Can males and females be friends?

R and I are having a debate (again). I could do with some input.

As always, I’ll start at the beginning.

So, I don’t have many female friends.

It’s not like I solely hang out with guys or anything. I’ve just noticed lately that the ratio of my guy friends in regards to my girl friends is very much skewed in favour of the males.

I used to have loads of platonic females friends. Then I entered into a long term relationship with a girl who was of a jealous persuasion and, as a result, I drifted away from these ladies and as everyone grew up, got married, had babies and generally moved on with their lives, most of those friendships fell by the wayside.

Having said that, I have managed to cultivate a few in last 18 months or so and do have more female friends than the other members of Project Southsea. Although I think they have a total of about 3 between them so that’s not really anything to brag about.

One of my better female friends is Claire.

She and I met through mutual friends and bonded over a shared loves of Liverpool Football Club, Star Wars, the music of The Smiths and self deprecating humour.

From about April onwards we kept bumping into each other at various parties and social events. After realising that we had a fair bit in common we exchanged numbers and eventually started hanging out. When the new football season started in August we begun watching games together most weeks.

Despite scrutiny from my friends, there were no romantic undertones in this friendship. Personally, I just don’t think of Claire that way.

The feeling is mutual too. Our hangouts regularly consisted of one helping the other out in giving advice over various potential love interests.

It was nice to meet a girl whose company I enjoy greatly whilst genuinely having no romantic interest in her whatsoever. It makes me less awkward.

I once even tried to set her up with a mate of mine. I still think that they’d make a terrific couple. His new girlfriend will probably disagree with me though.

All was going well with Claire and I until one night before Christmas.

After a heavy night of drinking, she and a few friends stayed at Project Southsea to watch some films. We ended sharing a drunken kiss.

Well, I say kiss. It was actually more of a full blown make-out session. I definitely recall it seemingly going on forever before I eventually succumbed to tiredness and fell asleep on the sofa.

I woke the next day, absolutely mortified as the memory of us two in a drunken embrace slowly began to materialise in my mind.

I am guessing that she was equally as mortified. I say this because when I awoke she had already left.

I figured I would text her and do some damage control so reached for my phone. She had beaten me to it.

“Oooops! Whilst last night was pleasant, I don’t wanna ruin our friendship. It’s probably best if we don’t make a habit out of that. You agree yeah?  See ya next year. x”

Claire was going home for Christmas and New Year. We agreed to put that kissing session past us and move on.

I hoped that a bit of a time and distance would put this whole thing behind us and we could go back to being pals and football buddies.

I did not tell anyone about the kissing.

Her sister had a baby and she ended up staying away all of January and she came back to Portsmouth last week.

I ran ino her on Tuesday.

Now I am no stranger to awkward encounters but this one was up there with one of the worst I have ever had. I have no idea what was the problem but something was off with us both.

I knew what I had to do.

We have a St Patrick’s Day creeping up. Claire will be there. I planned to lay low until the party and catch up with her then. I think that being at a party with a big crowd and more people to bounce off of will take the pressure off and relieve any tension that may exist between us.

There was a problem though.

She sent me a text Thursday morning.

“Hey mister. 2nd leg against Zenith tonight. Pub at 7:30 yeah? x”

I couldn’t face an awkward evening of conversation so I told her I had plans (I know that I should not tell lies but technically this was not a lie. I did have plans. They simply involved watching the game alone indoors).

Prior to kick off I fancied a snack so headed down to road to the local supermarket for supplies.

She was in there.

I saw her by the bread section. I figured if I quickly made my way to the tills then I could get swiftly in and out unseen. So I sidestepped to the produce aisle and quickly sped to the end towards the tills.

She was standing right there in front of me.

Busted! That bloody girl moves like gazelle!

I should have learnt my lesson about telling lies by now! I have previous. See here and here.

I tried to mumble my way through an excuse but she knew exactly what I was doing. She even called me on it.

“You cancelled because things are still awkward after our kiss didn’t you?”

“um….yeah…kind of.”

“You are such a girl”

I had to respond.

“YOU’RE a girl!”

She laughed.

“Well that settles it mister. You and I are having dinner on Wednesday and we are going to talk about this. I don’t want this to be an issue between us so let’s nip things in the bud. Agreed?”

I agreed with her. So we are gonna grab a burger, have a catch up and try to bury this thing once and for all. It’s the mature thing to do. As we are both grown ups this seems like the best course of action. I miss my mate too so want to sort this out.

I fessed up and told R all about this last night. He has a theory on the matter (he always has a theory on the matter). He argues that males and females can’t be friends.

R says that one party will always have some kind of romantic intention towards the other and, when these romantic intentions aren’t realised, feelings will get hurt and the ‘friendship’ will suffer and eventually decline.

I disagree with him (I usually do).

So I am opening the floor to you guys and would love to hear your opinions on the matter. Do you have any stories and experiences that can add weight to the argument?

I would ask my female friends for their opinions…but I don’t have many!


About Project Southsea

I blog mostly about my adventures in awkwardness.
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25 Responses to Can males and females be friends?

  1. dsantos85 says:

    men and women can TOTALLY be friends. Even if kissing/sex has been introduced to the equation. It is possible to remain friends afterwards without it being awkward.

    Take me for example, I have a bunch of guy friends. Some of which I’ve ended up hooking up with but that isn’t the case with all of them. Even the guys that I have hooked up with…we’ve continued our friendship as if nothing happened.

    • Thanks Dee. Sounds like you guys are all very mature and grown up about it. 🙂

      I would worry that after hooking up with a female friend that it may come back to haunt me if I were to introduce her to a future girlfriend. Maybe I am just a worrier though?

      • dsantos85 says:

        Well…it can potentially be awkward…I think it all depends on the relationship you currently have and being clear about what is going on from the get go. Ya know? If you’re both adults about it, then it’s okay!

  2. Of course men and women can be platonic friends – but there’s no denying biology. Some part of each of you will be attracted to the other, even if you’re not completely conscious of it. But that’s all right. It’s natural. And if you have a good relationship with each other, you should try to be open about it (note: I said “open,” not “tactless and blunt”).

  3. hermitageno8 says:

    yes, men and women can be friends and it seems that your friend has decided to talk openly to you about her feelings – she clearly is a good friend and a mature person so be honest with her and have the conversation then carry on being mates. I have several male friends with whom I am happy to hang out and chat without any “undertones”, I don’t know if it helps that I am married and old(ish) because it was more of an issue when I was younger with the male friends I had then but still I think you can move forward with a friendship after a silly evening if both parties are willing to be open and talk sensibly.

    • Good point. I think that both parties (or one person) having partners would make things easier.

      I also agree with the point that as people get older, their ability to deal with these situations improves. Age brings wisdom after all. 😉

      Things are all good with Claire after our catch up last night by the way.

  4. Hmm. I have male friends who I only see as friends, and they view me the same way. There have been instances where I have had unrequited feelings toward the lad, or the other way around, but it was never anything that couldn’t be overcome with my closer friends. Not so close friends with this issue tend to drop off of the planet.

  5. ashleigh4994 says:

    I think they can be friends, yeah i have male friends but even if you’re not attracted to them i think you do think in someway what it would be like with them… and if they are attractive and your friends probably definitely thinking what are they like in bed

  6. Guyliner says:

    I’m not sure it’s the case that men and women *can’t* be friends – just that usually they don’t *want* to be. You’ll get the odd anomaly creeping through of course, but unless a part of large groups or being friends with a friend’s other half, men and women generally stick to their own gender when it comes to leisure time.

    I really don’t think the issue of ‘romantic intention’ is always there, though. Sure, we may have, on occasion, thought about what it might be like to bang one of our mates (ones who, theoretically, would be sexually available to us) but it doesn’t mean we want to act on it, or indeed will.

    So, in short: yes, they can. If they want.

    • Good point Guyliner.

      Is this the same in the gay community? I imagine that it must be a bit trickier if your social circle consists of guys who are also gay?

      Apologies if this question is not entirely PC by the way, I mean well but my curiousity gets the better of me sometimes.

  7. Eph A Bee says:

    Don’t forget straight women can definitely be friends with gay men!

    But we can also be friends with straight men as well. It really depends on being able to move past any awkwardness (such as one-sided interest or a shared drunken moment). I’ve had a couple of friends I’ve had crushes on, but you mature and move on and can still be friends. My former friend, Phil, was one such case where I had a huge crush on him, but when he rejected me, I just put it behind me and moved on and we stayed good friends up until… well the drugs. But we’d been good friends for 4-5 years after my crush/his rejection, and I think if he’d managed to have stayed clean, we probably would have been friends for the rest of our lives.

    Anyway, you totally need to put it past you and stop tormenting yourself by magnifying the awkwardness instead of moving past it!

    • Another good point! I know plenty of girls with gay male friends and a few guys with gay female friends too. For obvious reasons, all of those are entirely platonic.

      Sorry to hear about your experiences with Phil. At least you guys were able to move past it initially though.

      Catching up with Claire went well. I am pretty confident that we have now moved past this.

  8. nuttycow says:

    I wrote a long long blog post about this. (for those interested:

    The conclusion is that yes, men and women can be friends. If the sex thing happens (which it does, inevitably) then you have to either make a go of it or just leave it where it is and continue being friends. There’s no point in feeling embarrassed about it.

    • Great story!

      If I have interpreted it correctly, then the point you were trying to convey was that ‘if a friendship is strong enough then it will survive tests such as kissing, sex etc’?

      How did things go with Popeye in the end by the way?

  9. Yes! Yes! Men and women can be friends!

  10. Rebe says:

    Yes, they can be friends. I don’t feel as though I need to say anything more; the folks who commented before me know what’s up.

  11. emmylane says:

    Friendship with someone else is always a case-by-case thing whether that person is of the same or opposite gender as you. I think men and women are totally capable of being platonic friends with each other in some cases and totally incapable in others. The fact is when you spend a lot of time with a person, it’s natural for your feelings to broaden and deepen, because you’ve forged a connection. Now, whether that means a close friendship or…well, something else is dependent on attraction, which isn’t something you can control. All you can control is your response to your feelings, whatever they may be. In your case, either one or both of you is a little attracted to each other or the whole makeout fest would not have occurred (no matter how drunk you were). And I hate to tell you, but us ladies have a weird sixth sense and know when you’re avoiding us, so just be honest and don’t lie. haha. Good luck with your chat with Claire!

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