to think a man and a woman can't be friends?

(162 Posts)
QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:15:25

Seems to be the sad conclusion that I've reached.

I've been working at a new place for 4 months now, have a desk next to a guy - really like him, he's funny, easy to chat to and we have very similar tastes. I do not like him in any other way but friendship and he has a girlfriend who he loves.

Like I mentioned we have very similar tastes and both love the same music. They are playing in our home city next year and I'd love to ask him to go (I have very different music tastes to my friends and therefore they wouldn't want to go with me - fair enough.)

However I would never ask him because he has a girlfriend and I'm sure most women wouldn't their partners going on an evening out with a female work colleague. So our friendship sticks to work hours and we would never communicate or meet up or text - so can't really develop that as a friendship.

Another guy at work I was friendly to him, if we had a break together we would go outside and chat. He asked if I was single when very soon on (I am) and towards this last month has been pushing me to go on a date with him. Why can't we just be friends?

Now I'm not a Samantha Brick and definitely not as good looking as her either grin but it seems to me if a man is in a relationship is quite a no go zone to start a friendship with him and if they are single then the majority of the time it will turn in a sex or relationship thing.

So from my experiences (there are other examples but these are the most recent ones) men and women can't be just friends.

hermioneweasley Sun 25-Aug-13 22:36:53

Sigh. Of course we can. I tend to think about "people" rather than imposing gender stereotypes.

Mayanbob Sun 25-Aug-13 22:37:17

YABU like most people on here- it's not my experience.

Most of my friends are male. I have not had a relationship with any of them. I just get on better with guys. I have made new friends who are in relationships/ married and it not been a problem. In fact, i've met their oh's on various occasions, and are always invited but often they don't want to come out with us because we generally just chat shit.

I also recently met up with some old school friends (mostly male) and I shared a blow up bed with one. Me being married to someone else, him in long term relationship. Whilst we found it hilarious... there was nothing untoward and there never would have been... (seriously, we've been friends for 25 years... that notion is gross).

DH knows my friends and likes them all. I had 2 hen dos. A girlie one with cocktails and 80's dancing, and a "men hen" where I went to a decent club and danced to some proper music.

Similarly, DH has a few female friends, although not perhaps as close as my male friends but he occasionally gets invited round for cake or goes out to meet them. I've met them and I've never thought of anything untoward going on.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:37:48

My friend visits our home where obviously dh is here. Sometimes he comes round alone, sometimes he brings his wife to be, sometimes I go out with the two of them by myself, and sometimes the two of us go out and get plastered by ourselves. Everyone is happy as they are all more than welcome to be there, or not.

That's lovely.

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:39:33

Shelly I don't think you can't, more in mine and DHs circs, I can't envisage a NEW friendship being formed between him and a single female whereby they would socialise just the two of them and likewise me and a new male friend.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:40:46

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

I agree

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:42:23

I tend to think about "people" rather than imposing gender stereotypes

Uh huh, I try to too.

The reason I probably wouldn't ask him to a concert is I wouldn't want to put him in that awkward position.

His girlfriend might be completely laid back and genuinely not care or she might not want him to go. Then if he said I can't go because my girlfriend is uncomfortable with it then that be make it a rather awkward thing to be working together.

SaucyJack Sun 25-Aug-13 22:43:24

Would you fancy him if he was single btw?

And to answer your original question, yes men and women can be just friends. But I do think it's a million times easier if both are involved in genuinely happy, healthy relationships else I do think there will be the "What if" thing for one of both, if only at the back of the head.

My OH works in a female-dominated industry. He socialises with some of the women from time to time. Most of them have partners, and nobody has any objections.

I have some male friends who I see socially. Likewise, my OH has no problems or concerns with this.

It is sad that people feel that they can't be friends because of what other people might (or might not) think.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:44:44

OP I think your thread title should have specified 'single' woman and in the context of making a new male friend (be him single or otherwise). Because I think that's quite a different scenario to the umbrella "men and women can't be friends"

ShellyBoobs Sun 25-Aug-13 22:44:56

Vivi - I wasn't responding to your post, in particular.

Apologies if that's not why you addressed your post to me.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:45:20

Whilst we found it hilarious... there was nothing untoward and there never would have been...

Yes I completely 100% believe you.

But some people wouldn't find it comfortable if their partner slept in bed with a friend of the opposite sex and therefore could potentially put a strain on their friendship.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 25-Aug-13 22:45:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:46:11

Yeah very true Vivi ... if I only I could change the title.

TylerHopkins Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:09

I wouldn't mind a partner mixing with the opposite sex on work doos but if their friendship extended to then going to the cinema or to restaurants together I would probably suspect the start of an emotional affair if I'm honest.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:31

I know Shelly, sorry if that sounded confrontational just your post struck a chord and for some inexplicable reason (this is not remotely an issue close to my heart or relevant to me atm) I seem to have had quite a strong reaction to this thread and struggling to articulate myself!!

BrianTheMole Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:41

I think it makes it easier if both friends are in relationships and it can be more of a group thing.

It does, but we weren't always in relationships. Sometimes he had a gf and I was single, and vice versa. I've known him far longer than I've known dh. And he's known me for longer than his wife to be. But previous partners have always been ok with it because they could see we weren't hiding anything. It works out great these days because we're both in long term relationships and everyone gets on, but even if one of us wasn't, we would always be friends.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:50

Mayanbob your friends seem to be very gender specific - with the women drinking cocktails, liking 80s music and inviting friends over for cake.

Compared to the men who go to decent clubs and dance to proper music.

Nancy66 Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:06

It's perfectly possible but it does totally rely on the person you are friends with having a mature partner not prone to jealousy.

I've lost a very close male friend of 20 years plus because his wife was just not happy about us meeting. The last time we met he had lied to her about who he was with which I didn't like. Eventually just not seeing each other became the easiest solution.

on the other hand I have two other close male friends - one married and one not.

QueenBach Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:21

I also think if you have been friends a long time (possibly before either of you were married/in long term relationships) it makes a hell of a lot of difference.

And if people were being completely honest I don't think they would feel comfortable if their partner met someone at work and swapped numbers, and text and met up outside of work just the two of them.

And I'm not pretending to be any different - if the roles were reversed then yes I most likely wouldn't like it (hence why I haven't asked him to go to the concert)

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:54:34

I can usually pitch my words in this medium to convey my intended tone, but this thread is a rare occasion whereby I wish we were all sat round chatting in person with cake because my posts read really quite snippily whereas in reality I'm just idly musing....

ZingWantsCake Sun 25-Aug-13 22:55:08

it is difficult if you are single, I give you that much - I do think in most cases one probably fancies the other, at least a little bit.

when you are in a relationship the dynamic changes so it is easier to be "just friends"

having said that I'd probably ask him and his girlfriend to that concert.
why not?

and the other guy - if he fancies you he'll never be "just a friend" IMO.

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 22:55:46

I'm hiding this thread, as I do with all of the pointless and monocentric opinions of 'men and women can't be friends'
In your world, they can't. In mine they can. I've had male friends for years, some single, some in relationships.
DD has been living with her friend/housemate for three years. They are friends, and his girlfriend doesn't mind. Because they are just friends.
It helps if you have hobbies or interests in common that aren't based round shagging, drinking and flirting.

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:56:21

I agree OP. Most of the examples in this thread of problem free male/female friendships (including my own) are long-term ones.

SilverApples Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:08

'And if people were being completely honest I don't think they would feel comfortable if their partner met someone at work and swapped numbers, and text and met up outside of work just the two of them. '

Like this. OH has done this, he's a musician and she's a singer. They are tackling some tricky 17th century motets. Just the two of them.
Oo-er missus. confused

ViviPru Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:24

Slver Really? That strikes me as a little extreme. People aren't generally saying men and women can't be friends, just exploring circumstances where it can potentially be problematic and the OPs concerns seem valid and genuine.

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