Can there be a friendship between a man and a woman?

It’s been over two decades since one of the most acclaimed romantic comedies premiered: When Harry Met Sally. This film was a smash hit at the box office, and if it did, it was thanks, at least in part, to honoring one of the most recurring questions: Is friendship between a woman and a man possible?

Friendship between a man and a woman: a utopia?

In previous articles, we have found what are the 7 signs to detect a toxic friendship, we have explained the relationship between political ideology and sexual attraction, or we have solved the question of why kindness is a problem when we are looking at a couple.

Today we will try to collect information that will help us understand whether a man and a woman can maintain a friendship disinterested in any romantic or sexual plans.

A lot of people think that is not possible, that straight women and men cannot enter into pure friendship. And it is often attributed that this impossibility lies in the effect of hormones. However, many people claim to have had one or more friendships of the opposite sex. This seems to be a rather subjective question, which depends a lot on the scale of values ​​of each individual.


Research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, edited by April Bleske-Rechek, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, found that men more frequently perceive romantic choices than women with their friends (2012). The study also noted that men tended to be equally sexually or romantically interested in their girlfriends, whether or not they were already romantically involved with another person.

What does the Bleske-Rechek study tell us? That men and women differ in their appreciation of their relationships with people of the opposite sex, Involving clearly differentiated attitudes about their expectations. Research has also shown that in the typical friendship between a woman and a man, the man tends to overestimate the level of attraction the friend feels towards him. On the other hand, the woman underestimates the degree of attraction that her friend feels towards her.

Because of this asymmetry, the man may come to think, “I’m sure my friend wants more than just friendship,” while women conceive, “Oh sure not, my friend does. not.” Think of me this way, we are good friends. “It is possible that these different perceptions of the same relationship are at the origin of a myriad of misunderstandingsOr the reason many women inadvertently give “false delusions” to their male friends.

Variable sincerity also comes into play

Another variable that may influence the results of this type of research is the propensity of women to hide certain thoughts or opinions.. In the study, participants were assured that their responses would be completely anonymous and confidential.

In addition, before completing the surveys, the researcher had separately promised couples of friends not to talk about the responses at the end of the study. Although the presumable thing was to think that all the subjects were absolutely sincere, the truth is that a certain degree of embarrassment has been detected in accepting that one feels attracted to his friend, even if he appreciates that this. attraction is not reciprocal. Obviously, pride and withdrawal can influence participants’ responses, thus altering the results.

While there is no abundant scientific literature on these issues, it is worth noting a unique study by Jesse Budd and Patrick Romero, two young and talented directors who managed to come to the same conclusion: friendship between men and women is impossible.

They considered making a video recording that could confirm the truth of the hypothesis. It is clear that their method was far from being considered rigorous and scientific, but they were successful in documenting informal questionnaires among the students. Experience revealed that when the girls were interviewed, they began by saying that yes, it is quite possible to maintain a friendship with a man. However, as the survey approached the issue and they were asked if their friends were attracted to them, they blushed and admitted it was highly likely that they had done so. Consequently, could it not be said that friendship between individuals of the opposite sex is never exempt from a certain degree of attraction?

Friendship and attraction: conclusive

In fact, it seems that women and men alike need to reflect on our conceptions of friendship, so that our friends are because of their personalities. We value sincere, reciprocal and lasting friendship, whether with a man or a woman.

Recently, in addition, some American researchers conducted a macro-survey ask thousands of people if they have slept with a friend, What if this intimate contact had worsened or improved the friendship. The results of this amazing study can be found by reading this article:

    We will be on the lookout for new data on this issue. What opinion do you deserve on the subject? Can there be a friendship between a man and a woman? Opinions are diverse and always cause controversy. We invite you to offer us your point of view on this subject in the comments section, or via our Facebook account.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Panxa, S. (1982). Group psychology and social change. Barcelona: time.
    • De Castro, R. (1996). Social influence and environmental change: current and future intervention strategies. Psychosocial intervention, 5 (13), 7-20.
    • Martinez, MF (1993). Community psychology. Seville: Eudema.

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