Can Men and Women Just be Friends?

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[Editor's Note: What woman hasn't asked herself whether it's possible to just be friends with a man? There was a time in my life I desperately wanted it to be true, only to find that the mere act of asking the question signified that, in that case, friendship was simply too risky a proposition. Here Lee Block gives her take on the situation.]

What I have found is that with any man that I have ever tried to be a friend with, there is always an underlying sexual tension, whether it comes from me or him. It is unsettling, especially when you don't want to go there and want to focus your time and attention on yourself or someone other than the friend in question.

Photo by Keven Law.

It could be you are texting innocently enough every so often, and then it turns into often, or you are facebooking a few times a month and then find yourself looking for your "friend" to see what they are doing. It could even be done in 140 characters or less on twitter. Studies have shown that those types of flirtships happen more often than not, and I think that makes for an uncomfortable situation.

My assistant and I went out to lunch and chatted about this, which made me decide to write about it. Her male friends are not someone she would call up and grab a drink with, but might certainly go out of her way to say hi and chat with if she sees them out. I call those acquaintances. My husband believes that men and women can be friends, even though the friendships that I see often involve mild forms of flirtation.

Read more from The Friend Game at The Post-Divorce Chronicles

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