Thursday, July 21, 2005

Boys & Girls

I know it's been a while since I posted because I really feel like this is Jen's blog but I need your insights into this one:

Can straight men and women be friends?

It seems like an easy question, but maybe it's not...

23 comments:

Jen said...

Anna, this is YOUR BLOG too.

I'll post on this when I get home from work later tonight, but I look forward to hearing what others have to say as well.

Anna said...

(But I'll be gone by tonight. I'm leaving for Fargo and won't be back until Tuesday.)

It's a question my friend asked me last night.
I said absolutely they can be friends, gender shouldn't be a hinderance to friendship. She says that her wise mother doesn't think it's possible without confusing feelings getting in the way. My husband says he's tried it in the past but isn't sure it can be done. So now they've got me wondering...

Fred said...

Yes. The only problem with that friendship would be the significant others of both individuals.

I have two very close female friends that I talk to all the time; it's no problem with The Missus. She also has several close male friends. I don't know if all partners can handle it, though.

I will sometimes see a person who drives away the friends (male or female) of their partner - I wonder why an individual would want to stay with someone like that.

I guess it's not an easy question.

Jen said...

Yeah, what Fred said.

I think it is possible, and when you find a truly platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex, I think you're very lucky, as it's a hard balace to find--too often, one of the parties involved may start to develop more "romantic" (or maybe even just sexual) feelings for the other person. So if you can find a friend of the opposite sex, with neither party (HONESTLY) wanting more (cuz sometimes one side may deny that there are more-than-friendly feelings there--even deny it to themselves sometimes), then I say that you've found yourself a great friend and you should hold onto that. Friendships with someone of the opposite sex can be very educational and enlightening. It's great to be able to get that other perspective.

Jen said...

PS--Have a great time at your reunion Anna!!

Anna said...

Fred- That's exactly the problem my girlfriend is having, with the significant other being able to handle it.

How 'bout I lay it all out for you?
My friend's boyfriend has a close friend who is a woman. The woman's husband thinks they are having an affair. The woman told my friend's boyfriend, who told my friend, who hasn't had a problem previously but now she's starting to wonder.
Thoughts?

LocuTus of Borg said...

This reminds me of a post that Jo-Anne http://yoikesandaway.blogspot.com/ wrote about some time ago, but this was more in relation to meeting someone new and then developing the friendship over time. She could not understand why she could not meet a male and be friends - why they always wanted more.

Now in consideration of the general topic of can they be friends: Yes. And I completely agree with Fred. I had a very good friend Katie that we only email about every 3 or 4 months now only short paragraphs because her husband forebade her from talking with me. I live 1500 miles away, not a threat, but to him it is still jealous or envy or something.

After that long winded torrent bascially there is one word that sums all of the conclusions or conjectures Anna: TRUST!

Anonymous said...

Yes they can, some of my closest friends are males. Melissa

Jamie Dawn said...

It HAS been awhile since you posted. Yes, they can be friends in some situations. As a married person, it would be a good idea for your hubby to know about this friendship and be okay with it.

Fred said...

Anna - did you read what you wrote? I had to make a diagram of who's who just so I could figure it out. :) It's complicated!

I'll add one thing to LoB - discussion. I've always believed the best way to avoid conflict is to embrace it. Conflicts grow wider and deeper when everyone tip-toes around something, rather than hit it head on.

So - I would think a conversation is in order.

Jen said...

THANK GOD, Fred. I thought I was the only one who had no idea what Anna just said.

Jen said...

OK, I'm fittin to get deep on yo' asses:

One of the most imporant and valuable lessons i learned from my relationship with Jeff is the ability to trust. Through it all, my trust in him never wavered, not for a second. That was a milestone for Jen and relationships (as I've had a hard time trusting guys, after that trust has been broken many times).

Thomas's (aka Mr Texas) best friend is a woman. They've been best friends for 12 years. He says they've never even THOUGHT of taking it to a different level. Now, assuming that things work out with us, I can either choose to trust him, or I can drive myself (and him) crazy with suspicion and disbelief. Well, I know from first hand experience that that's a shitty way to live. So I choose to trust him. To me, it's as easy as that. (Assuming that the person hasn't given you a reason NOT to trust them, that is.)

LocuTus of Borg said...

Ok I'm lost .. so is Jeff out of the picture now? And is Thomas (a.k.a. Mr. Texas) coming into the picture?

You are exactly right Jen, when someone gives you the excuse to not trust, then it can never be anything more :(.

Jen said...

LoB, Jeff and I have been broken up for 2 months now. We sitll live together but we're just roommates. There is NOTHING going on there, if you know what I mean. And really, we're getting along pretty good. We make VERY good friends.

As for Mr. T (LOL) coming into the picture...that remains to be seen.

Nik said...

Absolutely, men and women can be friends! Most of my good friends are men and there's nothing more to it than just friends. I have a best girlfriend(Lynda) and a best guy friend (Dan) and it's awesome.

Renee said...

Okay, here's what John says:
Guys don't befriend a girl unless there's even a small chance of gettin some.

I have always disagreed with that statement until he told me to think hard about all the male friends I've ever had... I hate to admit it, but one or both of us was always interested in more, eventually. Now granted, I've always been a little bit of a flirt (shut up Jen), so maybe that had something to do with it...

I can think of one case where I was practically best friends with a guy I worked with. We hung out almost every day, it was comfortable, etc. After like a year, we flirted more and stuff, but it was all very subtle and, I thought, innocent, and he never pushed it, and I always had a boyfriend, so I figured it was just a little crush. At my wedding, he shed a couple tears and told me I was breaking his heart that day. John says it was obvious all along that he was interested in me, but I didn't see it; I truly thought it was platonic on both ends.

So, while I still think that it IS possible, especially as we get older, to have a strictly platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex, I DO think it's probably quite difficult, and if one can find it, as Jen said, you're very lucky.

Jen said...

Thanks for the monologue, Renee.

;)

Renee said...

I know! Nobody probably believes I'm shy... when my fingers get typin' there's no stopping 'em.

Almost every comment I post takes an hour to read.

Sorry, fellow bloggers!

Anna said...

Thanks for the thoughts, All. Sorry the explanation was confusing. I think that's why I didn't try to explain it initially. I think I'll cut & paste the comments into an email for my friend.

While it is complicated and several factors come into play- trust, signifiicant others, feelings from both sides, I think I still believe that it's possible for straight men & women to be friends.

Renee said...

I think it's more fun to be friends with a gay guy, though. LOL. Maybe because I know it WON'T get complicated.

The guy who does my hair is flamin and I just love him! And I worked with 3 or 4 gay guys at Target and they were so much fun! One of the team leads at John's store is also an interior designer, so we have lots of fun stuff to talk about :-)

Anna said...

Oh yeah, when the guy is gay then men & women can be best of friends, no question! I have several friends back home who are. Good times, good times. :)

Anna said...

Feedback from my friend:
Very helpful and interesting comments…you can let them know how I’ve decided to handle it, it really falls in line with what a number of them said. I’ve decided to not be concerned about (other woman) and (other woman's husband's) dysfunctional marriage, their relationship is their relationship. (Boyfriend) has given me no reason not to trust him and specifically no indication that he thinks of (other woman) as anything more than a friend, so I plan to keep the two relationships separate, mine is going fantastically well and I strongly believe that it will continue to do so.

Renee said...

Yay, good for your friend!