Can Men and Women Be Just Friends? | UMC YoungPeople
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August 2010

Can Men and Women Be Just Friends?

By: Jeri Katherine Warden
When I was in high school my economics teacher, Mrs. Bolin, loved to talk relationships. She would always say to the class, “You’ll find a significant other who is equally as attractive and as equally as smart. True opposites don’t really attract.” For the most part I guess I agree; my past boyfriends have been guys very much like me, having met most of the guys I dated through track and classes, and we probably broke up after finding out that those were the only shared interests. But then Mrs. Bolin also said, “Ladies you can never just have a guy friend, and men you can never just have lady friends because when opposite sexes are friends there is always someone who wants to be more than just friends.” At eighteen I thought my teacher was just trying to pass on her opinions of a long-lived life, and sometimes she talked relationships from what seemed like a bitter past. I never really thought too much about her rants on romantic relationships, but then at eighteen I thought I had the world figured out, and I defiantly disagreed with her. But her words have surfaced recently and now I’m not so sure how I would answer the question.

I’ll admit that I am slow and naïve in realizing if a guy likes me. I have many guy friends and I think it would be arrogant to assume that they all have a thing for me, or would like to. And I certainly am not attracted to my guy friends in a romantic way. I think men and women can just be friends, but I think there might some truth to Mrs. Bolin’s words. Maybe someone in my guy-girl relationships has stronger affections for the other but those feelings are kept at bay so that there can be a friendship. Telling someone you have more than friendship feelings can awkwardly end a perfectly lovely friendship. I have been in that position many times, and I have often wished that we would have just let the friendship be because when all is said and done feelings are hurt and both people lose a friend. So, can guys and girls just be friends? I think for me the jury is still out. I would like to think so but recent events lead me to side more with Mrs. Bolin.

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