Can Guys & Girls Just Be Friends? – Deep Thought Of The Week
Of course guys and girls can be friends, but what about when that friendship grows passed the traditional to a closer relationship. Can guys and girls really become close friends without wanting or expecting something more? The short answer; it's complicated. There are many different kinds of relationships, each with different problems, complications, and expectations. In this weeks DTotW, I'll be breaking down the three most discussed guy/girl friendships and explaining why they work, and why they can fail.
1. The Independent Friendship
If a mutual friendship exists between a guy and a girl with neither party seeking something more, there can still be negative side effects. Even though there is no physical relationship, the emotional side that develops can deter both sides from seeking out and executing potential romantic relationships for many reasons.
A. While the friendship is safe and easy, building romantic relationships can be hard work. This hard work can allow one or both sides of the independent friendship to rely on their friend for companionship from the opposite sex without seeking out others. The friend fills the role of boyfriend/girlfriend in your life and can keep you from seeking others.
B. Having a close friend of the opposite sex could scare off potential romantic partners.
C. The friendship could become so valuable to both parties that they sabotage other potential relationships in their lives as to not negatively affect the friendship they've come to value so much.
Having an independent relationship with someone of the opposite sex can be a great thing. They can be your sounding board, help give you advice, and introduce you to potential romantic partners. The danger lies when the friendship begins to fill the void left from not having a boyfriend/girlfriend. The best way to counter this is with understanding, communication, and honesty with yourself.
2. The Friend Zone Friendship
I think everyone has been involved in a friend zone relationship at least once in their lives. These relationships are doomed to fail because both sides have different intentions and expectations for the friendship, meaning one side will always be unhappy or unsatisfied. These relationships can be agonizing for both the friend zone and the friend zoner for many reasons.
A. While waiting for a love to come around that likely never will, the party with the raised expectations could miss out on other relationship opportunities while waiting for the other party to come around.
B. On the other side, the object of the other's affections may not want to hurt or lose their valued, albeit misguided friend and will therefore submit themselves to situations, conversations, and activities they do not wish to be a part of and may send the wrong message to the other party.
C. The longer the charade is played out, the worse the eventual fall out will be.
The key to any relationship is communication. Each party must communicate their intentions from the start in order to avoid confusion, and be honest with themselves if the result is not what they want it to be. While we may like to believe we can continue to be friends with a person we have feelings for without it becoming a problem, the reality is that this is rarely the case. For the friendzoner, simply sending negative signals is not enough. When someone has it bad, they will always perceive positive vibes whether they exists or not. This creation of mixed signals will compound the already complicated unhealthy relationship.
In the end, the best result of this kind of relationship is for the person with the raised expectations to come clean and be honest about their intentions. If the result is negative, it is best to sever the friendship and move on. The distance created could help the other person to reevaluate the other person and see them in a different light, or at the very least allow both parties to move on in search of healthier relationships.
3. Friends With Benefits
The friends with benefits relationship has gotten a lot of attention recently from its presence in movies and TV shows. Seen as an exciting lifestyle, the friends with benefits relationship may look appealing, but is ultimately always doomed to fail miserably. The inherent problem lies within the biological differences between men and women. While men are sexually programmed spread their seed to increase chances of successful reproduction, women instead look for strong and healthy men who will produce offspring with the best chance of survival. Men play the numbers while women look for quality over quantity. This simple biological contradiction sets the stage for many potential conflicts.
A. Potential romantic partners outside of the friends with benefits arrangement may lose interest when they find out.
B. The relationship has a high risk of developing into a "Friend Zone" relationship, which will have problems compounded by both unmet expectations and the additional physical elements.
C. The FWB relationship could deter both parties desire to seek healthier romantic relationships.
In the end, the hardest part of a friends with benefits relationship is ending it. They become an addiction and often continue long after both parties find new relationships, potentially damaging those relationships and making going back to a traditional friendship difficult.
In closing, guys and girls can definitely be friends, as long as there is an open and honest communication about intentions and expectations. The trouble starts when people start lying to themselves.
Did you enjoy the Deep Thought of the Week? Have you ever been involved in an unhealthy friendship with a member of the opposite sex? Tell us about it in the comment section at the bottom, and make sure to click the "Like" button to share this deep thought with your friends. To check out last weeks Deep Thought, "Why Do Guys Fight In Bars" click here. And as always, the kiddie pool is nice, but the real fun goes down at the deep end.