It’s a question that’s had us scratching our heads in deep thought for as long as you can remember: Can men and women be just friends? It happens in movies, books, and it might have even happened to you in real life- friends realize they have feelings for one another. But what about the friends who don’t fall in love? What about the friendships that stayed platonic? Is there always at least one side that had feelings for, or at least felt attracted to, the other? Is it possible to be entirely just friends?

Some reports show that entirely platonic friendships are very unusual. While there are friends who have never shown interest in one another, one party likely felt to attracted to the other at some point in the friendship.

Studies show that men and women often have very different goals when it comes to friendship. Men are more likely to see having an opposite-sex friend as a benefit, while women are more likely to see it as a cost. In many cases, friendships that do not turn romantic or sexual often leave men feeling like they were rejected. Women often see male friends as physical protection as well as a networking source.

Two people can enter a friendship without the goal of anything more, but sometimes plans change, and so does the purpose. This being said, men/women often find it challenging to stay “just friends.” It’s important to be aware of your friend’s feelings and understand that one person gaining feelings of attraction for the other is common. That’s why it’s important to communicate how you feel and be open and honest about your friendship. If one person is friends with the other solely to be something more hopefully, and the other is completely unaware- it will probably not work out. Communicating your intentions and feelings about friendship will yield better results.

So, in short, is it possible for men and women to be just friends? The answer is well, unclear. Yes, they can be just friends. But at the same time, at some point in the friendship, someone is likely to have an attraction form. It’s a fact of life and human nature, but that’s why it’s important to always be open and honest with every relationship in your life. Communication is key!