Can men and women ever be “just friends” ? The Thin Line Between Mate And Date

 Can men and women really be friends?

Academics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, claim to have proven that platonic male-female is scientifically impossible.

Chris Ayres sheds some light on the old ‘we’re just friends’ conundrum

Since Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal suffered through twelve years of an agonising platonic-but-not-so-platonic relationship in 1989, men and women everywhere have been wondering whether they can really be JUST friends.

Now, twenty-five years after the film’s release, Chris Ayres has declared, “the game is over”, admitting what girls everywhere have been suspecting for years – that men have been using the ‘just friends’ ruse to snooker us. It’s only recently that women have been using friendship in a similarly devious manner – by parking guys in the friendzone.

The typical scenario: single man meets single woman and shows no romantic interest in her, becomes her BFF and then uses it to lull her into a false sense of security. According to the article, the fragile, unsuspecting woman naturally doesn’t suspect this. That’s where Ayres’ theory starts to fall apart, because every girl knows that their guy friends would sleep with them given half the chance.

But don’t blame Ayres; blame the academics at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who claim to have proven that platonic male-female is scientifically impossible. In essence, the twenty-eight-page report finds that the male psyche strategically befriends women to increase their chances of, er…coitus.

However, it is worth taking into account that the report seems to start from a notably anti-male platform. The introduction defines the male natural state as the “foraging nomad”, prone to “sexually proprietary behaviour” – clubbing women over the head and taking them on the floor of the cave, for instance.

The findings of a study of eight-eight pairs of platonic, heterosexual, opposite-sex friends were that men find their female friends more attractive than vice versa. The study also found that young men are more likely to think (probably mistakenly) that their female friends are attracted to them. And, obviously, women tend to underestimate the attraction their male friends have towards them, assuming that their desire to never sleep with their male friend is mutual.

And as Chris Rock memorably (and somewhat depressingly) put it, “A man is as faithful as his options”, and man’s marital status doesn’t affect his desire to befriend unwitting females. Meanwhile, a married woman is even less likely to find her male friends attractive.

So, what did we learn that we didn’t already know? Not much, according to Ayres: “Men are as lousy as husbands as they are as friends. At least they’re consistent.”

By Bondi Beauty Intern Yael Brender

Yael Brender

I am a freelance writer, dreamer and booklover. I write, rewrite, bang head against keyboard. Edit, re-edit, bang head against keyboard. I write for Bondi Beauty, Eat Drink Play, Warhol's Children and ZOS Magazine. Coffee is just as important as breathing, plus it makes me type faster! We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

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