In the 1970’s, the band,War, posed the question, “Why can’t we be friends?” in their similarly entitled hit single. Today, science struck back with an answer, at least for relationships between men and women, that is. This is mainly because pheromones, sex drives, and sexual expectations ruin it all.
You might assume that you can hold friendships with the opposite sex without issue. Let’s see, there’s that female colleague, your girlfriend’s best friend, or even your hair stylist. They all appear to be simply platonic friendships, right? Wrong. The main message of the movie What Harry Told Sally might be true. Men can never have a friendship with a woman because their sexual desires and wants overrule any potential platonic relationship. Despite popular beliefs, there are actually six reasons why men and women will never just be friends.
1. You Aren’t On The Same Sexual Page
In order for a platonic friendship to work, you both have to be on the same page. There must be similar rules and expectations for the both of you, and without this, there becomes a lopsided relationship. It might feel like you both want the same thing, but perhaps you are only lying to yourself. One minute you are perfectly fine being solely friends, and the next you are waiting for your moment to pounce. Well, hopefully not literally pounce, even though suppressing your desires could potentially lead to that.
Stereotypically speaking, men desire sex more than women. In a recent study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, published in Evolutionary Psychology,scientists examined over 300 people between the ages of 18 and 30.
The results revealed how men commonly over-perceive sexual signs and signals from women. On the other hand, the women were more likely to completely miss any sexual signs or cues. These misperceptions can lead to tension, and most people who have had a failed platonic heterosexual relationship know this all too well. The woman appears clueless or naïve to all of the cues that the guy is sending her way.
The guy might not even be aware of his body sending sexual signals, and instead he picks up on the slightest sign from her. While she laughs, hits his arm, and tells him she loves the way he can make her laugh, he takes these signs as sexual advances. It is vital to agreeing on the appropriate sexual attraction that should be present, or absent, in a platonic relationship. However, viewing whether or not it is acceptable is also essential.
2. You Aren’t On The Same Relationship Page, Either
In another recent research study, 88 pairs of platonic friends were studied. They guarantee these friends anonymity and confidentiality.The participants also promised in front of one another that they would never speak of the questions they were asked after the exam was over. The researchers followed these measures to guarantee honest answers.
In almost every single pairing, the male believed the female was attracted to them. However, in actuality the female had no sexual feelings to the male whatsoever.In addition, the male admitted that he had some sexual desires for the woman.
Years later, the same researchers conducted a follow-up study, where they garnered over 200 adults. They question these adults, many of whom were married, about platonic relationships. After each question, they asked the participant to rate the answer as either positive or negative.
These questions asked from the participants helped to list the benefits and disadvantages of having a platonic friendship. Most participants listed the fact that the relationship could potentially lead to further emotions or desires. Nonetheless, women listed this as a disadvantage, and most men listed this as a benefit.
The interesting component for this finding, though, was age. Younger men were five times more likely to say that sexual attraction in a platonic relationship was a positive versus their older male counterparts.
Perhaps men mature as they age, or perhaps an increase in age is synonymous with more serious, devoted relationships. However, the findings are irrefutable. The scientific findings from another study conducted in 2012 further the inability for men and women to simply be just friends.
3. Those One-Sided Feelings Are Sure To Develop
After continuous mixed signals between the two of you, one of you will eventually develop some feelings. They might be solely sexual, or these emotions even more deeply rooted. The problem is, the feelings themselves are inevitable.
In fact, one-sided feelings in platonic heterosexual relationships are extremely common. In a study conducted in 2012, researched found that men are much more likely to become sexually attracted to their female friends than vice versa. In addition, this study also found that men are very likely to assume that these feelings are reciprocated, when in fact they are not. Once these feelings develop, it becomes too much for the emotionally invested party to keep silent. Suppressing these desires becomes a heavy burden, and this is when resentment and anger set in.
4. Eventually Someone Loses It
Science backs up the statement that guys are likely to become attracted to their platonic female friends.
Once this occurs, he is more than likely going to either act on it, or start to resent someone else who does move in on her. This moment is when the relationships begin to fracture.
The dynamic becomes awkward. One person begins to lose interest or the desire to even be around the other person, and this other person is left in the dust in a daze of confusion.
5. Beware The Green Eyed Monster
If the two of you manage to reach a place of mutual unrequited sexual and emotional desires, then you still might not even make it to the land of perfectly happy heterosexual friends. Odds are that either you or your female cohort is in a relationship of sorts. Whether it’s a hook up or husband, your friend’s significant other could possibly stand between the two of you.
Friendships involve laughter, secrets, and so much more. This connection is enough to drive any significant other into a fit of rage and jealousy. Even the most sane and understanding of partners can become envious at the thought of someone being closer to their boyfriend or girlfriend than they are.
6. The Grass Is Always Greener
Some scientists have gone so far as to create something called “The Ladder Theory.” The Ladder Theory takes the idea that all men want a sexual relationship and then it magnifies this claim. In fact, it simply states that all men want is to bang women. If a man is a friend with a woman, then it is either due to the fact that he has banged her, or he wants to bang her. This is where the term, “friend zone,” originates.
The Ladder Theory also states that any time a man meets a woman, he sizes her up and places her on the ladder. Even though your wife might be at the top of your ladder, you are constantly placing other women on it, as well.
Eventually, these women can move along the ladder, and once you place someone above your wife,then the relationship will suffer.
This is not to say that you do not love your wife. Rather, the male sex drive continues to work, even if the brain is telling it to stop. Usually a man can over rule any sexual urges or drives through the drive of his love for his wife. However, this urge and desire still plays a role in selecting friendships.
There Is Hope For Platonic Heterosexual Relationships
Unless you are a character in a romantic comedy, there might not be a happy ending to your highly awkward and uneven platonic friendship.However, scientists are claiming that the possibility of a happy result between platonic heterosexual relationships is more likely to happen now than it was, say, two or three decades ago.
Millennials, expert sociologists claim, are far more likely to make a platonic relationship possible. It is much more socially acceptable for a woman to have multiple male friends. In fact, sociologists also claim that women who hang around more men are much more likely to have more sex. Shouldn’t guys take one for the team and ensure that the female population has much more sex? After all, everyone should be looking out for and supporting society, right?
That May Be Not What You Want
If you find that you are one of the unfortunate souls caught in the rapid fire of platonic signals sent your way, you have a few options.
Of course, you could always give up and let her go to the next one who comes along. You could also ditch her as a friend totally, and move on to never make the same mistake again.
But, if you’re invested and truly interested, then there are still some options. The laws of attraction might be a bit more manipulative than you think. Pheromones specifically attract women. All human beings emit pheromones, or strong scents, that usually go undetected by our consciences. These pheromones are natural, but there is a way to alter your pheromones to become more attractive to others.
If she isn’t picking up on the fact that you are interested, then maybe you could nonchalantly help her become interested on her own. Try NexusPheromones spray to help you appear more attractive to the opposite sex.
There are also a few other strategic moves you can try, including playing hard to get, finding another mate to take the jealousy route, or even bettering your health and wellness.
Who knows, maybe you’ll end up attracting more than just your platonic friend.