The Pitfalls of Platonic Friendships

Can heterosexual men and women really ever be just friends? As displayed in “When Harry Met Sally,” the answer is a resounding no. This topic is one of great debate, polarizing the sexes in all discussions and across all platforms. If you simply google, “Can guys and girls be friends?” an abundance of websites appear with their own distinct interpretations of the issue.

Although men and women can go on to have great friendships, it will never be fully sincere. There is always an underlying romantic sentiment, even if it is only perceived by one of the two parties. It is no secret that all lasting meaningful relationships demand substantial effort, time and energy. Behind all intimate friendships are laughs shared, secrets unveiled and moments treasured; it is indubitable that in the midst of cultivating friendships between opposite sexes that the fine line between friend and partner will become blurred. Science is partly to blame as there is a natural degree of attraction that exists between people of opposite sexes, which can fuel a subconscious development of feelings. This is notorious for occurring in adolescent friendships when teens’ hormonal levels are peaking, leading inevitably to finding each other desirable. Also, being best friends implies both parties know everything there is to know about each other, building an impenetrable bond founded on trust. This level of friendliness means both individuals have seen each other at their worst and their best and are each other’s confidants. Does this sound like a relationship yet?

“Although it can be possible, it is not very likely because if two people are so close at some point they are bound to develop feelings for each other,” junior Patrick Ales said.

It is no secret that the greatest relationships take time to develop. Look at any romantic comedy and that will be the underlying plot, a man and a woman trying to make it work as friends, but never succeeding. The reason Hollywood plays on this concept so often is that it resonates as truth for all viewers, many having attempted the same impossible feat. Once a man and a woman’s relationship progresses into a strong friendship, secrets and emotions are revealed, putting both parties in a position of vulnerability. It is in these moments of vulnerability that romantic feelings begin to surface as one friend may feel a greater sense of trust in the other. These moments shift platonic love into something more, pushing the relationship out of one of pure friendship.

“If both parties try super hard, they could possibly stay best friends, but there is always an underlying sentiment,” junior Alex Anton said.

This does not mean that guys and girls cannot be good acquaintances. It is generally known that men and women can coexist without constant sexual tension; however, when the relationship develops into a best friendship, the people involved may get a little too personal, creating a romantic sentiment.