I was listening to Usher’s “Lovers & Friends” and I started to think about whether or not one should ever cross that line between friendship and romance.
As I thought about this, I thought about my friendships with members of the opposite sex and what I realized was that it is possible for men and women to have strictly platonic friendships with members of the opposite sex. However, in my opinion, I also believe that although the relationship is platonic, one of the individuals will always feel a sexual chemistry towards the other and here is why I feel this way.
“Friend” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as a “person you know well and regard with affection and trust”. It is someone that you can really be yourself around who accepts you for who you are, flaws and all. When it comes to men and women just being friends I think that somewhere along the line the man, woman, or both begin to the see the other in a way that they may not have seen them initially.
Meaning that during the time that the friendship develops, both individuals are learning about each other in a much deeper and honest way than you would learn about a potential partner. Because your relationship is at the friendship level, none of the pressure to ‘impress” each other exists. This allows you to let your guard down and really be yourself. But what you don’t realize at the time is that the overlap in what we want from both friends and partners is significant.
According to relationship expert Mo Kurimbokus, the friendship stage is similar to foreplay because all the time you spend being friends, you’re learning about each other. Subconsciously you’re deciding whether you can take it further, from a friendship on to a more emotional and sexual level. This makes sense since the best relationships are those where you can be completely open and honest with your partner.
The website handbag.com conducted a poll and 83% of the women surveyed stated that they believed that men and women can maintain a strictly platonic relationship. However, when questioned further a third of the women admitted to secretly being attracted to their male friends and I think this number would be significantly higher for men if asked. Friendship is often the basis for a deeper kind of love, one that tends to be more long-term. When you’re friends first, there are so many qualities that you’re checking off your list along the way. If it all adds up, then you may have a real fighting chance at love.
It seems that even if initial attraction isn’t there at the inception of the friendship it is possible that as the friendship grows and deepens, sexual attraction becomes a by-product of the cemented companionship. But maybe the attraction was there from the start but the decision to be just friends was based on other factors such as one of the individuals was already involved with someone else. If this is the case, what happens when the person becomes available?
You’ve already established a deep connection on a friendship level. Furthermore, you realize that you love each other unconditionally and that the sexual attraction is still there. Given that, should you pursue a romantic relationship with your friend with the hope that you may have found “the one”? Should you take your chances at love and jeopardize your friendship or do you just decide to remain friends and never find out if that person really is your soul mate?