FriendshipSelf

Can Straight People Really Be “Just Friends”?

As a heterosexual lady, I firmly think heterosexual men and women can be “just buddies.” I have also dated, made out with, or had passionate or sexual ideas about the large majority of my male friends (and, by different pals’ admission, been thought of in that method). I’m no mathematics significant, but even I can see something here does not calculate. After a healthy dispute at Greatist head office, we decided to let science answer the concern once and for all. Can heterosexual men and women truly be “just buddies?”.
Sex Has (a Lot) to Do With It: The Need-to-Know.
Prior to we dive into the science, let’s start with the public perceptions. A study of more than 1,450 members of the dating website Match.com (maybe not the most impartial tasting) discovered some fascinating stats: 83 percent of those surveyed think men and women can be platonic friends, while 11 percent disagree and six percent aren’t sure. At the very same time, 62 percent of respondents confessed they ‘d been in a “platonic” relationship that turned romantic or sexual. And 71 percent stated they hoped a hypothetical future romantic partner would be their friend first. Provided the data above, it’s not unexpected that heterosexual male-female friendships frequently involve some component of sexual attraction– though this might depend on gender. Male, more than women, report keeping opposite-sex friendships for the opportunity of having sex; males are also most likely to prioritize physical appearance in their female friends (whereas ladies tend to prioritize financial resources and physical abilities). And men seem to be more drawn in to their female buddies than the female friends are to them, regardless of either celebration’s relationship status (so that’s where jealousy comes from!). Public perception echoes the science: According to the Match.com study, 67 percent of respondents stated females are much better at keeping sex out of a platonic relationship (13 percent stated men are more able to stay away, and 20 percent said they weren’t sure). But despite either celebration’s best efforts, sex in allegedly “platonic” male-female relationships does happen. A lot. Some studies have actually found around half the heterosexual college student population has participated in sexual activity (not unexpected) in an otherwise platonic cross-sex friendship (just sorta’ unexpected). Interestingly, most of these friends-with-benefit situations do not shift into a romantic relationship, recommending people choose the friendship over the sex (or a minimum of over any romance).

Platonic Impossible? The Answer/Debate.
Even if friends remain good friends (rather of romantic partners) after doin’ the deed, sex definitely alters things. One research study found past sexual participation made friends feel both more negativity and more romantic desire for each besides they did prior to the sexual relationship (making complex things, undoubtedly!). Buddies who’ve linked are most likely to flirt with each other and interact about their relationship, while buddies who want each other romantically invest more time together, supply more emotional support to each other, and talk less about relationships outside the friendship (perhaps due to the fact that of this, cross-sex friendships can adversely impact external romantic relationships). All this brings us to the heart of the question: Are platonic relationships possible? Platonic love does exist, some professionals preserve. There are numerous reasons for keeping a relationship platonic, however the most common include an absence of physical tourist attraction, worry of displeasure from pals or household, third party involvement (i.e., a sweetheart or girlfriend), and not wishing to disrupt the relationship. Studies find both men and women gain from cross-sex relationship (be it through defense or merely gaining from the opposite sex how to finest bring in a mate), which may explain why people are often hesitant to rock the boat. Whatever the inspiration, remaining platonic often requires some upkeep techniques to keep sex at bay. And even when individuals staunchly explain a relationship as “platonic”, the reality may be there’s sexual tension one or both parties are selecting (unconsciously or not) to disregard.

Call It As You See It: The Takeaway.
Although we’ve just written a whole article about individuals being “pals” (or not), the reality is friendship in general is still inadequately comprehended. Scientists hold that we don’t actually have the language to discuss the various variations cross-sex friendships can take, and this makes complex the ways we have the ability to believe and speak about the topic. Still, the fundamental takeaway is this: Heterosexual men and women can be pals, and these friendships can be helpful for all parties involved. These relationships are likewise more than likely to involve some sort of sexual tension– and it depends on both parties to choose whether they’ll maintain the status quo or open themselves approximately “benefits”. However even if friends have sex, that doesn’t suggest they aren’t buddies. Maybe “sex” and “relationship” aren’t constantly equally exclusive; we may simply need new words to explain them.

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