Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Happy Hump Day!
Unicorns, Mermaids, Platonic Friends - do they really exist?
Sure they do...in our own little make-believe world they do :)
Okay, okay...let me tone down my sarcasm, but I know most of us have asked whether or not a man and woman (both heterosexual-reasonably attractive-around the same age- living within 50 miles of each other) can just be friends. Some say no, so let's break down the reasons why...
We've see it happen - boy approaches girl, and girl is charmed by his subtly (effeminate masculinity) non-threateningly, secure heterosexuality. He speaks proper English, notices when you have on new earrings, and watches all your favorite shows (Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and any other show a man with machismo would never admit to watching). Boy and girl exchange numbers, and after about a month of meeting at Barnes & Noble and shopping at the mall, they become...friends. Not lovers. Not even the awkward “friends with benefits” - simply friends. Boy and girl are each other's permanent back-up weekend companions - and you never, eva, EVA cross that line. EVER!
So yeah, like mermaids and unicorns, we're aware that the likelihood that two (available, like-aged, opposite sexed, (hetero)sexual) people who are strictly platonic friends ACTUALLY EXISTS is...well...ridiculous. Right? Let's explore the reasons:
1. Unless you meet online (or maybe in college), men and women don’t usually actively seek friends of the opposite sex. I've always had male friends - I even prefer them. But I've never become just friends with an available, heterosexual male that I find attractive just because. The majority of my male friends are married or unavailable or gay, or are co-workers who I don't find attractive. Simple as that.
2. If given the opportunity, most men (not all, but a good number) who aren’t in a committed and monogamous romantic relationship will sleep with pretty much any reasonably attractive woman. Yes. ANY. And if you're already friends, even better! They may not actively want to, but, in the right situation, they happily would. The fact they they “would” kinda contradicts the whole "platonic" thing. :-) Maybe not completely contradicts it, but you get the idea.
Ladies, I know what you're thinking - because I thought the same thing:
“Well, what if the guy harbors absolutely no physical attraction at all towards the woman?? They can be platonic friends, right?“
Wrong! why? because...
3. No unattached man is going to willingly spend a good amount of his free time with a woman he is completely unattracted to, Never. Especially when you consider that...
4. (Most) women aren’t equipped to handle regular contact with a guy who finds her completely unattractive and she's aware of it. Now, this isn't coming from me - a man I know told me not to argue this. He said it’s science :-) Debatable, but something to think about...besides....
5. ...even if you claim to be in the 0.1 percent of people where there’s absolutely no romantic or sexual feelings harbored by either side in your platonic relationship, you have to figure in the law of averages and percentages. Basically, if you spend more than 20% of your free time with someone of the opposite sex willingly, there’s at least a 50% chance that at least one of you will develop sexual feelings...or already has developed them but fears that they would be unrequited. The higher the percentage of free time, the higher the chance. If you spend anywhere over 40 percent of your free time with a platonic friend, then there’s anywhere from a 100 to 250 percent chance that someone wants to bed somebody. Again, don't argue. Its science.
Since I’ve already established that we don’t actively seek opposite sex friends while we’re single, the only way two people can become truly platonic friends would be if they happened to first meet each other while already in a relationship, which is kinda hard to do considering...
6. No man or woman is going to be okay with their significant other making new, close friends of the opposite sex. You know this. Bring up your new, opposite sex friend's name more than once and your partner will be looking at you sideways like "who the hell is this chick/dude you're always talking about/talking to?" Sure, you can talk about your new, gay BFF all day long, cuz they're not a threat. But if you keep your new opposite sex friend a secret cuz your partner would flip if he knew you were IMing, texting, calling, secretly dreaming about him, then there's nothing platonic about it - you just can't do anything about it...at the moment. Well, without getting caught that is ;)
Now, I know you all think that this is a jaded view of platonic friendship. And I'm sure cases of platonic friendships exist...somewhere. :-) All I know is that out of my experiences, and those of my close friends, we've all tried (at least once) to have the very close, strictly platonic friend thing - only for someone to catch feelings, flirt, have one night of drinking or crying on a shoulder, resulting in some very...uh...“unplatonic” things happening. But hey, that's just me. Not saying platonic friends don't exist, but then again, when was the last time you saw a unicorn? ;-)