This controversial subject often paves way for the following statuses: friends-with-benefits, exclusive relationships, “it’s complicated”, or strictly platonic friendships. Can physically attractive men and women simply just be friends? Before I reveal my answer, here’s a little personal exercise for you: Among your own circle of friends, do you strictly adhere to the platonic code? Or perhaps there are a select few you consider as prospects?
Casting aside for a moment, the personal biases and the “it’s-complicated” remarks, the general impression from the female audience, is that platonic friendships are regular with the opposite sex. I mean, it’s no shocker that anecdotally, more women friend-zone men than the reverse. The majority of males, however, express a different tone on their “friendships” with women. It appears most women genuinely play by the platonic code, until usually, the guy makes a major move. If the interest is returned, you have the makings of a relationship, friends with benefits etc.
In the case of friends who veer away from the platonic route, what the discipline of social psychology refers to as the “propinquity effect” is largely responsible. In plain terms, both develop an attraction for each other, by their constant exposure and proximity to each other. I believe we all candidly refer to it as “catching feelings” or “falling for” someone. So, to save you all the trouble of recreating the different scenarios of which men and women can feasibly be, and remain platonic friends, it’s time to announce the verdict: Men and women can be friends only one condition––that is, if neither is attracted to the other, especially physically. But it’s so much more complicated you say right? That brings about yet another debatable question: What does she mean when she says “it’s complicated” after asking about her status?