The infamous Harry from When Harry Met Sally, once said, “What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.”
Later on in the film, in an attempt to disprove his original theory, Harry tried to say that they can be friends if both are in other relationships, only a tangent leads him right back to his original point:
Actually, that doesn’t work either, because what happens then is, the person you’re involved with can’t understand why you need to be friends with the person you’re just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say “No, no, no it’s not true, nothing is missing from the relationship,” the person you’re involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you’re just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let’s face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can’t be friends.
So is it true?
Logic would suggest that if you get on well enough with a member of the opposite sex to be friends with them, then a foundation has been laid for a romantic relationship.
But are you necessarily going to be physically attracted to all your opposite-sex friends?
Or do we keep friends of the opposite sex because we know we get on with them on a mental, intellectual and maybe emotional level, and so they’ll be just about physically attractive enough for you to consider them for a one-night fling if you’re lonely or just plain drunk?
Is it a romantic survival instinct: forward planning?
Or would it be that on some level you would be somewhat attracted to your opposite-sex friend, and whether or not your relationship evolves simply depends on the crazy unpredictability of life?
So should you be wary of girls your boyfriend is good friends with, or boys your girlfriend spends hours chatting to? Should you be freaked out if he still hangs out with an Ex, or even if she’s sniffing around him: if he’s been there once, will he go there again, especially with encouragement?
I’ve been spared any serious female-friend anxiety, because predominantly The Boy is a lads’ lad, but I have been known to choke on my own spit if he mentions talking to a college friend that happens to be without a penis. Why was he talking to her? Why couldn’t he talk to me? Is he talking about things that they have in common that he can’t talk to me about because I’m clueless on the subject? Will he leave me because she likes Muse and I’ve remained unimpressed by their efforts? Should I pretend to be interested in football!
All ridiculous of course, and what kind of a girlfriend would I be if I forbid him to talk to or have female friends!? I’ll answer that: a pretty crappy one.
Sure I have more boy friends than girl, and he’s never begrudged me their friendship!
But I’m a girl ….I’m a little emotional ….I know how other girls think (guys really are oblivious to the scheming of a female mind) …..so I worry ….no, I panic hysterically for a few seconds every now and again.
Logic, trust and sheer sense goes out the window.
Silly, but then I do have to wonder if Harry had a point….