Duke It Out: Just Friends?

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like college drinking!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Assuming you haven’t been living in a cave (or being Amish, but then you probably wouldn’t be online) you’ve probably at least heard of the premise of When Harry Met Sally and the big question it poses – can men and women just be friends? Looks like the debate’s on again – did it ever really stop? – and it’s time we had our say!

On the “Yes!” side – Sure men and women can be just friends (and yes, for the purposes of this argument, let’s assume that said man and woman are both either straight or bi, no cop outs!). I know lots of guys I’d call friends that I never have and never would sleep with and I imagine most women do, too. Which is when you get into the “maybe you don’t but he wishes you would” part of the argument which is a pretty cruel generalization. To say “guys will have sex with any girl who will let them” basically says that guys have no filters or systems of judgment beyond woman=sex, and while that may be true for some men, most of the guys I’ve known, ever, just aren’t like that. If we’re not all frigid bitches, then they can’t all be horny bastards. And saying that two people of opposite genders can’t simply enjoy one another’s company without there being a sexual issue is essentially arguing that the only reason I’m not having sex with all my gal pals is that I’m not attracted to women – which is patently ridiculous.

But, there’s a reason this argument has gone on for so long and that reason is:

The “No!” side – I can’t explain it, I really can’t, but I cannot think of a single (straight) male/female friendship I know of where one person has not, at some point, at least considered having sex with the other. I mean, I’m really trying here! The main reason it doesn’t happen is because one – or even both – of the people don’t want it to, either because the attraction isn’t mutual or they don’t want to wreck the friendship. Even if they’re not having sex, the sex thing is still there. There’s no really good reason I can think of that it shouldn’t be possible for men and women to being platonic friends, it’s just that real world evidence seems to prove that any who do are in the vast minority.

What do you say? Will sex always get in the way? Or can you have a close friendship like that without considering more? Is it idealistic to think that we could – or should – ignore the sexual side? Duke it out!

Julia Roberts, We Love You
Julia Roberts, We Love You
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