Why Men & Women Can’t be Friends.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Dec 8, 2011
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Can Men & Women be Just Friends? Yes. I mean, No.

Men are honest: “No.”

Women are dishonest: “Yes.” Then, honest: “well, he would if he could…”

Answering the age old question, Young Independent Filmmakers Jesse Budd and Patrick Romero set out to simply prove a point.





About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


22 Responses to “Why Men & Women Can’t be Friends.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    I think that's a corollary in the above H met Sally videos…if either is in a relationship, friendship is possible as long as said relationship lasts. I personally, as a "guy," am easily able to forget that women are women if they have a boyfriend/husband/significant other whom I respect and/or like. ~ Waylon

  2. Madelain Burgoyne says:


  3. Sara Young says:

    I have lots of guy friends who are not attracted to me.

  4. melissa says:

    oh geez, re-evaluating male friendships as we speak…

  5. Robin Turner says:

    A sample of horny college kids is hardly representative! That aside, just do the maths. Unless you are devastatingly attractive and have more time and juices than is good for you, you probably have more friends than sexual partners. The fact that you could hypothetically go to bed with some of them doesn't make much of a difference.

  6. Brian Kimmel says:

    it’s heterosexist to ask whether women and men can “just be friends” assuming that both or one of them are straight. And what about romance? Some people are not interested in sex, but are in romance. I have had plenty of romantic friendships that were not sexual and did not need to be, and I identify as a guy. There is also a huge gender construction piece in this discussion: gender, according to biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling, “is a bio-social feature of the world we live in.” we don’t realize how much history has dictated what men and women can and cannot do, what men and women are. As a gay man I am viewed many as less a man or something other because I happen to find men attractive and am not afraid to love them romantically and make love with them. At the turn of the 20th century the mainstream culture in the United States determined that our country was losing its masculinity and therefore, headed by President “teddy” Roosevelt and many other men in power began the image of the savage male, the violent, wild, self-made, escapist and exclusive male and segregated the sexes in order to preserve and mold men and their masculinity and to put women in their rightly place. Remember, first, we live in a patriarchal society. Who are the people with the most privilege in our nation? Who we elect as leaders, or who claim to be, who hold positions of power and governance? Who make up the majority of the 1%? Is it just to begin a debate over the sexes without investigating the cultural-social climate we live in and how we got there? I think not.

  7. Karina says:

    Though, through my own personal experience I agree that men have a primal impulse to sew "seed," and they may have an underlying sexual attraction to the friends (of their sexual preference), there is an implication in the word "can't" that is perceived as inaccurate. It implies that the sexual attraction "trumps" the genuine desire for connection with the other person. I have several "single" men (and lesbians) in my life whom I know are attracted to me, and given the chance would most likely "bed" me, but because the deeper desire to to have me in their life, they would never impose the sexual attraction on the friendship, making it absolutely possible to engage in a caring, committed, long term friendship. Just because one person is sexually attracted to another does not necessarily limit the possibility of a balanced relationship. However, with that said, it is also believed that many people, especially women are oblivious to the fact that others are interested in them, and this can cause issues. We must come to terms with our sexual potency, respect the power it has, and set clear boundaries. Women especially need to be mindful of what we think is harmless flirtatious behavior, especially with men who are in relationships with other women. In some instances, I have had to walk away from certain friendships when I sense that the sexual attraction someone has for me is the truest agenda they have for the relationship. I've also observed that some people like having "friends" that they know want to sleep with them because it validates them in some way. In the end it all comes down to self awareness, awareness of the other, and taking personal responsibility to engage in relationships for healthy reasons.

  8. Karina says:

    Kate, please read my comment below and see if it helps.

  9. Karina says:

    Oh Kate, I don't think that you need to change anything about who you are. Maybe just practice being a little curious and see if there is something useful to learn about how others are responding to your affections? I have practiced this myself and learned a lot. – In sisterhood….

  10. Thanks Karina…good advice.

  11. Glad to hear it – make a lot of sense! Karina made some interesting points too…

  12. happyholidays says:

    Utah State…. that is a very interesting place to try and ask a question like this! So many biases on so many levels!

  13. warren says:

    wow. so this is what lowering the bar in hopes of increasing traffic looks like.
    empty calories.

  14. Felix says:

    I agree. The experiment would have been way more accurate at a book store or a grocery market. A college campus? MY GAWD of course you're going to get inaccurate responses. I mean look at those beautiful young naieve women. I betg every guy they meet want's to jump their bones almost effervessantly.

  15. Pat says:

    This happens to be true. I hate to admit it because I am nearly 60 an I want to say other possibilities are tre, but NO…this is so.

  16. eric says:

    I disagree
    I am a straight man and have a girl friend for almost 20 years, she is gorgeus and atractive, and we have been like brother and sister since always. There hasntt been a kiss or any sort of sexuality aproach.

  17. jackjester says:

    Are you kidding me? Straight unmarried people making blanket statements about the nature of what it means to be male and/or female. Gee, thanks.

    18-22 year old heterosexual boys ALWAYS talk a big game when it comes to the opposite sex. I think the answers females give in this video show that females mature before males. The boys in this video are so terribly immature about their sexuality and of the females around them it is almost unbearable to watch. So according to the boys in this video, either a female is 1) a sexually desirable object or 2) not a friend. Silly, silly little boys.

  18. ramielrashidi says:

    (Part 1 – too long to post in one paste)

    Transitioning from being single, or in open/non-exclusive relationships where flirting and psychic/energetic exchanges with others are the accepted norm to choosing to be a lot more conscious of our full spectrum energetic and psychic exchanges brings a lot to the table in creating different perspectives in this subject of ‘can men and women really be just friends?’.

    There is now research proving that we and animals are psychic, such as extensive research by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (link: http://youtu.be/JnA8GUtXpXY ) shows proof through research that we are psychic, that our thoughts impact others even from thousands of miles away. While research may work for some, for me direct experience is the highest form of knowledge, and when I can test in the world and see the result, then it is authenticated to myself. The goal being that of bringing an inner esoteric realization of the subject beyond some intellectual mind maze, beyond the goal of making some intellectual contribution to large humanity, instead for me it’s about a transformation/growth/evolution within my own being; at best then I may be just an inspiration in living flesh. With more consciousness inevitably comes more responsibility, there is no other way around this. This is a particular subject that I’ve found most prefer to leave to willful ignorance.

    As a mystically inclined and psychic person perhaps I may have a different perspective to share here. Over the course of my life, I could not help but become aware that even my unconscious and subconscious thoughts were projecting energetically/psychically to woman regardless if they were physical in front of me, or thousands of miles away. I found that when a particular woman would think of me sexually/emotionally/mentally/anyway I would literally see and feel her. I recall when one partner hadn’t told me she smoked, and as I would think of her I began feeling smoke in my chest; she had been sending intent to conceal this from me, the very intent to conceal made it light up even more to me. As I traveled both the Eastern, then Western Tantric paths, I had much time to experiment with this in a community where communication and experiments in this subject were more open. I approached a married women who I had psychically experienced thinking of me, I described in detail at what time I thought I had experienced her projecting energy through her fantasy to me, I wanted to get clarity if this was a force of my own imagination/unconscious or if there was any truth to it. She was shocked and she confirmed what I saw was true in extreme detail; her thinking of me after that ended. After going through this with several women, without doubt I realized that also the women had felt my thoughts on some levels once I brought it up; it didn’t take a psychic to know these things; I found that everyday typical people all get a natural gut feeling, we all know on some level. For a while I expanded into exploring love making purely psychically/energetically remotely to learn more about this with of course willing and curious partners. I have sufficient direct experience and interactions with others in this subject and found that my thoughts and thoughts of others towards me regardless of what level of consciousness are according to one’s sensitivity equivalent to the physical acts. While I am deeply spiritual, I don’t fall under any religion, though the memory comes of Christ’s statement about committing murder in the heart is equivalent to doing it. I found the other person always knows and feels on some level when we project our energy to them, and often we may be doing this to others and not even realize that we are projecting that energy; in general the mass of human beings lives mostly unconsciously and subconsciously.

  19. Monica says:

    I was just having this discussion a few weeks ago! I say yes, but I also don’t deny that there may be physical attraction as well…

  20. harmlesslittleflea (Clare) says:

    This irritated me on so many levels. Of COURSE men and women can be just friends. Sometimes they are gay, so there's no attraction. Sometimes they are not gay, but there's still no attraction. Sometimes, newsflash, there IS attraction, but why on earth does that mean they can't be friends? These 'filmmakers' asked leading questions and continued to pester women until they got the answer they wanted: the woman admitting that maybe, possibly one of her guy friends would hook up if she wanted to, and therefore – what, it's not a real friendship?!?