Why More Men Should Be 'Just Friends' With Women

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can men and women be just friends?

(As written by a man with a LOT of female friends.)

“Wait, aren’t you the guy who says that men and women can’t be ‘just friends’?” Yep, that’s me.

Can men and women be just friends? No. Because I have long held the (accurate) position that men and women are unable to be 100 percent platonic friends because a man’s biological programming will always bring thoughts into his head that escalate beyond friendship. Women are able to separate men into a "just friends" category, whereas men don’t have this ability.

But that’s a different conversation for a different time.

You see, growing up, I was always the nice guy. The best friend. The "you’re like a brother to me." And let me tell ya, it sucked. I also had more friends who were in a similar boat, but there was really one difference that stood out to me. 

They would get visibly frustrated and mad at girls, whereas I would accept my defeat and continue spending time with the girls in my classes — just as friends. Not like I had a choice.

But the point is, rather than locking myself in a room and ranting on LiveJournal about how much I hated women, I decided to spend even more time around them, and learn about them. I grew up around a lot of women in my family, so it was a comfort zone for me and I was always interested in what they had to say. I don’t claim to be an expert on women, obviously, but as I get older I’ve been told by women how rare it is for men to have actually done this in their lives.

RELATED: 7 Signs You And Your Boyfriend Should Just Be Friends

When we would do family dinners on Sundays, I’d choose to be hanging around the table with the women instead of yelling at the football game with the men. To me, they always seemed to be more evolved and intellectually challenging. I didn’t want to grunt and drink beer and light things on fire.

Now, as a grown adult (physically, not mentally), I still find myself getting along better with women than (some) men. I am typically around groups of women in my social circles, and often times I find myself being the only guy in the group.

About 10 years ago I found myself in a social circle with guys I’d made friends with, and I couldn’t believe how many women were around them. I wasn’t used to being friends with guys who attracted women, nor was I used to being one. I noticed how much more fun everyone was having, and how comfortable they all were together. I spent more and more time with them and learned more about myself and everyone around me.

Some of these situations over the past years, of course, have led to relationships with one of the women, or maybe a shorter term fling — but that’s life, and often times building a relationship off of friendship is most successful.

“But if men and women can’t be friends, then what are you even saying?”

Can men and women be just friends? Well, what I’m saying is, you can choose to evolve past those feelings and not act on them — prioritize your thoughts and emotions. Don’t be controlled by the desire to jump into bed with any woman who looks in your direction.

Instead, choose to build friendships with the women around you because women offer a whole different perspective on the world than "your boys" do. They have had different life experiences, they’ve had challenges we don’t have (and vice versa), they talk about different subjects than we do, they will expand your horizons. And, they will improve your intimate relationships.

RELATED: 17 Signs You Have Romantic Feelings For A "Platonic Friend"

Spending more platonic time around women will help you understand them. What they do and don’t want, what they do and don’t enjoy, and how to effectively communicate to learn the wants and desires of the one woman you do decide to commit yourself to.

Men and women have different communication styles, and just like any other language, the best way to learn it is total immersion. Would you rather take an Italian class, or move to Rome for a year?

Not to mention, spending time with women will help you to become more well-rounded since they will help you see the world in different ways and open you up to new experiences.

If I were running around Los Angeles trying to sleep with every beautiful woman I came across, I’d burn up my social circle pretty quickly and always be alone because everyone would think I’d just be trying to get them into bed.

Please understand me: I am not suggesting you turn yourself into "the nice guy" and land perpetually in the friend zone where you are going to be frustrated and resentful all the time. I am saying that I’d much rather build friendships with substance and be able to do amazing things with amazing people. If you approach meeting new people with this perspective, they will be much more open to communicating with and learning about you.

I get a lot of questions from guys about how it is that I spend a lot of time around beautiful women, and the answer is pretty simple. They’re used to constantly being bombarded by men who are trying to get into their pants. You’ll find that they’re much more comfortable around heterosexual men who aren’t trying to sleep with them.

If the mutual attraction is there and something is going to naturally evolve over time, then that’s when the real magic happens, because you’re going to end up with someone you know you enjoy being around without sex being involved. A relationship based solely on sex will falter and fail at the first sign of trouble, whereas a relationship built on a solid foundation of friendship will be able to weather a storm.

Just be normal. Be genuine. Be caring. Communicate. Be friends.

Can men and women really be JUST friends? Check out the video below to see what one relationship expert thinks:


James Michael Sama is an award winning Boston based blogger on the topics of dating and relationships, having amassed over 30 million readers in just a year and a half. He writes and speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness throughout the country and has been featured repeatedly in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.

This article was originally published at James M Sama. Reprinted with permission from the author.