Why Men and Women Can’t Be “Just Friends” in 2023

Can men and women truly have a platonic friendship? It’s a question that has been debated for centuries.

In 2023, with the rise of gender equality and more open conversations around relationships, it’s a question that still remains relevant. This article explores the reasons why men and women can’t be “just friends”.

According to a Psychology Today article, men and women have different motivations for friendships, which can lead to misconceptions and misunderstandings. Men are often seeking physical attraction and often tend to perceive women as potential romantic or sexual partners.

On the other hand, women usually form deep emotional connections with their friends and see them as sources of support, security, and intimacy. This fundamental difference in motivations can make it difficult for men and women to have purely platonic relationships.

Additionally, societal norms and gender roles can make it challenging to navigate friendships with the opposite sex without concerns of judgement or jealousy. Therefore, the idea that men and women can’t be friends is a result of the interaction between biology, psychology, and culture.

Why Men and Women Can’t Be Friends

The Problem with Platonic Relationships

Studies have shown that the main issue with platonic relationships between men and women is misunderstanding. Men have a tendency to view their female friends in a sexual light, while women often assume men are not interested in being anything more than friends.

This lack of clarity can lead to confusion and potential heartbreak, making it difficult for men and women to maintain purely platonic relationships.

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Societal Norms and Gender Stereotypes

Societal norms and gender stereotypes have long been a reason why men and women struggle to maintain a platonic relationship. Men are often conditioned to view women as sexual objects, while women often view men as protectors and providers.

These beliefs can make it difficult for both genders to simply be friends without any romantic or sexual tension. Additionally, societal norms dictate that men and women should pursue romantic relationships with each other, which can make it difficult to maintain a platonic friendship.

It’s important that we work to break down these gender stereotypes and societal norms in order to foster healthy and fulfilling friendships between the sexes.

Examples of Failed Platonic Relationships

Common Misconceptions

Despite the evidence that suggests men and women can’t be completely platonic friends, there are still some common misconceptions about the topic. Some people argue that it is possible to have a purely platonic friendship, while others believe that it’s a matter of self-control and boundaries.

Some people think that if both parties are in committed relationships, then they can be friends without any romantic feelings. However, studies show that even if both parties are in relationships, there is still a possibility of romantic feelings developing.

Another misconception is that if one party identifies as LGBTQ+, then the friendship can be purely platonic. However, sexual orientation does not necessarily determine whether a friendship is platonic or not.

It is also believed that age and physical attraction are factors that determine whether a friendship is platonic or not. However, studies show that these factors do not necessarily impact the possibility of romantic feelings developing in the friendship.

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Overall, these common misconceptions about platonic friendship between men and women ignore the evidence that suggests that it is difficult for men and women to maintain a completely platonic relationship.


Despite the ongoing debate about whether men and women can be friends, it’s essential to understand that creating and maintaining platonic relationships between genders can be challenging due to various factors. Men and women often face difficulties in maintaining such relationships because of potential attraction and other complications that can arise.

Building healthy communication and setting clear boundaries can help overcome some of these challenges as well as challenging gender stereotypes and societal norms. It is possible to have healthy platonic relationships, but it takes effort and understanding from both parties.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that men and women can't be friends?

Sociologists have documented that men and women can indeed just be friends and that there are actually benefits that come with cross-sex friendships—like learning from the other side how to best attract a mate—that you can't get from same-sex friendships.

Why there is no friendship between man and woman?

Daily experience suggests that non-romantic friendships between males and females are not only possible, but common—men and women live, work together, share life experiences, and enjoy each other's company.

For those who believe that men and women really just can't be friends, what does a new study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology suggest?

A new study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology has some compelling evidence to support the idea that men and women can be friends, in the right circumstances.

What is the origin of the quote 'Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship'?

The quote 'Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship' was made by Oscar Wilde.

Can men and women really be friends?

Platonic relationships—i.e. close, non-sexual friendships—between men and women can be real and viable and pretty great. It's a relief, not a stressor, to know someone of the opposite sex in a context that isn't mediated by sexual attraction, according to a number of people.

Can a man have a female best friend?

Your boyfriend has a girl best friend and there's nothing wrong with it. You may feel jealous but you should be able to respect their friendship, unless it's harming your relationship. Friends are important to have in your lives and your boyfriend shouldn't have to let go of theirs because of your insecurities.

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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