Sunday 15 September 2013

Can a man and a woman ever be friends - just friends?

I first came across this question when I saw When Harry Met Sally as a mature was an age when such questions meant a lot more than questions about life and were of deeper concern than something related to career. I don't clearly recall if I had an answer (in my mind) to this question at that time, but I do recall changing my stance on it over time.

If one is not a fence-sitter, there are just two possible views on this - either, they can be just friends or they can't be just friends. It's often easiest being on the fence and justifying that in various ways...bring in a basic question - how does one define friendship? With a varying understanding of concept of friendship - one could then say that in certain scenarios men & women can remain as just friends.

Why do we question the definition of friendship and draw scenarios, which are essentially nothing but subsets of friendship, when we have to answer this question and not when we are asked - "can two men be just friends?" or "can two women be just friends?". The fact such fence sitting happens, implies there is some basic doubt about a man & a woman being just friends...there is a general feeling they can't be just friends and there is a general need to be politically correct in this society. 

Once we dissect friendship and make smaller sections of it - we can obviously identify some sections of friendship in which the answer to the question is a definite 'yes' - where a platonic relationship between a man & a woman exists. But, in my mind - these are just smaller sections of relationships - which should at best lie somewhere between acquaintance and friendship.

Since I am not know to be a politically correct guy (most of the times), I would state my view on this - which I am sure is obvious by now...I don't think a man and a woman can ever be just friends. I don't buy the concept of platonic relationships...essentially, I don't believe that both, the man & the woman, are in a relationship purely on platonic does want more, whether that want is ever shared by the individual or even agreed in his / her own mind.

This small bit of wanting 'more' may at times be easy to suppress and lie about, it may even be thought of as insignificant and nothing more than a passing thought. The only point I am trying to make here is - if all 'just-friends' were to be honest, then in my view - at least one of the two (in all scenarios) will admit to have wanted more from the relationship, a.k.a friendship! If not, then I doubt if there was anything close to a real friendship to begin with.

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