, I think it is possible for men and women to be just friends.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby be64 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:43 am

neilethere wrote:be64 you are so lucky ........ my gay mates tell me I am particularly unattractive.

If only because I am straight.


I’m frequently told I’m hot and get requests for me to send nude pictures. I don’t comply.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby poetess » Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:53 am

be64, unless they are very clearly joking when they ask you to send nude photos (that isn't a funny joke, by the way, but an inappropriate one), it would seem that these men are not people to have as friends, even if they are same-sex friends. By the time those boundaries are crossed in friendship, even same-sex friendship, it's time for that friendship to go. If it's someone you are helping out (not really a friend), that might be a different matter.

But to the question of whether men and women can be just friends, I would say "it depends." I think it's safer for single people, because if it does turn into romantic attraction, there is somewhere to go with it; you can legitimately date. But if you are married, your spouse needs to play a role or the friendship needs to be something very casual (someone you chat with when you see each other, but have no contact with between meetings of the club or whatever context you see each other). My husband talks very comfortably with women, and women seem to feel safe with him, so it isn't at all uncommon for me to find him chatting with a woman after church or in the grocery store, and it doesn't bring on any jealousy because it's a public venue. Sometimes I walk over and join the conversation, and sometimes I don't. We have invited single women or single men from church over for lunch, and neither of us thinks anything of it. But as a married woman I wouldn't go to lunch with a man who was a friend unless my husband was invited (as I did when I was single), nor would he go somewhere one on one.

I broke off one friendship with a man when I knew I was heading toward marriage with my husband. Another man, one who was "a family friend" (I knew his parents more than I knew him, but he and I occasionally went to lunch when he was in my town on business), I called him when we were getting married and told him, and we haven't talked since. But we never did talk on the phone, and I was moving out of town and we wouldn't have cause to see each other again. If he were to look me up in my new town, he and I and my husband would likely have a meal together (in our home or at a restaurant). If my husband said, "I don't want to come, but you could have lunch with him," I probably would. We're 20 years or more apart in age, and the "connection" is more that of family friends who have known the same people for 25 years. When we got together for a meal every year or so, we would "catch up" on what has happened in the lives of the people from that church, since neither of us attends there any longer (having moved to different cities). But even with that casual a connection, I would prefer to include my husband.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby doug-h » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:33 am

I think that before the question can be answered, other questions should be asked, because there are many different "levels" of friendship, ranging from buddy or acquaintance, all the way up to confidante.

As someone who has been guilty of an affair, I can tell you first hand that there are real risks involved, and that your boundaries might not be what you think they are.

In short, I don't think it is a simple yes or no question.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby Job29Man » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:26 am

be64,

I understand what you are saying about same-sex friendships, and of course that is the particularly insidious and destructive side of homosexuality, that it can take advantage of the much more lax rules of friendship and boundaries that characterize same-sex friendships.

Still I would not change the rules of same-sex friendships to make them more restrictive because of the evil practices of sexual deviants.
No more than I would change the rules of parent-child relationships because of the evil practices of incestuous deviants.

With a MOTOS friendship it very reasonable to assume, sometimes even presume, a sexual attraction, or the "risk" of a sexual attraction. So we need to have the "universal precautions" of never alone behind closed doors, not staying up late drinking together, not taking car trips together, etc. These "universal precautions" are reasonable, and it does not mean that we "suspect" anyone of impropriety, but that we do not risk the opportunity for normal, natural, understandable, non-deviant sexual attraction.

But with same-sex friendships they need to be free from the MOTOS "universal precautions." Men need to be free to spend hours in private behind closed doors with each other, discussing private things. Same for women. Two men need to be free to go driving, fishing, camping, hunting together. They need to be free to share a hotel room for a week. They can wrestle, and fight, and push and shove, and do different kinds of physical contact that would be wrong to do with a MOTOS. Unless of course you KNOW that the same-sex person is homosexual.

I know you are a dedicated gym-enthusiast and bodybuilder, so you do probably find yourself in the same room, sparsely clothed with homosexual men. There's definitely special precautions to be taken in that setting.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby poetess » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:50 pm

Here's a good new piece about men and women being friends and co-workers: https://factsandtrends.net/2018/04/20/w ... -together/
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby be64 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:46 pm

I’ll point out that the gay men I referenced are acquaintances not buddys. However I do have one really close friend from way back who is gay but he lives several states away so we don’t see each other in person. He was married for twenty years with children then divorced because as he told me “I am a gay man”. And yes there are gay men at my gym.

I only bought up the topic of gay friends to point out that it isn’t just opposite sex friendships that we need to be cautious of.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby Nova » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:25 pm

Aside from the whole question of “what is a friend,” I don’t have any compunctions about myself keeping female friends, or my wife having male friends.

Realistically, I can count the number of people I’d call “friend” on one hand. Once upon a time, I was much more liberal with the term, but then I went through a few periods of getting burned by people, and now I’m much more choose-y. There are plenty of people I can be friendly towards, but to me, “friend” implies a certain degree of trust that, in my life, only a handful of people have earned.
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby neilethere » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:51 pm

That is a good article, poetess.

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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby Job29Man » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Looks like all the friendships said that they had at least some attraction to each other, but that they managed it.
I wouldn't want to be in a friendship with a MOTOS where either one of us was "attracted" but "managing" the attraction. Seems like playing with fire ... "I can handle it." (yeah, right, maybe not)
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Re: Can men and women be just friends?

Postby SeekingChange » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:11 pm

I believe many can learn self-control, and as believers, we are all about learning to live by the Spirit and not the flesh. I don't see how in the average relationship/friendship, especially in mature adults, especially if they are Christians, why it isn't expected that they can handle themselves. It seems like it goes along the same attitude many get offended at, about how "all men have no self-control and lust after every woman out there."
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