Can Men And Women Be Friends?

What Do You Think—Can Men and Women Be Friends?

Short answer: Sort of.

A discussion on Facebook about whether or not we should stay friends with an ex received a shit ton of comments and varying opinions. Here’s mine.

I’m close friends with one of the five exes I had serious, long-term, monogamous relationships with. Previously, I’d been friendly—as opposed to friends with—all but one of them.

In fact, after we split, I played Cupid with three of these fellas.

They’re good men and just because we weren’t a good fit—so to speak—doesn’t mean they couldn’t be right for someone else I care about.

The length of those Cupid-inspired relationships varied and although they did end, they also served all parties well and no one hates my guts for shooting arrows.

So why aren’t we friends, anymore?

Several reasons.

These men and I either no longer have mutual friends or they got new girlfriends who weren’t “spiritually enlightened and ego-aware” (i.e. they got jealous); or the guy was jealous of my new boyfriend; or we lived far, far away from each other; or we simply grew apart and there was no mutual benefit to continuing a close friendship.

I’ve written about men and women and their friendship exhaustively (and comedically) in my memoir (Me: A Rewrite—print version coming soon!) so I’ll simply offer a brief summary…

Here’s the rub (pun):

  1. Just because you’re not horny for each other now doesn’t mean that won’t change.
  2. Sharing personal feelings makes us feel vulnerable.
  3. Exchange of vulnerability is called intimacy.
  4. Intimacy creates bonds.
  5. Bonding builds attraction.
  6. Attraction often leads to sex.
  7. Men think about sex. A lot.
  8. Sex is awesome, possums!
  9. Sex with a friend is less awesome if we’re already in a relationship with someone else. Shit.
  10. Harry met Sally. They got it on.

Can Men and Women Be Friends Takeaways:

  1. Most of the time there’s (acknowledged or unacknowledged) sexual tension between men and women who display similar hotness levels—you’re both a seven on the sexy scale— whether or not they’ve done the dirty already.
  2. Most people have a need for boundaries around their partner’s relationships with the opposite sex.
  3. Boundaries are healthy. People have differing ideals about boundaries. Though statistics aren’t on your side if you’re more liberal-minded (lead thee not into temptation), right and wrong are highly subjective.
  4. For a healthy relationship, make sure you have a value-based agreement about boundaries with your lover or potential mate.
  5. Even though sexual tension surrounds us, a level of friendship between men and women is possible with respect, communication and understanding.

And sometimes, we have tough choices to make—the old pal or the new gal?—such is life.


xo AJ

I’ll be producing new WingmamTV videos soon and am making a questions list and checking it twice! Head on over to WingmamTV, subscribe, and let me know what dating, love and relationship questions you’d like answered!

About the Author Anna Jorgensen

Vancouver dating coach for men who love women! ❤️ (Not PC and not a feminist.)

Leave a Comment:

Darryl Hicks says August 5, 2016

Yea I think it is a dangerous place to put yourself and your new relationship. I do have friendships with some exes, and it is because our relationship together was known to both of us to have leaned on the friends side not the sexual side. Seems to work just fine. Others were based on the sex connection more and it would never work because of a realization of temptation. Your partners jealousy always comes into play and having them comfortable and feel like they fulfill everything you need sometimes mean you need to fully focus on them. Opposite sex friends work fine if you have your mate feel secure. Limit interactions. Updating info talk about friends or family is fine but emotional stuff I feel leads down to the wrong gate. Respect who your closest to first( new date).

    Anna Jorgensen says August 5, 2016

    Brilliantly stated, Darryl! Exactly! 🙂

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