Yesha Callahan

Friends Without Benefits?

Growing up there was always a male presence in my life. Whether it was my father or one of my 6 uncles, there was never a time when I wasn’t around testosterone. Even with my one aunt that I grew up around, I thought she was more manly than most women, but that was also because she grew up around all of my uncles too, her brothers. Till this day, I still have a strong bond with my uncles. By being around them when I was younger, I learned a lot and took mental notes.

As I grew older, for some reason it was a lot easier for me to form friendships with guys. I guess because back then, in my formative years, I was some what of a tomboy. I was always the only girl running around with my guy friends on their skateboards, or riding our bikes around our neighborhood. In high school, the same pattern existed, even though I did form a few friendships with females. I was actively involved in sports, so most of my time was spent in the weight room, joking around with the boys, when I was supposed to be working out. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a problem with any of them attempting to ‘cross the line’ between a platonic friendship and flirting/sexual innuendos.

When I entered college, I still had guy friends around constantly. I was known as the girl who could beat about any guy in pool or video games, so some guy was always challenging me. Yet again, those friendships were formed out of a common bond.

With all of that said, still, even in my adulthood, I believe men and women can be platonic friends. Now, I’m not talking about men & women who have dated or been in a relationship with each other previously, I’m referring to Mark meets Tracey and they form a friendship. Nothing less, nothing more. Just two people enjoying each other’s conversation and activities together, as would a Male/Male or Female/Female friendship.

Two of my closest guy friends in this area happen to be men. I can call my friend Donovan up at any time of the night and spill my guts to him. I’ve met his fiance, I’ve been invited to trips/dinners/etc..etc. with them. There has never been any flirting or innuendo between us and there never will be. Some of you are problem thinking, “Well he must be ugly..something has to be wrong with him or her..”. Wrong. He’s actually quite handsome, but I have never been attracted to him and never will be. He’s a friend, and one of my best ones.

Personally, I think there has to somewhat of a greater level of maturity for a man & woman to be platonic friends. When you meet someone of the opposite sex, it doesn’t always have to be based purely on whether or not you’re going to have sex with that person. It could just be based simply on common interests and just clicking with that person.

So, you’ve read my opinion, what’s yours?

Do you feel that men & women can be strictly platonic friends? Why/why not?

  1. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    I say they definitely can. But in our sexually charged society, we’re led to think differently.
    I’ve had many female friends in my lifetime. I mean friends who I never even had the thought of banging.
    but now that I think of it, maybe it was because I always got stuck in the “friend zone”. Yeah, I’m not the dude chicks wanted to bang so we stayed friends. I guess it just rubbed off on me.
    Which is really cool because when all my female friends call me, my wife doesn’t even have a problem with it. She understands. She knows none of them wants to have sex with me.

    • September 24, 2008 - Reply

      @RiPPa

      LOL! Your wife is always cordial with me when I call your ass to complain about something, “Oh, that’s just that crazy chick in MD”, is what I’m sure you tell her..LOL

      • September 26, 2008 - Reply

        @[fung'ke] [blak] [chik]

        I think that it’s possible too, but everybody has to be in agreement. It’s usually cool when neither of you is in a relationship. The test comes when one of you meets someone. A lot of the time I think it’s how you come at the girlfriend that will determine her feelings. I have a “I’ll call the girlfriend and ask for my friend” rule until she is comfortable. I also have the “she needs to go out with us” rule. I have seen too many crazy girlfriends and it’s easier to get them on your side…. or at least determine that you think they’re bad.

  2. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    (I just commented on SBM on this topic)
    I think just because the thought crosses your mind doesn’t automatically nullify platonic friend status, and I agree that men and women can be friends and keep everything above board. I do think it takes a conscious effort to make sure lines aren’t crossed, thought (that’s where that maturity comes in), because men are going to be men, and women are going to be women, and everyone gets lonely from time to time.

  3. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    I imagine a bi-sexual person who sizes up everyone they meet as a potential sex partner lives a life of overwhelming pressure. lol
    Your attitude denotes an evolved human and a mature nature. By chance, the people you’re connected to gave you a decent start on life.
    Consider youself one of the lucky ones and spread it around, especially to those who were born into a life that afforded them little chance to grow.

  4. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    I think men and women can be platonic friends. It does take maturity on both parties part for it to work. Since college, I’ve always had male friends. Grant it, some wanted more than friendship, but didn’t pursue it. As far as I was concerned they were in the “friendship” category and they respected it. It’s to a woman’s advantage to have male friends. My male friends share things with me that help me understand some men. I’ve learned not to generalize ALL men.
    I can only recall one incident where my male friend crossed the line and that’s when I told him I accepted my now ex-fiance’s proposal. He was hurt and admitted to having feelings for me. I’m like, why didn’t you say something. Our friendship still exists, but it did change the dynamics. I no longer talk to him about other men.

  5. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    Im pretty much the same as you are. My cousin is six years older than me and he lived two doors down from us. Since I always followed him and his friends around the neighborhood I learned to play baseball, kickball, ride a skateboard…do wheelies on bikes etc…
    I’d say around middle school a lot of girls moved into the neighborhood so I could ditch the guys. But because of my having always been around the guys thats who I always seemed to click with and befriend…much quicker than with other females. Even today, most of my friends are guys. These are completely platonic relationships and I love these guys like the brothers I never had. I have fixed up most of their marriages, babysat their kids. Attended birthday parties and even funerals to show my support. I agree with you wholeheartedly…It CAN happen.

  6. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    I think they can. One of my most life impacting relationships began as a friendship and the romance kind came out of the blue. And even today after we were together for a long time we went back to being friends. I think us having a real friendship that was based on each other helped us through out relationship and helped us in being friends later. I do have a few men I am friends with but somewhere men stop just wanted to be my friend, like even up here I tried to be friends with a few guys and they really weren’t trying to hang out cause they wanted to be more than. I wish it was like elementary school in that aspect.
    I do think platonic friendships are possible I even think it’s possible to go back to a real platonic friendship after being involved almost like the biblical knowing didn’t happen. Anyway, I wish more men thought it possible. Oh well.
    -OG

  7. September 24, 2008 - Reply

    “When you meet someone of the opposite sex, it doesn’t always have to be based purely on whether or not you’re going to have sex with that person.”
    I wholeheartedly agree. That’s like getting hungry every time you walk past a restaurant.
    I’ve had some wonderful platonic friendships in my life. People would swear there was something going on, but it wasn’t. And unlike Donovan’s fiance, I’ve had to deal with jealousy from my friends’ significant others. But whatever… its all worth it in the end, b/c you learn so much by having strong male friendships (IMO).
    This post made me realize that I don’t currently have any platonic male friendships. I miss that!

  8. September 26, 2008 - Reply

    “Personally, I think there has to somewhat of a greater level of maturity for a man & woman to be platonic friends. When you meet someone of the opposite sex, it doesn’t always have to be based purely on whether or not you’re going to have sex with that person. It could just be based simply on common interests and just clicking with that person.”
    I agree to the fullest. I have 2 faithfully platonic male buddies and it’s great to have them around to help you sometimes see certain situations from a man’s perspective / another angel. I was just talking to one of them last night as a matter of fact. As I reflect upon these friendships, one thing I for certain is the obvious lines we do not cross which keeps our bond strong.
    I as well grew up a tomboy and was always known as one of the guys, you know… the “pitbull w/ a skirt” (non-butch) in the pound and I think growing up in that particular environment/circle for so long has allowed me to connect with men easily, not only then but now as well.
    I

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