I have come back again to that age old question of whether men and women can sustain successful platonic relationships. I was hoping that perhaps times have changed and that current research might point to it finally being possible to be just friends. Yet, after spending some time on the internet I came away disappointed.
Much of the research finds that it rarely works because one person usually ends up wanting to be more than friends at some point in the relationship. If that desire is reciprocated, then the platonic morphs into the romantic. If it isn’t reciprocated, or romance just isn’t possible for one reason or another, someone ends up dissatisfied by the lack of return on their investment.
This is depressing news. Where does that leave men who have no mothers or sisters in their lives? Where does that leave women who don’t have fathers or brothers they can talk to? Does it restrict them to having only same-sex friendships, ruling out half the population of humanity?
Some say yes. Others say a platonic relationship might be possible, but only if neither person is attracted to the other. Yet, how would they even become friends if nothing drew them together? Why does it have to be all or nothing?
Despite the odds, I am holding onto the hope that while it may not be probable, it may still be possible. That is why I like to watch television shows and movies that portray men and women pulling off the “just friends” thing. I want it to be possible and so I watch pretend scenarios where it is possible.
Then, I go out into the world and make the most of the interactions that I do have with my male colleagues, associates and acquaintances. Maybe that is all I can expect. But it is certainly not all I can hope for.