Can a man and woman be “just friends”? That depends on who you ask – the woman or the man.
A new study looked at 88 opposite-sex pairs of friends and found men were far more likely to view their female friends as potential romantic partners than vice versa.
Not only are men likely to view their female friends as potential romantic partners, they are also likely to believe their female friends share their unspoken romantic desires – a point that clashes with data suggesting most women really do see their male friends as nothing more than “just friends.”
“Men more commonly saw opposite-sex attraction
as a potentially positive benefit to friendship.”
While both men and women are both likely to acknowledge the “hotness” of their attractive friends, men are far more likely to consider their “taken” female friends as potential romantic partners than women, who were more likely to respect the boundaries of their male friend’s relationships, even if they find that male friend highly attractive.
Furthermore, men more commonly saw opposite-sex attraction as a potentially positive benefit to opposite-sex friendship, while women more commonly saw opposite-sex attraction as a potentially negative benefit to opposite-sex friendship.
So can men and women be “just friends”? This report suggests it’s highly unlikely, as men and women seem to hold wildly different views on what being “just friends” actually means.