“In her book ‘Relationships’, former college professor Dr. Pamela Reeve discusses three levels of friendships: acquaintances, companions and intimate friends. Dr. Reeve observes that men and women cannot sustain an intimate friendship without one or the other harboring romantic expectations. She recommends that men and women avoid being intimate friends outside of courtship and marriage.”
Hmmmmm….now this is an age old question that I have heard argued both ways over and over again. Most are familiar with the guy/girl ‘falling in love with his/her best friend after the best friend announces being in a serious relationship with someone else’ scenario that many movies such as Brown Sugar and My Best Friends’ Wedding have depicted. A guy and girl are really good friends and then the guy/girl tells the friend that he/she is in love with someone or getting married. All of a sudden, the guy/girl becomes jealous because he/she realizes he/she has feelings for this “friend” and has to decide what to do next!
I think that there is a thin line between platonic guy/girl “intimate friendships” and guy/girl “intimate friendships” that have some level of attraction. It all depends on many many things! A friend of mine stated an interesting point: “the friendship thing isn’t possible if they’re both a “certain type” (i.e. they fall into the category of people the other would date).” It may be a little difficult to just be friends with someone who has characteristics that you are looking for in a mate. On the flip side, wouldn’t it be absolutely wonderful to end up with your true friend? Those are the best relationships in my opinion!
My advice to guys and girls who are platonic friends and want it to stay that way is: 1. Be mindful of your ‘outings’ together. 2. Keep affection (verbal, physical, and otherwise) in check. 3. Be honest with one another.
So, can it be done? Yes! But, it will require mature effort on both parts.
Let me start off by saying that I completely disagree with Dr. Pamela Reeve’s statement that “men and women cannot sustain an intimate friendship without one or the other harboring romantic expectations”. Webster’s dictionary defines intimate as “marked by a warm friendship developing through long association.” That being said, I can say that I have sustained warm or comfortable friendships with women through long associations without harboring any romantic expectations. Now is it true that this does happen and friends do end up having feelings for each other? Yes it is. But it’s not always the case. She said it best; ”there is a thin line between platonic guy/girl “intimate friendships” and guy/girl “intimate friendships” that have some level of attraction”. The key phrase in this statement is ‘some level of attraction’. When that does exist, usually romantic expectations will occur. However if you both know that there isn’t any kind of attraction between ya’ll, then there is no problem. Though, this can be difficult to tell at times.
I just personally resent that when a man and woman are close friends, people automatically assume they are dating or courting. I have a few females friends that I am close with and have had to refute the fact that we were dating several times. I would think that opposite sexes being close friends would be more acceptable these days since more women tend to have more guy friends as a result of having female friend drama, etc. I agree with what Her said; great advice, just follow those 3 rules she mentioned and you should be fine….good luck!